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William McKissack House

Col. William McKissack (1781-1865) arrived in Maury Co. about 1834.





He opened several successful business ventures and became a leading merchant in the area that is now Spring Hill. Between 1840-45, he built a nice 2 story Greek Revival mansion on the Columbia-Franklin Turnpike. He was married first to Rebecca Sallard McKissack (died 1817); then to Jeannette Susan Buxton Coglo (S.B.C.) Thompson McKissack (1803-1842). In 1841, Nathaniel Cheairs married Susan Peters McKissack (1821-1893), one of their children. When Cheairs built Rippavilla, he used his father-in-law’s McKissack Brickyard. Later in life, William was acknowledged as one of the area’s wealthiest citizens.



Photo from Experience Maury Co. TN


One of McKissack's freedmen, Gabriel McKissack, had learned architecture. Gabriel passed the trade along to his sons and they to theirs. Moses McKissack III and his brother Calvin became famous architects in the New South and designed multiple famous structures including the Morris Memorial Building to house the National Baptist Convention in 1924. At the time, it was the largest building constructed in Nashville and by local talent. McKissack and Mckissack has a legacy as the oldest minority-owned architecture/ engineering firm in the United States.


William’s brother, Spivey McKissack, built Woodlawn Farm. By 1865, another McKissack daughter Eleanor W. McKissack (1815-1892) owned the property. Eleanor married Orville W. McKissack (1809-1887). The McKissack House remained in the family until 1936.


In 1949, The Nashville Tennessean Magazine wrote of the McKissack Place as a tourist home, a novelty shop. In the early 1980s, Campbell and Rachel Sudberry Haffner owned the property. See Rippavilla, Woodlawn


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