Friday, October 24, 2014

African American Burials at Springhill Cemetery Madison, Davidson County, Tennessee.



At Springhill Cemetery, on Gallatin Pike in Madison, there is a large section, with only a few markers, in the southwest corner of the cemetery that was reserved for the burial of person of African descent.  In a plat of the cemetery, the section is marked, "H" single graves.   

A large marker with the name Browne, across the front, is the most prominent in this section.  Three footstones, identify the persons buried in the lot as; Joe Browne 1860-1917; Callie Browne 1858-1953; and Olive Lischey 1864-1918.  It was the search for Joe Browne's grave that brought me to this area of Springhill Cemetery.  I first learned of Joseph Browne from Dr. Bill McKee of Cumberland University.  Dr. McKee asked for my help in a history of Northeast Nashville that he was putting together.  The resulting book, North Edgefield Remembered, tells the story of Joseph Browne and his wife Callie.  Browne, born into slavery in 1859, was reared in the home of Louis Lischy, a Nashville florist.  It was alleged in a divorce proceeding brought by Lischy's wife that Joe was the son of Louis Lischy.  The graves of the two men are separated in the cemetery by only a narrow lane.  Joe Browne worked for many years, after slavery ended ,for Louis Lischy, at Lischy's greenhouse in Northeast Nashville.  At Lischy's death, Browne took over the florist business and was well known in Nashville.  Joe Browne's step-daughter, Daisy Turner Washington, was a great-grandmother of Julian Bond, Senator from Georgia and a leader in the civil rights movement.


I wrote this biographical sketch for Joseph Browne to add to the Find-A-Grave website.
           Joseph "Joe" Browne
           Birth: 
Feb., 1860
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
           Death: 
Jan., 1917
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
   
Born into slavery on the farm of Louis C. Lischy, near Nashville,  in Davidson County, Tennessee. His mother was named Octavia Lischy. She was also known as Toby. Octavia was a slave of Louis Lischy, who was reputedly the father of Joseph. Joseph Lischy is found in the household of Louis Lischy in 1870. By 1880 he had changed his name to Joseph Browne. Joe was a florist in East Nashville. He married Callie Turner in 1895 and became a step-father to her 12 year old daughter Daisy Agnes Turner (Washington). Daisy's great-grandson is Julian Bond, social activist and a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1953, after the death of his wife Callie, Fisk University received a gift of $130,000 from Joe's estate. Dr. Johnson, then President of Fisk, said this was the largest gift ever received by Fisk from a Negro and he believed this to be the largest gift ever received by any educational institution by a Negro.
Joe and Callie are buried at the northwest corner of section H, designated as the old slave section or the Negro lot on some interment records at Springhill.
 


Section H covers quite a large area, but contains only a few grave markers.  Very few burials in this section are recorded in the cemetery record books.  A grave marker for Samuel Harvey Vaughn 1854-1892 stands near a cemetery roadway.  In 1870, Harvey Vaughn was living in the house of Hiram Vaughn, working as a domestic servant.   Markers for Emma Love 1863-1888 and her sister Florence Love 1870-1894 are near the middle of this section.  They were daughters of Thaddeus Love 1812-1890, who was found in the 1880 census as a next door neighbor to Robert E. Love.  The family, likely lived on the Robert Love property and were former slaves of the Love family.  Thaddeus and his wife Sallie, and Jenny Love and Mahaly Love are buried at Springhill according to death records but no grave marker has been found.  A marker for Martha Wade who died in 1931 is at the back of section H.  Through a search of records including death records for Davidson County and Nashville, documentation has been found of more than 50 burials of African-Americans at Spring Hill Cemetery.  The size of section H, and the lack of mention of most of these burials in the internment records for Springhill Cemetery leads to the belief that there may have been many more burials of  persons of color at Springhill Cemetery from it's beginning in 1785 until the early 1950's.





African Americans known to be buried at Springhill Cemetery, Madison, Davidson County, TN
Last Name


First Name
Date of death

Allen
Matt F.
8/28/1889

Allen
Josie
9/4/1889               

Blaine
Bessie W.
8/18/1910               

Boddie
Sallie
after 1870

Bowman
A. W.
7/6/1897

Boyd
Mary
5/25/1893

Browne
Joe
1/25/1917

Browne
Callie
6/6/1953

Bush
Minnie
2/2/1901

Carter
Ellen Amanda
1/30/1902

Davis
Lizzie
5/15/1898

Everett
Samuel
3/10/1900

Fisher
Jacob
5/11/1897

Hall
Celia May
1/27/1903

Hopkins
Hattie
4/30/1899

Johnson
Infant of Mattie
1/6/1901

Knight
James
1/7/1892

Langley
Henry J.
12/20/1905

Lee
Jos.
10/9/1897

Lewis
Katie
11/13/1900

Lewis
Jere
5/26/1901

Lewis
Millie
8/4/1912

Lischey
Olive
6/12/1918

Love
Sallie
12/27/1900

Love
Mahaly
3/10/1901

Love
Thaddeus
2/3/1906

Love
Emma T.
6/1/1888

Love
Florence E.
2/16/1894

Love
Jennie
1/7/1892

Lynch
Anny
4/2/1881

Miller
Emmerson
10/14/1897

Moore
Alexander
4/18/1897

Phillips
Kingston
1901

Ragland
Samuel
3/28/1902

Sledge
Paralee
1/7/1901

Sledge
Walter
8/11/1896

Smith
Amy
11/7/1896

Sprat
Henry J.
1/26/1899

Thomas
Bettie
9/5/1897

Turner
Phillis
4/30/1893

Vaughn
Andrew
12/15/1901

Vaughn
John Fulton
1/10/1908

Vaughn
Albert
1/4/1898

Vaughn
Fannie
10/26/1892

Vaughn
Saml. Harvey


Wade
Martha
3/6/1931

Walton
Wm.
3/11/1893

Webb
Manuel
10/20/1892

Williams
J. W.
10/28/1898

Woodson
Bud
5/29/1897

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Homes along Gallatin Pike



The following maps and plats were taken from various Davidson County Court Records, Register of Deeds Plat Maps and the Hopkins 1908 Atlas of Nashville




Saturday, August 9, 2014

House Genealogy - 315 Grace Street, 37207



315 Grace St. (formerly Josephine Ave)

In 1880 the East Nashville Real Estate Company filed a plat with the Davidson County Register of Deeds (RODC 57-11) for a plan of lots in North Edgefield/Northeast Nashville. East Nashville Real Estate Company had purchased the land from J. W. Bryan.  The property had once been a part of the lands of James McGavock whose old home still stands at 908 Meridian Street. Read more about  McGavock.




Sarah Horne was from Alabama, born there in 1844.  Patrick Stephenson was an immigrant from Ireland and worked for the railroad on the Decatur line.  He was living in Nashville as early as 1867.  Perhaps he met Sarah on a layover in Decatur.  They were married in March of 1870 in Decatur, Alabama.  By June, 1870, the newlyweds were living in Nashville at the City Hotel.  Within a few years, they were living on Foster Street in Northeast Nashville, probably to be near the railroad.  The 1880 census lists Patrick's occupation as a conductor, with the railroad.  Patrick died just before Christmas, 1881 and was buried at Nashville's Calvary Cemetery. 


Pulaski Citizen - Dec. 22, 1881


Sarah was left to raise two young children, Ellen and William. In 1882 Sarah Horne Stephenson purchased lot # 3 (Davidson Co., Deed ref. 72-460) of the East Nashville Real Estate Plan of Lots for $300.  From 1883 -1898 Sarah was living at 315 Josephine Ave. and worked as a music teacher to support her family. 

In 1899, Sarah's daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and William Varley moved into the house, with their two young daughters, Patricia and Loretta.  William Varley is listed as head of house in the 1900 census and Sarah is in the household listed as mother in law.  William had a men's clothing store on Union Street in partnership with a Mr. Bauman and earlier a Mr. Bowers.  The men owned a second store in Birmingham, Alabama.


In 1901 the house was transferred by deed from Sarah Stephenson to her daughter Ellen Varley for the amount of 1167.50.  The deed still gives the street name as Josephine.   (RODC 259-104)
In 1909, Varley transferred his interest in the Nashville store to Bauman.  Bauman gave over his interest in the Birmingham store to Varley.  By this time the Varley's were living full time in Alabama.

In 1913, Ellen Varley, who had moved with her husband William to Alabama several years before, sold the house to Moore Handley Hardware Co. of Birmingham, Alabama.  The street is called Grace Avenue in the deed.  (Davidson Co., Deed ref.  445-314)  Sarah Stephenson also moved to Alabama.  She died at Mobile in June 1926.

The house at 315 Grace Avenue would have looked similar to this house before it was altered.

In 1920, Moore Handley Hardware Co.  sold the house to Delter and Mell Todd for $1500. (Davidson Co., Deed ref.  531-82)
 
Over the next few years there were several owners, Natalie Overall, Jacob Grandstaff and Morris Jacobs.  Morris Jacobs bought the property in 1924, apparently as an investment.  He and his wife Bessie did not live in the house although they owned it until 1955.  They sold the house, that year, to Inez Parker.  Ms. Parker lived in the house at least in the early years of her ownership and was still in possession of the property at her death in 1993.  Ms. Parker left the property to Mildred Morris Dattilo and she sold the house in 1994.  

Today the house looks very different than when Sarah lived there, over 130 years ago. 

315 Grace Street today, a mixture of old and new.