Governor Brown stated years later that he settled on the place in the fall of 1848. That statement and the purchase price leads to the conclusion that the house described in the ad was on the fifty two acres that Brown purchased.
When Governor Brown wrote in 1874, of the how Edgefield was named, he stated that shortly after he moved to the property, he met up with several of his neighbors, Dr. Pitts, General Clements and Mr. Hobson, at his spring. They spoke of the little village that had grown up near their properties and the need to select a proper name. Brown wrote, "I was called upon first. Looking over the scenery in view, and observing the graceful curve of the woods around the distant fields, I was struck with the name of 'Edgefield,' and it was unanimously adopted. This name has come on down to the present day, and will probably continue through the indefinite future."
In a published volume titled, Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed at the General Assembly, 1849-50, this entry was found. "An act to establish the Edgefield Manufacturing Company…the Commissioners shall select site, for said Manufactury, on the side of the Cumberland River opposite Nashville. Passed Dec 14, 1849."
In early 1850, there were notices in newspapers of the Edgefield Manufacturing Company but nothing about that business was found later. This is not the same as the Edgefield and Nashville Manufacturing Company that was chartered in the late 1860's. In 1850 a new bridge was erected across the Cumberland from Nashville to Edgefield. Also in 1850 advertisements offering property for sale in Edgefield began to appear. New businesses opened and the Edgefield Institute was chartered. In late 1850, Hobson's Chapel was built near the current intersection of 10th and Woodland. The people of Edgefield asked that a railroad depot be built in the neighborhood.
John Shelby, who at one time owned all of the land that would become Edgefield, was dividing his property into subdivision and selling lots. William Foster did the same with the property he owned, adjoining Gov. Brown.
When Governor Brown wrote in 1874, that the name would continue through the indefinite future, he most likely did not realize how true his words were. In 2017 Edgefield is still a thriving, growing community, just as it was when Governor Brown moved to his home in 1848.
Text of Governor Neill S. Brown's Letter to the Editor of the Republican Banner, March 22, 1874.
To the Editor of the Banner
In the fall, of 1848, when I first purchased and settled on the place I now occupy, there, were but two houses between me and the river south of Main Street --one the residence of Mrs. Minnick, where Mr. Sheppard now lives, and the other the residence of Dr. Shelby. On the north side of Main Street, the old Nichols house stood solitary and alone, and it is still there, after all these generations. On the south side there was an unbroken forest of stately poplars and elms, still standing as they had stood in the days of the early settlements, and stretching on down to the borders of the river. North of me were the residences and settlements of Dr. McFerrin and John McGavock, separated, however, and obscured by a dense forest on my own place, but which, alas, has disappeared under the ravages of war. Beyond the premises of McFerrin and McGavock was a beautiful woods, forming a graceful crescent or circle. The whole settlement, as it was then, formed one of the most beautiful pictures I ever beheld. Art had done but little, but nature had done her utmost, and made it a most charming retreat. It was, in fact, a "lovely village of the plain." Some short time after I settled there, I met one day casually, at my spring, several of my neighbors. Among them I can recall Dr. Pitts, General Clements and Mr. Hobson. Some one, I think Dr. Pitts, raised the question of selecting a name for our village, for it was then bearing an appellation not very complimentary to its dignity. I was called upon first. Looking over the scenery in view, and observing the graceful curve of the woods around the distant fields, I was struck with the name of "Edgefield," and it was unanimously adopted. This name has come on down to the present day, and will probably continue through the indefinite future. The physical features of our town have undergone a change since that day, equal to that wrought by the hand of art. Houses and streets have usurped the place of commons and paths. A busy hive has occupied a solitude. Then I knew every inhabitant of the village. Now I do not know the fourth of them. Long may it live, and flourish, and prosper! Neill S. Brown
(Note : Mrs. Minnick, mentioned in the letter was the mother in law of John Shelby.)