Married 15 Aug 1855 Dr. William
Eggleston Kennedy 1823 - 1862
14 Robert Williams born after 1838 and may not have survived.
The University of North Carolina formally
opened Feb. 12, 1795 and Josiah attended there the 1803-1804 school year and was a member of the Philanthropic
The objects of the Society were and have continued to be two-fold. First, the improvement
of its members in the science and art of debating, in English composition and the attainment of a good style, in the knowledge
of parliamentary rules and modes of conducting public business. Secondly, the cultivation of moral and social
virtues, and the formation of lasting friendships, founded on co-operation in honorable works.
REGISTER OF MEMBERS OF THE PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY of the University of North Carolina
for the year 1803, Non-Graduates:WILLIAMS, JOSIAH . . . . . Franklin Co.
According to Gerri Williams, the UNC records show Joshiah Frederick Williams being
enrolled 03-04, 1807 which I interpret to mean that he attended the school year 1803-1804 and would have been in the graduating
class of 1807 had he stayed in school.
Below are sections of the 1810 and 1812 Davidson County Tax
Rolls showing Josiah Frederick Williams with 476 acres and 25 blacks, his brother William Williams with 919 acres and 17 blacks,
and their mother Sarah Williams with no land and 7 blacks.
Below are deeds for other properties purchased by Josiah Frederick
Williams as listed in the Davidson County Deed Books.
On 1 December 1815 Josiah purchased 101 acres in Davidson County from
his Father-in-law Joseph Phillips (Philips) and recorded the purchase on 13 December 1815 in Deed Book M page 74.
On 15 July 1818 Josiah F.
purchased 183 acres on the north side of the Cumberland River from his
brother William Williams and recorded the purchase on 29 March 1819 in Deed Book
N page 135.
August 1830 Josiah F. purchased 502 acres on Jones Bend from his brother-in-law Jesse Wharton
and recorded the purchase on 19 November 1830 in Deed Book S page 659.
20 November 1815 Josiah F. purchased 133 acres on the south side of the Cumberland River from Shadrack
Cayce and recorded the purchased 29 March 1819 in Deed Book N page 136.
On 28 January 1837 Josiah
F. purchased 70 acres from Elijah Wilson etal and recorded the purchase on 28 January
1837 in Deed Book 1 page 70.
The following undated letter from Robert Ewing, son of Andrew Ewing and Rowena Williams Ewing, sheds some light
on the Maplewood plantation and the lives of the children. Robert Ewing was Secretary and Treasurer of the Watkins
Institute in Nasahville at the time he wrote this letter.
I regret that I am not able to give you as accurate information with
regard to Maplewood as I would like to give you ----
My grandfather on the maternal side, Josiah Williams, owned a very
large tract of land (I think about 1,000 acres) situated on the west side of the Gallatin Turnpike about five miles from Nashville.Whether he inherited this tract or aquired it by grant I do not know.
He established his home there several decades before the civil war.The place was covered with magnificent trees, the maple predominately, and because
of this, as I surmise, he gave the place the name of “Maplewood”.It
was equipped with all of the facilities necessary to handle plantations of that size as they were handled in these early days,
with saw mill, grist mill, blacksmith and carpenter shop, cloth weaving and C supplying all the needs of his family and those
living on this tract Timber of all kinds was at hand. He built the house on an elevation back westwardly from the Pike, leaving
a lawn in the front covered with royal sugar maple trees. Walnut was plentiful in those days and the flooring of the rooms
of this house consisted of walnut plank an inch thick obtained from trees growing on the land and prepared in the shop on
Mr. Williams married Margaret Philips.Fourteen children came from this union as follows:
Milbry- Married Orille Ewing 5th, President of the
old Planter Bank
Rebecca - Married Edwin Ewing, Lawyer of Nashville
Three sisters married three brothers
Married Andrew Ewing, Lawyer of Nashville
Sarah- Dr. Whittaker, Physican of Clarksville
Henry- Farmer of Guthrie, KY
John- Merchant of Nashville
James- Merchant of Clarksville
Elisha- Farmer of Arkansas
Martha- Married Andrew J. Duncan, Merchant and Banker of Nashville
Mary- James C. Warner, Iron Manufacturer
Margaret- Dr. Kennedy, Physician of Chattanooga
Jerre Baxter afterward bought the place and gave a site thereon to
the Mason’s for an Orphans home.
When Mr. Baxter started to remodel the house Williams had built the
contractor told him he could never replace material as desirable as that than existing.
This is such a crude statement
that I prefer you do not mention my name though I think it correct.The other
three children whose names are not mentioned may have died in infancy. I don't know.
Robert Ewing, Son of Andrew
Following is copy of the original hand written letter.
Henry Philips Williams, the seventh surviving child of this union, wrote a letter in 1892 or 1893 which included the following:
"The family moved to Tennessee in
1804 I think, and your GrandpaJosiah Williams married Margaretta Phillips in 1815 and had twelve children;James Williams, your father was one of the twelve.
of our family I should tell you that your great-Grandpa washighly educated and of quite
a literary turn. He was wealthy and gave allhis children finished educations.
Cousin Jack's father was a graduate ofHarvard University, Massachusetts and your grand-uncle
Elisha and yourGrandpa were graduated from Chappel Hill College, North Carolina.
Both readlatin fluently and their handwrite was most excellent.
In mathematics he was superior to any of his boys. I have heard him saythat his father was one of the best read men in North Carolina, and that hisGrandfather was highly educated. Grandfather Phillips was a close personalfriend
of my Grandfather Williams and finally induced him to move out toTennessee. He selling
his real estate and giving part to his daughterElizabeth who married a wealthy man in North
Carolina named Thomas Alston.You may not know it but my Father and my Uncle (Jack's Father)
marriedsisters, Sally and Margaretta Phillips, and through Grandfathers Williamsand Phillips all the fine real estate near Nashville was inherited by CousinJack's father which is now known as the William's Estate."
Henry included with the letter a family history, a part of which follows:
"Your Great Grandfather, Elisha Williams, was highly educated himself, and insisted that his children should have every advantage
extended to them in getting a collegiate education, which was something unusual at an early day.
He employed a private tutor for his boys, and when they were sufficiently advanced in their studies, he sent the oldest (Uncle
William) to Harvard University, Mass., and your Grand Uncle Elisha and your Grand Pa to Chapel Hill, N.C. All three got their
diplomas, and I know myself that your Grand Pa Williams could read Latin fluently and wrote a beautiful fluent hand.
Cousin Jack spoke of the old original stock as coming from Wales and settling first in Pennsylvania, and at least one branch
of the family immigrating or moving to North Carolina. That branch from which we are sprung came some time in the early part
of 1725, and settled in or near Edgecome, N.C.
Afterwards the head of the house, William Williams (father's grandfather) moved up to a place called Shoco or Shoeco, in Caldwell
or Halifax, County, N.C., where he bought a large and fine property and lived the life of a country gentleman, having his
farm on the river, his Negro quarters and his overseers. He had, I think, three sons and several daughters.
One of these sons was my grandfather, Elisha Williams, born in 1746, and afterwards owning the homestead, besides several
farms in Franklin County, where I am told they kept Negro quarters managed by overseers.
He married a Miss Josey in 1774 and his children were William, born 1776, Elizabeth, 1778, Elisha, 1782, and your grandpa,
Josiah F. Williams, born 1786.
In 1808 or thereabouts the family moved to Tennessee, leaving their married daughter, Elizabeth Alston, in North Carolina,
where her descendants are now living, her only daughter having married a man by the name of Williams.
They had two children, Tom Williams and Lucy Williams. Lucy was quite an heiress and married William Polk (President James
K. Polk's brother), while Tom and his children, when I last heard from them, were in fine circumstances.
Now my dear boy, after the family moved to Tennessee, you may be able to write out the remaining chapter.
Your Grandma (Margaret Philips) was born in 1799 on the place owned by her father, Jos. D. Philips, six miles from Hasville
on the Dickenson Pike, and one of the finest places in Tennessee.
Josiah F. Williams was married in 1815, and in 1817 built the brick house which Jerry Baxter bought. It was one of the first
brick houses built in the County of Davidson. I think your Pa was born about the time they moved into their new home, 1818."
The picture above came from a book entitled "Beautiful and historic homes in and near Nashville,
TN, compiler - Mrs. James E. Caldwell and the co-author caldwell, May Winston. I found it in the Nashville Public Library
Main Nashville Room under call number 917.68.c141b. The following text was on the page with this picture.
farm of fourteen hundred acres, situated four miles from Nashville, on the Gallatin Pike, will always be a spot of interest
to the people of this community on account of the owners and occupants who have lived and loved, married and died there.
residence was built by Colonel Josiah Williams of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was one of the first brick houses erected
in this vicinity, and, in its day was considered a model of architectural beauty and elegance.
Maplewood was the
scene of the marriage of three of Colonel Williams daughters to the three distinguished Ewing brothers, Edwin, Andrew and
Orville. Mrs. Andrew Ewing was the mother of Mrs. Henry Watterson. On the occasion of her marriage the weather was so cold
that the wedding guests were driven across the river on ice. The other daughters were Mrs. James C. Warner, Mrs. A. J. Duncan,
Mrs. Whitaker, and Mrs. Kennedy.
From Colonel Williams the place passed into the possession of Dr. David W. Yandell,
who afterwards moved to Louisville and became one of the most eminent physicians of Kentucky. He was the uncle of the sculptress,
Miss Enid Yandell.
Dr. Yandell sold the place to Mr. George W. Payne, grandfather of
Miss Mary Hannah Johnson. The next owner was Colonel Henry Blood, who sold it to Colonel Jere Baxter.
Colonel Baxter improved the place, retaining intact, however, everything of intrinsic beauty. The old flower garden and the
fine lines of the Colonial house were left undisturbed - not even the interior was touched except to put in modern conveniences.
The paneled doors, high mantels and the quaint staircase were retained.
Colonel Baxter had for many years been a collector
of objects of art and Maplewood was filled with treasures brought from
all over the world. There was also an extensive library, containing many volumes of rare editions.
Colonel Baxter imported
direct his Welsh and Shetland ponies, Holstein and Jersey cattle, and Norman and Percheron horses.
He gave fourteen
acres of the land to the Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home. He added the McIver place to Maplewood,thus greatly extending
When the city grew out to the farm and made the land very valuable, Colonel Baxter was persuaded to sell
it to a land syndicate, and with him passed from Maplewood its last individual owner.
The house and the last 27 acres of Maplewood were sold at auction by the owner, Jere Baxter on 4/23/1922.
Below is a map of the area showing the roads in green as they probably existed when Josiah Frederick Williams lived there.
This location is just south of Briley Parkway on Gallatin Pike. The railroad is just behind the location
where the house was. Maplewood Blvd. is now Curdwood Blvd. and has been extended through where the
house stood. You can click on this map and see a larger view of this map in a new window.
It appears that Maplewood Blvd. extended across Gallatin Pike to McGavock Pike and passed in front of William Williams'
house. Williams' Lane still exists. According to one account, Elisha's house was on the hill behind Wiliam's house
near the spring.
It appears that Maplewood Lane represented the northern boundry of Maplewood. Today Maplewood Lane is broken by
Ellington Parkway and continues on the other side to Dickerson Road where Maplewood School is located. By one account,
the Maplewood property extended to Dickerson Road at one time.
PRIVATE ACTS OF
SUMNER COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Private Act of 1829, Chapter 232, incorporated Thomas Martin,
William White, Robert Weakley, Josiah
F. Williams, Elijah Boddie, Robert M. Boyers, James Saunders, Isaac Walton,
and Daniel Montgomery, along with others, as the Gallatin Turnpike Company, to lay
off and construct a turnpike road from Nashville by way of Gallatin to the Kentucky State
line at the most eligible point in the direction of Glasgow, Kentucky. Details of the corporate
management and a schedule of tolls which could be charged were included in the Act.
A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and ..., Volume 2
By Will Thomas Hale, Dixon Lanier Merritt
The Nashville and Gallatin Pike was
chartered in 1830. It was over this highway that General Jackson made his journeys to and from Washington.
The following tradition is connected with the road: A resident of
Sumner county, who came daily to his business in Nashville, disagreed with the company as to
his indebtedness, and suit was brought. He refused to pay toll while the suit was pending. Result, many wordy altercations
between the debtor and keeper.
Having been refused passage several times, the citizen stowed away
in the bottom of his buggy an axe and when he reached the gate and was again refused passage, he proceeded to cut the tollgate
pole down. When he had repeated this several times, the company decided that repairing the gate
was more expensive than letting him pass and he had no further trouble.
This pike was chartered by Thomas Martin. William White. Robert
Weakly, Josiah F. Williams. Elijah Walton and