Harber’s History Lesson, Daily News Journal, November 30, 2014, Susan Harber
One of the most beautifully restored abodes in the county is the 1882 McCord home in Eagleville, nestled among the sloping, tree-lined surrounding hills. In 1984, the estate was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites after a major renovation that is truly majestic architecture. When I composed this story, I visited this dwelling and strongly feel all Rutherford County residents must see this gem firsthand.
The McCord Home was constructed by William Harrison McCord, who was son of Allen Nichols and Jane Jordan McCord. William was born in 1838 in Marshall County and had seven siblings. His father Allen, a twin and son of patriarch David McCord, was a native of Williamson County. Allen had 18 siblings through his father’s two wives.
The McCords dominate lineage with a history of large families.
William’s mother, Jane, died in 1845 at the age of 30; and Allen remarried Mary Davidson Ogilvie, widow of a land investor, who brought four sons to the marriage. Mary Davidson Ogilvie is buried at Ogilvie Cemetery in College Grove with her first husband, Jason, while Allen is buried in the Jordan Cemetery in Eagleville with his wife, Jane, and children.
William attended Union University in Murfreesboro and was fascinated with learning and pursuing education. His graduate studies were in Philadelphia at the College of Surgeons.
With the Civil War looming for a young physician, McCord served in Forrest’s Company as surgeon in the 13th Regiment of Jackson’s Tennessee Cavalry. After a daring capture of William by the Yankees, his loyal slave presented credentials to validate him as a doctor and made certain no harm came his way.
The Union soldiers agreed to spare William, as long as he turned over his new boots and assisted at a Union hospital.
On Dec. 18, 1868, William wed his cousin, Sarah Macon Williams, daughter of Chesley and Elizabeth Williams of Eagleville. As a wedding gift, Chesley bequeathed 196 acres to the newlyweds.
Chesley, an original founder of Eagleville, owned a general store in 1832 that was in operation by his descendants until 1972. Chesley was also the main stockholder in Eagleville-Union Turnpike Co., and he was a postmaster. His daughter, Sarah, attended Mary Sharp College in Winchester and was a published writer.
William and Sarah had five children: William Edward, John Harrison, Emmett Allen, Annie and Elizabeth, who died in the year she was born (1870). In 1899, their son William Edward married Mary Puckett, who was from a well-respected Eagleville family. When Eagleville was incorporated in 1947, William Edward was a commissioner.
Dr. William McCord had a prosperous medical practice in town. He was also a businessman, owning a saw mill. In 1884, he utilized his mill to give the Eagleville Church of Christ free lumber to build an early church. He also served on the board of Eagleville School, a chartered four-year college.
In 1882, William built a majestic, two-story Italianate home (now on Main Street) for his growing family. The home is T-shaped and has twin, two-story bays with cross gale roofs. There are two interior brick chimneys, a walnut handrail, and turned balusters crafted by Tom Wilson, a local furniture maker. By 1919, the house was one of the first Eagleville homes with electricity.
Just eight years after moving into the grandiose home, Sarah died in 1890 at age 45. William was laid to rest beside her six years later at 55. Son John Harrison owned and lived in the home until his passing in 1962. The house remained empty for three decades, at which time the great-grandson of William McCord began a vigorous restoration of the 60-acre property.
Today, the McCord House is a spectacular and cherished home that has been within the fabric of the community for 131 years. The striking home was built with great love and is still maintained as a historical treasure for us all.