Diane Summar Davenport, Froechips, May/June 2021
Bloomfield Acres was a sprawling farmland located less than a half mile from the courthouse. Deed books show the property listed as bound to the north by Lytle Creek and Stones River, to the south by the Franklin Road, and to the east by the land of Earthman and Ransom, and to the west by Stones River. Two hundred and seventy six acres stretched from the area around West Main and Ordway Streets to Fortress Rosecrans. Old Fort Golf Course and Stones River Mall are just two of the many properties that are encompassed within this acreage today.
C.N. Ordway purchased this land from a grant to the Lytle family in 1885. Charles F. Ordway and Mary Braun married in June of 1880 and built their home on this property in 1888. It was christened Bloomfield Acres in honor of Mary’s father, William LeRoy Braun, who in 1856 founded Bloomfield Academy, a classical school for young men and boys in Albermale Co., VA. The Ordway family owned the property for three generations. Jonquils, from this property, were grown and sold all over the United States.
In June of 1946, Bloomfield Acres was sold by the three unmarried daughters of Charles F. Ordway (Sarah F., Anne K. and Martha) to Frank Dennis and Mary Frances (Tilford) Bills. Frank Bills was an inspector for many years in Rutherford County for Murfreesboro Pure Milk Company and the Cooperative County Creamery. His work entailed visiting the many milk barns located throughout the county.
On his own farm, Mr. Bills operated the first milking parlor which was automated in such a way that milk flowed from the cows directly to the cans.
The Bills sold the property to the city of Murfreesboro in the 1960’s. They moved to Shelbyville where Mr. Bills continued in the dairy business.