June 16, 2022, Flashback Frank of the Rutherford County Historical Society
We’ve all done it; we’ve all wondered where certain names originated. Names of communities such as Cedar Grove or Almaville or Readyville.
The Rutherford County Historical Society mentions more than 100 place names but I have just over two minutes to speak so let’s cover some of the most popular and unusual of these place names…
Almaville is said to have been named in 1879 by a general store proprietor when his store was chosen to host a post office. It is said that he had a sentimental attachment to a certain young lady by the name ‘Alma’ of this community. Hmmm.
Cripple Creek, near Readyville, according to a folk tale, received its name when a man fell in the creek and broke his leg.
Speaking of Readyville, named for Col. Charles Ready, was created in 1811 when he made an unsuccessful attempt to have Readyville made the county seat of Rutherford County (you see, there WAS no Cannon County in 1811).
Compton, near Lascassas, was named for a family occupying land six miles northeast of Murfreesboro.
And speaking of Lascassas…
This strange Spanish name for the community is said to have been derived from a Spanish priest or perhaps an Indian encampment along the Trail of Tears. Some sources mention a tribal chieftain who bore the name of a priest who had accompanied De Soto.
Midland? Easy – Midland is halfway between Murfreesboro and
Shelbyville on the old Shelbyville Road, west of U.S. 231. Some older maps designated this community as ‘Middleton’.
Jakestown, on the old Woodbury Pike, was a name applied by a real estate developer to large numbers of low priced housing units along the Woodbury Pike in the 1940’s.
Smyrna was named for an early Presbyterian church location that grew into a community.
Versailles is the French court name said to have been applied to the area southwest of Eagleville settled by the Nance family of Huegenot ancestry.
Wilkerson Pike once led to Wilkerson’s Cross Roads near present day Blackman. Thus Wilkerson Pike is named for Richard Wilkinson, early landowner and storekeeper.
Which brings me to the Blackman Community, named for Squire Alfred Blackman, a leading landowner.
Gotta love this one – the name Loafer’s Rest was applied to a blacksmith shop and a store on the Woodbury Road, is attributed to Uncle Dave Macon.
Oh, and two more very import place names…
Murfreesboro was named in honor of Col. Hardy Murfree by his friend William Lytle.
Rutherford County was named by Robert Weakley for his cousin, for Revolutionary War General Griffith Rutherford.