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George M. Deaderick

The wealthiest Nashvillian of his time, George M. Deaderick was a wholesale merchant, real estate dealer, and pioneer banker. Born of German stock (the family name was originally Dietrich) in Winchester, Virginia, George and his younger brother Thomas already enjoyed modest wealth when they migrated to Nashville in 1788. In sometime partnership with Howell Tatum (1753-1822), George established a highly successful merchandising business, selling goods to other merchants and loaning money. Deaderick dealt in Nashville town lots, and in return for his donating land for use as an alley (now Printer's Alley), the city named a street for him.

In 1807 Deaderick asked Andrew Jackson to assist in arranging a reconciliation with his wife Mary "Polly" Deaderick, who reportedly held parties and attended dances while Deaderick was out of town. Jackson's efforts failed, and Mary Deaderick apparently accused Jackson of untoward conduct, which her husband did not accredit. After much marital discord, the couple divorced in 1812.

A confidante and sometime creditor of Jackson, Deaderick founded the first bank in Tennessee, the Nashville Bank, in 1807. It was the first Tennessee bank to establish branch banks, at Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Gallatin, and Rogersville. The bank weathered several national and state financial crises, including the Panic of 1819, but closed in 1827.

Deaderick served briefly in the War of 1812 and hosted a grand dinner for Jackson on his return from the battle of New Orleans. When Deaderick died in 1816, he was survived by two minor sons, John George M. Deaderick and Fielding Deaderick.

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » January 01, 2010