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Stockly Donelson

Stockly Donelson, early Nashville builder, was one of thirteen children born to Captain John Donelson and Mary Purnell Donelson of Davidson County. He grew up on the family plantation located on the Cumberland River ten miles northeast of Nashville and continued to live with his parents in their log home after his 1827 marriage to Phila Ann Lawrence of Nashville. Five of Stockly and Phila Ann's children were born in the log house, which was known as the mansion. In 1830 Stockly Donelson inherited the 716-acre farm and successfully managed the production of livestock, corn, cotton, wheat, and fruit. He was known for his building skills as well as his managerial skills and supervised the reconstruction of the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, and the construction of Tulip Grove, home of Andrew Jackson Donelson, from 1834 to 1836. In 1835 he began the construction of his own family home, Cleveland Hall, which was completed in 1839. The Donelsons entertained three presidents, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and James K. Polk, at Cleveland Hall. In 1976 and 1986 the property was included in the survey of Tennessee Century Farms as one of the region's oldest family farms. Recent development in Davidson County, however, has surrounded the farm with new highways, suburbs, and commercial areas.

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