It was about 1790 when the first settlers moved into Eagleville with their families. The first fifteen families were: William Jordan, Thomas Jordan, James Shepard, Robert Donaldson, James Neal, John Guy, Robert Wilson, James Gillespie, Joe Carson, Burgess, George White, Robert White, Daniel Scales, Absalom Scales, and Henry Ridley.
Thomas Jordan is a descendant of one of the founders of Jamestown, Virginia. Henry Ridley was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1834. Robert Wilson served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War. His wife was Jane McDowell. She molded bullets for her men to use at the battle of King’s Mountain in North Carolina. Robert Wilson was the first man to cross the Cumberland Mountain in a Wagon. James Shepard and William Jordan also served in the Revolutionary War.
What is now Eagleville, was first named Manchester on May 7, 1832. But since there was already a Manchester post office, when we got a post office, the name had to be changed. A legend says that at about that time an unusually large eagle was killed in the hills behind the village. The name Eagleville was officially adopted on August 16, 1836.
Eagleville was a part of Williamson County until March 24, 1877 when it became a part of Rutherford County. Williamson County would not build a road from Franklin to Eagleville but Rutherford County agreed to build a road from Murfreesboro to Eagleville if Eagleville and surrounding area would become apart to Rutherford County.
Eagleville was a farming community. Other families that came to Eagleville before 1850 are the Marshall, McClaran, McCord, Bennett, Manier, Clark, Williams, Russell, Hughes, Ogilvie, King, Nunn, Morgan, Williamson, Owen, Floyd, Phillips, Gentry, Crick, Kelly, Johnson, Bellenfant, Bowman, Hemphill, Downing, McDowell, Puckett, Ralston, Mason, Chambers, Logan, Henderson. Relatives of many of these families still live in the Eagleville area. No man stands more prominent in the history of Eagleville than Chesley Williams who was born July 22, 1809 about 3 miles north of Eagleville. He established a general store in Eagleville in 1832. He and his descendant sold goods and merchandise in that same location until 1972. He own a large quantity of land in Eagleville, was the principle stockholder in The Eagleville-Unionville Turnpike Company. He was Eagleville’s second postmaster. He was successful in every thing that he undertook. He lived in the magnificent white house on the south edge of Eagleville. His children married into prominent Eagleville families. The efforts of his works have benefited Eagleville and his descendants even to this very day.
George M. Savage was born February 5, 1849 in Rienzi, Mississippi and graduated from Union University at Murfreesboro in 1871. He married Fannie Williams, a daughter of Chesley Williams. He came to Eagleville in 1884 and opened the Salvage School in the old Male and Female Academy in January 1884. It was located where the Eagleville Baptist Church is now located. A new school building was built and ten small buildings were built for housing. The school offered classes from first grade through the fourth year of college. In the college department there were 5 teachers in the 1888-89 school year. There were 178 pupils enrolled in college in 1887-88. In 1890 Dr Savage was elected president of the Southwestern Baptist University and resigned. His school was still operating in 1904. This was the time of the most prominence in Eagleville. There were boarding houses and hotels close by for boarding. Room and board was $10 per month. Mr. Carson ran a hotel during this time that burnt down on March 28, 1890.
The late 1800’s and early 1900’s were the most prosperous times for Eagleville. In addition to the school, several tobacco plants sprang up here. A. P. Elmore had one. There were one near Mt Vernon, one where the community center is today, and one near Puckett’s Store—these last three were owned by the Owen family. There was a sawmill, a flourmill, a tile mill, two or three blacksmith shops, and seven grocery stores.
The first car dealer ship for Jackson brothers Chevrolet of Murfreesboro started in Eagleville by the sons of James Jackson. James Jackson owned the tile mill in Eagleville from 1900 to 1912. Frank and Joe Crosslin opened a small store on the south end of Eagleville and named it Eagleville Produce Company in October 1933. In 1940 they moved the general store one block north to the present location of Crosslin Supply Co. Frank constructed a building to house his grocery, feed, seed and produce business. From this location a restaurant was also operated. They added three rolling stores called `peddling wagons' that traveled around the country roads selling grocery items such as coffee, sugar, fresh fruit and other items in exchange for cash, chickens, eggs and other locally produced items. They changed the name of the store to Crosslin Supply Company. Many grocery stores had drawings for cash or groceries at the time, and the nights of the drawings were occasions for neighbors to linger and chat. They young folks, as well as the old, used Frank and Mary Esther's drawings for social occasions in those pre-TV days.
During World War II, many people had difficulty obtaining building products, and Frank developed an interest and saw the need to add lumber and building materials to what Crosslin Supply Company offered for sale. This was the beginning of Crosslin Supply Company as a lumber and building supply company, and the end of the general store. In addition, building supply stores have been opened in Smyrna, Franklin and Spring Hill, Tennessee. Frank’s children and their families still run Crosslin Supply Co. Frank was influential in the affairs of Eagleville.
A.P. Elmore had a tobacco manufacturing plant on Cheatham Springs road. He sold his tobacco formulas to the Owens. He moved to Eagleville and ran Rowena Flour Mill from 1892 until it burned in 1929. The mill was located just north of Puckett's grocery store. Dr. W. H. McCord originally built the mill. He made several brands of flour - White Rose Flour, Magnolia Flour and Choice Bolted Flour. Custom grinding was also done. He also ran a sawmill on the same lot. Later A. P. Elmore's Creamery was located south of Crosslin Supply Co. He bought milk and cream from the farmers.
One of Eagleville’s more prominent people is Madison Redd Hughes. He was born 1847 and at age 15, he joined the Confederate Army. He served under General Nathan Bedford Forest. After the war ended, he became known through the country as a lecturer. His most popular topic was on subject of the battle of Gettysburg. He served in the state legislature for 3 terms.
Sterling O. Edmunds was an Eagleville’s genius inventor. His greatest invention was the trailer truck. He attached a flat bed wagon to the front part of a Model T. Ford, making it the first trailer truck in America. He had several other inventions, one of which was an efficient cheap water pump.
Richard Greenberry Hay was born July 1, 1868. At age 20, he went into business of running a livery and feed stable. While in this business he had a harness-making and shoe shop. As cars replaced the horse, he gradually shifted his business to hardware. He promoted his business as `Little Green Hay’s Big Hardware Store. He operated the business for 78 years. He was short and wore a trademark derby hat.
On June 11, 1952 the most disastrous fire in Eagleville occurred. About $100,000 worth of property burnt up. Herbert Phillip’s combined café and poolroom burnt up where the fire started. Also destroyed were W. T. Lowe’s hardware store, and Puckett’s Grocery store, where the post office was located. These businesses were located on the south west corner of the main intersection in Eagleville where the dairy dip, and fire hall are presently located. There was no fire department in Eagleville at that time. None of these businesses rebuilt. This motivated Eagleville to purchase a fire engine.
Howard Marshall moved from Nashville about 1943 and opened a grocery store on the north east side of Eagleville, next to the present post office. He ran the store until he died in 1984. On May 3, 1971 the store burnt down but was rebuilt.
Another of the beautiful old houses in Eagleville is known as the `Old Womack Place’ located at 432 Rocky Glade Rd. Absalom Scales built the original frame of 4 rooms 2-story house about 1825- 30. His son Noah Scales added additional rooms. The house is call `Old Womack Place’ after John K. Womack, Noah Scale’s son –in-law. In 1938 Absalom’s great great grandson, Joseph A. Johnson modernized the house. Tom Cone who has modernized the house presently owns the house.
The City of Eagleville would like to thank Mr. Don McCord for writing our history page and Mr. Charles Ralston and Bobbie Sue Shelton for providing the photographs.