Philips Family

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(4) Benjamin Philips

Benjamin Philips is a son of the Joseph Philips, Sr who was born 6 Nov 1726 and died about 1790.  He raised his sister Sarah's two sons, Mathew and Etheldred Horn, after her husband died and she brought them to Nashville TN from Edgecombe County NC.
Born abt 1758 in Edgecombe County NC
Died abt 1820 in Davidson County, VA

Married Martha ?, probably Hinton based on son's names.

Children of Benjamin Philips and wife Martha (probably Hinton)
Anne "Nancy" Philips, Born 1796 in Edgecomb county NC
                        Died ?
                        Married John Stark Williamson on 21 Aug 1816 in Davidson co. TN
William Hinton Philips, Born 1801 in Davidson Co. TN
                                        Died 12 Oct 1852 in Haywood Co. TN
                                        Married Elizabeth Washington Maxwell 17 Aug 1824 in Davidson Co. TN
Elizabeth Philips, Born 1808 in Davidson Co. TN
                               Died 18 Sep 1830 in Davidson Co. TN
                              Married Dr. Thomas Wells on 27 Dec 1825 in Davidson county TN
Rebecca Philips, Born 1809 in Davidson Co. TN
                              Died after 1860 in Opelousas, St. Landry,Louisiana
                             Married Patrick Henry Overton on 1 Apr 1824 in Davidson
                             county TN.  He is a son of General Thomas Overton,
                             brother of Judge John Overton.
Jesse Hinton Philips, Born 1 Dec 1812 in Davidson Co. TN
                                     Died 12 Oct 1852 in Davidson Co. TN
                                     Married Margaret Jane May 19 Jan 1837 in Davidson Co. TN


Clipped from Nashville Whig 27 Aug 1816 page 3 using This is the marriage announcement of Anne Philips and John S. Williamson.  She either went by the name of "Nancy" or the paper got the name wrong.


Clipped from Nashville Whig 12 Apr 1824 page 3 using  This is the marriage announcement of Rebecca Philips and Patrick Henry Overton.

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In 1790 Benjamin Philips was still in NC on Fishing Creek outside of Tarboro in 1790 and living near his brother Joseph who came to Nashville in 1791.  Both were wealthy farmers in NC and owned considerable land which they sold when they moved to Nashville were they purchased land. 

Benjamin Philips owned substantial land in NC as evidenced by the following deed of gift:
"Dec 3, 1784, Edge CO NC Db 4, Pg 346, Etheldred Philips, Exum Philips and Joseph Philips, Junr. of Edge deed of gift to their brother, Benjamin Philips, for love and affection two plantations containing 1000 ac.
Their father, Joseph Phillips, decd., did in his last will and testament give these lands to his son, Matthew Philips, who predeceased him, and the aforesaid Joseph Philips never gave or devised the above lands but died posssessed of them.
 One tract containing 300 ac on the S side of Swift Creek whereon John Sikes formerly lived, was purchased by Joseph Philips from Wm. Kinchen.
The other tract containing 700 ac adj the aforesaid plantation. Wit: Robt. Degges, Jesse Johnson, Jacob Dickenson"
In addition, Benjamin's father left him the following in his will in 1779:

BENJAMIN, 700 A tract of land, granted me by a Deed bearing date 15th day Oct. 1761, lease plantation, mill and appurtenances which I purchased of JAMES GRAY on the S side of Tar River where my son BENJAMIN now lives, all stock and cattle on said plantation; and negro girl.

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Edgecombe County, NC - COURT MINUTES (partial) 1784-1800

August Court 1789 - Friday August 7, 1789
Petition of Etheldred Philips and Narsworth Mials for leave to turn the Road agreeable to Petition and that the following persons be a jury to lay off sd road viz Aaron Coleman, Stephen Coleman, Hartwell Philips, Noah Woodard, William Linch, James Pitt, Aaron Maner, Matthew Williams and John Williams Benjamin Philips, Joseph Philips, John Mials, Henry King, William Exum, Michale George and c. ...

May 1795: Patrolers for the ensuing year: Capt. Philips District - Cullen Andrews, Jno Murphree, Benjamin Philips, William Horn.

Feb. 1796: Exum Philips, Benjamin Philips, Elias Bryant to divide estate of Mary House between the representatives of said dec'd.

May Court 1797 - Tuesday May 23, 1797
A Power of attorney from Benjamin Philips to Frederick Philips proved by Aaron Manor

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The book Southside Virginia Families, Volume 2, By John Bennett Boddie, Published 1956, Pages 350-356  has a section on the Philips in which it states "Benjamin Philips settled near Nashville TN and is untraced".


The book goes on the say: "Exum Philips, died November 1802. His will probated Edgecombe W. B. "D", p. 152 mentions daughter Polly, sons Mathew, James, Joseph, and Thomas Philips and directed that his brothers Joseph and Benjamin Philips, then in Tennessee, settle his sons Mathew and James in that state. Joseph Philips, son of Exum Philips, m. Anne Taylor and left a will."


This would subtantiate that Benjamin was in TN in 1802 with his brother Joseph who had relocated to six miles north of Nashville in 1791.


Benjamin Philips came to Tennessee with his widowed sister Sarah Philips in 1795 according to her obituary as reported on her web page on this site.

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Benjamin is shown in the Davidson County Deed Index with the following purchases of land:

James Hoggatt to Benjamin Philips 7 Jul 1798, 327 1/2                  acres south side of Cumberland River, deed book D, page 464.

William Lytle to Benjamin Philips 5 Jan 1801, 100 acres Davidson County, deed book E, page 273

Dempsey Fields, et ux to Benjamin Philips 11 Oct 1803, Tract (about 23 acres) Davidson County, deed book F, page 84

William Watkins to Benjamin Philips 9 Feb 1808, 227 Acres on Stones Lick Branch, deed book G page 300.
Jacob Battle to Benjamin Philips, et al 8 Oct 1811, Power of Atty, deed book I, page 228.
William Lytle Jr. to Benjamin Philips 26 Jul 1815, 31 acres Stones Lick Branch, deed book K, page 645.

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Total land owned by Benjamin Philips was about 709 acres and located inside the red line on the photo below.  The enclosed red area is about 709 acres.   It includes the area where Tennessee State University is now located.

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Bob Pierce copied the deed from James Hoggatt to Benjamin Philips dated 23 August 1798 for 327 acres “lying and being in the county of Davidson, aforesaid on the south side of Cumberland River Beginning at a Sycamore on the bank of the River at Bakers ferry below Nashville Running down the River South five Degrees West one hundred and thirty two poles, south fifteen West fifty poles, south Eighteen West Eighty Eighty Eight poles to a hackberry on the bank of the River, South Twenty Two East forty one poles to a Mulberry William Thomas corner, South Eighty six East-fifty poles to an Ash on a Ridge then South One Hundred and thirteen poles to an Ash and Elm, thence North Eighty East ninety four poles to a hickory Abraham Boyds corner thence North sixty four poles to a pile of Rocks in a Glade then North Sixty four East Thirty six poles to a White Oak Saplin then North twenty six West Twenty nine poles to a hackberry said Boyds corner then North forty five poles to Two Ironwoods by the fence then North Twenty three West sixty seven poles to a Box Elder then North Seven West fifty poles to a black walnut, then North Fifty East one hundred and Eighty poles, to a Red Oak by the side of the Road leading from Nashville to Bakers ferry then With said Road South Ten West, Two hundred and sixty one poles to the beginning containing by Estimation three hundred Twenty seven and a half acres.  To have and to hold…….” 

Bakers Ferry” is the only thing in this deed that gives the location of the 327 acres.  I found the following information about Bakers Ferry.

Davidson County, TN Court Minutes 1792-1799 by Carol Wells
Pg. 207, January 1799, (pg. 520) Ordered Benjamin Lee, Henry Hide, Peter B Stuart, Thomas James, Jno Perce, Mathew Tolbott & Wm Hartgroves lay off a road beginning at Hickman’s ferry at mouth of
Sulphur Creek running to intersect the road leading from Bakers ferry to Stumps at or near Tolbotts old Still House and report.”

From the above, it appears that Hickman operated a ferry at the mouth of Sulphur Creek which creek still bears that Sulphur Creek name and is located about half way to Ashland City where the creek runs into the Cumberland River. 

The road running from Ashland City is named Old Hydes Ferry Pike and blends with the Ashland City Hwy and runs to near the Cumberland River where it diverges with the name Hydes Ferry Rd. and ends up across the Cumberland River from the end of Buchanan Street where Hydes Ferry was located, thus the name “Hydes Ferry Pike”.

The following reference further describes the location of Baker’s Ferry which was awarded to Joshua Baker near his house.  Later it was operated by Hyde and Hickman families.

Hidden History of Nashville

By George R. Zepp

This early branch of Davidson County's ferry system didn't start with a member of the Hyde family, but Hydes later operated it for decades, so it took their name. It began in 1794, just west of the western end of the present Buchanan Street, in the Bordeaux area of north Nashville. The county's northwest section depended on it.


A July I5 grant that year by the Territory of the United States of America South of the Ohio River awarded the Cumberland River crossing to Joshua Baker near his house, Davidson County court minutes show.  Later, it was operated by Thomas Hickman, once a county sheriff, and afterward by Henry Hyde.


Hyde arrived in Nashville in1800 but died in 1812.  Some of his six sons and their offsprings helped keep the ferry crossing in the family.

The Hyde's Ferry Turnpike Company was chartered January 25, 1848, for the purpose of constructing a turnpike from Nashville to Sycamore Mills. The first meeting of the company was held at Zion's Meeting-house November 1, 1848, Thomas Harding, David T. McGavock, Richard Hyde, R. A. Barnes, Lewis Williams, William Drake, Edmund Hyde, 0. A. Simpkins, Dennis Dozier, and Thomas W. Sehon being the commissioners to receive subscriptions to the stock. F. R. Rains, David T. McGavock, J. E. Manlove, Dennis Dozier, 0. A. Simpkins, Thomas Harding, and Robert A. Barnes were the first Directors, of whom John E. Manlove was President, and Robert A. Barnes Secretary. The capital stock was fixed at $30,000, and was afterward increased to $50,000. 


By 1853 the road was built to the bluff below Hickman’s Ferry, and year by year additions were made to its length until the completed road reached Marrowbone, sixteen miles from Nashville. The war cut off further construction, and a resolution was adopted by the Board of Directors deciding to go no farther. After the war, in 1870, work was resumed, but not until 1878 was the whole road opened up, and it was not completed until 1884. It is twenty-four miles long, and extends from Nashville to Lyceum Mills, and cost $5o,000. The present Board consists of B. G. Hampton, W. P. Harding, W. R. Hyde, W. M. Pegram, G. Stritch, and E. C. Lewis.  The officers are: B. G. Hampton, President; and E. C. Lewis, Secretary and Treasurer.

The above descriptions identify the location of Baker’s Ferry where the railroad trestle is now located at the end of Buchanan Street in Nashville. 

I found on the web “Descendants of Mathew (III) Talbot” but no indication where he lived:

Matthew(III) Talbot b: 1756 in Bedford Co., VA d: 1804 in Davidson Co., TN

All of the above information puts the 327.5 acres that Benjamin Philips bought from James Hoggatt on 23 August 1798 at the end of Buchanan Street adjoining the Cumberland River and lying on the south of the current location of the Ted Rhodes golf course and the railroad bridge now located where Baker’s Ferry once operated.  See the red X below.

I should mention that Dr. James W. Hoggatt who sold this land to Benjamin Philips was a wealthy individual who built the Clover Bottom plantation and mansion in Donaldson.  The picture below shows what it looks like in 23 May 2012.

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Bob Pierce also copied the deed transferring 100 acres of land to Benjamin Philips in 1801 from William Lytle.  It’s very hard to read, so I didn’t try to transcribe it here, but I was able to find out who William Lytle is.

Turns out, he's the founder of Murfreesboro TN.

William LYTLE

Birth 15 FEB 1775 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania  

Death 4 SEP 1829 in Murfeesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee


I found the following at > where there is an interesting story about his family:


Captain Lytle is said to have settled his land and was the only family in the vicinity at the time.  When there was an Indian attack, he moved back to Davidson County for two years before attempting to settle again.  The second attempt was successful.  Rutherford County was formed from Davidson County in 1803, and when enough settlers had come into the area, a decision was made to lay off a town.  After a lengthy debate as to the location, William Lytle offered to donate 60 acres for the site.  It was named for Hardy Murfree, the officer who had led the charge of the Patriots when they had stormed and seized Stony Point on the Hudson, July 1770.


William Lytle’s house was pictured in the book “History of Homes and Gardens of Tennessee (1936) by the Garden Study Club of Nashville”.


It is possible that Captain Lytle sold his land in Nashville to Benjamin Philips when he decided to return to Rutherford County.  However the deed is so hard to read that establishing a location and size of the property described in the deed is almost impossible.  Also, the landmarks in the deed don’t locate the property very well.  However, the fact that Benjamin later purchased 31 acres from William Lytle Jr. in 1815 that lay on Stones Lick Branch makes one think that the 100 acres also was in this area.

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I copied the deed transferring land from Demsey and Elizabeth Fields to Benjamin Philips on 11 October 1803 as recorded in Davidson Co. Deed Book F, Page 84.

Deed from Dempsey and Elizabeth Fields to Benjamin Philips 11 Oct 1803

Davidson County Deed Book F, Page 84

23 acres more or less

Benjamin Phillips

This indenture made this eleventh day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and three between Dempsey Fields and Elizabeth Fields his reputed wife formerly the widow Smith of the one part and Benjamin Phillips of the other part all of Davidson County and state of Tennessee witness that the said Dempsey and Elizabeth for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and twenty dollars to him in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and him the said Benjamin forever therefrom exonerated and acquitted hath bargained and sold by these presents bargain sell enfee off and convey to the said Benjamin his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the county of Davidson aforesaid beginning at a sugar tree standing on the line dividing from the land of William Thomas and running then west seventy six poles to a stake thence south forty six poles to a hickory Mulugins corner thence east seventy four poles to a mulberry post and thence with a right line to the beginning.  To have and to hold the above bargained promises with all the appurtainances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining to him the said Benjamin Phillips his heirs and assigns forever and the said Demsey and Elizabeth Fields do covenant and agree that they are or either of them are legally possessed in fee simple of the above bargained premises and hath full and ample authority to sell. And the said Demsey Fields and his reputed wife Elizabeth for themselves their heirs and assigns do well and truly warrant and defend the above bargained premises with all and singular the wood waters mines emoluments and appurtainances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining well and truly warrant and defend the same against the claim or claims of all persons.

Witness: ???

 Witness whereof the parties have hereunto signed their names and affixed their seals and  delivered this deed the day and year above written.

Dempsey Fields LS, Elizabeth (her mark) Fields LS

Witness: Red D. Barry, P. H. Humphreys

The execution of which deed of conveyance as before recited was in court held for the county of Davidson October sessions 1803 was acknowledged by them both to be their act and deed for the uses and purposes therein contained.  The said Elizabeth having first been privately examined by John Anderson and James Byrns esquires appointed by the court for that purpose relative to her free and voluntary execution of said deed who made report to the court that they find that she had executed the same of her own free will and voluntary choice without force or compulsion of her said husband.

Test: Andrew Leving Clerk of Davidson County Court

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Below is a portion of an 1880 map of Davidson County TN showing the location of Civil Districts to the West and South of the city of Nashville.   When he died in 1820, I believe Benjamin Philips was living along the Cumberland River in the 13th District where the name “Clifton” shows up in the below map.



District Number Ten was slightly diminished in size in 1859, and a part was annexed to Nashville. The boundary-line begins at the crossing of Cedar Street with the west boundary of the corporation of Nashville. and runs westward with .Cedar Street and the Charlotte turnpike-road to Richland Creek: thence up Richland Creek with the old district line to the old line of District Number Eleven near Frank McGavoock's; thence eastward with the old line to the Franklin turnpike-road between Joseph Vaulx and John Thompson; thence with the Franklin turnpike northward with the corporation of Nashville: and thence around with the several meanders of the corporation-line to the place of beginning. Dana's grocery was made the voting precinct.


"Old Church" is in the south part, south of the Tennessee



John McRobertson and Joshua McIntosh were among the earliest prominent men of the district. They were both magistrates as late as 1836, and were prominent in the

affairs of the district and county.


Among its natural resources are valuable quarries of Beasley limestone, which is being rapidly developed as an ornamental building-stone, and also used in the industrial arts for various purposes to which a fine working stone is adapted.


James Ross was justice of the peace for this district in 1761. The following persons were assessed within the limits of this district in 1816: Alexander Craig, J. H. Curry, F. McGavock.

The Tennessee fair-grounds are in the north part, between the Richland pike and the railroad.

District Number Ten was organized entire under the free-school law as the school district of that number, and so continued until April. 1880, when a part of the civil district was annexed to the city of Nashville.  It contained, in 1878-79, two graded schools, three ordinary white schools, numbering two hundred and nineteen enrolled pupils and two colored schools, with an enrollment of one hundred and eighty-three. The school population of the entire district previous to the annexation in 1880 was fourteen hundred and twenty-seven. The district then contained seven school-houses. The school directors are D. A. McGredy. living in the remaining Tenth District, and T. D. Flippin and T. J. Keeton, in the portion recently annexed.


District Number Eleven is an original district. Its boundaries were fixed in 1859 by a line which begins where the Franklin road crosses the Williamson county line at Brentwood, and runs westward with said line to the old road called the Lower Franklin road, or Natchez Tract; thence with said old road northwest to the gap on Scuggs' or John's land where the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad passes from the waters of Richland Creek to Harpeth Waters; thence northwest with the dividing ridge to the top of the hill above the second gate on the Hardin or Richland turnpike-road above Maj. Graham's; thence northeast along the Richland turnpike to the old line of District Number Ten, near Frank McGavock's; thence eastward with said old line to the Franklin turnpike, between John Thompson's and Joseph Vaulx's; and thence with Franklin turnpike southward to the place of beginning. The voting-place was located at Barnes.  Quarries of Beasley limestone. which abound in this district, have been slightly worked, and many of the finest buildings in Nashville are ornamented by fronts of this material. Prominent among these is the Methodist Publishing House, built in 1873.
The following-named persons were assessed for taxes in this district in 1816: Henry, Barnes, William Banks, Joseph Coldwell, William Goodloe. William Goode, Thomas Harding. F. B. Sappington.

This was made the Eleventh School District. It has three school houses and sustains four schools, two white, with seventy-three enrolled, and two colored, with ninety-three enrolled. The school population of the district is five hundred and forty-six. The directors for 1879-80 are George Mayfield, C. B. Chickering. and M. C. Carpenter.

In this district lived many years ago 'Granny White" a respected and famous old lady who kept the only house of entertainment between Nashville and Franklin, a noted place in the early settlement of the country: the friend of Thomas H. Benton, to whom he several times alluded in his speeches in the Senate.

This place, as well as the adjoining place, on which Thomas H. Benton lived is now owned by Hon. John M. Lea.



A small piece was taken from District Number Twelve, on the redistricting of the county in 1859, and joined to District Number Twenty-five.

The boundaries were then made as follows: Beginning on the south bank of

Cumberland River, where the east boundary of the land purchased by Mark R. Cockrill, of Dr. Hudson, strikes said river, and running thence south with the line of that land to the Charlotte turnpike-road, along said road westward to Richland Creek, up Richland Creek to the Hardin, or Richland turnpike-road; thence with that road to the top of the ridge, above the second toll-gate on that road; thence with the dividing and old district-line northwestward to the Charlotte turnpike-road, between F. P. Sullivan's and Davidson's toll-gate; thence with the Charlotte road westward to the Cheatham county-line, near Stranger's; thence north with the county-line to the fork of the creek Samuel Garland lives on, near Joseph Russell's; thence up the creek to the old bridge on Pond Creek road; thence with that road to the dividing ridge between Jordan Abernathy and the old McBride place; thence east with the meanders of said ridge to the old Smith and Nicholson line; thence east with said line to the Cumberland River; thence up said river to the place of beginning.

Hillsboro' was made the voting precinct of the district. Near the centre, south of Bell's Bend, is Gower's chapel.  William E. Watkins was an early settler and justice of the peace. Samuel B. Davidson was one of the most prominent early citizens of the district, and is still remembered as a man of leading qualities. Thomas Molloy was an early settler, coming as early as 1792.

The following-named persons were assessed for taxes in what is now District Number Twelve in 1816: Daniel A. Dunham, James Donnelly, Thomas Dillahunty, Thomas Finney and heirs, William Gower, Martin Greer, Robert Hewitt, John and Giles Harding, Ezekiel Inman, John Larkin, Sr., John McGough, James McNeely, William Nothern, Philip Pipkin, John Pugh, Robert Thomas, Johnston Vaughan, Joseph Erwin.

This, one of the original school districts, has four schoolhouses, and sustains four white schools and one colored one. The enrolled attendance is, white, one hundred and sixty-eight; colored, fifty-six. The school population for the year 1879-80 was four hundred 'and nine. L. D. Gower, H. C. Davidson, and Z. T. Jordan are district school directors.



The line of this district, established by the commissioners in 1859 begins at the crossing of Cedar Street, with the west boundary of the corporation of Nashville and runs out with Cedar Street and Charlotte turnpike-road to Mark Cockrill's (southeast corner of his Hudson tract of land),  and thence north with his east boundary of that land to Cumberland Riven thence up Cumberland River to the corporation-line of Nashville, and thence around with the corporation-line to the place of beginning.  The voting precinct was, established at Biddle's shop.

Among the prominent and early residents of the district might be mentioned William Shelton, Elijah Nicholson, and John Donetson. who lived here in 1792. John Walker, an early settler, was assessed for taxes here in 1816.

The popular race-grounds of the Nashville Blood Horse Association are in this district, adjoining Bums' Island, on  the Cumberland River.


School District Number Thirteen includes the whole district, and contained, in 1880, two thousand three hundred and forty-six resident school-children. There are three graded schools in the district, one of which is for colored pupils.  Seven white and six colored teachers are employed in these.  There are besides two white common schools.  The number of pupils enrolled is, white, four hundred and fifty seven: colored, five hundred and one. There are five school houses in the district. The school directors for the year ending in 1880 were John Leonard, J. H. Bums, and M. McDonald.

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Below is a list of those on the Davidson County TN Tax Rolls taken by Robert Hewett in 1812.  I believe this group of landowners lived in the area around the end of Buchannan Street and the Cumberland River based on their names.


Davidson County TN 1812 Tax Rolls

Note: This record is an enumeration or census of the free male inhabitants of the county. Davidson County was first divided into militia companies or military districts for the purpose of legal representation and taxation and continued until 1835 when there was a change to numerical districts. This is not a listing of those serving as active militia, it is a census of all free male residents.


Last Name

First Name


in Co. formerly Liles Co.


taken by Robert Hewett, Esq.


<--This likely the Militia Company area at the end of Buchannan Street in Nashville




Wm. R.


















Jonathan F.















James H.





<--Came to Benjamin's estate sale in 1820.








John D.





Jordon Senr



Jordon Jnr







Wm. B.


<--Came to Benjamin’s estate sale in 1820. May be Wm Blount Randolph, son of Gen. James Robertson who died in 1814










<--J. R. Robertson came to estate sale in 1820.  May be James Randolph, son of Gen. James Robertson who died in 1814








Hugh F.





<--Came to Benjamin's estate sale in 1820.




<-Listed in Clayton’s History of NV as living on Nashville side of Hyde's Ferry adjoining the road that led to White's Creek.







<--Benjamin Philips







<--Clayton’s History of NV listed him as the first man on Charlotte Pike going out of town.  Came to Benjamin's estate sale in 1820. Was guardian to Benjamin's sons. Was a witness to Joseph Philips' will.




























<--Married Benjamin's daughter Ann in 1816. Came to Benjamin's estate sale in 1820. Listed in deed as adjoining the land Benjamin purchased from William Lytle on 28 May 1801.






















<--Came to Benjamin's estate sale in 1820.











John B.






James S.


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Benjamin Philips will, signed 26 December, 1818 and recorded, 5 June 1820, is found in Davidson County Will Book 7, p 397, and there are many other recorded settlement proceedings in the court records for several years thereafter.

Click on the photo of the will to open a bigger copy in a new window.  Also, I have transcribed the information on the will below for convenience.


Benjamin Philips' Will

Benjamin Philips Decd Will Recorded June 5th 1820

In the name of God Amen. I Benjamin Philips of the County of Davidson and State of Tennessee being in perfect health of body and sound Disposition and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (to wit)

First my will and desire is that my funeral expenses and all my lawful debts be paid.

Item. I give unto my son Jesse Hinton Philips all the land be the same more or less with all its monuments here determined and appertainanees (to wit) Beginning at the mouth of the Stone lick and running up said branch until it intersects the line of the land I purchased of William Watkins where it crosses said branch, thence east with said line to an elm and white ash, the Southwest corner of the land I purchased of James Hoggatt, thence with my line with its variations to the beginning to his only use, benefit, and behoof his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. I give unto my son William Hinton Philips all the balance of my land whereon I now live with all and singular the rights and privileges to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. I give unto my eldest Daughter Anne and John S. Williamson her husband two negroes (to wit) Patience and Clary which they have

Item. I give unto my other two Daughters Rebecca and Eliza four young Negroes each between twelve and twenty years of age, two girls, two boys each (when they marry or become of age as the case may be, to their heirs and assigns forever –

Item. I give unto my Grand Daughter Martha Anne Williamson two negroes to be between the ages of eight and twelve to her, her heirs and assigns forever,

Item. The balance of my negroes not otherwise appropriated I give unto my sons and two Daughters Rebecca and Eliza to be equally divided among them as they may marry or become of age to them their heirs and assigns forever. –

Item. If either of my sons above named should die before they become of lawful age it is my will that the surviving brother shall receive all the Land bequeathed to the two him the Survivor paying to his two sisters Rebecca and Eliza last named two thousand dollars, one thousand dollars each to be paid within two years from and after such Decease to them their heirs and assigns each.

Item. It is my will that my distillery be equally divided together with my Mills between my two sons to them their heirs and assigns forever.

Item. Have on good bed and furniture each to them their heirs and assigns forever. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty sixth day of December in the of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.

Signed sealed and delivered Benjamin Philips

Whitness of

Simon Johnson, Robert Gillespie, James Hinton

In addition to the will above, Benjamin Philips made a deathbed addition to his will which was documented in probate court in the April 1820 session with the following nuncupative will.

Benjamin Philips deceased nuncupative Will

On motion of John S. Williamson in favor of Benjamin F. Williamson, his infant son to have the last will of Benj Philips altered by a nuncupative will in favor of said Benj F. giving of him two negros, to be elected by the ex, of Benj Philips decd, of the same description that is given to John S. Williamsons other child by the will of Benj Philips who died the (blank) day of Jany 1820 & it being proven by Martha A. Williams & Olivo (?) Weeks all parties being present that he decd  at his own residence of where he had resided many years in Davidson County (illegible) before his death & in his last sickness made his nuncupative will in their presence giving slaves as above stated to said Benj F. Williamson of the same description as given to his sister by his testators written with all other legal requisites being proven to the satisfaction of the court that said will was duly made the court order that said will stand of record in favor of said Benjamin F. Wiliamson that he have of the estate of Benj P decd, his grandfather, two slaves of the same description given to said Benj F’s sister in Benj P’s will - & that Jos Philips execute this will he being executor to the written will of Benj Philips.

State of Tennessee Davidson County Court – April sessions 1820

The nuncupative will of Benj Philips deceased was proven in open court according to law by the oath of Olive Weeks and Martha A. Williams ordered that the same be recorded.

I also found at the Tennessee State Library and Archive hand written copies of the above Will documents that appear to be the original documents, with the above being hand written copies made perhaps because of the frail condition of the originals.

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List of those attending Benjamin Philips’ estate Sale in 1820

M. Barrow

Lavinia Beck

J. R. Bosley          (John Bosley in Dist. 10 in 1840 Census)

William Bosworth (In Dist. 9 in 1840 Census)

J. C. Bradshaw

R. Briggs

Thomas Claiborne

Solomon Clark

Thomas Dishman

Thomas Eddington

Rich Garrett

Robert Gillespie (Signed Benjamin’s will.  In Sumner Co. in 1840 Census)

R. Goodlett

W. Hamilton

H. Harman (In Dist. 6 in 1840 Census)

F. Harwell

Thomas Hickman (in Dist. 23 in 1840 Census)

J. Hooper

David Hunter   (Married to Benjamin’s sister, Sarah)

Benjamin Hyde    (In Dist. 23 in 1840 Census)

Richard Hyde       (In Dist. 23 in 1840 Census)

Andrew Hynes     (In Dist. 10 in 1840 Census)

I. Irwin

J. Jewel

Richard Johnson (In Dist. 10 in 1840 Census) (Benjamin A. Philips on same page)

Oakley Jones

W. Knight

J. Lask

J. Leak

Spencer Loving

J. N. Manifee

Thomas Martin      ( Married to Benjamin’s niece) Martha

J. Maxwell

C. McCanahan

David McGavock (David T. McGavock in Dist. 10 in 1840 Census)

D. McLain

B. McKinnan

B. McRearman

Josiah Mullen

W. Munty

H. F. Harl

A. Page                  ( Page in Dist. 12 1840 Census)

Joseph Philips       (Benjamin’s brother)

A. Porter

T. Ramsey

James Ridley (Rented Benjamin’s land after he died)(Dist. 2 in 1840 Census)

Duncan Robertson (A Robertson in Dist. 12 1840 Census)

J. R. Robertson     (A Robertson in Dist. 12 1840 Census)

Peyton Robertson (in Dist. 10 in 1840 Census)

W. B. Robertson (A Robertson is in Dist. 12 1840 Census)

J. Sadler

Joseph Sewell

D. Shelby

Percy Sheppard

John Shute          (In Dist. 11 in 1840 Census)

E. Smith        

J. H. Smith (on 1820 census on page believed to be 12th Dist. Area)

                    (In District 2 in 1840 Census)

Samuel Steele  (In District 11 in 1840 Census)

C. Stump

Duke W. Sumner (Son of Benjamin’s sister Martha)(In Dist. 21 in 1840 Census)

Exum P. Sumner (Son of Benjamin’s sister Martha)(In Dist. 19 in 1840 Census)

Fred Taylor

William Temple

J. Tilman

A. Tucker

Henry Wade

L. Warfield

Isaac Watkins

W. Watkins (William Watkins in Dist. 12 in 1840 Census)

                    (Sold Benjamin 227 Acres on Stones Lick Branch on 9 Feb 1808)

Jesse Wharton (Married to Benjamin’s niece Polly)

Olive Wicks

N. Williams  (Nathan Williams in Dist. 2 in 1840 Census)

R. Williams

S. Williams (Simon Williams in Dist. 19 in 1840 Census)

John. S. Williamson (Married to Benjamin’s daughter Anne)(In Dist. 10 in 1840 Census)

W. L. Willis  (In Dist. 6 in 1840 Census)

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Benjamin Philips left his property to his sons William and Jesse when he died in 1820:

I give unto my son Jesse Hinton Philips all the land be the same more or less with all its monuments here determined and appurtenances (to wit) Beginning at the mouth of the Stone lick and running up said branch until it intersects the line of the land I purchased of William Watkins where it crosses said branch, thence east with said line to an elm and white ash, the Southwest corner of the land I purchased of James Hoggatt, thence with my line with its variations to the beginning to his only use, benefit, and behoove his heirs and assigns forever.

I give to my son William Hinton Philips all the balance of my land whereon I now live with all and singular the rights and privileges to him, his heirs and assigns forever….

The will seems to give son Jesse a parcel of land adjoining the land that Benjamin purchased from Watkins and Hoggatt.  We know from the above description of the HOGGATT purchase where it is located.  Is the 100 acres Benjamin purchased from Lytle going to Jesse as well, or is it located elsewhere?

It appears that son William received two parcels of land, one purchased from Watkins (227 Acres), and one purchased from Hoggatt (327 acres).

The name “Hoggatt” is not clear in the will, but the first name “James” is clear.

The way the name Hoggatt is written gives the impression that Benjamin could not remember the spelling of the name and just put something down that sounded like the name.

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I wondered who the William Watkins was who Benjamin referred to in his will as having sold him land and which deed we found  dated 9 Feb 1808 for 227 Acres on Stones Lick Branch.  I began looking for any records of him in the area.

I found on the web a William Watkins who was born in PA in 1755 and died in Franklin TN 5 Jan 1841. I also found:

Davidson Co, TN Civil Dist 12
William Watkins age 85--Names of Heads of Families with whom Pensioners resided 6/1/1840 --William E. Watkins (this is WIILLIAM  Watkins’ son according to the above record.)

The book Historical Southern Families (Vol. V) contains the following paragraph identifying William Watkins as the father of John Overton Jr.’s first wife Matilda Watkins (20 August 1847 – 2 January 1913).  It further identifies Watkins wife as Jane Cockrill from what is now known as Cockrill Bend, near where Benjamin Philips is believed to be living at the time of his death on the Cumberland River.

After Matilda Watkins died in 1913, John Overton Jr. married Harriet Virginia Maxwell (? – 8 March 1917), a daughter of Jesse Maxwell Jr.
William E. Watkins name appears in the 1840 census of District 12, Davidson County and also appears in the  book “History of Davidson County, TN”, Chapter XVII, published in 1880.  He is listed as living on Charlotte Pike just past the crossing of Richland Creek.

Note that William E. Watkins name appears in both places. 

This puts William E. Watkins, the son of William Watkins in the same general area in 1840 as the deed from James Hoggatt to Benjamin Philips dated 23 August 1798 along the Cumberland River at the end of Buchannan Street. 

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 Benjamin’s will identifies the land he is leaving his son Jesse as land “beginning at the mouth of Stone Lick and running up said branch  The key to locating this parcel of land is finding Stone Lick Branch.

The below original NC land grants define the location of Stone Lick Branch and establish where Benjamin purchased land at the end of Buchannan Street on the Cumberland River and show landmarks referred to in the deed of the land he purchased there in 1898.

James Bosley Assee of Anthony Bledsoe Assee of James Freeland Assee of Anthony Bledsoe Assee of Hugh Rogan 640 Acres South Side of Cumberland River about one mile nearly north of the French Lick, Grant 193 Issued 10 July 1788, D1229

Note Stone Lick Branch just above
State of North Carolina Davidson County Sam’l Barton Entry Officer To the Surveyor of Sd County Greeting These are to Authorize and Require you to Survey & Lay off a Preemption of 640 Acres of Land for James Bosley Assee of Anthony Bledsoe Assee of James Freeland Assee of Anthony Bledsoe Assee of Hugh Rogan Lying on ye So Side of Cumberland River About one mile nearly north of the French Lick – Beginning on the line of the Public Survey that includes Dentons Lick Two Poles below the Pond Spring Running West and with the Line of the said Survey Easterly and South … for Compliment Joining The Lands claimed by Geo Freeland – As for Entry No 43 Dec 31st 1783 Observing herein the Acts of Gen’l Assembly in Such cases made and provided and for your so Doing This Shall be your Warrant given under my hand at Nash’g this 7th Day of April 1784 - Sam’l Barton Entry Officer

Davidson County Ye March 31st 1785 Surveyed for James Bosley Six hundred & forty Acres of Land agreeable to the enclosed Warrant No 43. (the Entry Dated December 31st 1783) of which the above is a true Platt bounded as follows - Beginning at a small Ash two Poles below the Pond Spring resuming West one hundred & forty-four Poles to a Box elder & Maple on the bank of Cumberland River thence Down said River according to its several Courses six hundred & forty eight Poles to two Ashes – thence South seventy-five Poles to a Dogwood & two Ironwoods – thence East two hundred & twenty-six Poles to two hackberry’s – thence North sixty five Poles to a black oak and white oak thence West with the Line of Said Bosley’s Tract No 7 ninety - four Poles to an Ironwood & Walnut thence North with said Line two hundred and thirty two Poles to a stake thence East two hundred & eighteen Poles with said Line to an Elm – thence North with the Line of said Bosley’s Tract No 14 three hundred & fifty four Poles to a Walnut & Ash – thence North forty-five Degrees West on the Line run by the Commissioners about Dentons Lick four Poles to the beginning - Tho’s Molloy Dep. Surveyor

                  Dan’l Smith Surveyor

                  Thomas Barton & Richard Wesley} C Carriers

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James Bosley Assee of James Robertson heir of John Robertson 640 Acres South Side of Cumberland River About one mile So West of Freelands Station, Grant 235 Issued 10 July 1788, D1270

Note Stone Lick Branch just above


Sam’l Barton Entry Officer State of No Carolina Davidson County To the Surveyor of Sd County Greeting These are to Authorize you to Survey and Lay off for James Bosley Assee of James Robertson heir of John Robertson Des’d 640 Acres of prem’pt Lands Lying on ye So Sd of Cumberland About one mile So West of Freelands Station - - Beginning at a White Oak Marked R Running on ye conditional Line Agreed on between Sd Robertson and Geo

Freeland near a glade on the Stone Lick ….. To include a Small Imp’t and Run as ye Law Directs: as per Entry No 7 26th of Decr 1783 – Therein observing the Direction of the Acts of Assembly on Such Cases made and provided And for your so doing this Shall be your Warrant given under my hand at Nashborough This 7th Day of April 1784 - Sam’l Barton Ent Officer

Davidson County Ye March 30th 1785 Surveyed for James Bosley Six Hundred & forty Acres of Land agreeable to the inclosed warrant No 7. (the Entry Dated December 26th 1783) of which the above is a true Plott bounded as follows - Beginning at a White Oak & black Oak George Freeland’s South west Corner running North twenty three Degrees West on a Conditional Line with Sd Freeland ninety two Poles to a Hickory & White Oak – thence West three hundred & ninety two Poles to a Stake near Cumberland River – thence South two hundred & thirty two Poles to a Walnut & Ironwood – thence East four hundred & ninety Poles to a black-Oak & white Oak – thence North twenty three Degrees West on a Conditional Line with Elisha Robertson one hundred & sixty poles to the beginning----Tho’s Molloy Dep. Surveyor

                                         Dan’l Smith Surveyor

                                         Thomas Barton & Richard Wesley} C Carriers


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James Bosley 320 Acres Beginning at a Walnut & Box Elder on West Boundary of James Robertson’s pre-emption, Grant 6 Issued 18 Aug 1787, D1320  (note the Stone Lick on the map)


Davidson County Ye March 31st 1785 Surveyed for James Bosley three hundred & twenty Acres of Land agreeable to the enclosed warrant No 8 (the Entry Dated December 26th 1783) of which the above is a true Platt bounded as follows - Beginning at a Walnut & Box-elder on the West boundary of James Robertson’s pre-emption running West one hundred & eighty four Poles to an Ash & Elm on Peter Turney’s East boundary – thence North fifty-six Poles

to two Ash’s said Turneys North-east Corner – thence West one hundred & sixty-two Poles to an Ash & white Oak on Mark Robertson’s East boundary – thence North thirty two Poles to an Ash & red-Oak said Robertson’s North-east Corner – thence West fifty-eight Poles to two Elm’s – thence North seventy-five Poles to a Stake on the South boundary of the aforesaid ……Tract No 40 –thence East four hundred & four Poles to an Elm & Hickory

Thos Molloy Dep. Surveyor

Dan’l Smith Surveyor

Thomas Barton & Richard Wesley} C Carriers

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The below overlay map created by the authors of the book Founding of the Cumberland Settlement shows the location of the original NC land grants for the downtown Nashville area. Ferry noted on the map as well as the location of the Stone Lick at the north end of the green dotted line on the map.

In looking at Google Maps in the area where Stone Lick Branch was located I discovered Metro’s Boyd-Taylor Park which is located along the path of the old Stone Lick Branch.

I believe Benjamin Philips owned the land along the Cumberland River between Baker Ferry and the next bend in the river to the west where the Stone Lick Branch was located, based on the deeds of land he purchased and his will in 1820.  The area enclosed in a red line below is not drawn to scale and only shows the approximate location of his property boundary.  However, it does represent the span of riverfront that his land occupied. 

Below is a clip from Google Maps showing the area where the old Stone Lick Branch currently enters the Cumberland River.

As you move up the branch along the walking trail in the Park and greenway, this is the view up the branch.

Here is view when you turn around and look down the branch toward the river.

The branch today originates at the top of the hill behind the community center as shown in the below picture.  Note that there are three separate pipes flowing into the branch at this head.  I don't know if the Stone Lick with spring are located above this point, covered by the urban development, or if they lie somewhere along the Stone Lick Branch.

If you look at the 1871 Foster map at the right  you'll see the Stone Lick Branch shown running from three smaller branches just above Clifton Pike (Now also "Music City Bikeway Alt) down to about Dr. Walter S. Davis Blvd. (Centennial Blvd.) where it is joined by another small branch from the west and then flows into the river.  The other branch from the east that today flows into it is not shown.  The present branch starts at a culvert to the side of the Community Center facing Clifton Pike.  From this map, it looks like Clifton Pike was build over or just beside the head of the branch.  A closer look (on the right) shows no less than 6 small branches at the head of Stone Lick Branch. today, all but one flow out of the culvert under Clifton Pike.  There is another pipe coming from the west behind the community center flowing the water shown in the map below coming from the west.

The 1903 historical map at the left of Nashville is interesting.  That's Charlotte on the bottom with Clifton Pike angling off of it and turning right at Boyd Park.  Stone Lick Branch isn't shown, but Stone Hollow Branch (assuming I'm reading the names correctly on the grants).  In 1903 there was a spur railroad that ran down to Robertson's land on Cockrill Bend and it passed just to the west of Boyd Park and the Green Way.

 I've highlighted in red the probable area of Benjamin's land along the Cumberland River where he lived from his arrival in Nashville about 1995 until he died in 1920.

The 1968 historical topo map to the right shows clearly the two branches running together just prior to entering the Cumberland River.  Seeing the elevation lines helps.

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Notice the "W.P. Harding" home right above the number 13.  This is the home of William Perkins Harding who married William Duncan Philips' daughter Milberry on 5 May 1853.  They had a daughter, Mary "Mollie" DeMoville Harding, born in 1858, who wrote her memoirs for us to enjoy.  You can read about her at if you're not familiar with her.  Her father was a first cousin to William Giles Harding who developed the Belle Meade plantation.  She married James Hilliard Polk, a son of George Washington Polk who built, and later lost, the Rattle and Snap plantation below Columbia. As a result, Mollie spent several years living with her cousins at Belle Meade before marrying and moving to Ft. Worth Texas with her husband.

The name of the branch that runs from Boyd Park into the Cumberland formaly has been formally established as Philips Branch

On 20 June 2013 the US Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), as a result of my request, added the name Philips Branch as the official name of the branch that runs from Boyd Park to the Cumberland River. The name had appeared on some early Nashville maps and coupled with my information the name was officially added. This organization is responsible for publishing the official names of all geographic names located in the United States.

This is a link to the GNIS registration information for Philips Branch, named after Benjamin Philiips who until 1820 owned the land through which the branch runs today. It includes a map with blue ballon shaped icons at each end of the branch.

The below advertisement describes Benjamin Philip's Plantation in some detail, although it does not give the exact location of where the house is located.  It does describe the house as being 40 feet long and being of brick construction. 

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The following information was taken from the Horn family history located on and contains interesting information about Benjamin Philips, his brother Joseph, his sister Sarah (Horn), and his brother-in-law William Williams.

1799, 8 January: Deed signed transferring 50 acres on Whites Creek (TN) to Sarah Horn. Davidson county court, 1800.

1802, 20 January: Deed signed transferring 14 acres on Whites Creek (TN) to Sarah Horn. To Court in April Session 1803.

1792, 21 December. Deed transferring 640 Acres on Whites Creek to Joseph Philips signed. Proven in Davidson county court, July 30, 1793.

1793, Joel Horn (b 1751, bro of Col Wm) dies in Edgecomb, NC, surived by widow, Sarah Horn, and several young children. According to Ray Horn Book, after Joel died in 1793, the following persons were appointed guardians of his minor children:
Howell(b 1780) 1793-1798 > Josiah Horn, then in 1798 >Jacob Horn, possibly because Josiah was leaving for Montgomery County, TN. Howell seems too old for a guardian, but that is another question.

Milbrey (b 1786) 1793 > Jacob Horn
Rebecca (b1788) 1793-1803 > Jacob Horn
Matthew (b 1792) 1793-1798) > Benjamin Philips
Etheldred (b 1793) 1793 -1798 > Benjamin Philips

( Possibly this Jacob Horn above is the brother of Col William. See my notes on him in FTM. A Jacob Horn appears on the 1811 Davidson County Tax List, but I have no other record of Jacob Horn in Tenn. Possibly Jacob came to Tenn with his second wife for a few years and then returned to Edgecomb where his will was probated in 1826/27.)

Sarah, widow of Joel Horn, is almost certainly the person who purchased land on Whites Creek in Davidson Co TN, probably near Joseph Philips and Milberry Horn, in 1799 to 1803. Here the two youngest children, Etheldred and Matthew, were under the guardianship of a Benjamin Philips, who is almost certainly the brother of Joseph Philips.

Gwen Horn has suggested that she knows for a virtual fact that the first wife of Joel Horn was Ann Harris, but she was not aware of a second wife. From the material stated above and in the Notes to Col Wm. Horn and the Notes to Joseph Philips, I believe it is very likely that


1)Ann Harris was the mother of Joel's children through Rebecca,


2) that Joel married Sarah PHILIPS, the sister of Joseph and Benjamin Philips,


3) that on the death of Joel in 1793, the children of the first wife were adopted by Joel's brothers and his children by Sarah, Matthew and Etheldred, were adopted by her brother Benjamin,


4) Sarah Philips Horn purchased property on Whites Creek in Davidson County TN, near that of her brother Joseph, the husband of Milberry Horn (the daughter of Col Wm Horn[the father of Milberry]).

Matthew and
Etheldred Horn appear on the 1811 Davidson County Tax List. Based on information from the staff of TSLA, this Tax List was a survey or tally of potential taxpayers, collected by the Justice of the Peace for each "precinct", and a number was assigned to each taxpayer. It seems likely that numbers close together probably indictate proximity of residence and property location.

In this 1811 Tax List appearing on the same page of the Tally are the following:


#801 Joseph Philips.

#804 Matthew Horn.


Of course, it will be recalled that a certain Sarah Horn purchased property on Whites Creek, at least in the same general area of the county that Joseph Philips and Milberry Horn owned 640 acres. (I have not located any record which appears to reflect the sale of this or any property in this part of Davidson County by Sarah Horn, Etheldred Horn, or Matthew Horn.)

In 1813 Etheldred Horn purchased 640 acres on Barton's creek/ Wilson county TN, and the next year he sold 383 acres on Barton's creek to Matthew Horn. These two brothers are frequently cited in various records of Wilson County, apparently as successful and responsible citizens. Barton's creek is east of Lebanon Tennessee, the county seat, and just west of the extant community of Horn Springs. I have found no record of a Sarah Horn or other Horn's relevant to this query in that area.

Therefore, it is clear that the brothers Etheldred and Matthew Horn came to Tennessee as children, lived in Davidson County as very young men, and were able to purchase substantial property in Wilson County by the time they were age 20 or 21.

Now, who was the Benjamin Philips who was appointed the guardian of Etheldred and Matthew Horn in Edgecomb in 1793.

Recall that Joseph Philips and Milberry Horn brought their family from Edgecomb to Whites Creek Tn in about 1793 where it continued to grow and prosper. Many of their children married well and they left a number of prominent descendants, listed in the Battle Book (by error, because the authors thought Milberry was a Battle!!)

While the evidence is quite fragmentary, I have found numerous references to a certain Benjamin Philips in Davidson County records in the period of interest. Many of these records imply strongly that this Benjamin Philips was closely affiliated with and probably related to Joseph Philips, a prominent attorney in Davidson County by this time.


Benjamin Philips will, signed 26 December, 1818 and recorded, 5 June 1820, is found in Davidson County Will Book 7, p 397, and there are many other recorded settlement proceedings in the court records for several years thereafter.

According to Benjamin Philips will he owned substantial land, many slaves, a distillery, and mills. No wife is mentioned in the will. His lands are bequeathed to his two sons, but his death was perhaps untimely, since both children were minors at his death, and a guardianship was established to manage this property for the two sons. After about a year the guardian defaulted and the guardianship was assigned to the attorney who was handling the legal affairs of the estate, one Joseph Philips. 

While Joseph Philips was busily handling substantial unresolved complexities in the estate of Benjamin Philips, possibly his brother, Joseph himself died, at age 59.


Joseph Philips' will is dated 1 Jan 1820, and recorded 3 September, 1822. Subsequent to Joseph's death, many of the Philips estate matters seemed to have been handled by William Williams, husband of Joseph's daughter Sallie.


According to the Battle Book, Wm Williams, a 1799 graduate of Harvard, came to Tennessee in 1804, bought 640 acres on Gallatin Pike, "a property which remained in the family until 1929". 

Another feature emphasizing the likelihood of a very close relationship between Benjamin and Joseph Philips is this. The initial guardian of the sons of Benjamin Philips was Matthew Barrow, and one of the witnesses to the will of Joseph Philips was M. Barrow.

Based on the1779-84 Will of Joseph Philips of Edgecomb NC, located in Edgecomb Will Abstracts and Bible Records of Early Edgecombe, by Williams and Griffin, Joseph and Benjamin and Sarah Philips (Horn) of Davidson County TN, are almost certainly siblings.

The following information on the 1790 Edgecomb County NC census lends credence to the above naration.

The 1790 Census of Edgecomb County, North Carolina shows BATTLEBORO area John Sumner, Joseph Sumner, Hartwell Philips, Joseph Philips, Benjamin Philips, Sara Philips and others...
SWIFT CREEK, Tar River area
Etheldred Philips
SPEED area
Henry Philips

Edgecomb County was taken from Craven County, Granville from Edgecomb and Orange from Granville.

The 1790 Census of Edgecomb County, North Carolina shows:

  • BATTLE, Elisha Jr., Jacob, Jethro, John
  • DRAKE, David, Henry, Jesse, Sarah, William
  • EXUM, Barnaba, Etheldred, John, Rachel, Susannah, William, William Jr.
  • PHILIPS, Arthur, Benjamin, Etheldred, Hartwell, Henry, Joseph, Sarah, Solomon
  • SUMNER, John, Joseph (this was probably father and son)


Benjamin lists only himself and 10 slaves in the 1790 census of Edgecombe County NC.  You can see that he spells his name with one "L".

One of Eltheldred Horn's descendants founded the Horn Springs Resort on land once owned by Eltheldred.  Following is a story about the Resort as published in the Wilson County Living Magazine.

Horn Springs Resort by Larry Feldhaus