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MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE

BRAHAN & HUGHES SCHOOL HISTORY

BRANHAM & HUGHES SCHOOL YEARBOOK, 1903  (48 PAGES of 133+)

Branham & Hughes school  In 1897 William C. Branham and William Hughes opened a school in Spring Hill. The following year they acquired the property of what had been Spring Hill Male College and in 1905 purchased the old Martin Cheairs place with its 57 acres of land and the mansion. It was given the name "Ferguson Hall" in honor of a relative of the Branhams. Branham and Hughes School became known far and wide as an excellent educational institution. When the Depression hit the country in the 1930s, however, the school was forced to close its doors. In 1934 the property was deeded to the Trustees of Tennessee Orphans Home and became an institution for the care of needy children. The name has been changed to Tennessee Children's Home and today is as an arm of the Churches of Christ. Ferguson Hall one of the many historics sites that may be seen as one travels Highway 31 in through Spring Hill Tennessee. It was constructed  by Dr. John Haddox, one of the early physicians who practiced in the  area for many years. Dr. Haddox sold the property to Martin Cheairs about 1854. Ferguson Hall is noted for an incident that took place there in during the middle of the Civil War.  After the Battle of Murfreesboro, the Confederate General Bragg's troops pulled back to occupy more secure bases to the South. At the same time Gen. Earl Van Dorn, a native of Mississippi, was commander of Bragg's cavalry. He then brought his troops to Spring Hill, and chose Ferguson Hall (called the Chairs Home at the time) as his headquarters. Whether his reputation as a "womanizer" was true or not has been the subject of much discussion over the years, but one of his affairs brought about his death. It was rumored that he was carrying on an affair with Jesse McKissack Peters, the wife of Dr. George B. Peters, a local physician, and it was commented that Mrs. Peters could be seen coming and going from the Cheairs house at odd hours. Dr. Peters became aware of these rumors and on the morning of 7 May 1863 was waiting at the house when Gen. Van Buren arrived. There are sketchy details of the events of that day, but at the conclusion of it all, Van Dorn lay dead on the floor and Dr. Peters had fled the area. Evidence collected by army investigators seemed to point to justifiable murder and the doctor was never brought to trial. [from the Maury Co Historical Society Web site concerning historic places of Maury County, WA 12/22/2001] http://www.maurywebpages.com/mchs/historichomes.htm#William%20McKissick%20House 

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