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Thomas Austin House

Submitted by Steve Broadway

Thomas Austin House

The Thomas Austin house is believed to be the oldest brick home in northern Sumner County, Tn.  Historians have placed it even as early as 1795, but without actual dates found so far, it is more commonly listed as ca 1810.  It is federal style with Flemish-bond brick pattern on all four sides, which is very unusual.  It is a very labor intensive pattern and was usually only used on the front of a building to indicate wealth.  The bricks are thought to have been made on the property by slave labor.  Thomas Austin was born in Calvert County, Maryland in 1773.  He moved to Virginia as a young man and married Frances (Fanny) Dickerson from Albemarle County, Va. on 2 February 1797.  As did many early settlers, they struck out for the "new" frontier - at that time, Sumner County, Tn. in about 1810.  He first settled in a community by the river known as Cairo.  He became a successful planter there and he and Fanny had six children.  In 1820, he purchased what is now known as the Thomas Austin mansion house and its 500 acre plantation for $1,200.00 from James Greer of Robertson County, Tn.  After Fanny's death, (date unknown) he married a local girl named Elizabeth Groves and they had four children.  Thomas Austin died in 1848 and is believed to be buried in the now destroyed cemetery on the property, to the right of the house, along with other family members and possibly some of the family slaves.

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