View Full Version : The Hiram Jenkins House

Silver Spring Guards
06-15-2006, 12:59 AM
The Home was used as a hospital by both sides during the battle of Murfreesboro / Stones River Dec 31 1862- Jan 2 1863 & Battle of the Cedars Dec. 1864

Since 1853, this handsome two story Greek Revival house has stood firm-- surviving a war that came to its front door and passing through successive decades of more peaceful changes.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989, the fact that the Jenkins House is also one of the last remaining buildings associated with the Battle of Stones River in 1862 amplifies its significance among preservationists. The Tennessee Preservation Trust just resently put it on there "10 in Tennessee" list. Which is Tennessee's most unique and important historic sites that are especially fragile and vulnerable to development.
Website - www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org

And a "Save the Jenkins House" group was formed to save the house and petitions where handed out and hundreds were signed.
Well Friday I received a Email by Kay Morrow of the "Save the Jenkins House Preservation Group" stating that the members of the group would meet the (City Manager for Murfreesboro) Roger Haley to discuss a proposal.

The proposal being that the city help purchase the house, and change the zoning from commercial to historical. While the group creates an association to restore the house to help pay for the cost,

Less than 24 from Kay's email I received the following Saturday morning


6/10/06 at approx 10:08am, my wife and I were taking our girls to T-Ball games. Our route takes us past the Jenkins House. As we turned on to Hwy 24, from Medical Center/Mason Pike I saw a low boy parked on the side of the highway.

I immediately looked up to the Jenkins house to see a large piece of construction equipment in the yard. We drove down to Old Fort Parkway (96) to go north on Grisham. I drove up to the gate of the hose to have my worst fears confirmed. The large shovel, had it’s arm imbedded into the front column of the house. A police officer started towards us as a blond haired lady franticly waved us away.

We called Kay Morrow and left a message, we called Channel 4 news in Nashville and the Tennessean. But it’s gone! Just a pile of broken wood.

A Murfreesboro city policemen was there, so the city knew. Words cannot describe the disgust I feel at this moment.


It looks like the City of Murfreesboro "government", owner seller, and who ever else was involved were starting to worry that momentum to save the beloved old house was building and decided to destroy it before things got to far out of there control.

Another piece of history lost forever...

Letter by Kay Morrow to the "Save the Jenkins House" group

Please note the email addresses for Roger Haley rhaley@murfreesborotn.gov
and Mayor Tommy Bragg tbragg@murfreesborotn.gov . I beg each and every one of you to email both of them and express your displeasure with them over what happened this weekend. It doesn't have to be a very long email, just let them know that you wanted the house saved and that respectfully you are disappointed that they took no steps to preserve it. It might also be nice to request that they put markers near where the Jenkins House stood that explain what was there. I would also request a response/explanation for why they did nothing. (If you do get a response, please share with the group.)

For those of you who are still really upset, please respond and I will send you the full emails that I had with both City Officials over the last weeks so you can see the conversations that transpired.

As many of you know, we are not quite done with the campaign. We REALLY need to take this last step and make sure these City officials who helped make this destruction happen feel the full consequences of their actions. If you are not interested in this final piece, I fully understand and I will remove you from further emails, but you have to let me know.

This final piece is not meant to show bitterness (although we certainly feel that)---it is to make sure City Officials know that we are NOT satisfied with what occurred and we are NOT happy that they chose to stand by and allow this to happen. They had a responsibility to us, the people on the petitions, and future generations, and they chose to ignore it. Compare them to the City of Franklin--who has made strides in preservation--and tell them Murfreesboro needs to step up, or we need new officials.

If you feel like me, it makes me sick to drive anywhere near that place now. Let's see how long the owners make us look at what they have done without even having the decency to finish the job in a timely manner. Right now it looks like they just smashed it and left it.

Thanks again,
Kay Morrow


The Following is from Tennessee Preservation Trust

It is with great regret that I report that the c. 1853 National Register-listed Hiram Jenkins House in Murfreesboro was destroyed Saturday. I was told by a reporter just today that the demo permit was actually issued in mid-April. This weekend demolition comes just three days before local members of the "Save the Jenkin House" Committee and I were to meet with City Manager Roger Haley to discuss potential options for the property, and just over a week after the house was listed on the Ten in Tennessee endangered list. You may find a photo and a few details of the house at: http://www.tennesseepreservationtrust.org/ten Of the 50 properties listed since 2001, this is only the third to be lost.

While we had kept the name of the current owners out of our press releases, they are Roy and Char Yeager. Music fans will find it of interest that Mr. Yeager was the one-time drummer for the 1970s band the Atlanta Rythm Section. This property first came to our attention as threatened in the summer of 2003. At that time, we had a series of calls and letters to the owners after they had moved out of the home. In our correspondence of September 23, 2003, we asked to meet with the Yeagers to discuss ideas on how to save the property. The letter was never answered-- and the house apparently continued to remain unoccupied and deteriorating. We were encouraged that the property was/is being marketed as "subdividable" and that a strong local advocacy group was working to save the house.

In as much as something like this is a bitter loss for the state's heritage, it reminds us of why we must all continue to work hard-- and celebrate our successes along the way.

Patrick McIntyre
Executive Director
Tennessee Preservation Trust
P.O. Box 24373
Nashville, TN 37202
(615) 259-2289


My final thoughts besides angry and disappointed is this.

Historical landmarks such as the Hiram Jenkins House not only deserve to be preserved they have earned the right to be preserved.

The house may be gone but what happed there will never be erased. It is up to us as Historians, History buffs & Preservationest to pass on not only what happened there during the war .. but what has occurred there in the last few days..

And although the battle to save the house was lost we must continue the fight for preservation. Not only for ourselves or our children but for all generations to come.

Write to Mr Haley and Mayor Bragg and ask them why they didn't do anything.

Write To Ms Morrow and give her your support as well as the Tennessee Preservation Trust

Let your voices be heard !

The Hiram Jenkins House - a martyr for the preservation cause

Thank you and God Bless
Steven Noel Cone
Historian, Re-enactor & Preservationist