Brentwood is an affluent suburb of Nashville located in Williamson County, Tennessee. The population was 37,163 at the 2010 census.
The first known residents of Brentwood were prehistoric Native Americans with a highly developed culture living in towns and farming the land. Known as Mound Indians or Stone Box Indians, these Mississippian-period people built mounds with ceremonial buildings. Such early villages have been found in the Meadowlake subdivision, at the library site on Concord Road and at Primm Historic Park where the largest of the mounds is still visible today. By 1300 the groups had seemingly disappeared. No one knows if it was due to disease or to their choosing to leave because of threat of warfare.
When the early white settlers arrived in Brentwood in the late 1700s, the area had become a hunting ground for nomadic native Americans coming up from Georgia and Alabama. This resulted in many conflicts. At least one massacre occurred in 1786 at the Southerland Mayfield family fort at Wilson Pike and Old Smyrna Road. Mayfield and two other men were killed and his son George was taken captive for ten years.
Some of the first families were those of James Sneed, Robert Irvin Moore, Gresham Hunt, Samuel and Andrew Crockett, and John Edmondson who arrived well before 1800. The Holts, Herberts, Frosts, Hadleys, Hightowers, McGavocks, and Owens soon followed. Many of these families were given land grants because of service in the Virginia or North Carolina troops during the Revolutionary War.
The original site of business activity was at the Frost place on Old Smyrna Road with a general store, grist mill and post office located there. Soon churches, predominately Methodist, sprang up and community life was established. When the railroad came through and established a depot, the center of commerce changed to the present downtown area. The village of Brentwood thrived and many plantations were built; cotton was the main the cash crop.
On March 25, 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led a column of men into Union-controlled Brentwood intent on capturing the section of the Nashville & Decatur Railroad. Forrest performed a quick sneak attack on Union Lt. Col. Edward Bloodgood. Forrest had cut the telegraph wires, isolating Bloodgood as he brought in heavy artillery. Bloodgood surrendered Brentwood that day, as a significant loss for the Federals. Overall, there were 305 Union and 6 Confederate casualties. Much of Brentwood was destroyed.
After the war, much of the land was sold and smaller farms dotted the countryside. Tobacco became the crop of choice. The population was stable for almost 100 years. In the 1940s, Brentwood began to rebound. One by one the plantation homes were bought and restored and fox hunting and horses became commonplace. In 1969, Brentwood incorporated as a city. That same year the interstate came through the area and marked the beginning of residential and commercial growth. Maryland Farms office complex was built around that time.
Brentwood is served by Williamson County Schools.
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