What I Found in the Methodist Cemetery and a Long Sidetrack about Elizabeth Bennett

Let’s take a minute and bring everyone up to speed. Timothy Demonbreun had a bunch of kids with his wife. It then appears she was kidnapped by Indians. While she was away, I think it’s likely Demonbreun presumed her dead (but wasn’t sure), so he took up with Elizabeth Hensley/Bennett/Himmsley and they had some kids. When Teresa showed back up, Elizabeth married Joseph Duratt/Durard/Durand. Elizabeth had a tavern up on Paradise Ridge somewhere called “Granny Rat’s” so I would guess that she said his na me “Duratt” but you see it Durard far, far more than you see Duratt.

While she was married to Duratt, she had at least one more Demonbreun kid. Presumably, she also had some Durard children. But I don’t know this for sure. Bridgett, do you know?

There is a Durard Hollow to the east of me and I found Durards in the Methodist Church graveyard on Brick Church Pike, which is just over the hill from said Durard Hollow (down Ingram road).

And who should I find in the Methodist Church on Old Clarksville Pike today?

Okay, wait, it’s very important we not get ahead of ourselves. We know Granny Rat had a tavern at the top of Paradise Ridge in Germantown. We know she married Joseph Durard. We know she’s buried out Little Marrowbone Road. We know Little Marrowbone Road runs through what used to be called Demonbreun hollow, because there were so many Demonbreuns out there. We know Teresa’s children also came to Tennessee.

If you, for instance, are a Dozier from along River Road? You are a Demonbreun by way of Tim’s daughter. Teresa’s son is buried in a graveyard up in Robertson County.

And we know there are Durards out here. They could be Elizabeth’s step-children, I suppose, but dang, we could use a Durard or two to stop by and tell us.

Anyway, so here’s the deal. What we think of as Germantown now, if there are people left who think of it as Germantown, was, at the time Granny Rat would have had a tavern, very isolated and not on a main road. Not that this means she couldn’t have had a tavern there. Granny White’s tavern served the Natchez Trace and it was a few miles away from the Natchez Trace. But, if you weren’t going to come up the Clarksville Highway (what is now Whites Creek Pike), chances were you were going to come up Eatons Creek Road and not what is now the Clarksville Highway.

If you look at where the ferries were and look at the TSLA map, you can see why this is so. The new bridge was in in 1907, but the road we now think of as Clarksville Pike didn’t exist. You still were maneuvered over to Hyde’s Ferry, which made Eaton’s Creek your best road north. This was clearly doubly so before the bridge went in. If you crossed at Hyde’s Ferry, you took Eaton’s Creek north towards Joelton.  If you crossed at the Buena Vista Ferry, you took the Clarksville road (which is now Whites Creek Pike).

We know there was a tavern in Joelton at the top of the hill, but the evidence I found at the TSLA strongly suggested that this was not Granny Rat’s tavern.

I posit, for your consideration, that her tavern was on Eaton’s Creek road, at the top of the ridge, just up the hill from where Eatons Creek intersects Little Marrowbone Road. In fact, I’m even going to call it. There’s an antebellum house there. I think it’s too new to be the tavern (though I hope y’all weigh in on your thoughts) but dwellings tend to go where dwellings were. So, that’s my guess. That’s where her tavern was.

Just to bolster my claim, according to the 1907 TSLA map, there was a General Demonbreun living in the curve of what is now Old Hickory Boulevard, right near Eatons Creek Road. So, even if the farm she was buried on was way at the other end of the hollow, there’s evidence of Demonbreuns at this end of the hollow.

And, to bring me back to my point–Durards. Today I found DuRards at the Methodist Church on Old Clarksville Pike. And who else did I find in that cemetery? Demontbreuns. (I’ve got to get over and check out the Methodist Church in “Germantown” proper. I should have done that today, but I had to pee.)

I made you a map.

I just wish I knew more about the Durard part or whether there is even a Durard part.

Edited to add: I forgot to include a link to the TSLA map.


3 thoughts on “What I Found in the Methodist Cemetery and a Long Sidetrack about Elizabeth Bennett

  1. Darn! I read Elizabeth Bennett and immediately thought of Jane Austen. Then I thought, “that’s why she is so literate and wordy”! But, no I was wrong. My own grand mother was raised in a sod house in Kansas and was terrified of indians kidnapping her! Yes, I am THAT old!

  2. Come to Oktoberfest! Both historic churches, Methodist and Catholic, will be open for visitors, with church histories available. Also, the woman who lives in her family’s antebellum house on Eaton’s Creek (white with red roof) attends church in Germantown.

  3. There are DuRards all over the Whites Creek and Joelton area. They are Elizabeth’s children and grand children.

Comments are closed.