The Timeline of Thompson's Station

1780 – Edward Swanson begins a log cabin on land near present day Thompson’s Station granted to him for his Revolutionary War service.  Native Americans became too hostile and Swanson retreated to the fort at Nashboro settlement.


1798 – A second group of settlers arrived in the Harpeth River Valley, including Rebecca Green Neely, the first woman to cross the Harpeth River, her husband George and their son James.  


1800 – The Williamson County tax list logged 24 people as paying taxes on land along the West Harpeth River and Murfree’s Fork near present Thompson’s Station.


Francis Seymour Giddens and his wife, Mary, arrive in the Thompson’s Station area, acquire land along Murfree’s Fork and a build a log home where they live until 1819.


1801 – Spencer Buford and his wife, Elizabeth Giddens Buford, build a two-story Federal style brick house on the knoll at what today is Roderick Place.


1819 – Francis and Mary Giddens complete and move into their new three-story brick home, considered the manor of the community.  It remains today as Homestead Manor.  In 1819, only one house stood between Homestead Manor and the town of Columbia.  It belonged to Col. Samuel Polk, the father of future President James K. Polk.


1830 – Between 1830 and 1840, the Prospect Methodist Church is erected, one of the first churches recorded in the town.  Thompson’s Station Church of Christ is founded in 1845.


1833 – Jeremiah Cherry is named the first Postmaster of the town, then known as White House.


1836 – The town name is changed to Littlebury and Littleberry Starks is named Postmaster.


1843 – The Scholastic School census makes its first reference to the existence of a school in the village for its 258 children.


1855 – The first trains run to the town along the yet uncompleted Alabama line.  The trains used a “turn-around” to return to Nashville until the line was completed in 1859.


1856 – Dr. Elijah Thompson donates land for the original village and its train station and the community are named for him.


1863 – Thompson’s Station is described in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly as having a station house, school and “other buildings.”  Williamson County documents that same year record the town had a store run and a bucket factory and grist mill.


The Battle of Thompson’s Station is fought on March 5. Confederate troops under Gen. Earl Van Dorn and led by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry brigade defeat a superior number of Union forces, capturing their commander, Col. John Coburn and 1,220 men.  The village train station is damaged and Gen. Forrest’s famous steed, Roderick, is killed during the fighting.  The horse is buried a short distance from where he fell, reportedly at Roderick Farm, now Roderick Place.

Click here to read more about the Battle of Thompson's Station.


1878 – A map of Thompson’s Station reflected several businesses, including several farmers and stock dealers, dry goods stores, a spring operator, and drug store among them.


1886 – A new train station is built to replace the one damaged in 1863.


1900 – At the turn of the century it still was common to see horse-drawn peddlers’ wagons driving through town offering a variety of notions and food items for sale.


1920 – A new school is built in town after the previous one was destroyed by a fire two years earlier.


1940 – During the 1940s, the Thompson’s Station railroad depot saw the height of its activity as chemical companies came to two with heavy machinery to mine the area’s phosphate rich dirt and ship it to plants elsewhere for processing.


1952 – Construction of highways and the growth of the trucking transportation industry led to a downturn in rail traffic and the Thompson’s Station train depot is dismantled.


1963 – The Centennial Commemoration of the Battle of Thompson’s Station is presented in March under the auspices of the Williamson County Civil War Centennial Commission.  The event featured a reading of “The General’s Mount,” a poem about Roderick written two years earlier Jack Knox of the Nashville Banner.


1990 – A referendum vote is held on August 2 to determine if residents wish to incorporate Thompson’s Station.  The vote is overwhelmingly favorable and, on August 15, the community officially becomes The Town of Thompson’s Station.


1991 – An election is held in November and David Lee Coleman is chosen as the first mayor of Thompson’s Station.


1992 – A Thompson’s Station Festival Day is staged on May 14 to help raise funds for construction of a replica of the town’s previous train depot.  


1995 – Mayor Coleman resigns to accept an appointment as budget director for Williamson County.  Cherry Jackson is appointed as Thompson’s Station’s second mayor and then is elected to the post in November.


2006 – Leon Heron is elected mayor of Thompson’s Station.


2008 – A monument is dedicated on March 5 to famed Civil War horse Roderick at Roderick Place on the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Thompson’s Station.


The first annual Taste of Thompson’s Station Festival is held.


2009 – The inaugural Roderick Award of Courage is presented at the monument site to 1-year-old Maddie Adams, who performed the Heimlich Maneuver on her choking grandmother and saved her life.


2010 – Corey Napier is elected mayor of Thompson’s Station.

Thompsons Station, TN