Mayfield's Station in Tennessee
By Phil Norfleet
The first small fort to be called Mayfield's Station was constructed by Southerland Mayfield in about 1785. This first structure was burnt by Indians in 1786. Subsequently, on 31 July 1786, Southerland entered into an agreement with Benjamin Joselin, John Haggart and John Campbell to build a new station. Each man was to clear 10 acres of land near the station and the men and their families were all to live within the station for at least two years. The new station was built and the families of the men moved into it. The site of the station was near an old abandoned Indian village, on the head of the west fork of Mill Creek, four miles above its junction with the east fork. Today, this site is near the border between Davidson and Williamson Counties in Tennessee.
Unfortunately, on 10 March 1789, when Joseln and Mayfield were burning logs to plant the first crop a party of Creek Indians came and fired upon them. They were putting up a wolf pen about a half-mile from the station. Southerland Mayfield and a soldier hired to protect the fort, Andrew Martin, were both killed. Southerland's son, William Mayfield, was also killed and another son, George, was taken prisoner. A few days after this incident, at the request of Southerland's widow, Margaret Mayfield, the families abandoned the station and removed to the station of a certain Captain Raines near Nashville.
A few months later, Margaret remarried, to a man named John Gibson (d. 1792). In about 1790, Margaret and John Gibson, the remaining children of Southerland Mayfield, and a few other families, moved back into the station. The Mayfield's resided in the station for a number of years.
In 1810 a certain Captain John Frost came to Williamson County. He purchased the land on which the old Mayfield log fort stood. After Frost's purchase the area around the old fort came to be known as Cotton Port - a business area with a gristmill, post office, cotton mill and general store. Frost had the remains of the log fort torn down and a fine new brick home was constructed on the site. The home, which still exists today, is now know as Cotton Port.
1. John Haywood, Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee (first published 1823), pages 248-249.
2. Marymaud Killen Carter, Seventeen Southern Families (published 1974), pages 155-157.
3. Louise Gillespie Lynch, Miscellaneous Records of Williamson County, Tennessee (published 1978), page 68.
4. Lyn Sullivan Pewitt, Back Home in Williamson County (published 1996), pages 37-38.
5. Jeri McLeland Hasselbring, Editor, National Register Properties - Williamson County, Tennessee (published 1995), page 81.