Adelicia Acklen

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Adelicia Acklen
Born Adelicia Hayes
March 15, 1817
Nashville, Tennessee
Died May 4, 1887
New York, New York
Resting place Mount Olivet Cemetery
Residence Belmont Mansion
Occupation Planter, socialite
Spouse(s) Isaac Franklin
Joseph Alexander Smith Acklen
William Archer Cheatham
Children Victoria Franklin
Adelicia Franklin
Julius Caesar Franklin
Emma Franklin
Joseph H. Acklen
Laura Acklen
Corinne Acklen
William Hayes Ackland
Claude M. Acklen
Pauline (Acklen) Lockett
Parent(s) Oliver Bliss Hayes
Sarah Clements (Hightower) Hayes
Relatives Richard Cheatham (third father-in-law)

Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham (1817 – 1887) was the widow of a planter from Nashville, Tennessee and then an owner in her own right.

Early life[edit]

Adelicia Hayes was born on March 15, 1817 in Nashville, Tennessee.[1][2][3][4] Her father was Oliver Bliss Hayes (1783-1858), a lawyer and later Presbyterian minister from South Hadley, Massachusetts who was related to Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893), the 19th President of the United States from 1877 to 1881.[3][4] Her mother, Sarah Clements (Hightower) Hayes (1795-1871).[3][4] They lived at Rokeby.[4]

Adult life[edit]

In 1839, at age 22, Acklen married Isaac Franklin (1789-1846), a slave trader and plantation owner.[1][3] They had four children: Victoria Franklin (1840-1846), Adelicia Franklin (1842-1846), Julius Caesar Franklin (1844-1844) and Emma Franklin (1844-1855), none of whom survived to adulthood.[3][4] In 1846, after her first husband died, and she inherited the Fairvue Plantation in Gallatin, Tennessee, 8,700 acres (35 km2) of cotton plantations in Louisiana, more than 50,000 acres (200 km2) of undeveloped land in Texas, stocks and bonds, and 750 slaves.[1][5] As a result, she became the wealthiest woman in Tennessee.[4]

In 1849, Acklen remarried to Joseph Alexander Smith Acklen (1816-1863).[1][3][6] Together, they built the Belmont Mansion in Nashville.[1][2][5][7][8] They had six children: Joseph H. Acklen (1850-1938) who served as U.S. Representative from Louisiana from 1878 to 1881, Laura Acklen (1852-1855), Corinne Acklen (1852–1855), William Hayes Ackland (1855–1940), Claude M. Acklen (1857-unknown) and Pauline (Acklen) Lockett (1859–1931).[3][4]

Later, Acklen married Dr William Archer Cheatham (1820-1900), a physician and head of the State Insane Asylum whose father, Richard Cheatham (1799-1845), served as United States Representative from Tennessee from 1837 to 1839.[3][4] However, she soon grew dissatisfied with this marriage and moved to 1776 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C..[4] In 1887, she sold the Belmont Mansion, which was later used for Ward–Belmont College, followed by Belmont University.[8][9][10]


Acklen died on a shopping trip in New York City on May 4, 1887, at the age of seventy.[3][4] She was buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Belmont Mansion history
  2. ^ a b E.D. Thompson, Nashville Nostalgia, Westview Publishing, 2003, p. 33 [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j FindAGrave
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j James A. Hoobler, Sarah Hunter Marks, Nashville: From the Collection of Carl and Otto Giers, Arcadia Publishing, 2000, p. 36 [2]
  5. ^ a b Christine M. Kreyling, Wesley Paine, Charles W. Warterfield, Susan Ford Wiltshire, Classical Nashville: Athens of the South, Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, 1996, p. 105 [3]
  6. ^ James A. Hoobler, A Guide to Historic Nashville, Tennessee, Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, 2008, p. 120 [4]
  7. ^ Daniel W. Barefoot, Haunted Halls of Ivy: Ghosts of Southern Colleges and Universities, John F. Blair Publisher, 2004, p. 129 [5]
  8. ^ a b Belmont University history
  9. ^ Amelia Whitsitt Edwards, Nashville Interiors, 1866 to 1922, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 1999, p. 107 [6]
  10. ^ Reid Smith, Majestic Middle Tennessee, Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 1998, p. 122 [7]