Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hilderbrand's Store, Whitehaven Tennessee

The back of the photo is annotated on the back:
"Mr. Hilderbrand's Store.  Property of Frances Devlin, 1895 Wilson Rd., Memphis, Tenn, 38116"

Benjamin A. Hilderbrand headstone
Edmondson Cemetery
Southaven, MS
Benjamin Hilderbrand was an early settler of what would become Whitehaven, Tennessee.  He was born in Mississippi in 1806.  In 1830 he applied for a grant of 7000 acres located in North Mississippi. What he received was a deed for land in south Shelby County, Tennessee.  He married Susan Robertson in Shelby County, Tennessee on March 28th, 1833.  According to the 1860 Census for Shelby County TN they had four children: William W. age 23, John age 21, Sarah E. age 19 and Benjamin age 17.  They also had a daughter named Mary Amand Hilderbrand who was born and died in 1854.


Benjamin Hilderbrand built a two-story house in 1838. The house survived until 1999 when the Airport purchased much of the adjacent property.  Prior to the demolition Weaver and Associates were hired to do "archaeological testing and data recovery".  In addition to the house Benjamin had a trading post which later became a store. There is a Historical Marker located in Whitehaven to mark the location of Hilderbrand's Trading Post. 

"Near this spot in 1819, Benjamin Hilderbrand, a trader from Natchez, Miss., built an outpost to trade with the nearby Chickasaw Indians and with numerous other tribes who used the trails to reach the great hunting grounds on Nonconnah Creek.  He later erected a corn mill about 100 yards to the south and, after receiving a deed to the site and some 200 acres, moved his family here in 1836, becoming one of the earliest permanent settlers in what is now the Whitehaven community."

Benjamin also owned a cotton gin which was in operation as late as the 1950's.  His son William received the house as a wedding gift in 1887.

William W. Hilderbrand was born in 1837 and died in 1919.  He married Susan McDaniel on Nov. 29, 1870 in Desoto County Mississippi. Their children were Lula, James Bell, Willie and Clayton Benjamin.

According to the Commercial Appeal dated Sept 3, 1962, the Hilderbrand store was built in 1908 by Clayton Benjamin Hilderbrand.  The History of Whitehaven by Nita Joy Goss says that the store was built by his father William W. Hilderbrand and that the woman on the horse is his wife, Emmye Bowe Hilderbrand.  Actually, Emmye was the wife of Clayton.  It's very possible that the old man with the white beard is William W. Hilderbrand who would have been in his 70's.

Clayton married Emmye Antoinette Bowe on December 12 1899 in Shelby County Tennessee. Their daughter was Mallouise born in 1912.  Mallouise married Thomas Milton Norton August 18, 1940, at the Whitehaven Methodist Church.

Many of the Hilderbrand family are buried at Edmondson Cemetery in Southaven, Mississippi. 


In July 2017, we attended an estate sale in the Whitehaven area.  The Hilderbrand photo was among many items of historic interest that we purchased.

Additional information:
Hilderbrand House, Library of Congress, Photographs from the Historic American Buildings Survey
Shelby County by Robert W. Dye
Edmondson Cemetery, Gravestone Inscriptions from Shelby County