Providence Church Timeline

As this was developing I was thinking that this cemetery was adjacent to Providence Church and now I do not think so, but more like a family cemetery.

TIMELINE of Providence Church Cemetery- Or DeMoss Cemetery
Bellevue, Nashville, TN
Research Records of Charlie Doggett
Event Date Event Sources
5-Mar-1745 Birth of Francis Hargrave, VA Hardgrave Family History
Oct-1753 Birth of Abraham Louis DeMoss Gravestone in cemetery
7-May-1792 Birth of Skelton Hardgrave, NC Hardgrave Family History
1770’s Francis Hardgrave & Louis DeMoss serve in the Revolutionary War together in the same N.C. regiment and were most likely neighbors Hardgrave Family History
ca 1794-95 Elder John Dillahunty came to Middle TN and organized Richland Creek Church “at General Harding’s” Edythe Whitley, Providence Park Dedication paper, 1976
1798-1799 In 1798 Francis Hardgrave and wife Sarah Skielton Hardgrave moved from NC first to Lincoln Co., TN then in less than a year to Davidson Co., TN where they purchased 100 acres on the Harpeth River January 20, 1799 near his old friend and neighbor from N.C., Louis DeMoss. (1) The Westview “Early Trails,” Oct. 1980    (2) Davidson County Land Deed    (3) Edythe Whitley papers 1941 and 1976 (4) Hardgrave Family History
1804 Francis Hardgrave elected to Coroner of Davidson County Edythe Whitley, Providence Park Dedication paper, 1976
1807 Francis Hardgrave’s son John marries Mary “Polly” Robertson, neice of James Robertson, the founder of Nashville. Davidson County Tennessee Marriage Book I, page 105
April 1810 H. DeMoss buried here Gravestone
1811 ? DeMoss, age 16 buried here Gravestone
6-Jan-1812 Francis’ son Skelton marries Susannah Loftin originally of Sussex Co. VA. Her family had moved to Davidson Co in 1795, living near the Hardgraves, Hardings and DeMosses. The Westview, “Early Trails” October 1980
1812 John Dillahunty died at age 96. Soon afterwards Elder Joe Anderson moved the Richland Creek Church a few miles west on the Hardgrave property and changed the name to Providence Church. “It was a Baptist Church.” Edythe Whitley, Providence Park Dedication paper, 1976
11-Mar-1812 Desa A? Delihute buried here Gravestone
20-Sep-1813 Skelton enlisted in the War of 1812 in West TN Militia Infantry under Col. A. Lowry & Capt. Jos. Williamson. He was 20 yers old. Edythe Whitley, Providence Park Dedication paper, 1976
20-Sep-1814 Skelton promoted to 1st Lt. Whitley’s 1941 paper
1818 Francis deeds a portion of his land to Skelton who buys additonal adjacent land at church/cemetery Edythe Whitley, Providence Park Dedication paper, 1976, from Davidson Co. Land Deeds
1820 Louis DeMoss, founder of Bellevue, is buried here. He was the earliest settler here and built a log house overlooking the Harpeth River, calling it “Bellevue” which is French for “Beautiful View.” (1) Gravestone,    (2) Edythe Whitley papers,    (3)Early TrailsOctober 10, 1980



An unreadable stone with 1821 date






25-Dec-1824 Skelton Hardgrave “sells” part of his land for the New Providence Meeting House for sum of one dollar. The building and cemetery were already in existence prior to this date. The first frame building was built in 1812 on Joseph Hopkins propery. It burned and they moved here. Two frame buildings were built by cemetery and both burned before a brick building was erected. Dates not known. Edythe Whitley papers  +  Fletch Coke transcript of 1824 Deed
19 Oct 1825 Deed mentioning church 1825 Deed transcript by Coke
Sep 1826 or 1828 ? DeMoss buried here Gravestone
19-Feb-1826 Francis Hardgrave purchases adjacent land from John DeMoss Edythe Whitley Marker Dedication papers 1941
3-Feb-1827 Francis Hardgrave sells adjacent land to Skelton Hardgrave The Westview, “Early Trails” October 1980
14 July 1827 Deed mentioning church 1827 Deed transcript by Coke
1828 Unknown DeMoss buried here Fulcher’s 1979 stone listing
1800s Known as Providence Church or Hargrave Church and the cemetery as Hardgrave Cemetery. One writer called it “DeMoss Graveyard” but this was not the true name though possibly considered this by the DeMoss family. Edythe Whitley papers
2-Apr-1838 Mrs. Zany Hardin buried here Gravestone
30-Aug-1844 Lucinda Larkins buried here Gravestone (Hodges list only)
5-Oct-1847 Martha Ann DeMoss buried here Gravestone
2-Jun-1849 Hannah Greer buried here Gravestone
2-Oct-1855 Green B. Greer buried here Gravestone
24-Apr-1856 Elizabeth DeMoss buried here. Wife of Thomas DeMoss Gravestone
1859 Listed in District No. Fourteen as: “Providence Church at Reynolds Mill.” History of Davidson County by W.W. Clayton, page 372
17-Apr-1863 Thomas DeMoss buried here Gravestone (Fulcher list only)
1865 Providence Church’s fourth building was brick but was totally destroyed by Civil War activities in 1865. The small congregation ceased to exist after that. Edythe Whitley 1941 papers
1865-67 The congregation of Providence Church merged with Big Harpeth Baptist Church after the war. Edythe Whitley 1941 papers
11 Aug 1866 Greer-Morton Deed mentioning the cemetery and deceased Thomas DeMoss referenced 1866 Deed trascript by Fletch Coke Registered in 1892
5-Aug-1869 James L. Greer buried here Gravestone
1871 The church was marked in two places on this 1871 map:  (1) As “Old Providence Church” at corner of Richland and Harding Turnpike and a smaller unmarked road.  (2) As “Providence Church” on Flat Creek east of Big Harpeth River in Bellevue. 1871 Nashville & Davidson County Political Mapfound in Nashville Public Library
1880 The county was redistricted and Providence Church site was then in District No. 14, but 1859 record above also says District 14 – So? The Westview, “Early Trails” October 1980
1938 The spot where the old Providence Church stood was now in District 9     &    Edythe Whitley and the Gen. Francis Nash Chapter of D.A.R. “worked like everything” to get the stones pieced together and re-erected and to get the cemetery cleared of debris and try to preserve it and protect it from realtors who were trying to get it developed into a subdivision. The Westview, “Early Trails” October 1980
1-Jul-1941 D.A.R. unveil and dedicate new stones for Francis and Skelton Hardgrave. (NOTE: Whitley thought they must be buried here but they were not. Francis is in the Hardgrave Family Cemetery across the river in Horseshoe Bend Subdivision with his original stone intact and Skelton was killed and buried in New Orleans. In 1997 the Hardgrave family moved the two stones to the Hardgrave Family Cemetery across the river.)   Edythe Whitley 1941 papers    NOTE from Charlie Doggett
1-Oct-1975 Girl Scout Troop 832 cleans up the Hardgrave Cemetery and plants bulbs around the trees. The Tennesseannewspaper on 27 October 1975
18-Jul-1976 D.A.R. and Girl Scouts hold a “Bicentennial Project Dedication” at the cemetery, calling it “Providence Park” and Mrs. Whitley reads a history of church and cemetery and the Hardgrave family. Dedication program and Edythe Whitley’s 1976 papers
ca 1980-81 Edythe Whitley writes to Mrs. Terrel W. “Nell” Hardgrave in Sunrise, FL (and others I would presume) to tell her about the Nashville Hardgrave Cemetery and beg the Hardgrave family to please try to save and preserve it.    (NOTE: She was not aware that this line of Hardgraves had migrated west to Arkansas and a few to TX & OK. It was after her passing that the true descendents discover the Hardgrave prescence here and the true Hardgrave Cemetery. -CD) Copy of the letter      and     NOTE by Charlie Doggett
Early Sep 1981 Ferrell writes Illene J. Cornwell in Nashville Based on her 9/21 response below
21-Sep-1981 Ilene writes Ferrell a two-page letter giving details of cemetery from her perspective and suggesting ways to preserve it, including the suggestion of a specific Tombstones & Perpetual Care company. Copy of the letter in possession of Gene Hugh Hardgrave and Charlie Doggett research papers
15-Apr-1983 Gene Hugh Hardgrave of Fort Smith, AR writes his 1st cousin Charles Doggett of Nashville with copies of above letters and a request for him to take a look at the condition of the cemetery and the location of their mutual 5-Great Grandfather. Charlie Doggett research papers
1-Aug-1984 Gene Hugh Hardgrave meets the following at the cemetery to discuss preserving: A rep of the TN Historical Commission, a rep of the Divison of Archaeology and a member of the River Plantation Residents Association. Letter to Charles from Gene
Jan-May 1995 Charles researches cemetery at: (1) Edythe Whitley papers in Williamson Co. Library,     (2) Tennessee State Library & Archives,        (3) SBC Historical Library and Archives,         (4) Nashville Public Library Charles Doggett research notes
24-Jun-1995 Cemetery Report to the annual Hardgrave Family Reunion in Hartman, AR Charles Doggett research notes
7-Oct-1995 Eight members of the Hardgrave family, 3 from Arkansas, along with Robert Greer did a big clean up of the Providence Church Cemetery. See newspaper article about clean up.  Charles Doggett records
1997 Hardgrave family moves the two DAR stones for Francis and his son Skelton to the Hardgrave Family Cemetery across the river in Williamson County’s Horseshoe Bend Subdivision Charles Doggett
 1998  Boy Scout John Elliott’s Eagle Scout Project was scheduled to be him getting his troop to clean the cemetery and re-stack the stone wall by September of 1998 – I was moving and did not check on it. Noted in Doggett’s 1998 Cemetery Report to the Hardgrave Family Reunion in Arkansas.
2013 Sanford Payton contacts Charlie Doggett for information and I start cleaning up my notes and preparing information to send him and at the same time begin this web page. He is beginning a “Friends of DeMoss Cemetery” group to work on preserving this cemetery I call Providence Church. Later Fletch Coke shares the 4 deeds referencing either the church or cemetery Charles Doggett Research Files
See separate page titled “Bibliography” for list of sources.