History of the Braxton Lee Cemetery

Braxton Lee was a very prominent, early settler of middle Tennessee. He operated a large plantation with several forms of commerce on the north banks of the Cumberland River. His plantation was known as Leeland Station and provided supplies and food to riverboats from around 1796 to 1841.

Braxton established a family burial ground at his first residence that was located behind the present home at 104 Hibiscus Drive in Ashland City, Tennessee.  The cemetery is located in the front yard of the present structure lying between the house and Hibiscus Drive.

There is a record that establishes that Braxton Lee and his first wife, Elizabeth Ann Hatcher, are buried at this location. Records of their tombstones have been recorded. These stones are no longer available. James “Bud” Hallums, Cheatham County Historian, informed Richard H. Hunter in 1999 that the tombstones were pushed into the roadbed when Hibiscus Drive was built and subsequently paved over.  Mr. Hallums said he remembered seeing them as a child.

It has been repeatedly passed down through the Hunter family that Jacob Hunter and his wife, Mary Polly Dancer Hunter Lee, are also buried at this location. This was documented in a letter Lawrence Lee Hunter sent to Richard H. Hunter, Trustee of the Jacob Hunter Trust, dated August 18, 2009.

Mary Polly Dancer Hunter married Braxton Lee on May 20, 1808 on the same day that Mary Polly’s son Emanuel Hunter married Braxton Lee’s daughter Judith Lee. The Lee and Hunter families had been close friends for several years and Braxton Lee and Mary Polly served as executors of Jacob Hunter’s estate.

For many years the cemetery was unmarked and nearly forgotten. Beginning in 1999, representatives of the Jacob Hunter Trust began efforts to bring attention to this historic cemetery and to have it recognized and registered.

On January 10, 2008 Richard H. Hunter, Lawrence Lee Hunter, Thomas E. Hunter, and Murry Hawkins did a quick survey of the cemetery. We located 9 adult graves and one baby grave. It was very cold and raining that day and we worked for only about 30 minutes. On October 12 & 13, 2009, Richard Hunter returned with R. David Lee and Duane Elliott and conducted a much more thorough survey. We located 22 graves and marked the boundaries of the cemetery plot. On October 23, 2009 Marvin Wright of Wright & Associates Land Surveyors completed a survey of the cemetery that was recorded in the Cheatham County Recorders Office in Ashland City.