Tutt/Heard Home At 413 Pine Was Long A Chattanooga Social Center

  • Thursday, September 29, 2022
  • John Wilson

The Tutt/Heard home at 413 Pine St. at the foot of Cameron Hill was long a Chattanooga social center.

Benjamin Franklin Tutt, who was born in Georgia about 1830, made his way early to Chattanooga and married Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Rawlings in 1852. She was a daughter of Daniel Ritchie Rawlings, who came to Chattanooga by steamboat in 1851. Her brother was the druggist John Goodwin Rawlings. A sister, Mary Miller Rawlings, married Z.C. Patten. The Tutts were originally from Augusta, Ga.

Ben Tutt was a city alderman in 1856. 

He sold his drug store in 1863 to David V. McCorkle.

The Tutt children included Mary Ailene who married Lawrence McMurphy of Augusta, Ga., Ida who married Isaac Reese of Nashville, and Edward Franklin Tutt.

Lillie Tutt, another daughter of Ben and Lizzie Rawlings Tutt, in 1875 married George M.D. Heard, who had come down in 1870 with O.K. Brooks from Cleveland, Ohio, to set up an extensive crockery firm. The business partners had a new building put up for the purpose on lower Market Street on the east side before they brought their merchandise to town.

The wedding of Lillie Tutt was said to be "the most elaborate that Chattanooga had ever seen up to that time, and many of the witnesses hold that there has never been one since which eclipsed it in decorations and exquisitely gowned attendants." It was held at the old Episcopal Church at the corner of Eighth and Pine and was presided over by Rector Henry Harrison Sneed.

Among the bridesmaids were Mrs. Charles E. James (Kate Webster), Mrs. J.B. Parham (Mary Ruohs), Mrs. T.N. Trigg (Mary Kirkpatrick), Mrs. H.M. Hope (Mary Green), and "the lovely Miss Mary Stewart who never wed." 

Heard was born in Cleveland in 1844, the eighth of 10 children of Charles W. and Caroline Goldsmith Heard. Charles Heard was a prominent architect who had moved the family from New York. He built many fine homes in Cleveland and superintended some of the city's most prominent buildings. His wife was a descendant of Oliver Goldsmith. G.M.D. Heard left school and joined the Union Army in 1862.

The newlyweds occupied the "quaint, old-fashioned but charming house at 413 Pine. It eventually became one of the landmarks of Chattanooga. It was said that "its rooms have been the scene of many lovely and elaborate parties and many happy gatherings. Perhaps no other home in the community had a more brilliantly full calendar back of it."

Their children growing up in the house were Clio, Rawlings Walton, Charles Wallace and Lois Goldsmith Heard.

Elizabeth Patten, whose mother had died early in her married life, was a niece of Lillie Tutt Heard and a frequent visitor at 413 Pine. It was said that as a girl Elizabeth resided with her grandmother, Mrs. Tutt, at the house. It was said that "she became like a daughter in the home and many of the most cherished memories there are connected with her." Elizabeth Patten later married John T. Lupton, who became one of the richest men in the South following his investment in Coca-Cola bottling. 

G.M.D. Heard served one term as city school commissioner. He was a vestryman at St. Paul's Episcopal Church nearby their home. In 1884, he purchased "Beauclair, at the head of Whiteside Street (South Broad Street) in St. Elmo. It was described as "the most beautiful natural location for a residence in the county." However, the Heards stayed on at Cameron Hill.

Dec. 2, 1924, was a sad day at 423 Pine St. when the Tutts and Heards moved out after 53 years in their homeplace. Lizzie Rawlings Tutt had reached 87 and had been an invalid for about 20 years. She also had lost much of her eyesight. However, her "frail fingers were always busy with knitting needles." It was arranged that she move to the Elizabeth Apartments on Georgia Avenue along with Mrs. Heard and her daughter, Mrs. Orton Patterson. Mrs. Heard planned a trip to the Philippines to visit her son, Capt. Roy W. Heard.

It was said that there had already been three offers made for the house - one of them of 10 years standing. J.S. Frazier and J.I Skinner were living there in 1927. Mrs. Eva Whitaker was living there in 1930.

The large house was split into several apartments by the mid-1930s. In 1933 J.W. Givens was the main occupant with three people on the top floor and one living in the rear. The next year it was Mrs. G.H. Givens and four others in the big house.

The next year it was gone.

A photo of the Tutt/Heard house has not yet been located.

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