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From Doctors Office to Battle of Franklin Headquarters

McPhail Cliffe House, Franklin, Tennessee (Photo Credit: Violet Sky)
McPhail Cliffe House, Franklin, Tennessee (Photo Credit: Violet Sky)

From doctors office to Battle of Franklin Headquarters, the McPhail Cliffe building was built in 1817. Over the past two hundred years it has passed through many generations and witnessed a variety of events.


Built by Dr. Daniel McPhail in 1817, this building soon became his medical office. He was a local doctor who lived in Franklin but had originally immigrated from Scotland. This office is one of the oldest buildings in all of Franklin.

Not only was Dr. McPhail quite good at his work, he was also the first in Tennessee to properly administer anesthesia. He was a volunteer for Tennessee in the Mexican-American War and ended up dying while in Mexico.

His nephew, Daniel Cliffe took over the office following his uncles death. During the Civil War, Cliffe served as a surgeon for the Confederate forces. Although he changed sides shortly after and supported the Union.

When the Battle of Franklin was about to commence on November 30, 1864, this little building became occupied by U.S. General John Schofield where he commanded his army.

The office was later converted into a house.

Violet Sky’s Visit

The quaint little building is hidden away in downtown Franklin. At first pass it sort of blends in with the rest of the urban landscape. However after closer inspection, I noticed that this must be the building that served as the McPhail Cliffe Doctor’s Office.

I was amazed to see such a small structure that has been used for so many purposes. After all the entire area is filled with history and artifacts from the Battle of Franklin of 1864.

How to Visit 

The McPhail Cliffe Doctor’s Office is located at 209 E. Main Street in downtown Franklin.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’.

-Violet Sky

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