|1892-1917||William C. Branham|
|1917-1920||William O. Batts (superintendent)|
[The mission is to take] young boys at the most impressionable period of their young lives ... and [attempt] to guide them safely into virile young manhood.
—Branham & Hughes yearbook, 1926
Founded in 1892 as Branham & Hughes School for Boys by William Hughes and William C. Branham, Branham & Hughes became a military academy in 1918. Although established for boys, the school did admit a few female students until 1918. The lower school, dropped in 1917, was reestablished in 1922 as college entrance requirements grew stricter and was intended to “[take] young boys at the most impressionable period of their young lives, when they are permeated with so much enthusiasm and energy, and [attempt] to guide them safely into virile young manhood.” (1)
Both founders taught at several private institutions in Tennessee, including the Wallace School and the Webb School. Branham taught at Vanderbilt. Hughes graduated from the Webb School and Vanderbilt. The school lasted until the early 1930s when the economic pressures of the Great Depression forced it to close. The school buildings were deeded to the Tennessee Orphan’s Home in 1934, now a part of the Churches of Christ. Ferguson Hall, was Confederate General Earl Van Dorn’s headquarters after the Civil War Battle of Murfreesboro in 1863. Van Dorn was killed in the home, then owned by Martin Cheairs.
1. “The Junior School.” Branham & Hughes Military Academy Yearbook 1926-1927 p. 79. Available online from the Maury County School Records and History Project.