Robert Bell Castleman – Tombstone Inscription

Castleman, Robert Bell
Section 11.1
ID # 110044

Robert Bell Castleman
July 29, 1886
In the 77th Year
Of his Age

1908 Plat: Robert B. Castleman Died 1886
                Section 11 WP Lot 41
1909 List: Lot owner Jos. & Jas. Woods
Interment Index: 7-30-1886 Robert B. Castleman
Smith 1908 & Garrett: Same as Recorded 2005

After 2009 Restoration

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Robert Bell Castleman
Mayor of the City of Nashville

Robert Bell Castleman was born on December 9, 1808 in Nashville, Tennessee, to Andrew and Margaret Ewing Castleman. He was the eleventh of thirteen children.

His father, Andrew Castleman, served as Clerk of the Court in 1780, and in October 1783 he became the first Clerk of the Davidson County Court, a public office he held for over 30 years.

On December 18, 1845, Robert Bell Castleman married twenty-year-old Annie Elizabeth Wood. Their union produced three children: Betty Kay, Sue, and James.

Admitted to the bar in 1834, Castleman, was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 23rd General Assembly from 1839-1841. As was his father before him, Robert Bell Castleman was the Davidson County Court Clerk during the years 1840 to 1850. Later, he became the long-serving Davidson County Registrar of Deeds.

Castleman became Mayor of Nashville in 1854 under unusual circumstances. He was appointed by the City Council to serve the remaining months of the term of William Shapard, who had been elected Mayor, but vacated the office after only a brief time of service. Castleman accepted the council’s appointment and the following year was elected to the office for an additional one-year term. The Mayor and his family were members of the Presbyterian Church.

Robert Bell Castleman died on July 29, 1886 and was buried alongside his wife in the historic Nashville City Cemetery.


Profiles of Early Tennessee Leaders by William B. Nicholson states that the Castleman family had three children: Betty Kay, James W., and Maggie, who died at the age of 3 and is buried at Nashville City Cemetery. This information is contrary to all other information found in my research. Nicholson also stated that after Castleman finished his second term in office that he withdrew from public life and prospered in real estate. Again, I was unable to verify that information.

The papers of Anne Porterfield Rankin, daughter of Susan Castleman and Frank Porterfield and granddaughter of Robert Bell Castleman, are available on microfilm in the Manuscript Division at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The Anne Porterfield Rankin Papers, numbering approximately 2000 items, is composed largely of manuscripts of Mrs. Rankin’s writings, newspaper clippings, and personal letters.

Research completed by Carolyn Bridges Gregory, a Public Service Management graduate student at Cumberland University.

Posted 05/11