Only two families have owned and lived in Glenmore: the Branners and Jarnagins. Both were well-known in Jefferson County. Also, both families have connections to almost every pioneer family in the surrounding region.
John Roper Branner, who built the house, was a prominent citizen of Jefferson County during the 1800’s. As a strategic businessman and investor in his community, his contributions included bringing the railroad to Mossy Creek, operating the Branner grist mill, and donating land to further the growth of his community. His home, which was originally called the Oaks, still stands today as a testament of his importance to the development of Mossy Creek, now Jefferson City.
Unfortunately, John Branner did not live to see the completion of the mansion. However, his wife Deborah continued to live there for the next 13 years. During this time, John’s brother, Joseph Branner, started the Branner Institute for Young Ladies. This successful boarding school operated for three years starting in 1876
Miton Jarnagin purchased the Oakes from the Branner family in 1882. Jarnagin was a successful lawyer who was originally from East Tennessee. Much like Branner, he was heavily involved in many business aspects of his community.
Although the mansion was referred to as the Oakes, the Jarnagin family decided to give the mansion a more personal touch by naming it Glenmore, in memory of Jarnagin’s infant son who died several years prior.
Milton Jarnagin’s son, Frank, inherited Glenmore Mansion and lived there for over 50 years raising his own family.
APTA Ownership & Restoration
After the passing of Frank Jarnagin, the remaining heirs preserved Glenmore by donating it to the state APTA (Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities). Glenmore opened its doors to the public in the summer of 1972.