Andrew L. Todd Sr.

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Andrew Lee Todd Sr. (July 27, 1872 – March 24, 1945[1]) was an American lawyer, educator and Democratic member of the Tennessee General Assembly.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Todd was born in the Rucker community of Rutherford County, Tennessee to a local farmer, Aaron Wilson Todd, on July 27, 1872.[3] He married his wife, Minneola Wilson, on July 3, 1895. They had two sons; Andrew L. Todd Jr. (who would become mayor of Murfreesboro) and Andrew L. Todd III (1929-2010).[4]

He graduated from Union University (formerly Southwestern Baptist University) in Jackson, Tennessee and taught in public schools for several years before enrolling at the University of the South to study law.[5]


He was elected as Rutherford County Superintendent of Schools from 1900 to 1907 and Governor Frazier appointed him to the State Board of Education in 1905 where he continued to serve until 1915.[3] As a member of the Board of Education he lobbied to locate the state's new teacher's college to Murfreesboro.[6] The "Middle Tennessee State Teachers College" evolved into the present day Middle Tennessee State University.

From 1913 to 1923, Todd served in the Tennessee General Assembly, two terms in the House and two terms in the Senate.[1] As Speaker of the Senate in the 61st General Assembly, and Speaker of the House in the 62nd General Assembly, he is the only person in Tennessee history to have served in both capacities.[7]

In 1920, Todd was the deciding vote for Tennessee's ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.[7]

Apart from his political career, Todd was also an active businessman. He established the 800 acres (320 ha) "Toddington Farms" which specialized in pure-bred Aberdeen-Angus cattle and served as president of the "Murfreesboro Bank & Trust Co." from 1913 to 1929. He also bought two local news papers and merged them into The Daily News Journal.[7]


Todd is sometimes referred to as the "godfather" of Middle Tennessee State University and he continued to support the school until his death.[8] In 1958, a new library was constructed at a cost of $450,000. It was named the Andrew L Todd Library in his honor.[8]

During the late 1930s, Todd was involved with the construction of a dam across "Black Fox Camp Spring Creek", the resulting reservoir is now known as "Todd's Lake."[7]


  1. ^ a b Brenda Kirk Fiddler. "MISCELLANEOUS OBITUARIES AND DEATH NOTICES". Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  2. ^ "Index to Politicians: Todd". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew L. Todd Sr. Papers". Middle Tennessee State University. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "Frow Chips, Vol 34 - Issue No. 2" (PDF). Rutherford County Historical Association. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  5. ^ Greg Tucker (August 12, 2012). "Developer manipulated Normal school site". Rutherford County Historical Society. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  6. ^ Carroll Van West (December 25, 2009). "Middle Tennessee State University". The University of Tennessee Press. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Greg Tucker (August 26, 2012). "Lake part of Todd plan to attract VA". Rutherford County Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Sue Alexander and Kathy Field. "History of the Libraries at Middle Tennessee State University". Tennessee Library Association. Retrieved May 19, 2013.