When Tom Taylor steps out the door of his office on 339 Main Street and takes in the downtown Franklin view, he’s not only admiring the streetscape—he says it always serves as a trip down memory lane, too.
The lawyer who’s called Williamson County home since the day he was born has watched the 16-block National Register district grow from a one-street town to a burgeoning tourist destination. His recollections range from having his first chocolate soda at Gray’s Drug Co. to getting his hair cut across the street at Jake’s Barber Shop, and Taylor says they don’t stop there.
“There used to be a hardware store where Capital Bank is now. I remember going there and looking for things with my dad. And the corner of 4th and Main, there was a place called the National Store; I bet people remember that one. I used to go in there to get a free bag of popcorn,” Taylor said. “Remember when the movies at the theater cost 50 cents? So many memories! That’s why I love this town.”
Taylor is the co-founder of 339 Main, which boasts three attorneys who bring more than 70 years of combined experience. Though the lawyers maintain their own practices, each shares the office space in downtown Franklin.
Thirty years ago, Taylor and co-worker Tom Jones bought the building after their boss and mentor announced his retirement—and the pair realized they would soon be out of work.
“My co-worker and I, Tom Jones, literally walked into the building. It was a furniture store back then, and we made an offer,” Taylor said. “The woman told us that if we gave her one thousand dollars she would start moving out the next day—we immediately started renovating the property.”
Taylor says that the address they stumbled upon held many of its own stories, and with the help of the Heritage Foundation the partners began restoring the 1840s structure to its former glory. Eventually, the two were able to put it on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Back then, the Heritage Foundation did the elevation and proposed floor plans, and we completely remolded the place,” he said. “That was in 1984, and we’re still here.”
Taylor has more than 35 years of experience in law, with concentrations in family law, estate planning, and property law, and he has been City Judge since 1987. He says the best part of his job, outside of his location, is that he takes enjoyment in his daily work.
“I enjoy practicing law because I am constantly learning something new,” he says.
He attributes his pursuit of law to a teacher at Battle Ground Academy, a school in which he first enrolled at in 1965.
“He told me when I was 12 years old that I was so argumentative that I should be a lawyer,” Taylor said. “That was the first time I had ever thought about it. I am glad he lived to see me reach that goal!”
After graduating from law school at the University of Memphis in 1977, Taylor returned to Franklin soon after.
“There is so much family history here for me, I couldn’t imagine calling somewhere else home,” he said.
Taylor’s family history has been rooted in Williamson County since before the Civil War. Hailing from Fairview, Taylor’s father was elected the first mayor of the city and is known for bringing public water to the town.
As to working on Main Street every day, Taylor has an interesting comparison: he equates it to having a first-row seat to Disney World.
“There is just so much going on here,” Taylor said. “I don’t think there is any better place to raise a family.
“Franklin has a cohesiveness that you won’t find anywhere else.”
To learn more about Taylor, visit www.339mainattorneys.com.