A beloved custodian for almost two decades at the Civil War era Rutherford County Courthouse, Willie was known to befriend many and tell stories that brought history to life. His warm smile and genuine interest in others endeared him to county commissioners, courthouse staff, attorneys, visitors, and the local community alike.
“I talked with Mr.Willie every time I was at the Court House . Mr. Willie was 98-years-old when he told me one night that he had gone to the Bank and financed a new house for his wife. He said he wanted to use the bank’s money instead of his and his wife deserved it! I was impressed. Mr. Willie was a wise man and could share so much history. Mr. Willie’s work shirts had County Mayor or County Executive on them—I can’t remember which. Mr. Willie lied in state in the County Court House when he passed. My Tennessee County Commission Association pin and Flag pin are buried with him. I truly miss him!”
Rutherford County Commissioner Anthony Johnson
Born in Murfreesboro, Mr. Willie Brandon grew up with a curiosity for the past, particularly the rich Civil War history that enveloped Murfreesboro. He would often share stories with anyone willing to listen.
“Mr. Willie was an iconic gentleman and as beloved as the historical Rutherford County Courthouse. Such a great man, full of knowledge & wisdom who leaves a lasting flame of goodness to be honored & respected for many generations. Over my twelve years as county commissioner, Mr. Willie & I had many, many great talks together. So many memories of Mr. Willie are etched in my heart forever. He touched my life as he has so many others. He was living history. He was also very proud of the success his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren achieved. Thank you, Mr. Willie, for the blessing of your friendship & comfort in knowing you now enjoy a beautiful eternity in heaven. A legacy of a life well lived.”
Tina Jones County Commissioner 1994-2006
Mr. Willie took great pride in his role as a custodian of the courthouse, not only in maintaining its physical integrity but also in preserving the stories and memories it held within its walls.
I and others who knew Mr. Willie will argue he could outwork any 20-year-old—especially the 20-year-olds of today.
Mr. Willie career at the Rutherford County Courthouse stands as a testament to the profound impact one individual can have on an entire community. Through his character and commitment to public service, he became an integral part of the courthouse’s fabric, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be cherished. Mr. Brandon’s dedication, integrity, and compassion is truly missed today.
Our world today could use a few more Mr. Willies…Those who knew him would agree—he is greatly missed.