Long-Time Franklin Alderman Pearl Bransford Passes Away

Pearl Bransford
Pearl Bransford/Facebook

The City of Franklin, on Saturday, announced that long-time Franklin Alderman Pearl Bransford passed away on Friday night.

“Pearl lived a life of service as a healthcare professional, a school board member, and since 2007 as an Alderman for the City of Franklin. Pearl Bransford loved Franklin and served the community with a beautiful and gracious spirit. As a community and City team, we are grieving and will greatly miss our friend, Pearl Bransford. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bransford family and Pearl’s many friends,” writes the City of Franklin.

According to her bio on the City of Franklin’s website, Bransford hailed from Brownsville, Tennessee and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University.

Pearl and her husband Henry (Hank) moved to Franklin to raise their three children and she became involved with the community, serving on the Franklin Special School Board of Directors for 11 years and as Vice President for 8 years. She was also involved with Battle Ground Academy.

She also served her community by preserving its history. She became directly involved in the Natchez Street Community where she established Natchez Place Inc. She partnered with others to place the Natchez Street Community on the National Register of Historic Places.

“She not only ‘talked the talked’ she ‘walked the walked’ by investing and living in the community, which today, continues to redevelop and improve,” states her bio on franklintn.gov.

Many local organizations are mourning the loss of Pearl Bransford and remembering all the ways she supported and served her community:

From The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.

“Bransford modeled her commitment by living in the community, reinvesting in the vibrancy of the Natchez Street historic district and dedicating herself to its people and the preservation of its history and culture. Ever focused on affordable housing, she envisioned Franklin as a place for all people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, adeptly advocating for the Hill project in Franklin.

Growing up in West Tennessee with a keen awareness of the realities facing African Americans during the height of segregation, Bransford strongly advocated for strong education in our local schools and the preservation of our most fragile and underserved historic places and stories, stating African American history must be interpreted for all of us to learn from in the present so we may fully understand the past. Bransford gave her full support for the relocation and restoration of the Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School to Franklin Grove so local citizens, school children, and heritage tourists could accessibly engage with difficult history and learn the trials and triumphs of African Americans in Franklin, Tennessee, and the nation.”

From The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County:

“The Board of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County joins our community in mourning the loss of Alderman Pearl Bransford. We are deeply saddened to learn of her passing. Ms. Bransford was a friend who was loved by many and was an inspiration to all who knew her. A native of Haywood County, Tennessee, Bransford had made Franklin and Williamson County her home. For thirty years she served this community as a nurse, Franklin Special School District Board member, member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, realtor, community activist, and preservationist. Her calling in the founding of Natchez Place Inc. and her desire and passion to save historic structures in the Natchez Street community and throughout downtown Franklin will have a lasting impact for generations to come. There will never be another Pearl Bransford; the void she leaves behind is tremendous and cannot be filled. However, the community she inspired will be forever influenced and encouraged by her example.”

From TMA Group:

“The Franklin Transit Authority, and TMA, lost a true champion, leader, and friend with the heartbreaking passing of City of Franklin Alderman Pearl Bransford. She was an outstanding member of the Franklin Transit Authority, leading the vision and growth of the service throughout the years. Pearl was such a light and gift to all of us and our community. Franklin is a better community because of her unwavering service. She will be greatly missed. Please remember her dear family at this time of great loss.”