Railroads have also played an important role in the history of
Ralph Milton Beckman
Marjorie Annerene Beckman
The Beckman Farm is located on the
After the death of his parents, George W. Beckman bought the interest from his brothers and acquired the farm. He and his wife Anna Albright Beckman had four children. On the farm, they raised dairy cattle, chickens and hogs and grew corn, wheat, potatoes, cane, tomatoes, beans, oats, and tobacco. In addition to producing crops and livestock on the farm, George built a new house on the property in 1905.
Bertha P. and Eva E. Beckman, the children of George and Anna, were the next owners of the farm. Bertha and Eva never married but they continued to work the farm and raised dairy cattle, corn and soybeans.
In 1979, Ralph M. Beckman, the great grandson acquired the farm. Today, the farm produces wheat, corn and soybeans.
Brown Dairy Farm
Harold M. Brown
Throughout the middle decades of the twentieth
century, dairy farming has provided new economic opportunities for Middle
Tennessee farmers. The Brown Dairy Farm is only one example among many in
In 1895, J. J. and Rhoda’s son George Gilbert Brown inherited 151 acres of the original farm to which he eventually added 59 acres. George specialized in livestock production. He married Lydia Mead and they raised four children.
The founders’ grandson Herschel Mead Brown obtained 200 acres of the farm in 1948. Herschel, his wife Nell Whitworth and their sons, Harold and Bob, managed a typical mid-twentieth century farm, producing livestock, cotton, crimson clover, wheat and soybeans. In 1968, Harold Brown acquired the family land and as of 1976 he farmed 379 acres, specializing in dairy and beef cattle.
In the decade prior to the Civil War, southern
entrepreneurs established new industrial enterprises in order to reap the
benefits of processing the region’s rich agricultural products for market. The
Carden Ranch, ten miles north of
In 1896, Richard Keele, the founder’s grandson, obtained the property and in 1908, he transferred it to his daughter Q. Keele and her husband John Carden. Forty-eight years later, John Russell Carden, the founder’s great great grandson, acquired 184 acres of the farm. Today, William (Bill) Carden and his son Cantrell Carden are the owners of the farm and they raise cattle, hogs, goats, corn, hay and soybeans.
Claude Anderson Farm
Just a few years into the 20th century, Samuel Anderson purchased 100 acres of farmland for $1,050 in the Noah community of Coffee County. From 1905, he raised corn, hay, cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry on his farm. His first wife was named Laura and his second wife was Mae Ferrell, and Samuel was the father of 13 children.
Claude Anderson, a grandson of Samuel Anderson, inherited the family farm in 1952. He raises hay and cattle on his 100 acres, much as his grandfather did. He and his wife, Marie, are the parents of five children: Robert Lee, Mary Ellen, Ronnie, Tony, and Sarah. The farm continues to be a center of family life, with as many as 100 people present for the various family get-togethers, birthdays and holidays. Other traditional activities that the Andersons take part in, along with family and neighbors, are hog killing and molasses making. Other members of the Anderson family, who came into this area in the late 1700s, have been actively involved in agriculture. Claude Anderson’s first cousin, Austin Anderson, who is also a grandson of Samuel Anderson, was a county 4-H leader for many years and served on the county’s Agriculture Committee. He also was the Coffee County Farm Bureau President for 20 years.
Claude Anderson, the second owner of the family farm, is actively involved in managing and operating the land that he has worked for almost 60 years.
Photos: Claude Anderson in front of the old home place. The old home place as it appears today.
Carolyn Ramsey Sullivan
Located eleven miles
In 1919, Tom’s niece Pearl Cunningham and her husband
William Richard Crouch became the next owners of the farm. Over the next sixty
years, William and
Photo (top left): The house on the farm was built in 1880.
Photo (top right): A barn on the Crouch-Ramsey Farm, built in 1924. It is built on the exact site of a barn that was struck by lightening and burned earlier in 1924.
Grady T. Freeze
Known as Freeze Farm since 1902, Rufus Freeze purchased the
acreage that was part of a land grant signed by Neil S. Brown, who served as
During Claude’s ownership, he and wife Ruby, along with their two
children, raised corn, soybeans, cattle and mules. A veteran of World War I,
Claude served in
In 1993, Grady T. Freeze, son of
Claude and Ruby and the grandson of the founders, acquired the farm. Grady was
a member of 4-H during his school years and he has raised polled
Thomas S. Murphy
The Homestead Farm is a second Coffee County Century
Farm to contain evidence of a nineteenth century industrial facility and
underscore the importance of the county’s rivers and water power to its early
farmers. Dr. Alexander B. Davis of
E. W. and Nannie Smartt had twelve children and in 1936,
ownership of the farm passed into the hands of their daughter Julia M. Smartt
and her husband Fred Murphy, Sr. Practicing general farming, the Murphys
managed 124 acres until 1975 when their son Thomas S. Murphy inherited the
property. As of 1976, the farm retained much of its nineteenth century farming
landscape; the slave quarters and the 1859-1861 farm house still stood on the
property and the abandoned
Paul G. Mason, Sr.
James J. Mason
In 1820, Jeremiah and Rebecca Rudd Jacobs established
the Jacobs Farm, which is located in the 3rd District of Coffee
County. The Jacobs owned 920 acres on which they bred livestock and grew small
grains and cotton. During the Civil War, their farmhouse had the distinction of
being both the headquarters for General Braxton Bragg of the Army of
In 1857, the founders’ son Alfred Jacobs acquired 400
acres of the farm. Many
In 1973, Paul G. Mason, the founders’ great great grandson, and his son James Jacob Mason obtained the property. As of 1976, the Masons grew small grains and corn on their 84 acres and still lived in the old farmhouse built prior to 1875. Part of the farm was sold recently to Tom Ogle of Beech Grove.
William A. Long
South of Hillsboro is the Long Farm that was founded in 1889 by
Sam H. Long, Sr. His grandfather was
John Long who received a land grant along the Elk River in what is now
After their father’s death, the farm was split among seven heirs with William Henry Long acquiring 55 acres in 1931. His brother Sam H. Long, Jr. acquired the remaining acreage. The family recalls that their mother would split her time between the two sons, living for a time with Sam and then with William and their families. Each son paid rent to the other for their mother. William Henry married Lena Long and they had four children, Leighton, Mildred, William Albro, and B. Howard Long.
In 1947, the grandson of the founder, William Albro Long purchased 55 acres from his father. He cultivated crops with a Farmall tractor and a pair of mules. Soybeans and corn were primary crops, but he also grew alfalfa for hay. A few head of cattle were kept for milk and butter and some beef cattela dn pigs were raised as well. In addition to managing the farm, Albro worked for the Tennessee Highway Department. Married to Margaret Pearson Long, the couple had three sons, Charles, Bill and Ronnie. The family all worked on the farm and each son was involved in the 4-H club and participated in local contests and county fairs showing livestock.
In 1959, Albro and Margaret built a new home on the farm. With the
construction of Interstate 24, the Longs had to buy their farmhouse back from
the State of
Leona McMichael Jacobs
Margaret McMichael of
In 1846, Margaret’s son William McMichael and his wife Sophronia Ross inherited the farm. During the Civil War, five of their sons fought for the Confederate army. The precise record of the family ownership after William and Sophronia is uncertain, but it is clear that the McMichael family continued to make important contributions to the community. J. L. McMichael, the founder’s great grandson, served in the Coffee County Court and the Tennessee House of Representatives. A progressive farmer, he also owned the famous walking horse stallion Merry Boy. “His brother, R. W. McMichael and sister Denny McMichael were co-owners of this operation.” W. A. McMichael, another great grandson, was a local veterinarian.
Leona McMichael and her husband Dallas L. Jacobs acquired 266 acres of the family land in 1935. As of 1976, they had added 107 acres to the property and produced corn, wheat, soybeans and cattle.
Paul D. Bryan
On March 5, 1894, James Wilson Bryan purchased 250 acres three miles north of Hillsboro in in the Asbury Community–he paid $100. Here he and his wife, Liney Basha Meadows Bryan, raised their eleven children. Their farm operations included a large array of crops and livestock; they grew corn, soybeans, millet, cotton, sugar cane, peas, hay, wheat, and oats while raising pigs, cattle, mules, horses, and chickens. In 1902, they built a farmhouse that still stands today.
In 1929, James Walter Bryan acquired 100 acres of his parents’ farm. His wife, Flora Mae Anthony Bryan, and he had five children – Jack, Jo Juanita, Walter, Jr., George Washington Vernon, and Paul David Bryan. This generation grew and raised many of the same crops and livestock as the previous generation but also grew a garden and made chestnut rails for fences. James also worked at a sawmill and was a carpenter building houses, barns, and tool sheds. On the farm, he had a blacksmith shop and was able to plow two rows of corn at a time using a bull tongue plow and used a one row cultivator. Flora was also involved in farm operations; she made dresses and quilts out of feed sacks, crocheted, canned meats and vegetables, and raised chickens. A man came once a week to purchase two cases of eggs from her which he sold in Tullahoma.
third generation of Bryans works this historic farm. Paul David Bryan acquired
sixty of the founder’s original purchase in 1982 but was already extensively
engaged in the family’s agricultural operations. He purchased a VAC Case tractor
in 1944 to assist his father, and worked for the Coffee county ASC Office in the
late 1950s measuring tobacco and cotton crops. He expanded the farm by
purchasing adjacent acreage.
Paul and his wife, Peggy Elizabeth Parks, met at a Young Farmers and Homemaker cookout and campout in 1958. The next year they married and had four children – Peggy Marie, Parks Anthony, Patsy Ruth, and Polly Sue. In the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, Paul and Peggy were 4-H group leaders while their children were involved in club activities. Their children and now their grandchildren have been involved in numerous activities and received several awards. Paul and Peggy were also district members of the Coffee County Farm Bureau. Peggy is a 50 years member of the Home Demonstration club where she has held several positions. She is also a County Council member and has played the piano for the Ashbury United Methodist Church since 1959.
In the past, the Bryans raised dairy and beef cattle, hogs, sheep, horses and chickens as well as many of same crops as Paul’s grandfather. Paul and Peggy continue to cultivate a garden and freeze, can the produce as well as sell some of their surplus. Their nephew, Earl Bryan, leases and cultivates soybeans and corn on most of the acreage continuing the family’s farming traditions of nearly 120 years.
Wanda Lou Hannah
Jack N. Thomas
The production and sale of distilled spirits were
important sources of supplementary income to many Century Farms. Alcohol
consumption among all segments of the population was common during the
nineteenth century and many families, such as the Farrar family, operated
distilleries to take advantage of the local demands for ale, whiskey and
brandy. The Thomas Farm, located about eleven miles north of
Laura Farrar, the founders’ daughter, and her husband J. D. Thomas acquired the farm in 1928. They added goats to the farm’s products and donated money for the construction of an elementary and junior high school. In 1939, Leland Thomas and his wife Adeline inherited the family land. Throughout their ownership, their commodities included wheat, corn, soybeans, small grains and livestock. The current owners of the farm are Wanda Lou Hannah and Jack N. Thomas.
The old Farrar Distillery works have been placed in the National Register of Historic Places. A nineteenth century barn built by Alexander Farrar is also intact and is used for storage.