The Anderson Farm is located on Dennis Loop in the
Richwoods Community, about 8 miles west of
Walter L. Anderson, one of Lorenzo’s three sons, inherited the farm. He raised similar crops, adding soybeans to the mix. The farm survived the flood of 1937 but the old log barns, smoke houses and other outbuildings were destroyed. The house was damaged but not destroyed.
Walter Anderson passed the farm to his only child, William Thomas Anderson. The family moved to his only child, William Thomas Anderson. The family moved from the farm in 1949 and the homeplace burned about 1955. Active family participating in the everyday operation of the farm ended about 1965.
Ownership of the farm passed in 1974 to William Anderson’s widow, Clara B. Anderson of Lexington, and their children, Bill Anderson of Dresden, Patsy Brooks of Lexington and Walter Anderson of Bolivar. Bill Anderson owns the farm today and the farm is rented by Jason Lineberry, who grow soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum and cotton.
Gary W. Austin
Janie Prichard Austin
Lois Weaver Austin
William Larkin Austin bought 92 acres of farmland in Dyer County, south of Newbern, in 1910. He and his family may have been in Dyer County earlier, but records are still being researched by the family. With his wife, Georgan Johnson Austin, and their nine children, the Larkin Austin family raised cotton, corn, hay, cattle and swine. Though Larkin Austin was unable to read or write, he was a smart and successful farmer. He had an excellent reputation as a livestock trader, and the family recalls that he had only to look at a load of livestock to accurately determine the number in the herd and its value. The couple’s home was the first one in the community with indoor plumbing, and although Larkin bought the first automobile in the community, he never drove it much because he had difficult changing gears.
James Franklin Austin, known to all as “Babe”, was a son of Larkin and Georgan Austin. He bought a farm south of the home place in the 1920s and he and his wife, Elsie Lucas Austin, built a house and barn there. Their children were Wayne Larkin and Gerald Don. After the death of Larkin in 1923 and Georgan in 1932, the remaining 60 acres was divided among their nine children. Babe acquired the parcels from his siblings and raised cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay and cattle. By 1945, Babe owned 268 acres of land in Dyer County.
In 1959, Wayne Larkin Austin bought a 25-acre tract of the family farm. Like his father, Babe, he raised cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay and cattle. Wayne married Lois Weaver, and their children are Gary Wayne, Philip Glen , and Donna Duncan.
In 1992, Gary Wayne Austin acquired the Austin Farm. On 136 acres, he raises cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay, milo, pigs, and cattle. He is married to Janie Prichard Austin, and they live on the farm along with his mother, Lois.Photo: Barn built by Babe Austin
Will Tom Bell
T.W. Jones gave his daughter, Betty Elizabeth, a 100+ acre farm in Dyer County, in 1877. Betty’s spouse was W.T. Walker, and they were the parents of six children. Thomas Walker inherited the farm in 1888 when his mother died. In addition to raising corn, cotton and livestock, Thomas or “Mr. Tommy” was one of the first dairymen in Dyer County and brought in Holsteins to mix with his Jerseys. He was noted as breeding and raising horses by 1900 as was R. A. Bell, also of Dyer County and an ancestor of the current owner. Married to Jimmie Olive Coffman, they were the parents of four children. Walker owned and worked the farm for nearly 80 years until his death in 1966. He left the farm to his daughter, Annie Louise Walker. She never married and, though she owned the farm for the next 35 years, Tom Bell rented and worked the farm during those years. At her death in 2002, Annie Louise left the farm to two of her nephews, Tommy and Larry Walker.
Tom Bell, a great grandson of Betty and W. T. Walker, purchased the farm from Tommy and Larry Walker in 2002. Tom is married to Helen Cherry Bell, and they are the parents of two children, Sandy Bell Baker and W. Tom Bell. Three generations of the family live on the farm today, raising corn, cotton, and cattle. Since 1959, the family has hosted school groups from the county and city systems. The students tour the farm, visit a variety of animals, including llamas, learn about crops, and take a hay ride on a trailer pulled by a restored John Deere tractor. Tom and Helen continue this agricultural education outreach program with the assistance of their daughter Sandy, assistant superintendent of the Dyersburg City Schools, and her children, Ashley and Todd. Tom Bell is also the owner of the Tom Bell Century Farm established by R. A. Bell in 1906.
Sandra Hall Arnold
In 1894, Jasper J. Baker acquired over 200 acres from his father
Issac Newton Baker. The Baker family has a long history in the county and is
credited, along with the M. M. Warren family, with founding the community of
Warren Town, the forerunner of Tigrett. Jasper and his wife Jane Pennington Baker had
two children, James Drury Baker and Jasper Newton Baker. The family grew cotton, corn and wheat and
raised Black Angus cattle,
The next owner of the land was James
Drury Baker who obtained the property in 1898. James married Loujean Hassell
Baker and they were the parents of five
children. Their names were Eudora Baker
Young, Georgia Baker Chambers, James Thomas Baker, Issac Hassell Baker and
Allie Maie Baker Pigue. The farm produced cotton, corn, wheat, cattle, hogs,
chickens, mules and horses. Known for
her well-ordered household, Loujean even
raked the chicken yard almost daily.
About 1911, the railroad was constructed through the Baker and Warren
land and at this time, the name of the town was changed to Tigrett in honor of
Mr. I. B. Tigrett of
The third generation to own the farm was Eudora Baker Young. Eudora’s husband, Warner Eugene Young, owned
and operated an automobile repair shop/Mobile gasoline station on a small
corner of the property. In addition, he served as the community blacksmith with
his smithy facilities located inside the automobile repair business. The large
blacksmith’s fire pit was the site of numerous community fish fries.
Eudora and Warner had five children --Jo Young Hall, Elizabeth Young Farmer, Wana Baker Young, Patty Joy Young (who did not live to adulthood), and Nancy Coleen Young Claybrook. The farm eventually passed to the four surviving siblings.
Today, the land is owned by the great, great granddaughter of the founder, Sandra Hall Arnold. She and her husband, John Richard Arnold have two children, Melissa JoNell Arnold Nichols and John Richard Arnold, Jr. Currently, the farm is worked by Thomas Rice, a successful local farmer, who mainly raises cotton. Recently, Rice began negotiating with Ducks Unlimited regarding a wetlands project whereby the land could be drained and farmed during the spring and summer months and restored to wetlands during the autumn and winter months. Sandra Hall Arnold is also the owner, along with Melissa Arnold Nichols and John Richard Arnold, Jr. of the Dowland-Hall Century Farm, a 150 acre farm of which 20 acres is from the original 1890 farm. She is among a very fortunate but few Tennesseans who own Century Farms from both their maternal and paternal families. Mrs. Arnold has researched family and community history and comments, “I am so blessed and eternally grateful to my ancestors for their hard work and their wisdom in ‘holding on to the land.’”
Cleve Edward Burks, III
James Dent Burks
Linda Drake Burks
Burks Farm was founded by Seaton B. Burks and his wife Minnie Ann Chambers
Burks in 1901. Located four miles
son Cleve Edward Burks was the next generation to own the land. Cleve along
with his wife Beulah Hendren Burks and their child Cleve Edward Burks, Jr.
cultivated many of the same crops and livestock that the founder had done with
the addition of soybeans. Like many farms in
In 1990, the great grandchildren of the founder, Cleve Edward Burks, III, James Dent Burks and Linda Drake Burks became the owners of the farm. Today, the farm produces corn, soybeans and timber. The only remaining building that was constructed in the nineteenth century is a 12 ft x 14 ft hand hewn log building with an 8 ft. shed area on three sides. The log building is used to store turning plows and other old farming equipment that Cleve has collected over the years.
Photo: A log building with plows and other farm equipment on the Burks Farm.
Burney C. Zarecor
Located in both Dyer and Gibson counties, two and a half miles southwest of Yorkville, the Cawthon Farm was established by Dr. James H. and Margaret Patterson Cawthon in 1863. The Cawthons owned a small tract of 50 acres which produced wheat, cotton, corn and cattle. They were the parents of four children. The farm’s second owner was Emmett Cawthon and his wife Callie Whitson. Parents of three children, they owned 254 acres and raised sheep, cotton, wheat, corn and hay.
Emmett Cawthon died in 1904 and nine years later, the farm was divided among his wife and children. Annie Cawthon later acquired much of the family property and in 1974, she willed this land to Burney C. Zarecor, the great grandson of James and Margaret Cawthon. Burney currently supervises the labor of Haywood Thompson, who grows soybeans, wheat and milo on the farm’s 197 acres.
Don W. Childress
In 1906, J. A. Childress and wife Emma Jane purchased 45.5 acres of land from S. K. P. Holland near Bogota. In 1908, they purchased 11 more acres to total 56.5 acres for their farm. With five children, the family raised corn and cotton.
In 1925, the farm passed to Roy Childress. He and his wife, Mary, and their children, Wilburn, Charles, Emma and Don, continued to raise cotton and corn and also added soybeans cows, swine and mules. The family recalls that Roy “purchased the first fire and wind insurance policy meant to cover structures on a farm” from Farm Bureau in the 1940s.
In 1974, Don became the third-generation owner of the farm that has grown to include 116 acres, 56.5 of which are of the original farm. Don and his wife, Judy Bargery Childress, have lived on the farm since 1963. Don was a 4-H All Star in the 1950s and was a member of the livestock judging team that represented Tennessee at the National Livestock Exhibition in Chicago in 1954.
Working the land today are Don and his sons, Wally and Tony Childress, and grandsons Doug Singleteary and Drew Ross. Crops raised on the Childress Farm include cotton, corn, soybeans, cows, and swine.Photo: Barn on Childress Farm with goat in front.
Hamilton Parks Tigrett, Jr.
Just east of the city limits of Newbern on Highway 77, Reverend Hamilton
Parks established the Foxridge farm in 1847. Married twice,
1958, the great grandson of the founder, Hamilton Parks Tigrett, Jr., acquired
the land. As a member of the Dixie Seed Growers and an active member and past
president of the Tennessee Seed Producers, Inc.,
Photo: (top left) The farm house during the 1870s.
Mary Clark Thurmond
The Frost Farm is located in the Bonicard community
The next owner of the farm was Wilson Frost, Jr. He
married Margaret Bryn Frost and they had one child. Wilson and his family
primarily cultivated cotton on the land. In addition to managing the farm,
Mary Stevens Frost Nunn became the third generation to own the farm. She was married to Buckner H. Nunn and they had five children. Their daughter, Hanna Louise Nunn Clark Walker became the next owner and her son, Conway Nunn Clark acquired the farm in 1928.
John E. Gauldin
John Michael Gauldin
Kathy Robertson Gauldin
The Gauldin Farm was founded
by Michael O. B. Gauldin.
According to Goodspeed’s History
of Dyer County, Gauldin, of Irish descent was educated at
The next generation to own the land was their son, John William Gauldin. Married twice, he fathered seven children. Goodspeed’s history of this family also mentions John’s Civil War record. He enlisted in Company F, Twenty-second Tennessee infantry. “He was captured near Gallatin and taken to Louisville where he was held five weeks, then removed to Nashville and eventually was paroled.” Two months later, he joined the cavalry under General Bell and served as provost until the spring of 1864 and then was transferred to the Bull brigade and until the end of the war he was engaged in receiving provisions for the army.
Today the property is owned by the founders’ great, great grandchildren, John E. Gauldin, John Michael Gaulding and Kathy Gauldin Robertson. Currently, the land is worked by Tom Davis and Glen Davis who grow cotton, corn, wheat and beans on the farm.
Billy C. Ray
Located about seven miles east of
John Arch Hastings, a son of the founders, wed Mary Bell Cooper and they had six children. Under this second generation, the cotton, corn, milo, wheat, soybeans, cattle, pigs and goats were products. After John passed away in 1934, Alta Hastings Ray and her husband Sidney moved into the house to take care of her mother. Eventually, Alta and Sidney became the owners of the property.
Billy Cooper Ray, the son of Alta
and Sidney, became the owner of the farm in 1982. Billy and his wife Charlotte Cook Ray are the
parents of three grown sons. Mr. and
Mrs. Ray live on the property and he manages the operation that produces wheat,
corn and soybeans. A number of buildings
remain from earlier decades on this farm that celebrates its 125th
anniversary this year. The
James Thomas Hendren
Located three miles west of
Under Dent’s ownership, the farm produced cotton, corn, hay, sorghum and a wide variety of fruits. In addition, they raised cattle, horses, swine, chickens, guineas, and goats. He and his wife Sarah Jane Bishop Hendren had five children. In 1936, Dent retired from farming and his son Robert (Bob) Hendren took over managing the farm.
Robert along with his wife Matt Etta Spraggins Hendren continued to raise the same crops and livestock that the previous owners had done with the addition of soybeans and watermelons. In 1941, the farm experience another change when the farm acquired electricity.
In 1949, the great grandson of the founder, James Thomas Hendren became the owner of the property. Over the next twenty years, the farm saw more improvements with the introduction of the first tractor in 1950, the purchase of a mechanical cotton-picker in 1957, being added to the county water system in 1968 and having the road asphalted along the south side of the farm.
Today, James Thomas Hendren continues to mange the farm and cultivates soybeans, corn and cotton.
The history of the Huffstutter Farm details the
crucial contributions of the
James Shelby Moore and his spouse Lela Hill were the
farm’s second generation owners. James possessed 37.5 acres and harvested crops
of corn, wheat, hay, cotton and beans. He also managed herds of livestock.
Lela, in many ways, was a typical
In 1969, Mary Huffstutter inherited her grandparents’ 37.5 acres. She currently manages a total of 224 acres. Steve Dodd works the property and plants corn, beans, cotton and wheat.
Established by Samuel B. and Leenora Powell Bradshaw
in 1874, the Hurley Century Farm is seven miles east of
In 1907, Bettie Bradshaw Hurley and her husband M. P.
Hurley received title to 70 acres of the Bradshaw farm. They plowed up the
tobacco patch and decided to raise only cotton and foodstuffs. Don E. Hurley,
the founders’ great grandson, acquired 65 acres of the original farm in 1937.
Eventually owning 170 acres, Don managed the property for four decades. In
1976, his commodities were wheat, corn, beans, hay, cotton and
Jones Hill Farm
Virginia A. Anderson
Located two miles east of
Isaac Wesley Jones, son of Samuel
and Mary, acquired the land in 1896. Married first to Florence Jane Sawyer and
then to Maidie Ferguson, he fathered fourteen children. In addition to managing the farm on which
cattle, hogs, mules, corn, cotton, and wheat were raised, Isaac owned land in
The farm passed through several generations and today it is owned by the great granddaughter of the founder, Virginia Ann Jones Anderson. Currently, Ann, her husband Eddie and their son Jonathan manage the farm and raise wheat, soybeans, grain, sorghum and corn.
Light House Farm
In 1880, Joel died and left the land to his wife and
children. They managed the farm until the middle of the twentieth century when
Joel P. Tipton, the grandson of the founders, purchased the land of the
surviving heirs in 1953. “Exceedingly active in the civic, social, and
spiritual life of
Mrs. Florence Tipton Schultz inherited the farm from her parents in 1970. She still lives in the family’s dwelling built in 1860. Her husband Marvin B. Schultz works 787 acres and specializes in livestock production.
Beverlee Lucas Weatherly
The Lucas-Weatherly Farm is located six miles
Joe Calvin Lucas, the grandson of the founder, became the third generation to own the farm. Joe married Willie Virginia Gibbons Lucas and they had one daughter. During their ownership, the farm acreage had increased to 252 acres and they raised soybeans, wheat, corn, milo, cotton and cattle.
In 1992, Beverlee K. Lucas Weatherly, the great granddaughter of the founder, became a co-owner of the land with her mother. Today, Beverlee’s husband Ronald D. Weatherly works the land and raises cotton, soybeans, wheat and cattle.
The Miller Farm was founded in 1880 by Thomas Jefferson Miller and
his wife Margaret Catherine Miller. The
farm consisted of 150 acres. The couple had five children and built a farmhouse
on the property in 1900. A son, John
Bell Miller became the next owner of the land. Along with his wife, Kate
Crenshaw Miller and their two children, John Miller raised cotton, corn,
soybeans cattle and pigs. The granddaughter in-law of the founders, Elizabeth
Miller, is the current owner of the land. She acquired 150 acres upon the death
of her husband John Allen Miller in 1999. Mrs. Miller notes that the family
gave land for Miller’s Chapel Church of Christ and for the
Robert Charles Scobey
James T. and Mary Jane Moore purchased approximately
100 acres in 1869 and founded the Scobey farm four miles north of Newbern. The
founders expanded their property to over 127 acres. Of their three children,
Charlie W. Moore inherited 43 acres in 1877. He later bought his brother’s and
sister’s shares. A quite progressive farmer, Charlie raised corn, wheat,
apples, peaches and swine. He also planted ten acres of peonies and annually
shipped flower buds to
Charlie Moore married Mary Cole and they raised five
children. Their children, Eddie Moore, Mrs. Elzie Moore Pointer and Mrs. Alice
Moore Scobey, acquired 128 acres of the farm in the 1940s. Corn, cotton, beans,
cattle and swine were their agricultural commodities. In the late 1960s, the
Thomas P. Smith
In July of 1852, Simon Peter Hawkins and his wife
Isabella Taylor Hawkins established a 100 acre farm that was located three
miles west of Friendship,
J. W. and Harriett had 10 children and they raised the
same types of crops and livestock as the founder. In 1892, J. W. and Harriett
donated one acre of their farm land for the construction of
By the early 1900s, the Smiths had built a house around
the log cabin. In 1924, the son of J.W. and
Harriett, Russell Smith and his spouse Rebecca P. Smith acquired the land.
Under their ownership, the farm produced cotton, alfalfa, corn, soybeans, dairy
and beef cattle, hogs, poultry and a vegetable garden. During World War II,
Russell served in the U.S. Navy. After he returned, he found that the farm was
badly eroded and he began a conservation program by building 10,670 feet of
terracing and practicing crop rotation. As a result of consolidation of
James W. Smith, the great grandson of the founder was the next owner and her and his wife Virginia Prichard Smith raised the same crops and livestock as the previous owner. They had four children and their son, Thomas P. Smith became the owner of the farm in 1984. Today, Thomas continues the farming tradition by raising cotton, alfalfa, corn, wheat, soybeans, beef cattle and feeder pigs.
Sudbury Acres Farm is approximately twelve miles
In 1971, Helen Sudbury O’Kelly obtained Sudbury Acres Farm. She supervises the work of Lynn Burnett, who grows cotton, soybeans and milo on the property’s 80 acres.
Charlotte Putnam Sweatt
The oldest Century Farm in
In 1904, James Hugh Jones inherited 730 acres. Jones, who
eventually developed a farm of 1,200 acres, was among
Charles Edward Sweatt, Jr., acquired a portion of the farm in 1972. In 2000, Charles Edward Sweatt passed away and his wife Charlotte Putnam Sweatt became the new owner of the farm.
Photo: Today, the Sweatt Farm proudly displays their Century Farm signs. The first sign was given when the farm was 100 years old and the second sign was given when the farm turned 150 years old.
Three Moore Acres Farm
Robert William Moore
Located southwest of
Tom Bell Farm
The Tom Bell Farm, located eight miles southeast of
Bettye and Kathyrn moved to
In 1963, the four siblings became
the owners of the farm, but Malcolm eventually became the sole owner of the
property. Malcolm wed Louella White and they had four children. Under his
ownership, the farm produced Holstein and
In 1993, Tom Bell acquired one-half
of the family farm and in 2002 he obtained the other half. The Bells raised
Tom and his wife Helen Claire Cherry
Bell including Sandy and Joe Baker and their two children, Ashley Claire and
Bradley Todd and Tom Bell II and his wife Stacy Naifeh and their sons Jacob and
Ethan continue the tradition of enjoying the
family farm and contributing to the community.
Photo (Top): Malcolm Bell with the first Holstein Cattle introduced to the farm in the 1940s.
Photo (Bottom): A tractor and other farm equipment on the Tom Bell Farm.
Kenneth R. Webster
The Webster Farm was established in 1887 when James Martin Webster
acquired eighty-two acres of land near the town of
After James Martin passed away, his son, James Carson “Burley” Webster received 1/3 of the acres and eventually purchased the remaining land from the other heirs. James wed Effie Elizabeth Bills and they had four children --James Comer, Maie Fair, David Franklin and Edith Augusta. Burley Webster purchased additional acreage and the farm increased to 317 acres. The family reports that they were part of a 13 family neighbor “Beef Club” that provided beef to all of the families. Each neighbor would bring cattle to the Webster Farm to process and divide the meat among the families. Effie Webster made soap, quilts, sewed clothes and washed them with a gasoline powered machine. In addition to his farm work, Burley served as the Dyer County Court Magistrate for District 1 for twenty-two years. He also was active in the Dyer County Farm Bureau. He died in June of 1947 and his widow continued to live on the farm until 1978.
The third generation to own the
property was Franklin Webster. He
purchased some of the property from his parents in 1941 and eventually obtained
more of the acreage over the years. Franklin and his wife Virginia raised cotton,
corn, soybeans, hay, pasture grasses, milo, cattle, hogs and chickens. In
addition to helping with the livestock and crops,
Kenneth and Donald Webster, sons of Franklin and Virginia inherited tracts in 2006 following their mother’s death. Don, married first to Alice Faye Smith, is the father of Brad and Bart Webster. With his second wife, Julia Wilson Johnson, he gained two stepdaughters, Robin and Kara. Don worked at the Bank of Friendship and retired as its president. Bart Webster lives in his grandmother’s house.
Kenny and his wife Martha Bivens
built their home on the farm in 1967-68.
They are the parents of Lori Leigh and Beth Alison. Kenny was a science teacher for thirty-nine
years, most of which were spent at
Today, Kenny Webster manages the farm, and a neighbor works about 65 acres of cotton. Kenny, however, takes care of the seventy-four acres that are in the Conservation Reserve program. He constructed a mile long nature trail through the Conservation Reserve area and invites church, school and scout groups to walk the trail.
Photo: A view of the pond and walking trail on the Webster Farm.
James V. Wells
John L. Wells, III
After owning the farm for 44 years, John Lucas Sr. died in 1954, leaving the 87.6 acres to his son, John Lucas Wells, Jr. No longer raising livestock on the farm, John Jr. raised cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat. He and his wife Mary Ruth had two sons, John L. III and James V. Wells.
In 2007, at the death of Mary Ruth, both John and James received 40 acres of the family farm. Bill Bivens manages the farm today and raises wheat, soybeans, and corn. While his brother John resides in Missouri, James V. and his wife Mary Kay make their home on the family farm.