Alban Hills Farm
William & Margaret Gaut
Alban Hills Farm is a physical reminder that many early
Ann and John Good’s daughter Elizabeth Good Simpson and her husband Zadock Simpson inherited the property in 1875 and 32 years later, William Bachman Simpson took over the farm upon his father’s death.
Alban Hills’ current owner is Margaret Simpson Gaut, who
acquired approximately 106 acres of the farm in 1956. Margaret is the founder’s
great great granddaughter. She and her husband William King Gaut now own 216
acres devoted to corn, hay, tobacco and beef cattle production. Mrs. Simpson
points out that the name Alban Hills comes “from the name of the home of
William Ross immigrated from
The third generation owner was William Ross, the founders’ grandson. The property passed through the hands of two more generations before William Charles Ross became the sixth generation owner of the family farm. He and his wife, Ethel Reed, were the parents of four children. Betty Ross and her husband William Anderson acquired all of the original farm in 1959. Mrs. Anderson, who retains ownership of the farm today is the great-great-great-granddaughter of John and Rebecca Carter Ross. She advises that “she and her two sons try to take good care of the farm which produces corn, hay, and cattle.”
Closely associated with the settlement and development of
Warrensburg is the Ayers Century Farm, established by Samuel O. and Hannah
Bewley Ayers in 1815 on land located eighteen miles west of
In 1859, the founders’ daughter Martha Ayers Hawkins and
her husband Dr. Joseph Hawkins acquired the farm and 35 years later, the land
became the property of Belle Hawkins Bible and her husband Joseph Bible. But in
1884 and 1890, James C. Ayers, the founders’ son, purchased land from his niece
Belle Bible and his nephew Samuel Ayers. James thus became the sole owner of
the Ayers family land. He managed a diversified farm and his property was the
site of the Warrensburg school (1877) which became the local high school in
1913. James and his wife Mary Jones Ayers also sold land for the construction
B. Williams Farm
Bonnie Hulse Williams
The Williams Farm dates to 1866, when William H. Hunter acquired 60 acres of land located five miles northeast of Greeneville. William and his wife Josephine later purchased 143 additional acres and operated a farm known for its production of tobacco, corn, wheat and cattle. The Hunters also owned “a sawmill located on the creek beside (their) house.”
The Hunter’s adopted daughter Georgia Hunter Williams acquired the property in 1904. Georgia and her spouse Nat M. Williams were both farmers and merchants. Their general store was also the location of the community post office.
The current owner is Bonnie Hulse Williams, the wife of the founders’ grandson, M. Taylor Williams. As of 1976, Jimmy Williams worked the farm’s 125 acres for his mother, producing tobacco, beef cattle, hay and corn.
Thomas & Ethel Bailey
Dating to 1788, the Bailey
Farm is located one mile west of Baileyton in
Thomas Porter Bailey, the son of George Benson Bailey, retained ownership of the farm along with his wife, Ethel Beattie Bailey until it was passed to their surviving daughters, Patricia Bailey Fornash and Connie Bailey Waespe, upon the death of Ethel in 2007. Their late sister, Margaret Chivers and her husband lived on the farm for twenty years before her death, also in 2007.
Patricia Fornash returned to live on the farm in 2006 and manages the property which is farmed for cattle and hay by a neighbor. Patricia notes that her father,Thomas Porter Bailey, worked very hard to preserve the farm for his family, and that she, in turn, “loves the beauty of the farm and its history.”Photo: This barn on the Bailey Farm dates to the 1880s.
Bill and Melissa Baskette
In 1836, William M. Baskette established the Baskette Farm with 303 acres located three miles south of Fall Branch. He wed Patience Bernard, who became the mother of his eight children. Corn, potatoes and buckwheat were the farm’s primary agricultural products.
In his will of 1862, Baskette divided his farm between
the children. George William Baskette, who served in the Union army during the
Civil War, acquired 133 acres. George later served as a
Alfred J. Baskette, the founders’ grandson inherited 110 acres of the property in 1915. Like so many early twentieth century farmers, Alfred added tobacco cultivation to the farming landscape. Alfred, the husband of Nellie Taylor, fathered two children and his son Walter D. Baskette inherited all of the original farm land in 1957. Walter and his son William specialized in tobacco, hay and cattle production. Today, Bill and Melissa Baskette own the farm.
Big Elm Farm
Phillip Cobble founded the Big Elm Farm, located in the 19th District of Greene County, in 1856. On his 347 acres, he practiced general farming and raised livestock. Philip’s son David Cobble inherited half of the farm in 1913 and later in the early twentieth century David’s son James L. Cobble acquired the 173 acres.
In 1929, Atha Cobble, the great great granddaughter of the founder, inherited the land. Today, her husband Thomas A. Cobble and her son Rex A. Cobble work the land, specializing in livestock production. Mrs. Cobble reports that the property retains three nineteenth century buildings-a barn, house and granary-which are still used in the farm’s daily operations.
Bird Haven Farm
Bird Haven Farm, established in 1833 by David Morelock, has an extremely diverse history. The farm was an unique community center where women could make cloth for their families. The owners were not only profitable farmers, but they were also gifted builders who placed their distinctive stamp on the landscape. The farm lies three miles southwest of Baileyton. Morelock and his wife Judah Stacy initially tilled 346 acres, with foodstuffs, cane, cotton, flax and livestock as their primary agricultural products. With the local post office and school situated at the farmstead, Bird Haven Farm was an important community gathering place. Since the family also owned one of the community’s first looms, neighborhood women often visited the house in order to make cloth.
Of David and Judah Morelock’s nine children, their son
Richard Henry Morelock inherited the farm in the 1850s. Besides being a farmer
of foodstuffs, flax, cotton and livestock, Richard was also a carpenter and
built many of the farmhouses and churches in the 11th District of
Greene County. In 1911, his son Thomas Laurence Morelock took possession of the
farm. Thomas and his wife Katherine Elizabeth Patterson managed a distinctly
Thomas and Katherine had two daughters and in 1966, 100 acres of their farm went to Beulah Morelock Fink and her husband Elmer Fink. Beulah is the great granddaughter of the founders and today the Finks manage a farm that produces wheat, corn, tobacco, hay and beef cattle. Both a house and a barn built by Richard Henry Morelock still stand on the property and are used in the Fink’s modern farming operations.
James D. Chandley
Mary Lynn Chandley
When preparing their Century Farm applications some families take the opportunity to compile their family histories and produce publications for their relatives and close friends. These compilations also are valuable to local and state history collections. James Chandley produced “The Boltons of East Tennessee” as he was preparing the Bolton Farm application.
Thomas Jefferson Bolton, a Civil War Union veteran, inherited 110 acres in 1888 after his mother passed away the previous year. The deed was signed by 15 members of his family. The farm is on the Greene and Washington County line, about one mile northeast of Limestone.
Thomas met his wife, Sallie Ann Bolton, while on a horse-buying trip to Virginia. Family tradition relates that when Thomas returned with his bride, his brother, David Franklin, asked him, “if there were any more like that in his wife’s family?” David soon traveled to Virginia and married Sally Ann’s sister, Jenny. The brothers’ families maintained a close relationship as the Bolton Farm and their dairy production grew and prospered.
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Ann were the parents of three children: Uel Garfield, Minnie Deborah (called “Donnie”) and Annie Lee. A six-room, two-story home was built in 1893. The family managed an extensive jersey cattle operation and grew corn, wheat and tobacco and raised chickens.
In 1917, 91 of the 110 acres were transferred to Uel Bolton. He and his wife, Bonnie Cox Bolton, continued to farm, but he added hogs to his livestock. Following the progressive farming methods of the early 20th century, the Bolton family installed automated gas-powered milking systems. The concrete floor laid in the dairy barn was one of the first in the area.
Uel sold eggs, milk and butter as far away as Knoxville, distributing them via the local train network, and also to the Sugar Creek Creamery and local customers. His mother, Sally Ann, churned enough of the Boltons’ butter to warrant a stamp that read “Fresh Dairy Butter made by Mrs. T. J. Bolton.”
While serving as Washington County judge, today’s equivalent to county mayor, Uel died in 1938. Mary Ruth, the couple’s daughter, her husband, Rex William Brockwell, and Bonnie continued to work the farm with the help of tenant farmers.
In 1958, Rex and Mary Ruth Bolton Brockwell acquired Bolton Farm. No longer operating the dairy, they began to concentrate on growing corn, wheat, tobacco, hogs and chickens with much of the work done by tenant farmers and sharecroppers. Mary Ruth was born in 1912 in the house her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Bolton, built, and lived there her entire life. With her passing in 2007, her daughter, Mary Lynn, and Mary Lyons husband, James D. Chandley, came to own 85 of the original acres. With the help of their son, Charles Randall, the Chandleys raised tobacco until 2004 and now concentrate on corn, tobacco and 80 to 100 head of beef cattle. Mr. Chandley’s history of the family and the farm contains a superb collection of family and farm photographs and information that will be appreciated by the family and the community of Limestone for generations.
Daniel and Charlotte Burgner
Located 7 miles south of Greeneville on the
Herman acquired the farm in 1934 and with his wife Goldene Fillers Burgner continued the diverse farm operation. Tobacco continued to be raised as the main cash crop and in 1957, the Burgners began a Grade A Dairy operation milking around 100 cows and selling to the Pet Milk Company in Greeneville. The grandson of the founder is Daniel E. Burgner acquired the property in 1996. He and his wife Charlotte and one of their four children, Beth, live on the farm today. The farm supports 13 cares of wine grapes, 15 acres of alfalfa, and 78 acres of native grass for fee-hunting and horse hay. A log house believed to have built in the early 1800’s still stands on the land today. Herman Burgner was born in the house and it continued to be the family dwelling until 1912. Since then it has serves as a tobacco barn and granary. The historic Burgner family farm is also recognized by the Greene County Historical Society.
William Dickson Williams
Beverly Lyle Williams
Established by William Dickson in 1824, College Farm is
3.5 miles south of Greeneville. Initially the owner of 296 acres, Dickson in
time farmed a total of 940 acres which yielded corn, wheat, sheep and cattle.
He is best known in
Thomas Lanier Williams, the founder’s grandson, took possession of about 1000 acres of the family farm in 1870. Thomas followed the farming practices of his father and grandfather and in 1911, he divided the farm among his four children. William Dickson Williams inherited 174 acres and added the cultivation of tobacco to the agricultural operations. Married to Martha A. Naff, William fathered two children, Beverly and Lida.
Beverly R. Williams inherited 124 acres from his father
in 1936. In addition to raising tobacco,
The Coulston Farm, which dates to 1803, is fourteen miles
Established by John Crum in 1872, the Crum Farm initially consisted of 100 acres, located four miles south of Greeneville. John, his wife Barbara Ann and their six children grew wheat and corn on their land. In the early 1900s, W. W. Crum purchased most of the family land from his parents. Together with his wife Ota and their son and daughter, Crum managed a small but prosperous place with tobacco as the primary cash crop.
Edmond Doyle Crum, the founders’ grandson, bought 62 acres of his uncle F. E. Crum’s land in 1948 and 13 years later he inherited 32 acres of the original family farm from his father. As of 1976, Doyle and his wife Anna Mae managed the property while Lyle Fortner rented and worked the land.
Lyle B. Doty
Nancy Doty Duckworth
The Doty Farm was founded by Azariah Doty of New Jersey in 1783, the same year that Greene County was created by the state of North Carolina. A veteran of the Revolutionary War, Doty served under the famous General Francis Marion, also known as the “Swamp Fox.” Azariah married Sarah Tucker and they raised nine children in the forbidding environment of the frontier. The family grew foodstuffs and managed a small livestock herd on their 200 acres of land.
Ephriam Doty inherited the entire farm from his parents in 1851. Married to Sarah Cooper, he fathered four children and his son William Cooper Doty acquired the land in 1889. Throughout the nineteenth century, the farm’s agricultural products remained much the same. Not until the great-grandson William Douglas Bruner Doty inherited the land at the turn of the century (1892) did common East Tennessee crops such as sheep and tobacco become part of the farm’s operations.
William D. B. Doty and his spouse Ruth Ann Kilday were the parents of five children. Their son Samuel Willard Doty became the fifth generation owner in 1926. He and Minnie Babb Doty were the parents of Carl Willard Doty and Lyle Babb Doty. Carl died in 1968. Lyle and his wife Charlotte and their nephew, John Douglas Doty, continued the family farming traditions through the remainder of the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Lyle Doty died in 2008 and John died in 2009. Today the acreage is owned by Charlotte and by John’s heirs.
Land for the Doty’s Chapel Church & Cemetery were given by the Doty Family and there are now seven generations of Doty’s buried in the cemetery overlooking the Doty Farm.
Mary Anna Smith Pirozzoli
In the 1810s and 1820s, Jacob Easterly purchased several
tracts of land from different family members and soon managed his father’s
original 1100 acres. Jacob was an agricultural innovator and in the mid-1830s,
he planted mulberry trees and began to raise silkworms. As a
Jacob Easterly gave 115 acres to his son Abraham’s widow,
Anna Parrott Easterly, in 1842. The next generation owner was Frances Marion
Easterly. The Civil War took place
during his ownership and in
In 1905, Frank Payne Easterly acquired the farmstead and 35 acres of the original family land. Family tradition describes Frank as “a very scientific farmer for his day” and he opened a dairy operation. His daughter Bogle Easterly Smith inherited 100 acres in 1963. She and her husband Earl H. Smith managed the farm for many years producing tobacco, corn, hay and cattle. With the death of Mrs. Smith in 2003, their daughter Mary Anna Smith Pirozzoli inherited the farm. The family has built a horse barn on the property in preparation for boarding horses. Mrs. Pirozzoli reports that she treasures the farm and is keeping it productive.
Claudius & Katherine
Located near the town of
When Henry died in 1809, the 600 acre farm went to his
youngest son, Peter Earnest. Throughout the antebellum period, the farm
produced corn, wheat, hay, horses, swine and cattle and proved to be quite
successful. Then in 1856, Peter organized the “Earnestville Bridge Company,
selling stock at $25.00 per share, to build a toll bridge for crossing the
Peter married Ruth Fain and they raised twelve children and their son, Benjamin Franklin Earnest, inherited the entire farm in 1862. Benjamin’s wife was Mary Rhea and they had two boys and one girl. The Civil War brought a brief boom to the farm’s fortunes because Benjamin was able to sell flour to both armies. After the Civil War, Benjamin did not follow his neighbors’ lead into the tobacco industry on a commercial scale, instead he continued the family’s farming tradition of diversifying crops and livestock.
Nicholas Peter Earnest, the founder’s great grandson,
inherited the farm’s 600 acres in 1887. According to the family, Nicholas “was
an outstanding church and civic leader,” serving as a director of the Greene
County Bank for more than 50 years and as president of the East Tennessee
Farmer’s Association. The family also owned and operated businesses in Chuckey.
As a farmer, Nicholas and his wife Eliza Doggett moved the farm into the modern
age of agriculture, cultivating tobacco and operating a dairy. As a result, the
agricultural program at the
Upon Nicholas’ death in 1956, the property passed into
the hands of his six children. Over the next few years, Katherine Earnest
Clemmer and her husband Claudius bought most of the land and focused solely on
developing a registered
Farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, retains much of its
nineteenth century farming landscape with its 1831 two story brick house, a
rare 1784-1789 three log blockhouse still in use, a smokehouse, and the
Photo (Top Left): A view of the Elmwood Farm house.
Photo (Top Right): A rare three log blockhouse on the Elmwood Farm.
Jennie King Coffman
Dating to the antebellum era, the Fermanagh-Ross Farm is five miles northeast of Greeneville. William Ross, II, originally owned 300 acres on which he grew corn, wheat, oats and tobacco and bred cattle and horses. He and his family also operated a water mill. According to the family, “the home was a favorite meeting place for women and children during the Civil War. Provisions were kept in a special room underground (which) provided food and shelter for many days.”
William was married twice and fathered eight children. In 1870, William Ross, III, inherited eighteen acres of the farm and on this small plot of land he and his wife Rebecca Anderson raised a few head of cattle and cultivated tobacco. The founder’s grandson Vincent Eliot Ross inherited the land about 1893, but upon his death four years later his widow Mary Elizabeth Mays divided the property among their seven children.
Jennie King Coffman, the great great granddaughter of the
founder, inherited the original farmhouse along with seventeen acres of land in
1969. She and her husband Leonard A. Coffman, who is a graduate of the
The Fermanagh-Ross Farm is notable for its collection of early antebellum buildings. The family has recently restored the original 1820 brick home and a hand-hewn log corn crib and slave kitchen are still in use.
Photo: A view of the Fermanagh-Ross Farm and its buildings.
Five Springs Farm
Marion Don Campbell & Billie Rich Campbell
James C. and Elizabeth Longmire Campbell established Five
Springs Farm, located on the
In 1913, Charlie R. Campbell acquired 54 acres of his parents’ farm and later purchased 56 additional acres from his sister Vertie. Charlie introduced tobacco to the farm’s operations while continuing to cultivate foodstuffs and livestock. Charlie and his wife Mae Smith willed the land to their son Marion D. Campbell in 1957.
Today, Marion, his wife Billie and their son Charles grow corn, hay and tobacco and raise cattle. The property also features a log barn and log house which date to the decade of the farm’s founding.
Graveyard Hill Farm
Willis “Billy” Morelock
Lisa Morelock Gosnell
The third generation to own the farm was Alexander Brabson Walker, the great nephew of the founder. Prior to owning the property, Alexander was a Confederate soldier and part of the Company B-Tennessee 12th Cavalry Battalion. This company was raised from men in Hawkins, Greene, Knox, Hamblen and Grainger counties. The unit was assigned to Wharton’s, J. J. Morrison’s, H.B. Davidson’s, Grigsby’s and Vaughn’s Brigade. Alexander and his wife Rachel Elizabeth Morelock had five children.
The farm passed through several
generations and in 1962, the current owner, Willis “Billy” Morelock, the great,
great, great, great nephew of the founder, obtained the property. The current generation of the Morelock family
has been active in many community and regional organizations. Billy is married to Jeanette Luttrell and
they have two daughters, Lisa M. Gosnell and Ginger M. Frembling, who were active in 4-H and other
organizations when growing up on the farm.
Lisa, who owns the farm along with her parents, is currently employed by the Northeast
Tourism Association and is also a genealogist.
Among other activities, she and her husband David are members of the
Washington County Farm Bureau. Ginger
is a former 4-H Extension Agent in
Photo: Family members and friends working on the farm.
The 14th District of Greene County is home to the Hayes Farm. James and Elizabeth Longmire Campbell acquired 172 acres and established the farm in 1870. They practiced general farming and raised livestock. Although there is no evidence to suggest that the Campbells themselves were Quakers, their farm was part of an early Quaker settlement in Tennessee.
In 1913, William Campbell, the founders’ son, acquired 48 acres of the property to which he and his wife Elizabeth Marshall added 30 acres. The second generation owners specialized in livestock production.
Mrs. Dema Campbell Hayes is the third generation owner of the family farm. Dema’s son Conrad Hayes works and owns the land today.
Ralph and Davy Anne Charles
John and Elizabeth Pickle Bible established the Hilldale
Farm, which dates to 1830, on 158 acres located 15.5 miles west of
The fourth generation owner was David Thomas Jones and he
owned and operated the farm until 1970. According to family records, David was
the owner of one of
In 1970, David and Verna Scruggs’ five daughters inherited the family land. The Jones sisters are the great great great granddaughters of the founders. Today Davy Anne and Ralph Charles work the land, producing corn, tobacco and beef cattle, but all of the sisters “actively oversee the operations” at Hilldale Farm.
Horse Creek Farm
Tim and Nedra Armstrong
Jacob Broyles, a
descendent of German and French immigrants who moved to the eastern part of
According to reports, Cherokees are said to have kidnapped
Jacob and his wife, Elizabeth Yowell, had seven children: Lewis, Delilah, Jeremiah, James, Keziah, John and Ezekial. As with most farm families, the Broyles were as self-sufficient as possible, raising a variety of livestock and crops, including cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, oats, barley and corn.
In 1794, still two years before
The farm passed through several
generations, and in 1989, the great-great- great-great-great-grandson of the
founder, Tim Armstrong, acquired the land. Tim and his wife Nedra are the
parents of Scott and Brandy. Tim and Scott work the land and raise corn silage,
rye, orchard grass as well as registered Guernsey and
The family has been active in the community over the years. Tim
served as a director on Farm Bureau Board in
Nedra was in the 4-H and all of the family has shown registered
Jerseys and Guernseys throughout the state and in national shows in
J. B. Woolsey Farm
In 1824, Isreal Woolsey began the Woolsey farm, acquiring 350 acres of land located seventeen miles north of Greeneville. While raising the region’s typical crops and livestock, Isreal also managed a grist mill and blacksmith shop. His son James inherited the farm in 1870 and practiced the same vocations as his father.
Little in the farm’s history changed until 1953 when J. B. Woolsey, Jr, the founder’s great great great grandson acquired 83 acres of the original farm. J. B. and his wife Emma Ruth have since purchased an additional 1,057 acres of land. They raise beef cattle and corn, cultivate tobacco and operate a dairy. They are proud of their family land and Emma has stated emphatically that “we plan for it never to be sold.”
Jack Murray Farm
George and Sallie Murray founded this Century Farm in
1829, with 100 acres located five miles west of Mohawk. The
Valentine married Sallie Davis Murray and they raised five children and their son Elmer acquired 203 acres of the original property in 1907. Elmer modernized the farm’s operations, purchasing its first tractors, constructing a cattle barn, a silo, a tobacco barn and two tenant houses and dredging the creek that watered his land. He and his wife Lillie Wright Murray also provided a home for several orphans and provided lodging for teachers from the local schools.
Lucille Speares Carter
The strength and courage of
Benjamin J. Farnsworth, inheriting the family farm from
his mother in 1878, added the cultivation of tobacco to the farming landscape.
He and his wife Jeanetta Walker had only one daughter, Fannie, who acquired the
property in 1936. Fannie married William F. Russell and they raised a large
family of twelve children. Like the early generations who have lived at
Jenny-Ben Farm, the Russells practiced general farming and grew tobacco.
In 1940, Gov. Prentice Cooper awarded the Russells a certificate from the
Tennessee Home Food Supply Program for having grown at least 75% or more of the
food necessary for the family and livestock.
In 1940, Gov. Prentice Cooper awarded the Russells a certificate from the Tennessee Home Food Supply Program for having grown at least 75% or more of the food necessary for the family and livestock.
In 1950, Martha Russell Speares, daughter of William and Fannie Russell and the founders' great granddaughter, inherited 150 acres of the original family land. She and her husband, Frank G. Speares, grew corn, oats, wheat and tobacco while raising a small herd of beef cattle. Their daughter, Lucille Speares Carter, acquired the farm in 2004. Hay and pasture are the primary crops and the land is leased for cattle as well. The farmhouse, built around an 1848 core, remains. Mrs. Carter advises that her daughters, Natalie and Rachel, plan to keep the farm in the family for her three grandchildren.
Kenneth Rhea Family Farm
Kenneth Caroll Rhea
Bertram P. Rhea
Roger D. Rhea
Just 100 years ago in March of 1909, a farm of 109 acres was established by Frank and Martha Rhea northeast of Greeneville along Sinking Creek. With their six children the Rheas grew corn, small grains, tobacco, hay and pasture. In addition, they raised beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, mules and sheep. It was a milestone for the family when they purchased their first tractor in 1925.
The second generation owners were Kenneth D. Rhea and his wife Bertram who acquired the farm in 1955. During the fifty years of their ownership, Kenneth and Bertram purchased adjacent land, increasing the overall acreage to 136 acres. Various crops and livestock continued to be produced with the important addition of Registered Jersey dairy cattle and Angus beef cattle. Following her husband’s death in 2005, Bertram Rhea continued her ownership of the farm along with their sons and co-owners Roger and Kenneth Caroll Rhea. The family raises hay, pasture and Angus cattle.
Photo: A view of the landscape and registered Jersey cattle owned by the Rhea family from 1950-1980s.
Lee Susong Farm
The Lee Susong Farm is located eight miles south of Greeneville. Established by Nicholas Susong in 1859, the farm was home for Nicholas, his wife Martha Hale and their eight children. In 1883, John F. Susong inherited 80 acres from his parents. Married to Ida Holley, he fathered ten children who provided much of the labor on the farm. The Susongs counted tobacco, corn, wheat and cattle as their most important agricultural products.
Lee Susong, the founder’s grandson, acquired 55 acres of the original farm between 1937 and 1938. He has since purchased 25 additional acres and as of 1976, he raised beef cattle and cultivated tobacco, corn and wheat.
Herman Alexander Saylor
Located along the Plumb Creek branch of Lick Creek, Lindavista Farm dates to 1802 when Godfrey Saylor purchased 1300 acres. The family records that the farm “was in the center of a large flat wooded section of several thousand acres,” which was called the Flatwoods “until well into the twentieth century.”
Joseph and Rebecca Saylor inherited 333 acres of the farm in 1830 and they, in turn, willed the property to their son Thomas Nelson Saylor. The current owner is Herman Alexander Saylor, the founder’s great great grandson, who acquired 100 acres of the homestead between 1917 and 1919. As of 1976, Mr. Saylor devoted his time to livestock farming.
Mardale Acres Farm
Dale Bruce Tucker
Farmers in the twentieth century, such as the Tuckers of Greene
County, often turned to livestock breeding to improve the value of their
animals. The Mardale Acres Farm has been the site of significant breeding
experiments. Located fifteen miles north of Greeneville, the farm dates to
1868. Aulden Tucker, who was a member of the
In 1912, the property passed into the hands of his son and
daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. G. Bruce Tucker. On their 343 acres, Bruce
implemented several modern farming techniques and joined with his neighbors to
import a registered Belgian stallion in order to improve the breeding of native
horses. Tucker was also an organizer for the Farmers’ Co-op in
Married to Mattie Ottinger, Bruce fathered five children and his son Dale B. Tucker inherited 140 acres of the original family land in 1965. As of 1976, the Tuckers managed a total of 365 acres. Corn, wheat, oats, tobacco and dairy foods were the family’s primary commodities.
In 1965, Jack Murray, the founders’ great grandson, acquired 150 acres of the family farm. He still lives in the original farmhouse an his land yields corn, tobacco, hay, small grains and dairy cattle.
Mattie Lou Broyles Snapp Farm
Mattie L. Snapp
Jacob and his wife, Elizabeth Yowell, had seven children: Lewis, Delilah, Jeremiah, James, Keziah, John and Ezekial. As with most farm families, the Broyles were as self-sufficient as possible, raising a variety of livestock and crops, including cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, oats, barley and corn.
In 1794, still two years before
The farm passed through five more
generations and in 1964, the great, great, great, great granddaughter of the
founder, Mattie L. Snapp, acquired 32 acres of the original farm owned by her
ancestor, Jacob Broyles. Today, Wayne
Brown works the land and raises hay and tobacco. This farm is also designated
as a Pioneer Century Farm because it was founded prior to
Photo: View of the barn and landscape of Mattie Lou Broyles Snapp Farm.
Important contributions to progressive agriculture in early twentieth century Greene County mark the history of the McNeese Farm, which is located in the Lost Mountain community, sixteen miles north of Greeneville. Samuel and Margaret McNeese established the farm in 1859. The McNeeses initially produced wheat, corn, sorghum and livestock on their 90 acres. But just a few years later, the Civil War threatened the farm’s promising beginning. Samuel, an Union volunteer, died in a Confederate prison camp and the burden of operating the farm fell upon the shoulders of Margaret and her two children. The McNeeses proved equal to the task and kept the property in operation throughout the difficult years of war and reconstruction.
In 1885 or 1886, Samuel Wiley McNeese acquired the farm
from his mother and continued practicing general farming and livestock
breeding. He took special pride in his large flock of sheep. Married twice, he
had five children and in 1926, he willed the 100 acre farm to his son Guy B.
McNeese. Guy became a leading progressive farmer of
Don McNeese, the great grandson of the founders, acquired the original family farm in 1972. The farm is now owned by Barbara Sutherland whose daughter, Jaime Renee McNeese Skeen whose father is Don McNeese, represents another generation of the McNeese family to be associated with the farm.
Terrill G. Milburn
In the nineteenth century, it is rare that a Century Farm is founded by a woman, but in 1882, Sarah Ann Creamer Milburn purchased a farm of 84 acres in the Milburnton community. Her husband, the Rev. William Elbert Milburn had died in 1877, and Sarah was left to raise their three children, John, George, and Flora. Sarah then sold the farm to her daughter and son-in-law, Flora and F.K. Tadlock, in 1890. When the Tadlocks moved to South Dakota in 1893, she sold the farm to her brother, Dr. John J. Milburn. Dr. Milburn and his wife, Laura Mattie Baskett Milburn, and their twelve children lived on the farm for more than 30 years.
In 1925, Dr. Milburn sold the farm to three of his sons. In time, John Milburn, Jr. bought out his brothers’ shares. He and his wife, Anna, had three children. The oldest, John Paul Milburn, received a farm deferment during World War II to raise vegetable crops which included acres of Irish and sweet potatoes. Paul and his wife, Ruth Baskett Milburn, also ran a small general store in the Pleasant Hill community and continued to operate the farm after Paul’s father’s death. Paul and Ruth had two sons, Terrill and Robert, and the family raised beef cattle, hay, and also tobacco until 1988. Ruth was a fifty-year member of the Pleasant Hill/Jearoldstown Home Demonstration Club, and both she and Paul were members of the West Pines Ruritan.
Terrill, the owner of the farm since 2001, was a member of the North Greene High FFA Club, and maintains the beef cattle and hay operation on the original acreage purchased by his great, great grandmother. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Smith Milburn, are the parents of Craig and Jonathan, who assist with the farm’s operations. Craig, who has a degree in Animal Science from Tennessee Technological University, and his wife, Kim, are the parents of four children who are learning about farming on the acreage that has been in the Milburn family for 131 years.
Photo 1: The farm house that John and Anna Milburn
lived in until their death.
Photo 2: Historic livestock barn on the Milburn Farm, it is currently used to store hay and sort cattle.
Jerry A. Neas
Progressive farming and community and civic involvement are
hallmarks of the Neas family who aptly named their farm for its spectacular
landscape. On February 13, 1906, J. F. (Joseph
Felix) Neas and Vertie Elizabeth Love Neas founded a farm near Greeneville. The
couple’s five children were Curtis, Lawrence Estil, Coy, Haskill and Maggie.
During their ownership, the farm produced corn, tobacco, wheat, oats, beef
cattle and swine. According to the family, Felix was one of several community
members who worked to construct
Lawrence Estil Neas was the second generation to own the farm. He and his wife, Hazel Hadeen Gammon Neas, were the parents of Ernestine and Buford. The farm had many changes during this ownership including the addition of 16.75 acres and the construction of a frame house, two tenant houses and three barns. The family grew wheat, oats, corn, tobacco, vegetables and fruit and raised dairy cattle, chickens and pigs.
In 1951, Ernestine and Buford
divided the land. Ernestine married
Rufus Miller they named their daughter Brenda.
Buford wed Billie Joyce Johnson and they had two children, Sherrian Lynn
and Jerry Allen. During this time, both
farms produced a wide variety of crops and livestock including wheat, oats,
tobacco, corn, cattle, chickens, pigs and vegetables. In addition to managing
the farm, Buford served as an educator and was the first principal of
In 1987, Jerry and his wife Helen
Galyon Neas purchased his aunt’s portion of the farm. Prior to owning the farm, Jerry was an active
member of the FFA at
Jerry’s and Helen’s children, Staci, Brian and Kelli were involved in 4-H and FFA and showed Angus cattle for eight years at local, state, and national competitions. According to the family, they won many division championships and at times Grand Champion at regional competitions. Today, the farm raises hay, small grain, Angus cattle, pigs, vegetables, blueberries and blackberries.
Over the years,
the farm has been recognized for its agricultural contributions in the
community. In March of 1988 the farm was featured in the Greeneville Sun because of its use of fungus free fescue in the
pasture fields. The farm has also been selected as Farmstead of the Month by
the Agriculture Council of the Chamber of Commerce in
Newt and Rettie Matthews Farm
Wilmuth M. Everhart
The Matthews Century Farm documents the link between
transportation and early commercial and industrial development in rural
In 1895, Clayton Matthews inherited half of the farm,
including the farmstead, and the current owner believes that “since the family
was very clannish, Clayton continued the lifestyle” of his father. Five years
later he sold his inheritance to his brother Marshall and his brother’s wife,
Elizabeth Wright Matthews. In 1910, Marshall and Elizabeth deeded 56 acres of
the original farm to their son Newt Matthews and his wife Rettie Shipley
Matthews. Newt and Rettie, like many of their neighbors in the early twentieth
century added tobacco to their farming operations. Their children were quite
successful in school and their son M. Taylor Matthews earned a doctoral degree
Mrs. Wilmuth Matthews Everhart, the great granddaughter of the founders, is the current owner of the Matthews family farm. She rents out the 56 acres of land “for growing hay, oats, wheat, soybeans (and) corn” and lives in the home built by her father at the turn of the century.
Phil Gaby & Sons Farm
Located 3 miles from Baileytown, the Phil Gaby & Sons Farm was established in 1892 by William Cromwell Coffee and Melvina Coffee. On 76 acres, they raised cattle, horses, mules, corn, wheat and hay. William and Melvina had 5 children and their daughter Mary along with her husband P. A. became the next owners of the land. The couple had six children and raised many of the same crops and livestock as the previous owner with the addition of chickens, hogs and turkeys. As time moved on, the farm passed through various generations of the family.
During the 1970s, the farm experienced the effects of development with the construction of Interstate 81 in 1972. The interstate crossed the farm and took 40 acres away.
In 1974, the great grandson of the founder, Phil Gaby acquired the farm. Phil and his sons manage the farm and raise cattle and hogs.
Pin Oak Farm
Barbara W. Carter
Edwin Clay Carter
Established over two hundred years ago is the Pin Oak Farm founded by Benjamin P. Pickering. On 140 acres Benjamin and his wife Rebekah Ellis and their twelve children raised livestock and row crops with tobacco being their primary cash commodity. Pin Oak Farm is one of the few farms in
Barbara A. Belcher
Kenneth Carl Belcher
In 1881, Robert Henry Lauderdale paid $75 for 200 acres on Little Sinking Creek in Greene County. He and his wife, Ellen Hogan, and their five children raised corn tobacco, wheat and cattle. Their son, H. H. Lauderdale, acquired 44 acres of the farm in 1933. With wife Della and their son, W. A., tobacco, Angus cattle, hay and corn were some of the crops and livestock.
According to the family’s records, “It was a farming operation where it was all you could do to make enough money to pay the taxes.”
Since 1995, the great-great-granddaughter of R. H. and Ella Lauderdale, Barbara, and her husband, Kenneth Belcher, have owned and operated the farm. They work 44.5 acres of the original 200 and have an additional 319 acres on which they raise hay and Angus cattle. Kenneth and Barbara reside on the family land, along with their daughter and her husband, Rebecca and Rick Tipton, and their son, Jordan, who represents the youngest generation to call the farm home.
Redland Farm II
Barbara A. Belcher
Kenneth Carl Belcher
In 1852, William Hutton purchased 213 acres of land from James D. McBride. He and his wife, Nancy Clark Hutton, had a large family of eleven children, and the family raised wheat, corn, tobacco, chickens, hogs and cows.
Fifty-six years later, in 1908, Charles and George Hutton, two sons of the founding couple, became the owners. George and wife Dana Sauls Hutton had no children, so he gave his share of the farm to his nieces and nephews. Charles married Bessie Ottinger and they had five children.
In 1947, Leona [Hutton] Lauderdale acquired the land from her father and uncle. She and her husband, William Alexander Lauderdale, had one daughter, Barbara. Leona and William owned 43 of the original 213 acres on which they raise Angus beef cattle and pasture land.
In 1995, more than 140 years after the founding of the Redland Farm II, the current owner, Barbara Belcher, and husband Carl own the property. Barbara is the great-granddaughter of the founders, William and Nancy. They live on the farm with their daughter, Rebecca, son-in-law Rick Tipton, and grandson Joseph. Barbara and Carl are very active on their 43 acres and raise Angus and pasture just as her parents did. Carl has been a director of the Greene County Farm Bureau for the past 19 years. The Belchers also own Redland Century Farm (founded 1881). Barbara inherited farms from both her mother and father and the two are in close proximity.
Reed Crossing Farm
Virginia Nevius Williams
Reed Crossing Farm, which dates to 1808 lies nine miles
northwest of Greeneville. John S. Reed of
William Reed inherited 250 acres from his father in 1855. He married Eliza Armitage and they raised four children. During the Civil War, the family harbored a wounded soldier, tending his wounds until his death. The soldier is buried in the family cemetery. At an undetermined time after the war, the farm passed into the hands of John S. Reed, the founder’s grandson. John’s wife Elizabeth A. Reed inherited the farm upon her husband’s death in 1884. Except for the addition of tobacco to the farm’s operations, agricultural activities changed little during these decades.
The founder's Great great granddaughters, Ruth Reed Nevius and Helen R. Reed, acquired the property in 1939. Richard Nevius, Willie Ruth’s husband, worked their 484 acres of land and specialized in livestock production until he passed away in 2011. The Nevius children, Virginia N. Williams and Michael Nevius inherited the farm at his passing. Virginia lives on the farm and she and her brother continue to raise hay and cattle.
Photo: The farm house on the Reed Crossing Farm during the 1920s.
J. B. Renner
The Renner Farm, situated along the Greene and
The first settlers in
His son Charles F. Brown was the farm’s next owner. Charles wed Mary Richardson, who died just weeks after delivering birth to their son Peter. Charles never remarried and his slaves helped him manage the farm. A cattle breeder, Charles also cultivated foodstuffs, tobacco, flax and peacocks and built a fish trap out of the ruins of the iron mill. He began farming with 600 acres and later purchased 400 additional acres of land.
Peter Richardson Brown and his wife Sybil Hogan were the third generation owners of the Rivamonte Farm. The family remembers that “Peter Brown was community minded.” A magistrate on the Greene County Court, he also supplied the lumber for the construction of the local community church. Peter died in 1936 and his four sons inherited equal portions of the farm. But in 1941, two of his brothers sold their interests to Harry and Peter Brown Jr., who continued to operate the farm together for the next seventeen years.
In 1958, Peter and Harry formally divided the property. While Peter sold his land, Harry remained a Greene County Century Farmer until his death in 1985. Today, Harry’s wife Lilly Pace Brown and her son Harry L. Brown, Jr. live at the farm and manage its daily operations. They own 307 acres with tobacco and cattle as their primary cash crops. The Browns have deep roots in this land and firmly state that they “wouldn’t live any other place.”
Rocky Field Farm
Herbert Wayne and Pamela Hughes
In 1796, Joseph White purchased 40 acres of land north of Greeneville, on the sinking branch of Lick Creek from land grant holder, John Smith. Married to Margaret Duncan in 1805, the Whites had six sons and two daughters. At Joseph’s death in 1841, all property was inherited by Margaret. In April of 1852, their son Jacob bought the shares of three of his brothers; only the sons inherited property at their mother’s death. Jacob and his wife Rebecca Thompson, who he married in 1833, had six children, Isaac, Susan, Eliza, John, Sarah and Aby.
When Jacob and Rebecca died, the land passed to their children, including the daughters. John White and wife Elizabeth White (a cousin) had seven children. Their son, also named Jacob after his grandfather, acquired the property in the 1890s. Along with his wife Salome, Jacob cultivated corn, wheat, and hay and raised cattle, horses, mules, sheep, hogs and poultry. In addition to this acreage, Jacob bought an additional forty acres (20 acres from two of his aunts bringing the total acreage to 80). Their son Arthur died of typhoid fever in the 1920s and the land passed directly to his children Clara and Evelyn White, granddaughters of the founders. According to the family, Evelyn and her husband obtained the acreage with the old homestead, but Evelyn’s husband made moonshine under the house and burned it down. Not long after, Evelyn and her husband sold the property.
Clara White became the sole owner of the farm in 1938. Clara married Dorsey Hobart Hughes and they had four children. Under their ownership, the farm supported similar livestock and crops as was raised by the founders with the addition of hogs and tobacco. In 1978, the land was acquired by their son, Bobby Wayne Hughes and his wife Helen M. Hughes. They owned the property until 1993 when Herbert Wayne Hughes obtained it. In 1996, the Hughes bought an additional 21.34 acres and in 2007, they purchased 23 more acres. The farm’s current size is 134.34 acres. Wayne and his wife Pamela raise beef cattle, horses, tobacco, hay and corn. In addition to the owners, other members of the family living on the farm include Mr. and Mrs. Herbert W. Hughes and their children, Mrs. Helen Hughes, Wayne’s mother, and his brother Mark. These three generations are keepers of many documents that tell their family’s history even as they continue the farming legacy of their ancestors.Photo: Wayne and Pam Hughes receive a certificate, booklet, and letter of congratulations from (Left) Terry Oliver, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Deparmtent of Agriculture and Governor Phil Bredesen at the Farmland Legacy Conference on October 10, 2008.
S. K. Alexander Farm
Thomas Alexander, Jr., and his spouse Jane McGaughey founded the Alexander Farm in 1836 with 117 acres located seven miles southeast of Greeneville. The parents of seven children, they raised corn, wheat and cattle on their land. In 1884, David Donald Alexander inherited the farm from his parents. David added the cultivation of tobacco to the farm’s products. Then from 1917 to 1921, he and his wife Margaret Moore operated a “beach and recreation center on the Nolichuckey river just below the house.”
David and Margaret had eight children and David Dale Alexander received the family land in 1936. David wed Verna Hutton and they had two boys, Charles D. and Steve K. Alexander. The family expanded the farm’s operations to include dairy farming, a popular mid-twentieth century agricultural activity.
In 1974, Charles and Steve Alexander acquired the property. Two years later they reported that an old nineteenth century barn was still in use and that the farm produced oats, corn, tobacco, hay and cattle. At that time, the brothers managed the farm’s 117 acres while Howard and Opal Franklin worked the land. Today the Alexander Farm is 150 years old and the family still owns the same parcel of land acquired by Thomas Alexander Jr., in 1836.
Scruggs Homestead Farm
Emma Lillian Neill
Joseph and Glenna Neill
For owners of large farms and plantations in the early
nineteenth century, horse racing was a badge of class and indicated one’s
standing as a gentleman in the community. The history of the Scruggs Homestead
Farm is only one among several Century Farms that identifies the founder as an
avid horse racer and gentleman. In 1799, Richard Scruggs of
Married twice, Scruggs had ten children, one of whom,
William Carr Scruggs, inherited the entire farm at an undetermined time
following the Civil War. The third generation owner was Mary Scruggs DeBusk and
her husband Dr. Robert DeBusk, who “was the community doctor for Warrensburg
and parts of
In 1961, the Scruggs Homestead passed intact to the founder’s great great granddaughter Emma Lillian Neill and her husband William S. Neill. The Neills established a herd of registered Angus cattle and continued to grow tobacco, wheat, corn, hay and oats.
Seven years later, the family divided the land. Today,
Emma owns 118 acres and her son Joseph Robert Neill owns 147 acres. J. W.
Douthat works the land and his labor yields tobacco, swine, cattle, hay and
corn. Emma still lives in the original weatherboard loghouse, built in 1803.
The family notes that seven generations have lived in this home, which sits on
“a small bluff overlooking the
Sideline Farms, in the Pleasant Vale Community, is currently home to three generations related to L.C. and Mary “ Mollie” Crawford Leib. Parents of five children, the Leibs began farming 50 acres in 1895 on which they raised grains and cattle. L. C. was a cobbler (shoe-maker) and also made furniture. The family has kept several of his pieces through the years. L. C. and Mollie’s son, Roy H. Leib, became the next owner of the farm. His and his wife Virginia Elizabeth Blevins Leib and their daughter, Mary Lou, shared the farmhouse with his parents. During these years, cattle, tobacco, hay, poultry, and dairy cattle were part of the farm operation. The late Mary Lou Leib Collette’s husband, Wade, assumed ownership of the farm in 1989. He and his two sons, Dale and Kevin, and their families operate the farm where they raise hay, beef cattle, and dairy heifers. Mr. Collette notes that a house and barn dating from around 1900 still stands on the farm.
The Solomon Farm is the second Century Farm in
Jerry A. Southerland
What is today known as the Southerland Farm was owned at the turn of the twentieth century by John Bowers. In 1900 he transferred a portion of that land to Mary Bowers. In 1901 Mary married Thomas H. Foreman. On 76 acres, they and their nine children raised tobacco, hay and cattle. T. H. was also a mail carrier and taught school in the Meadow Creek community.
In 1939, Hugh Foreman acquired his parents’ farm. Married to Flossie Foreman, the couple had three children--James H. (Bobby) Foreman, Lowell Foreman and Charlsie Foreman Wilson. Gwyn Southerland, the current owner and granddaughter of Flossie recalls that she was a “wonderful, hard-working woman.” When workers came to the farm to cut tobacco, she would cook “chicken and gravy and homemade light bread with all the trimmings.” The men would eat their fill, then go sit or lie “under the two 100 year-old pecan trees in the yard.” Flossie and Hugh are buried in the cemetery of the Meadow Creek Presbyterian Church.
James H. (Bobby) Foreman was the next generation to own the land. Bobby and his wife, Marlene Goins Foreman, and their two children, Beverly Gwyn and Jamie raised tobacco, corn and black angus cattle. In October of 1997, Beverly Gwyn and her husband, Jerry A. Southerland, Jr. became the owners of the property. They and their son Jeremy live in a 1920 house while their daughter Annie and husband Chris Bailey and their children, Preston, 4 and Autumn, 2, also live on the farm. Gwyn and Jerry work and manage the farm selling hay, fodder, and pumpkins in season.
Photo: The family of the Southerland Farm poses with their Century Farms sign.
Steele Holm Farm
Carolyn Steele Brown
Carolyn Steele Brown
In October of 1853, Samuel Steele of Ireland purchased 300 acres from Phillip Hale in the 4th District of Greene County in the Warrensburg community. Samuel, who raised a variety of crops and livestock, willed the land to his son Milton Steele, In 1952, Samuel’s grandson Hogan Steele acquired the property. Hogan also practiced general farming and used the house and barn built by his grandfather. When he died in 1987, the farm was divided between siblings Thomas Steele, Carolyn Steele Brown, and Samuel Steele, Jr.
Samuel Steele, Jr, raised beef cattle, Dalmatians, tobacco, hay, and continued the dairy for a brief time. He and his wife Cathy are the parents of Samuel, III and Amber. After the death of their father in 1994, Samuel Steele, III took over the farming operations which consists primarily of hay and all of the 300 original acres is farmed or leased for agriculture.
Photo (top): Tobacco barn
Photo (bottom): Fall on the farm
Still Hollow Farm
Jay D. Birdwell, Sr.
Doris Ann Birdwell
The Allen family of
James Allen, Jr. acquired the
property in 1885. He served in the
Tennessee General Assembly from 1903 to 1907 and from 1923 to 1925. According to the family, he was instrumental
in introducing a bill to appropriate money for making improvements on and
helping to preserve the tailor shop of his father’s friend, former President
Andrew Johnson. In addition to politics,
James helped drive a team of oxen and a covered wagon that hauled an organ to
In 1934, Louise Birdwell, who married Otis Harrison, became the next generation to own the farm. Tobacco became the major cash crop for the Harrisons who raised corn, wheat, hogs and beef cattle.
In 1952, the great nephew of the founder, George Leo Birdwell, Sr. obtained the property. George married Julia Gladys Russell and they had five children George Jr., Johnny, Luke , Jay, and Lois. While George continued to raise tobacco, corn, wheat and beef cattle on the land, he added a dairy business to the farm. Beginning in 1928, George developed several milk routes , hauling his patrons’ milk as well as his own to Greeneville and the Pet Milk Company, the local bottling and distributing company . George took much pride in his dairy business and in 1953 he expressed his thoughts in the Pet Milk Company’s newsletter “Pet Dairy Chats.” George “Selling milk has meant a better standard of living for our family, better furnishings for our home and more good equipment on the farm. Dairying helps to keep good tenants, and milk cows have improved our land greatly.” The family remembers that as the dairy business grew, the milk routes became additional jobs for the Birdwell sons.
In 1973, the great, great nephew and the current owner of the farm, Jay D. Birdwell obtained the land. Today, the farm is worked by Jay and his wife Ann Birdwell, their son, George Birdwell and their niece Amanda Kilday who live on the farm with their families. Currently, the farm produces sweet corn, fresh-water prawns, cattle and tobacco.
Family history records that when
founder, James Allen, Sr., began building the first covered Allen’s Bridge
across the Nolichuckey River in 1862, he began to build the house on his farm
using the same hand cut stones for the foundation as were used for the bridge
supports. The house “is central to the
identity and pride of our farm” notes the current owners, Jay and Ann. The generations have preserved the original
glass window panes at the front entrance, original picture molding, ceiling
paper and working oil light fixtures. In addition to the house, the property
has a herringbone pattern brick walkway. When the bricks were fired on site for
the house, the walks were also built. A
log barn and smokehouse, also dating to the first half of the nineteenth
century, are also part of the
historic landscape. The granary that was built in 1860 is presently being used as The Farmers Wife gift shop.
Photo (top): The farm house that was built by the founder still stands on the property.
Katherine Susong Harmon
service in both civic and agricultural groups binds the generations who have
lived and worked at the Susong Farm. Andrew Dickson Susong founded the Susong
Farm, seven miles west of Greeneville, in 1862. He and his wife Sarah Cochran
had four children and the family owned 201 acres on which they grew corn,
wheat, and fruit trees while raising cattle and swine. An elder in the local
Presbyterian church, Andrew Susong was a merchant and postmaster at his Timber
Ridge store on the old
Marion, Samuel and Edmond Susong operated a typical
In 1965, Katherine Susong Harmon, the granddaughter of the founders, inherited 50 acres of the original farm. She and her husband Charles now farm 125 acres, specializing in tobacco and pasture rental. The Susong Farm also contains several important early nineteenth century buildings, including the original Susong farmhouse, a log barn, log spring house and log cabin. The family has opened these buildings to the public during Greeneville Historic Homes Week.
Photo: A view of the Susong Farm.
Twin Acres Farm
Blanche D. Bernard
Through active membership and participation in local
religious groups and farmer organizations, the generations of the Twin Acres
Farm have touched the lives of many
Nellie M. Justis, the great granddaughter of the founders, inherited the 79 acre farm in 1952. Her husband Oscar Kyle Bernard managed and worked the land, while teaching Sunday school every week. Nellie was an active in several community organizations. She was involved in many different church activities and was a member of the Grange and the Farm Bureau.
Oscar Kyle Bernard, Jr., the founders’ great great grandson, acquired 71 acres of the family land in 1971. In addition to his farm work, Oscar was a part-time repairman and carpenter and served as a director of the Greene County Farm Bureau and the secretary-treasurer of the Baileyton Community Chest.
Oscar died in 1982 and his wife Blanche Dixon Bernard became the owner of Twin Acres Farm. Today, Blanche and her son John Kyle Bernard work the land, generating foodstuffs, tobacco and beef products.
In 1889, Jonathan “John” Wiley Waddell and his wife, Elvina
Elizabeth Bowers Waddell, purchased a farm of just over 231 acres southwest of
Greeneville on the
In 1930, three of their sons, William Robert Waddell, Charles Josiah Waddell and Decatur Fox Waddell, acquired the farm. Under their ownership, the farm continued to support a variety of crops and livestock. William Robert married Hattie Rader Waddell and they had William Adelbert (Delbert), Peggy Jane, and Betty Joe, who died as an infant.
In 1958, William and Peggy inherited the farm of William Robert Waddell and in 1961 Delbert purchased Peggy's acreage. Delbert married Madge Smith Waddell and they had two sons, Robert Frank Waddell and Darwyn William Waddell.
In 1993 and 1994, Darwyn William Waddell, the great grandson of the founder Jonathan "John" Wiley Waddell, acquired 108 acres of the original farm. Today, Darwyn and his wife Virginia and their son Eric work the land. Currently, the farm produces cattle and hay. Several buildings including a smokehouse and cattle and tobacco barns remain on this homestead.
Whispering Hills Farm
Gladys Walker King
The history of Whispering Hills Farm graphically portrays
the evolving appearance of the rural landscape of
John and Nancy Weems had four children and their daughter
Mary “Mollie” Weems King managed the farm from 1901 to 1950, although she did
not formally acquire the land until 1928. In 1904, Mollie became
Her son Rex Weems King inherited 118 acres of the farm in 1950. For several decades he helped his mother manage the land and in 1928 he built a large barn for their expanded tobacco operations. According to the family, Rex believed that “land should be handed down in better condition than it was received” and for several years he declared “his farm a wildlife sanctuary.” In 1967, he built a modern house on the property and the family takes pride in “the beautiful plaster ornamental mouldings” he designed for the living room, dining room and foyer.
Upon Rex King’s death in 1969, his widow Gladys Walker
King inherited the farm. As a magistrate for the 21st District of
Greene County from 1954 to 1960, she was the first woman in