Cross Bridges Farm
Forest Home Farms
Pleasant Valley Farm
Tindell Farm "North Side"
Tindell Farm "South Side"Whistle Top Farm
The following map is for a general geographical understanding. It does not provide the specific locations of the farms because of privacy reasons.
Map courtesy of Carole Swann, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
Alderson Homestead Farm
Judy Ladd Melton
During the first decade following the Civil War, James Frank
Alderson and wife Sarah Catherine Alderson established a 94-acre farm in the
The second generation to own the
farm was Thomas Edward Alderson. Married to Frances Deletha Fitzgerald, they
had nine children. During their ownership, the farm produced corn, hay, mules,
horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, vegetables, fruit, honey, sheep, wool and they
logged on the property. Thomas imported jacks from
During the fruit season, the family dried their fruit on top of the henhouses and stored them in the cellar under the house for later use. The family also belonged to a “meat club,” wherein a group of families would work together to process fresh meat on a regular basis so it could be consumed before it spoiled. By belonging to the club, the family had a steady supply of fresh meat in addition to the pork that was salted and smoked each fall during “hog-killing” time.
According to the family’s reports, the farm was surrounded by several springs, four of which run year round. On one of the springs, a rock springhouse was constructed and was used to cool milk, butter and meat. The second spring fed into a large pond that had catfish and the other two springs ran on the hillside serving the tenant houses on the property.
After Thomas and Frances passed away in the 1930s, their children inherited the farm. Eventually, Novie Alderson Ladd acquired the entire farm from her siblings. She and husband George Caleb Ladd had two children, George Caleb II and Thomas Rye. Prior to acquiring the land, Novie and her husband had lived with her parents after her house was destroyed by fire.
According to the family, Novie was only able to save her sewing machine during the fire. After George Clabe Ladd died in 1923, Novie continued to run the farm with the help of her sons and tenant farmers. She also took care of her brother, James Otey, who was confined to a wheelchair. Otey suffered from arthritis, which may have resulted from his having been frozen to the saddle on several occasions when he was logging. One of Novie’s favorite farming activities was working with the chickens. The family reports that she kept chickens until she was well into her 90s and could often be found at the barn hunting for eggs.
In 1949, Novie sold the land to her son, Thomas Rye Ladd. He wed Nadie Lee Gary Ladd and they had four children: Thomas Gary, Judith Anne, Ronald Rye and George Caleb III. Under his ownership, the farm experienced many changes and improvements. With the introduction of gasoline-powered farm machinery, row cropping on the farm ended and the hills became grazing land for cattle and sheep. During the 1950s, electricity came to the farm and propane gas replaced the fireplaces as heat sources. All of the children of Thomas Rye and Nadie Ladd completed collegiate and post-graduate degrees and pursued careers not related to agriculture. This trend was often seen from the 1960s on as families found it more difficult to make a living in farming.
In 1990, Thomas Rye Ladd sold 55 acres to his daughter and current owner of the farm, Judy Ladd Melton. In 2006, Judy inherited the remainder of the land. She hired Everett Stewart, a master builder, to construct an exact replica of the original farmhouse that was built in 1900. Per the family, the original flooring, doors, mantels, beaded-board wall paneling, staircase banisters and ornamental woodwork were transferred to the new house. In addition, several pieces of the original furniture now occupy the rooms in the new house.
While the farm still has the house that was built in 1900, it also has a smokehouse and tobacco barn on the land. Currently, owner Judy leases the land to Heath Bone, who raises cattle and vegetables.
William D. and Anna Marie Campbell
The Campbell Farm was founded in 1895 by Mary M. Trimble Campbell and her husband, Charley A. Campbell. The 115 acres yielded corn, barley, tobacco, vegetables, and wheat and also supported sheep, chickens, swine, cattle, and mules. The couple had 5 children, and their grandson William Dean Campbell is now the current owner of the farm. With his wife, Anna Marie and their six children, they raise hay, vegetables, and cattle. There are currently three generations living on the 93.5 acres of land. On the farm, there still stands an old log barn built in 1864, a two-story house built in 1879, a lard house and a smokehouse.
Photo: The farmhouse on the Campbell Farm was built in 1879.
Cross Bridges Farm
Alyne Queener Massey
The Cross Bridges Farm is located nine miles west of
Under Willis’ ownership, the farm produced cotton, corn,
cattle and hogs. In addition to managing the farm, Willis built a large
two-story plantation house on the property.
According to the family, Willis supported the
As the years passed by, Hinton Stother inherited the land and he raised cattle, corn, wheat and hogs. Although he married Lucille Gordon, they had no children. However, his neice, Addie Frierson lived with them. In 1929, the house that Hinton’s father had built burned to the ground.
next owner was Addie Frierson Armstrong Queener. Married to Millard Queener,
the couple had three children. In 1970, two of Adaline’s daughters, Alyne
Queener Massey and Elizabeth Queener inherited the farm. Today, the sisters
continue to own the farm that now produces timber, hay, tobacco and cattle. In
recent years, the owners have taken an interest in the historical and environmental
significance of the area and they have donated a conservation easement to the
Forest Home Farms
James Forgey Russell, Jr.
For almost 150 years, the Russell family has been closely
involved with the history of the
The farm’s second generation owner was William James
Russell, the husband of Patricia Forgey Moore. William, who attended the
Of William and Patricia’s six children, Jame Forgey
Russell became the farm’s next owner. At this time the farm contained 626
acres. A graduate of the
In 1963 James Russell, Jr., who is the founders’ great grandson, inherited the family farm. Today, James owns over 1,000 acres and raises corn, wheat, soybeans, hay and cattle. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he has been a member of the Maury County Quarterly Court and a director with the Middle Tennessee Bank and the Southern Livestock Auction Company. In his farming operations, James still uses “three large barns of original construction, in fairly good condition.” The family also reports that “the residence, which was built about 1860, is a two-story frame structure of Greek Revival architecture.
Anne Queener Massey
Another Century Farm that was founded in 1810 by Thomas James Frierson is the Kingstree Farm. The history of the farm follows the history of the Cross Bridges Farm and is owned by Alyne Queener Armistead Massey and Elizabeth Myers Queener. Today, the 420 acres produces wheat, oats, rye, tobacco and livestock.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Clinton Lunn
Located five miles east of Spring Hill lies the
Lunn-Ragan Farm that was founded by Nancy McPherson Ragan in 1869. On 107
acres, the farm produced corn, hay, wheat and cattle. Married to Thompson
Ragan, the couple had eight children. In 1842, her husband helped co-found the
time moved on, Beulah and her husband Thomas A. Cammuse became the owners of
the land. In 1947, Beulah and Thomas gave one acre of their land to relocate
In 1968, the great, great, great grandson of the founder, Harry Clinton Lunn acquired the farm. Today, Harry, his wife and their two sons live on the farm. Currently, the farm produces tobacco, hay and Angus cattle.
J. B. and Shirley Napier
In 1887, Rebecca Burns Napier established the Napier Farm. Located seven miles from Columbia, the 600 acres produced corn, wheat, oats, sugar cane, hay, vegetables, hogs, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, mules and horses. Along with her husband, William Clement Napier, they raised one son, Elias Wills Napier.
Elias Wills Napier became the next owner of the land.
Under his ownership, the farm cultivated the same crops and raised the same
livestock as the founder. Married three times, Elias fathered twelve children.
His son, John Bunch Napier was the third generation to own the farm. John
married twice and he had two children, Mary Agnes Napier
In 1979, J. B. acquired the property and he still owns the land today. Currently, J. B. and his wife Shirley live on the farm and raise cattle, corn, wheat, soybeans, hay and tobacco.
Pleasant Valley Farm
Over the next thirty years, the farm passed to Bert and Lizzie’s
children, Eugene and J. B. Upon their return from World War II in 1945, J. B.
and Eugene took over the day-to-day management of the farm. Here they began the
dairy operation that became known statewide as the Erwin Brothers Dairy Farm.
Lower left corner photograph is a scenic view of Rebel Springs located at Pleasant Valley Farms.
John Doak Matthews
Families of agrarian entrepreneurs, such as the Matthews
of Maury County, who owned and operated the machinery that processed the
region’s raw materials, shaped the
Joseph Matthews willed J. Millen 140 acres and John Galloway 220 acres of the family land in 1902. John made several improvements to the farm, installing a telephone and a new water system in the family dwelling. His crops included corn, wheat, cotton, swine, cattle, horses and mules. He and his wife Ellen Morgan raised three children and in 1935, their son Elliott Lindsey Matthews inherited 153 acres of the family farm. By installing electricity and by planting tobacco, Elliott continued the progressive trend of the farm’s operations.
In 1947, Elliott, John D. and James A. Matthews, the
founders’ great great grandsons, became joint owners of Tanglefoot. The
brothers “developed and operated a Grade ‘A’ dairy operation” and also
cultivated tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans. In 1973, John was named
Photo: The farmhouse on the Tanglefoot Farm.
Tindel Farm “North Side”
Mary T. Terry
Founded by Thomas Jefferson Tindell in 1887, his land continues to be owned and worked by his descendants over 130 years later. Tindell and his wife, Van “Vannie” Daley [Cheek] Tindell, established their farmstead when the years of Civil War and Reconstruction were still fresh in memory. Four of Thomas’s brothers served in the Confederate Army and one, Hazard Cappon Tindell, died from injuries received at Chattanooga. Of Vannie’s five brothers who also fought for the Confederacy, three were killed during the conflict.
Thomas and Vannie had four children--George Washington, Henry Madison, Wilburn Thomas, and Lillie L. On 437 acres, the family raised swine, cattle, row crops, and tobacco. In April of 1932, Wilburn Thomas Tindell, Sr. inherited the 437 acres of land. He continued to raise traditional crops. Wilburn married Annie Mai Hendrix and they had two children, Mildred Belle [Tindell] Sharp and Wilburn Thomas Tindell, Jr. When their father died, these two children inherited the farm.
The “North Side” of the farm went to Wilburn Thomas Tindell, Jr. in 1955. He and wife Mary Frances Mash Tindell had two children, Thomas Henry Tindell and Mary Susan [Tindell] Terry. He, like his father and grandfather, raised swine, cattle, row crops, and tobacco with addition of dairy cattle.
Twenty years later, the farm passed to both his children, Thomas and Mary. Mary married Charles I. Terry, Jr. and had four children: Jacob Andrew, Jessica Leah, Jonathon Matthew, and Joshua Stephen. Thomas and wife, Margaret [Barron] Tindell, have two children Caitlin Elizabeth and Thomas Barron Tindell. Thomas and Thomas Barron Tindell raise cattle, swine, row crops, and tobacco.
Photo (left): Horse and plow were used on both Tindell Farms. This picture was taken in 1965.
Photo (right): Tractors are used today to work the land.
Tindell Farm “South Side”
Betty S. Thomason
The “South Side” of the Tindell Farm follows the same history as the Tindell Farm “North Side” until 1955. When the farm divided, part went to Mildred Belle [Tindell] Sharp. She and husband Eugene A. Sharp are the parents of Wayne and Betty. Her acreage was used to raise diverse crops and livestock. Wayne and Betty [Sharp] Thomason have owned the land since 1996. Karen Michelle, the daughter of Wayne, and her family, husband Jim Stiteler and their children, Trey and Shelby, live on the farm along with her father and aunt. Wayne manages the farm and raises cattle, row crops, and tobacco. On this portion of the land a house built by John Jones Williams in 1863 still stands. It has remained a constant feature through the generations of descendents of Thomas Jefferson and Vannie Tindell.Photo: This photo was taken in 1895 in front of the 1863 home of John Jones Williams which still stands on the property.
Whistle Top Farm
Robert Leslie White, Jr.
Located eight miles west of
Luke White’s spouse was Nancy Sparkman and they raised
eight children. In 1892, their son Mitchell obtained 78 acres of the family
farm. A traditional general farmer, Mitchell White was also an important local
builder. Among his projects were the
Whistle Top’s current owner is Robert Leslie White, Jr., who is the only son of Robert and Tennie Kinzer White. The founders’ great great grandson, Robert works 270 acres which yielded tobacco, wheat, soybeans and beef products.