For a brief historical sketch of each farm, click on the farm name.
A. K. Davis Farm
E. O. McNabb Farm
Griffith Place Farm
Sam H. Davis, Jr. 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
A.K. Davis Farm
Four miles northeast of
In 1909, A. K. Davis inherited 160 acres from his
parents. Family tradition states that Davis, who eventually farmed a total of
480 acres, “was active in promoting progress in his community and state.”
Chairman of the building committee at the
Kate Small Davis inherited the original family land of 27.5 acres from her husband in 1969. As of 1976, her grandson Nelson K. Cope raised cattle and hay at the farm.
Few Century Farms contain such a range of historical
experiences as the Ashley Farm for it touches upon the earliest history of the
region (fur trading with the Cherokees) and the economic modernization of the
region (the impact of TVA dam construction) in the twentieth century. Dating to
Scott and Mary Womack Powell’s acquisition of 384.5 acres in 1848, the Ashley
Farm is part of the Big Springs community of
Scott and Mary Powell were the parents of nine children and their son William Benton Powell was the second generation owner of the Ashley Farm. Married twice, William fathered nine children. Together the family produced grains, hay and livestock at the farm, but stopped growing cotton because it was no longer profitable.
The founders’ granddaughter, Julia Powell Ashley, was the third generation owner. She and her husband Roy Cowan Ashley farmed 124 acres, raising grain, hay, strawberries, cattle and swine. During their ownership of the property, according to the family, “the Tennessee Valley Authority flooded the richest part of the farm forcing most of the people in this area to find new homes.” The farmers in the Big Springs community, “did not have enough land left to make a living for their families” and they “were sorrowful on leaving.”
The Ashley Farm, however, survived. When Julia Ashley died in 1970, the farm passed into the hands of the founders’ great grandson, Roy C. Ashley, Jr. Owning 20 acres of the original homestead and farming a total of 124 acres, Roy and his wife Willie managed the farm, which produced hay and cattle. After Roy Ashley, Jr. died, his son Roy Cowan Ashley, III acquired the farm and is still the current owner. Today, the farm mainly raises timber and tobacco and leases some of the property for cultivating grain and hunting.
E. O. McNabb Farm
The McNabb Farm shares one similarity with many other Century Farms: it
was founded during the Reconstruction era. But this farm family’s commitmenr to
public education distinguishes their history from that of other Century Farms.
Located approximately eight miles south of
Nathaniel deeded the farm to his son Edgar O. McNabb in 1918. Edgar wed Electa Ross and the McNabbs, like the founders, contributed to the development of “one of the first consolidated grammar and junior high schools in the county.” Dedicated farmers, they added timber, pulpwood, tobacco, soybeans and cotton to their agricultural products.
Electa Ross McNabb died in 1975 and left the farm to her daughters, Opal Sharp and Evelyn Glisson. As of 1976, the sisters directed the farm’s operations and John W. and Alvin Cordell worked the land. The farm’s crops included corn, soybeans, hay, tobacco and strawberries.
Edna D. Shearman
James T. Griffith, Jr., obtained the family farm of 360 acres
in 1876. Wed to Margaret Foster, he fathered eight children. Everyone in the
family kept busy producing the farm’s foodstuffs, cattle, swine, sheep,
chickens and horses. In 1904, James donated one acre for the construction of
Edna Drake Shearman, the great great granddaughter of the
founders, inherited 320 acres in 1959. She and her husband Tom L. Shearman
presently raise corn, hay and cattle. Three historically significant buildings
that date to the Civil War period still stand on the
One of the oldest Century Farms in southern
Robert Henry and Sallie Pickel Locke were the third
generation owners of the family land. Robert, the founder’s grandson, was a
prominent local businessman in addition to farming 380 acres of land. In 1905,
he was one of the organizers of the Meigs County Bank. His daughter Ella Locke
Stewart, the wife of Scott Stewart, inherited 180 acres of the farm in 1931.
Although they sold a large portion of the farm to the Tennessee Valley
Authority for the
Herman G. and Ruth Moore Creasman
For over 100 years,
In 1943, Thomas Benjamin Moore inherited 533 acres from
his parents. Working the land for the next four decades,
Sam H. Davis, Jr. Farm
Sam H. Davis, Jr.
The Sam Davis Farm dates to 1881 when Pleasant Abednego and E. A. Davis
acquired 254 acres of land three miles northeast of
In 1946, Sam Davis, Jr., the founders’ grandson, acquired 220 acres of the original homestead. Today, Sam and his son-in-law Ron Hennessee raise beef cattle at the farm.
For over 150 years,
the Stewart Century Farm has served
the needs of the surrounding agrarian community, from providing
for area farmers to supplying hay in times of drought. It is among the
significant properties in
Upon his death in 1874, John Stewart willed his son
Matthew B. Stewart 400 acres of the family property. Matthew and his wife Sarah
Taft Stewart had ten children and in 1879, they donated land for the Stewart’s
Scott Stewart died in 1939 and willed the farm to his wife Ella Locke Stewart, who lived on the property until her death in 1976. The farm then turned over Robert S. Stewart, who has owned an interest in the land since his father’s death in 1939. He maintained the farm’s original farmhouse, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today, David Stewart is the owner of the land.
Photo: A Century Farm Sign on the Stewart Farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Macon Waters
In 1873, Thomas Jefferson Robinson established the Waters
Farm, which is six miles west of
In 1954, Mrs. Robert M. Waters inherited 318 acres of the Robinson family land. To better meet the production demands of twentieth century agriculture, the Waters purchased an additional 155 acres of land. As of 1976, the family raised corn, soybeans and beef cattle.