For a brief historical sketch of each farm, click on the farm name.
Boyd Jerseys Farm
Hunter Cove Farm
Isaac Huddleston Farm
Nash Farm at Hickory Nut Point
Map Courtesy of Carole Swann, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
Dibrell M. Boyd
High yields in dairy production comprise the contribution
of the Boyd Jerseys Farm to
George married Belle Nicholas and they raised seven
children. In 1948, their son Dibrell inherited 42 acres of the farm. The farm
now consists of 83 acres of land. Dibrell is a dairy farming expert and in
1984, he and his son David managed the “second highest milk producing dairy
herd in the
David M. Judd
Located two miles southeast of
Hunter Cove Farm
Hunter Cove Farm is one of the oldest and most historic
The founders were the parents of two children and in
1848, their son Dudley Hunter inherited an estate of over 5,000 acres.
In 1883, Rush Hunter obtained about 300 acres of the family land and established a new farmstead. A founder of the Dry Valley Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Rush was a progressive farmer who invested in breeding mules and improved the farm’s water supply. His crops included corn, wheat, oats, millet and peas and he raised mules, cattle, swine and sheep. Married twice and the father of fifteen children, Hunter took an active interest in local education and was an organizer of the community’s first “subscription school.”
Upon Rush’s death, his wife Levenia Watson Hunter
inherited the land and operated it in partnership with her son, Arnold W.
His widow, Vallie Huddleston Hunter, became the farm’s next owner. She supervised operations that produced winter wheat, soybeans, hay and beef cattle. Three buildings built by Rush Hunter between 1877 and 1878-the farmhouse, smokehouse and barn-remain intact and in use on the farm today. Dan Bohannon owns the farm today.
Isaac Huddleston Farm
Hubert M. Huddleston
Mary Jane Huddleston
Neil Thomas Huddleston
Located eight miles southeast of the Cookeville Courthouse, the farm was founded in 1841 by Thomas Robinson of Grayson County, Va., who received a land grant of 100 acres signed by Tennessee Gov. James C. Jones.
Thomas (1787-1882) and wife Susannah Prior, who was born in North Carolina in 1798, and their eight children raised horses, corn, wheat and cattle on their 100-acre farm. They built a house in 1848, along with a smokehouse, log cabin, barn, corncrib and granary.
The eldest son, James S. Robinson, was the second owner of the farm. He and wife Syrena Isom expanded the farm to 300 acres, and with their nine children, raised horses, hay, corn and wheat. According to the family’s records, James Robinson raised some of the finest horses in middle Tennessee. During the Civil War, his horses were taken by Union troops and he was taken prisoner to care for them. He was released after a few weeks.
In 1881, James was given 890 acres of land in White County for compensation for the stolen horses during the war, with an additional 57 acres granted in 1887. James and Syrena moved to this farm and left the farm in Putnam County in the care of their daughter, Mary Jane Robinson, and her husband, Asbury R. Bullock.
After Syrena died in 1914, Mary Jane and Asbury acquired the farm. They built a third home on the land on Cherry Creek Road and lived there for the rest of their lives.
In 1919, after Mary Jane and Asbury’s death, their daughter, Arrie, and her husband, Ezra Davis, acquired the land. Although they lived in Cookeville, they managed the 300-acre farm through tenant farmers. Ezra Davis was a two-term mayor of Cookeville.
The fifth generation to own the farm was Mary B. Davis and her husband, Isaac Stanton Huddleston. They bought the land at an auction in 1949 when the Davis Estate was settled. On 140 acres, Isaac and Mary, with their four children, raised a variety of cultivated foods—from vegetables to strawberries—along with chickens, cows and pigs.
The couple’s main source of income, however, was tobacco. Aside from farming, Isaac Huddleston served as a Justice of the Peace of the Mount Herman Community and later as Trustee of Putnam County for two terms.
After Isaac’s death in 1980, the land was willed to his four children, Hubert “Roe” Monroe, Neil, Ned (now deceased) and Mary Jane. Today, 100 of the farm’s 140 acres are the original land of Thomas and Susanna Robinson. Currently, “Roe” and Mary Jane continue to live on the farm, while Neil resides in Galveston, Texas. “Roe” is the farm’s manager and operator.
Although he no longer grows tobacco, “Roe” continues to raise hay, cattle and some vegetable produce. Additionally, continuing a progressive farming tradition started by his father, he completed a long-term soil conservation program and has also participated in a pasture contest.
David M. Judd
The Judd Farm, located two miles southeast of
Kenneth E. Mansell
In May of 1888, George Washington (G.W.) Mansell founded a 95 acre
farm about two miles east of
In 1937, the farm was divided
between two of the founder’s sons. One part of the farm was acquired by Johnnie
Lee Mansell. Married to Ophie May Peek,
they were the parents of Amanda and Elmer Earl. During their ownership, the
farm produced hay, livestock, corn and other row crops for the family’s food.
The second parcel was owned by Harvey Napoleon Mansell. Married twice, he
fathered ten children. Harvey and his family raised similar crops and livestock
to that of his brother, but also raised sugar cane. The sugar cane was used to make molasses and
neighbors came for this seasonal activity.
After the molasses was made, the family and community would celebrate
with a community festival. In addition to the molasses-making,
In 1975, the grandson of the
founders, Kenneth E. Mansell, acquired 41 acres of the farm. Along with his wife Letha, Kenneth and
daughter Susie live on the farm. Kenneth
raises hay, pasture, formerly tobacco, livestock, hogs, cattle, mules and
llamas. He has been active in 4-H and
FFA since he was in high school when he showed calves and pigs. Kenneth continues the family tradition of
mule handling that dates back to his grandfather. He uses mules in farming and to show. Mule-drawn wagon rides are popular with
children on the farm and at the annual
“Kids Day on a Farm” at the
Photo: (top left) George Washington Mansell with mules, (top center) John and Ophie Mansell with Washington car, (top right) Harvey Mansell, (Bottom left) Mansell Family Reunion 1967, (bottom right) Kenneth Mansell and Mule Wagon.
Nash Farm at Hickory Nut Point
Dorothy M. Nash
Verble Nash, a grandson of the founders and nephew of John Wesley Nash, acquired the farm in 1971. Verble uses his 66-acre farm for cattle, pasture and hay. He is married to Dorothy Morris, and three generations of the Nash family currently reside on the property. In addition to Verble and Dorothy, the couple’s daughter and son-in-law, Linda Cheryl and Jeff Hamilton, live on the farm, as does their grandson, Brandon James Cumby, who lives in a log house built by Verble in 1985.
Ronald W. Martin
Prize winning progressive farming has marked the recent
history of the Pearson Farm, which is located four miles north of
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the farm passed through the hands of two additional generations of the Pearson family. In 1937, Oral and Neta Pearson inherited 60 acres from their parents, Robert N. and Mary Wilmoth Pearson. For almost 50 years, Oral and Neta have operated the farm, specializing in hay and registered Polled Hereford cattle production. Oral has won several agricultural awards, including the “Master Conservation Farmer” award in 1963 and the “Champion Pasture” award in 1965. Today, Ronald W. Martin owns the land.
Photo: Oral Pearson of Putnam County poses with his mules, which were often treated as favored members of the family. In fact, farmers often spent more time with their mules than they did with their family.
Rodger D. Phillips
Freida Nelle Phillips Denny
Roy Harrell Phillips
The Quarles family traces its settlement in the area to William
Pennington Quarles, a Revolutionary War veteran who founded the community of
The third generation to own the farm
was the founder’s grandson, Roy C. Phillips.
Photo: Tombstone of William Braxron Quarles, founder of the Quarles-Phillips Century Farm.
Dating to the acquisition of 150 acres in 1869, the
Rockwell Farm is six miles east of
In 1935, the farm passed to H. Dealer Rockwell, the grandson of the founders. Dealer, his wife Eunica Barnes and their seven children continued to modernize the farm’s activities; they introduced new breeds of livestock as well. The family also fertilized its land, which increased crop yields. Deloy M. Rockwell, the farm’s present manager, acquired 60 acres from his parents in 1968. Today, his brother J. L. Rockwell harvests the farm’s annual hay crop.
Miriam Shanks Gwaltney
In the 11th District of Putnam County stands the Shanks Farm, which dates to 1859 when Craven M. and Nancy Henley Shanks acquired title to 165 acres of land. Raising herds of swine, sheep and cattle, the Shanks cultivated corn, dark tobacco and sorghum cane. They also worked a small patch of cotton to provide clothing for the family. During the Civil War, Craven served in the Union army.
Robert F. and Ann Anderson Shanks were the farm’s second generation owners. In 1918, their son Luke Shanks obtained approximately 200 acres of farmland. By 1976, Luke and his son George Shanks managed a farm of 574 acres and raised tobacco and beef cattle. Four years later, Miriam Shanks Gwaltney, the great granddaughter of Craven and Nancy Shanks, acquired 164 acres of the original farm. She now supervises 274 acres, which produce tobacco and beef cattle.
Paul A. Young
In 1902, Edith “Eado” Young purchased her 62-acre farm in Putman County for $27.80. A widow for 14 years, Eado is among the very few women who established a Tennessee Century Farm. On her acreage, she and her three children—Melonee, Fred and John—raised corn, hay, hogs, chickens, turkeys and cattle. When Eado received news that her husband, Dr. John H. Young, had fallen ill while treating patients in Wilson County in 1888, she immediately rode nonstop to be with her spouse. The family recalls that “Dr. Young was dead upon her arrival, and the horse died shortly after.”
Eado gave the farm to her daughter-in-law and grandson, Dora and Phillip Young, in June of 1913 for “the love and affection” she held for them. Dora and her husband, Eado’s son John H. Young, continued to produce many of the same crops, livestock and poultry.
In 1922, the land transferred to Hance Reeder, Melonnee Young Reeder’s husband. In addition to raising corn, hay, hogs, chickens, turkey and cattle, the owners began to cultivate tobacco.
Phillip Toral Young and his wife, Estelle C. Young, acquired all 62 acres of the original farm in 1950 and grew tobacco, corn and cattle. They sold the land to their son, Paul A. Young in December 1976. Paul is the great-grandson of the founder. Though much of the property is in dense timber, Paul currently grows tobacco, corn and hay on 25 of the original 62 acres. A springhouse, smokehouse, tobacco barn and the farmhouse, built in the early 20th century, are part of the farm’s history.