Carter Farm

Carter Farm

Barry L. Carter

Just southeast of Camden in the Chalk Level Community is the Carter Farm that was founded in 1879 by Jacob Galvin (J. G.) Flowers. The Flowers family came to Benton County, where Jacob was born in 1837, from Chatham County, North Carolina. Married to Sophie Judy Burkett, the Flowers had six children. They raised cattle and grew cotton, peanuts, sorghum, corn and hay. In addition to farming, J. G. operated a steam powered sawmill and grist mill.

The second generation to own the property was Jacob’s and Sophie’s son, Thomas J. Flowers. According to the family, Thomas was a prominent community leader as well as a miller. On Saturdays, people from the area brought their corn to be ground. While waiting on their turn, many of the people had time to talk about current events or pitch horseshoes or dollars. In addition, Thomas was a county commissioner. Thomas was married to Eva Martha Baker and they had six children — Galvin, Hadron, Azel, Theo, Ruth, and J. T. The family raised cattle, hogs, cotton, peanuts, corn and hay. Around a half acre of the farm was given to the Flowers Chapel Pentecostal Church. Although the church thrived for a time, it eventually ceased to exist by the early 1950s and the land and building went back to the heirs of the farm.

After Thomas died, the land was divided among the children. However, his son-in-law, L.T. (Tom) Fuller who married Theo, purchased all of the acreage with the exception of five acres. Over the years, Tom acquired more acres and increased the farm to over 500 acres. Tom and Theo had one daughter, Eva Mae Fuller Carter who became the farm’s owner in 1953.

On August 30, 2001, the great, great grandson of the founder and current owner, Barry L. Carter acquired the farm. Today, Barry works the land and raises cattle, hay, pasture and timber. In addition to farming, Barry and his wife, Tammy Rayburn, live on the property with their daughters Shanna and Kyla. The concrete base for the steam engine, the mill stones , and the shaft from the grist mill, operated by the earlier generations, are preserved on the property.