Three Farms Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 7, 2006
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
(MURFREESBORO)—The Archibald Qualls Farm, the Jonathan Allred Farm and the Crawford Farm, all located in Overton County, recently were designated as Tennessee Century Farms, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the campus of MTSU.
“These historic farms are some of Overton County’s best historic landscapes,” remarked Hankins, who noted that these three farms bring the number of certified Century Farms in Overton County to seven.
• South of Hilman, William Crawford founded the Crawford Farm in 1824. He and his wife Margarette had children. The family raised cattle, corn, horses and pigs. Around 1840, Jesse and Alexander Crawford constructed Crawford’s Mill on Roaring River.
In addition to the grist and flourmill, the Crawfords also operated a cotton gin, carding machine, knitting machine and a blacksmith shop. The family explains that “for a time this mill served as a powerhouse and provided electricity to the town of Livingston,” according to CHP records.
In 1888, Maunce Crawford acquired the farm. Along with wife Agnes, Wilson Crawford and his family, which included 10 children, raised cattle, horses, goats, pigs, corn and hay. In 1939, the farm was deeded to Bertha Crawford Barnes.
Today, Bertha’s daughter, Dorise Crabtree, is the fifth-generation owner of the farm. Barbara G. McCloud and Betty J. Winningham also are owners of this property. Currently, the farm is worked by Lester Green, Dorise’s son-in-law, and produces cattle and hay.
• In 1831, Jonathan Allred established a farm southeast of Livingston on the Obey River. Married to Nancy Walker Allred, the couple had five children--Robert, Bailey, Charles, John and Jonathan. On 163 acres, the family produced cattle, chickens and corn.
Bailey Allred became the second generation to own the farm. The family believes that the farm may have been given to Bailey and his wife Sarah Copeland Allred as a wedding gift. The couple had 10 children and two of their sons, Larkin and Jonathan A. Allred, became the next owners of the land. Under the brothers’ ownership, the farm increased to more than 3,000 acres.
Jonathan’s son, Bailey Frederic Allred, was the fourth owner. In addition to managing the farm, Bailey was as a teacher in the community, as was his
father and grandfather. Bailey’s children became the fifth-generation owners of the farm, though one of the children, James Lowell Allred, acquired the property in the 1950s. In 1986, James Michael Allred and Jane Mynatt obtained the land.
Today, the founder’s great-great-great grandson, James M. Allred, owns the farm and raises cattle, chickens and hay. Married to Martha Burnette Allred, the couple are the parents of Mike and Joe Allred. Over the years, the Allreds have participated in agricultural organizations such as the Farm Bureau the Home Demonstration Club. Allred was honored as Overton County’s Conservation Farmer of the Year in 2000.
• Also located south of Livingston, in the Rickman community, is the 350-acre farm established in 1840 by Archibald Qualls. The farmland supported wheat, oats, flax, barley, corn, cattle, hogs and horses. Married to Sarah Cannon, the Qualls had 16 children. During his ownership, Archibald made several improvements to the farm by building a smokehouse, a lumber house and a springhouse.
In 1861, their son, Samuel Turney Qualls, became the second owner of the farm and operated it for more than 70 years. Married to Charity Jeanette Bilbery, the couple had 10 children. Their daughter, Lou May Norrod, acquired the farm in 1933. Lou May and her husband, Curtis Norrod farmed the land and grew wheat, oats, soybeans, corn, tobacco and hay. In addition, they raised cows, horses, mules and sheep. During the 1930s, Lou May and Curtis added more buildings to the landscape with the construction of a tobacco barn, a washhouse and a chicken house. While managing the farm, the couple also reared a large family that included Virgie, Opal, Bill, F.B., E. C., Johnnie Mae, Georgie, Bennie, Viol, and Mary Juanella.
In 1969, Mary Juanella, the founders’ great-granddaughter, acquired the farm. Today, she and her husband, Dennis Shea, raise cows, tobacco and hay. Their nephew, Tony Kratz, works the land. The many significant outbuildings, including the chicken house, and washhouse built in the 1930s, still stand today. The founder and other family members are buried in the Qualls Cemetery.
About the Tennessee Century Farm Program
The Tennessee Century Farm Program, now 30 years old, recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have continuously owned, and kept in production, family land for at least 100 years. Since 1984, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history through the Tennessee Century Farm Program, and continues to administer this program.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Today, the TDA provides a metal outdoor sign, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production” to Century Farm families.
To be considered for eligibility, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years; must produce $1,000 revenue annually; must have at least 10 acres of the original farm; and one owner must be a resident of Tennessee. There are more than 1,000 Century Farms across the state and all 95 counties are represented.
“The Century Farmers represent all the farm families of Tennessee,” Hankins said, “and their contributions to the economy, and to the social, cultural, and agrarian vitality of the state, both past and present, is immeasurable. Each farm is a Tennessee treasure.”
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its Web site at http://histpres.mtsu.edu/histpres. The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted via mail at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or by telephone at 615-898-2947.
• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with any of the owners of these farms please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.