CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
FAYETTE COUNTY FARM JOINS RANK OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
126-Year-Old Jones-Rogers Farm 24th in County to be Recognized by Program
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—The Jones-Rogers Farm in Fayette County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reported Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the MTSU campus.
Located one mile north of Dancyville, the Jones-Rogers Farm was founded in 1881 by Isaac Wesley Coppedge. Married to Sarah Frances “Sally” Stanley Coppedge, the couple had five children. Prior to settling in Fayette County, the Coppedge and Stanley families lived in Virginia. According to the family’s records, the Coppedge family came from Virginia by way of the Tennessee River through Alabama, while the Stanley family came from Virginia by way of Kentucky.
The next owner of the property was the founding couple’s daughter, Mary Ann Coppedge Jones. She and husband Leonidas Alexander “Sid” Jones Sr. had seven children. During their ownership, the farm produced primarily cotton and corn, as had her parents. During a flu epidemic in 1900, three of their children, Frank, age 22; Lucy, age 7; and 6-month-old Leonidas Jr. died.
The four surviving siblings, Sarah Sallie Jones, Annie Coppedge Jones Rogers, Lizzie Kate Jones Wilkerson and William Thomas Jones, inherited the property. Eventually, William Thomas bought out the interests of two of his sisters, Annie and Lizzie.
William Thomas was married to Glenna Jones, and they lived in a house across the highway from the Methodist church in Dancyville. The three sisters moved later to Memphis, where Sarah lived with her sister, Lizzie, and her husband. Annie wed Edward Harrison Rogers Sr. and they had four children—Edward Harrison Rogers, Mary Rogers Jones, Margaret Rogers and Sara Kathryn Rogers Moore.
In 1965, the great-grandson of the founder, Edward H. Rogers, acquired the farm. During the 1960s, the original farmhouse burned, but the cedar trees in front of the house remained standing. Twenty-five acres acres remain in forestland and cotton has once again become the primary crop.
Edward Harrison Rogers III, the great-great-grandson of the founder, prepared the family farm application for his father who, now in his 91st year, continues to own the Jones-Rogers Farm.
Hankins said the Jones-Rogers Farm is the 24th certified Century Farm in Fayette County.
The Century Farm Program 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.
“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 interview Hankins or the farm’s owners, or obtain jpeg images of this farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.