FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 21, 2007
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
STATEWIDE PROGRAM RECOGNIZES HENRY COUNTY FARM FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
186-Year-Old Homeplace Farm Becomes County’s Oldest Century Farm to Date
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—The Homeplace Farm in Henry 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.
In 1821, the same year that Henry County was established, William Nored purchased 252 acres from Peter Kendall of Virginia. With wife Nancy and their five children, the Noreds cleared timber from the land and raised cotton, tobacco, garden produce, and cattle.
John W. Nored purchased the property from his parents. He and his wife, Jenc,y had eight children, and the primary crops grown by this generation were cotton and tobacco. In 1850, their son, Aaron Lafayette, acquired the property. Aaron married Margaret McFarland; they had 10 children. Family history records indicate that two of their daughters, Emma, 11, and Ara, 8, died in 1872 when they were burned while trying to light a lamp. A son, James, died at the age of 18 in 1881.
John W. Nored and his wife, Sarah Hasseltine, became the owners of the farm after his parents, Aaron and Margaret. John and Sarah had nine children and produced cotton, tobacco, corn and timber on the land. Eventually, the land was inherited by their children; however, daughter Edna and her husband, Will Linsman, bought most of the farm from the other heirs. Edna and Will were the parents of Effie Mae, Plase, Clint, and Paul. The family recalled that excess vegetables and eggs were sold in Paris for extra cash during and after the Depression years.
In 1947, Plase purchased the farm from his parents. Along with his wife, Prentyce, they raised sweet potatoes, corn, tobacco, cotton, beans and dairy cattle. The milk was sold to Pet Milk Company of Mayfield, Ky. In 1995, Prentyce died.
Currently, Plase—who is now almost 93—maintains the 215-acre farm, which produces corn, beans and timber. He and Prentyce’s only child, Shirley Lineman Flanagan, manage the farm business and research the family history.
“Both Henry County and the Homeplace Farm, the oldest of the county’s 17 certified Century Farms, are 186 years old this year,” HanKins observed.
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 CHP 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 the farm’s owners or obtain jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.