Tuesday, June 24, 2008


CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

175-Year-Old Outlaw Farm Becomes County’s 17th & Newest Century Farm

(MURFREESBORO)—The Outlaw Farm in Haywood 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, which is located on the MTSU campus.
“Haywood County had been in existence only 10 years when Andrew Jackson ‘A. J.’ Outlaw acquired 16 acres northeast of Brownsville in 1833,” Hankins noted.
According to the family’s records, Andrew married to Harriett Ann Williams Outlaw, and the couple had two children, William Price Outlaw and Winnaford Outlaw. By 1857, the property had been increased by 122 acres on which the family raised cotton, corn, hay, hogs, cattle and bees.
Reportedly, because of the drop in cotton prices during the Civil War, Outlaw had to sell some of his acreage to make ends meet. He lived for a short time in Arkansas while retaining ownership and operations of the Tennessee farm. The family recalled that Outlaw constructed the original Zion Baptist Church Building on Upper Zion Road, where he was a founding member.
In 1903, William Price Outlaw became the owner of the farm. William married Lienna Katherine Mann Outlaw and they had eight children: Dewey Slie, William Henry, Eunice Odell, Edna Earl, Harriett Ann, Luther Jackson, Sidney Johnston and Flossie, who died at an early age.
Under William’s ownership, the farm produced cotton, corn, hay, hogs, cattle and chickens. While managing the farm, William also served as the public school director of the 5th Civil District in Haywood County. He also was one of three people entrusted with land and money to build a school in the Allen community, according to the family.
The third generation to own the farm was William and Lienna’s son, Luther Jackson Outlaw. Larry Cleveland Outlaw and Jimmie Earl Outlaw are the children of Luther and his wife, Bernice Mann. During this time, the family grew cotton, corn, hay and soybeans and raised hogs, cattle and chickens. After Luther and Bernice passed away, their sons inherited the land. Jimmie married Shelvai Jean Cathey and Larry wed Betty Jean Taylor.
In 1992, Jimmie Earl Outlaw became the sole owner of the farm. Currently, Jimmie and his son, Mark, along with his nephew, Gene Outlaw, work the land. They raise cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat and hay as well as hogs and chickens. Over the years, the Outlaws have been active in agricultural related organizations such as the Farm Bureau and have received numerous awards in 4-H competitions. In 1989, Haywood County recognized Jimmie and Larry Outlaw for their corn production.
“The Outlaw Farm is the 17th Century Farm to be certified in Haywood County,” Hankins said.
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 began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Today, the TDA provides a metal outdoor sign denoting 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.


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