FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 3, 2008
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
STATE PROGRAM RECOGNIZES MADISON COUNTY FARM FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
104-Year-Old Dougan-Hall Farm is County’s 13th Century Farm, Hankins Reports
(MURFREESBORO)—The Dougan-Hall Farm in Madison 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.
On April 29, 1904, Samuel Pleasant Dougan established a 404-acre farm west of Jackson on Lower Brownsville Road that produced cotton, corn, hay, horses and mules. Of Scots-Irish descent, Dougan was married three times and fathered seven children. Their names were Ralph Nimrod, John Pleasant, Sarah Vesta, Trula Imogene (who died in infancy), Lyle L., Margaret Eula Dee and Samuel Smith. The farm, located west of Jackson, produced cotton, corn, horses, mules and hay.
The second generation to own the farm was Sarah Vesta Dougan Hall. She married Jack Graves Hall and they had two children, Francis Henrietta and Mary Elizabeth. The family grew row crops, including cotton, corn, hay and soybeans, and raised cattle, chickens, pigs and horses. During the 1920s, Mary Elizabeth was an active member of the 4-H Club and was a delegate to 4-H Congress in 1932. In the 1940s, Mary’s sister, Francis became a home demonstration agent in McNairy County.
After Sarah passed away, the lifetime rights were given to daughter Mary Elizabeth Overton and her granddaughter, Lindsey Elizabeth Overton Hunt. Lindsey, following family tradition, was active in the Home Demonstration Club for nearly 20 years.
In 1982, Lindsey Hunt’s children, Kathalynn H. Abrams, Karaleigh H. Holmes and Lindsey Edward Hunt, became owners of the farm. Today, Lindsey lives on the property and Allan Verrell works the farm. Currently, he raises cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat and horses.
“The Dougan-Hall Farm is the 13th Century Farm to be certified in Madison County,” Hankins noted.
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.