For Release: Aug. 17, 2011
Contact: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
HOUSTON COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Felts Hill Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO— Felts Hill Farm, located in Houston County, has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms Program at the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU.
The Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in continuous agricultural production for at least 100 years.
In 1867, Jessie M. Parchman purchased a 600-plus-acre farm northeast of the county seat of Erin in Houston County. He and his wife, Acada, were the parents of eight children. The family raised tobacco, hay, corn, poultry, cattle and hogs.
Betty Parchman Cary, a daughter of Jessie and Acada, acquired about 180 acres of the family farm in 1891. She married R.B. Cary, and they and their six children raised tobacco, hay, corn, poultry, cattle, hogs and timber.
Kate Cary, a daughter of Betty and R. B., acquired 30 acres of the family farm in 1912. She married C. Z. Felts, and they were the parents of Lillian, Leota and Z. Dewitt.
In 1936, Lillian and Z. Dewitt Felts purchased about 160 acres of the farm. They raised tobacco, hogs, poultry, hay, dairy, corn, wheat, vegetables, fruit and timber on the land. Their son, Dewitt Felts married Elizabeth Rogers, and their children are Diane, James Dewitt and Kathy. After Dewitt’s death in 1962, the farm was inherited by his mother, Lillian, his widow, Elizabeth, and his children.
In 1996, James Dewitt Felts acquired 157 acres, including 17 acres from the original farm begun by Jessie M. Parchman in 1867. Felts raised Tennessee Walking Horses, goats, pointer dogs, poultry, hay and timber on his land. He is married to Patricia Bryant Felts, and they are the parents of Brian Dewitt Felts. Jimmy, Patricia and Brian all are active in the farm’s operations, and Brian lives in a farmhouse that was built in the 1950s.
Felts Hill Farm is the sixth Century Farm certified in Houston County.
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 Farms Program.
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit www.tncenturyfarms.org. The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132 or 615-898-2947.
• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview the farm’s owner or request jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP at 615-898-2947.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. In September 2011, MTSU will celebrate its 100th year anniversary with special events and activities throughout the year—kicked off by a Blue-Tie Centennial Gala on Friday, Sept. 9.