For Release: Aug. 31, 2011
Contact: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
MARION COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Samuel Raulston Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO— The Samuel Raulston Farm, located in Marion 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.
Samuel Raulston (also spelled “Roulston”) was one of 14 children of Col. James Raulston, an early settler of Marion County and a veteran of the Creek Wars and the War of 1812. Samuel and his brothers petitioned the state of Tennessee for land grants. Samuel received a grant of 5,000 acres in 1841 in Marion County, northwest of what is now South Pittsburg. Adjacent to the Raulstons’ acreage were large tracts owned by Capt. Robert Beene Bean. Samuel raised corn, wheat, oats, cotton, timber, cattle, hogs, sheep, horses and mules on his farm. He also had a large orchard. Samuel married Millie Beene, and they were the parents of 10 children. Within the Beene and Raulston family, five of Col. James Raulston’s children married five of Capt. Robert Beene’s grandchildren. Two of the sons of Millie and Samuel fought for the Union during the Civil War, enlisting in Stoke’s 5th Tennessee Calvary. One son, William Henry Raulston, was killed in December 1862, a few days before the Battle of Stones River. “The family saw thousands of troops march by their house by way of the Jasper-Sewanee Road on their way to battles at Chattanooga and Chickamauga.” Both “Union and Confederate troops ravaged the land taking all of the livestock and crops they could.” Samuel died in 1866, leaving his widow and children to make a living in the hard times following the Civil War.
John Crittendon “Crit” Raulston , acquired 600 acres of the farm in 1895. He raised corn, hay, wheat, timber, an orchard, cattle, hogs, horses, mules and sheep on the farm. He first married Matilda Mitchell, who died in 1886, and later married Sally Gilliam. He was the father of five children. In 1895, he returned to the farm to care for his ailing mother. He built a house and two barns on the farm. He also built a store and established the post office of Lodge, Tenn., in 1895.
Henry Harrison Raulston Sr. was the next owner of the farm. He married Ellen Marlow, and they later moved to the farm to care for Crit and Sally Raulston. During Henry’s tenure of ownership, the Great Depression hit, and the family worked hard to survive. Henry grew many varieties of sweet potatoes, and Ellen kept the cellar full of canned and preserved vegetables and fruits. Many changes came to the farm during this period: Electricity was introduced in 1948, and tractor power replaced horses and mules.
Henry Harrison Raulston Jr., the only child of Henry Harrison Raulston Sr., was the next owner of the farm. He married Laura Ellen Chastain in 1948, and they were the parents of three children. Although they both worked off the farm, the family kept it going, supporting beef cattle, hogs, poultry, hay, wheat, corn and soybeans.
In 1986, the sons of Ellen and Henry Harrison Raulston Jr., Daniel H., John C. and Mark C., inherited the farm. John C. Raulston and his wife, Tammy, live on the farm and oversee the daily operation, in addition to managing a veterinary practice in Jasper. John and Mark manage the use of the farm while Daniel manages the timber on the mountain acreage. Beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat, and timber are farm products. The family advised that “satellite internet, cell phones, GPS and computers are part of everyday life on the farm now.” The changes from the time of Samuel Raulston are nearly incomprehensible, but farming is still a way of life of the land on the land he received 170 years ago.
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.