For Release: April 5, 2012
Contact: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
DICKSON COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Williams Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO — Williams Farm, located in Dickson 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 1907, Lennie Christopher Williams established a farm in the Stoney Point community of Dickson County west of Vanleer. He purchased more than 46 acres that year, and, in 1912, he purchased an additional 28½ acres. He raised dark-fired tobacco, corn, hay, oxen, mules, hogs, chickens and vegetables on his farm, and he also grew timber. Lennie owned an ax handle mill in the 1920s, which was run by a steam engine, and, in the 1930s, he bought a sawmill. Married to Mellie Milam Williams, they were the parents of four children: Johnny C., Jessie W., Mary Anice, and Wilton.
After Lennie’s death in 1941, Mellie inherited the farm. She continued to manage the farm and operate the sawmill with the help of her three sons. When Mellie died in 1955, the four siblings inherited this farm, as well as other properties in Houston County.
In 1956, Wilton Williams and his wife, Tennie Mae Waynick, purchased the farm, the properties in Houston County, and a tractor from his brothers and sister. The family raised dark-fired and burley tobacco on the farm, as well as corn, hay, timber, mules, hogs, goats, chickens and vegetables. Wilton continued to work the farm until he became ill at the age of 80. His wife, Tennie Mae, was a member of the Home Demonstration Club for many years. Wilton and Tennie were the parents of three children, Patsy, Jimmy and Donna. All three children were 4-H members. Three generations of the family have been members of the Farm Bureau.
After Wilton’s death in 2006, Tennie Mae inherited the farm. She lives in the original farmhouse where the tobacco and hay crops are leased. Tennie continues to keep the house and the yard and remains involved and interested in the farm’s operations. Her daughter, Patsy Williams Halliburton, compiled the application for the Williams Farm, an important part of the history of the Stoney Point community for more than 100 years.
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.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary and faithful to its roots as a teachers' college, MTSU continues as a top producer of teachers in Tennessee. Pride, Tradition and Excellence are the cornerstones of "Tennessee’s Best"! For MTSU news and information anytime, visit www.mtsunews.com.