S and S Livestock Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO — The S and S Livestock Farm in Bedford 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.
Peter Paul “P.P.” Smith founded a 57-acre farm 14 miles northwest of Shelbyville, just south of the Bedford County line, in 1903. The deed records that a school for African-Americans was on the property at the time of the purchase, but it was reserved from the sale as it ceased to be used as a school. The school property would then become part of Smith’s holdings. The Smith family, which included two children, Dorsey and Cecil, grew corn, fruit and vegetables and raised cows, horses and mules, which P.P. Smith bred and sold to area farmers. During the harvest months, P. P. would load a buggy and travel to Shelbyville to sell and trade farm products. These trips usually began before daylight on Saturdays and ended after dark. P.P. and his first and second wives, Arpie W. Smith and Annie Ralston Smith, are all buried on the farm.
The next family member to own the farm was P. P.’s grandson, Henry E. Smith, who acquired 35 acres in 1950. With his wife, Ethel Ruth, and their three children, Ronald, Kenneth, and Michael, the family continued to raise livestock and produce row crops. They grew corn and beans while raising cows.
In 2004, Michael Smith became the farm’s owner. Michael and his wife, Dayna, live in the original farmhouse with their son, Michael Henry. They raise Black Angus cattle and grow garden produce. The S and S Livestock Farm is the 26th Century Farm to be certified in Bedford 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.