Milburn Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO — The Milburn Farm in Greene County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Dr. Carroll Van West, 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 the 19th century, it was rare that a Century Farm was founded by a woman, but in 1882, Sarah Ann Creamer Milburn purchased a farm of 84 acres in the Milburnton community. Her husband, the Rev. William Elbert Milburn, had died in 1877, leaving Sarah with their three children, John, George and Flora. Sarah sold the farm to her daughter and son-in-law, Flora and F.K. Tadlock, in 1890. When the Tadlocks moved to South Dakota in 1893, Flora sold the farm to her brother, Dr. John J. Milburn. Milburn and his wife, Laura Mattie Baskett Milburn, and their 12 children lived on the farm for more than 30 years.
In 1925, John J. Milburn sold the farm to three of his sons, and in time, John Milburn Jr. bought out his brothers’ shares. He and his wife, Anna, had three children. The oldest, John Paul Milburn, received a farm deferment during World War II to raise vegetables, including acres of Irish and sweet potatoes. Paul and his wife, Ruth Baskett Milburn, also ran a small general store in the Pleasant Hill community and continued to operate the farm after Paul’s father’s death. Paul and Ruth had two sons, Terrill and Robert, and the family raised beef cattle, hay and also tobacco until 1988. Ruth was a 50 year member of the Pleasant Hill/Jearoldstown Home Demonstration Club, and both she and Paul were members of the West Pines Ruritan Club.
Terrill Milburn, the owner of the farm since 2001, was a member of the North Greene High FFA Club and maintains the beef cattle and hay operation on the original acreage purchased by his great-great grandmother. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Smith Milburn, are the parents of Craig and Jonathan, who assist with the farm’s operations. Craig, who has a degree in animal science from Tennessee Technological University, and his wife, Kim, are the parents of four children who are learning about farming on the acreage that has been in the Milburn family for 131 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.