Monday, May 21, 2018

Two Bedford County farms join ranks of state's Century Farms program

BSA Farm near Haley and Walker Farm near Fairfield recognized for agricultural contributions

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Two historic Bedford Countyfamily farms are now part of the Tennessee Century Farms Program, administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU, and are being recognized for keeping continuously owned family land in agricultural production for at least the last 100 years.

The B.S.A. Farm, located along the Duck River near Haley, was founded by William T. Hickerson, who purchased the original 191 acres in 1914. In 1918, three of his sons inherited the land: Thomas, Louis and David Hickerson. Thomas died young, and his wife, Bernice Slater Hickerson, took over the farm operations and, soon after, the family’s mercantile business. Bernice also served as the local postmistress until 1956.

Thomas and Bernice’s daughter, Mary June Hickerson Hall, and her husband, Leo Hall, handled the farm’s daily operations until 1956. Their youngest son, Jimmy Hall, now operates B.S.A. Farm, where he runs cattle and grows hay as the fourth generation of family farmers.

The Walker Farm was established in 1837 when local physician Thomas Bedford Mosely built a brick home on the banks of the Garrison Fork near Fairfield. Mosely was the nephew of Revolutionary War officer Thomas Bedford Jr., for whom the county was named, and it’s believed that Mosely’s home was used as a Civil War field hospital during the Tullahoma campaign in 1864 following battles at Hoover’s Gap and Fairfield.

The Walker Farm has remained in the family for six generations, and current owner Thomas David Walker, a great-great-grandson of the founder, leases the property to raise beef cattle and grow corn and soybeans. Walker and his wife, Kandee Kinser Walker, also have been making significant improvements to the Walker Farm for their children and grandchildren’s enjoyment.

Since 1985, 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 program, visit or contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947 or P.O. Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

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