Century Farm owners honored

Jared Felkins • Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Wilson County Century Farm owners gathered with leaders in agriculture and special guests Thursday to share stories and induct two new families into the fold.

As has become a tradition for the past 19 years, the Century Farm Luncheon was at the Fiddlers Grove pavilion during the Wilson County Fair.

Hal Parrott with Wilson County Farm Bureau served as master of ceremonies and welcomed the group of farmers and guests.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s been [19 years], but it has,” Parrott said.

Following an invocation from Wilson Central High School FFA president Kevin Robertson and pledge of allegiance from Fairest of the Fair winner Mikayla Taylor and Wilson Senior Miss Deborah Williams, Parrott introduced Geneva Thomas, chairperson of Wilson County Century Farms.

Thomas introduced the two Century Farm inductees this year, Donald and J. Lain Eskew and David and Barbara Howell.

The Eskews own two Century Farms inducted in this year’s class. The first is Julius H. Williams Farm that was started in 1818. Thomas said when the Williams’ son acquired the farm in 1862, it was taken over by Union troops in the Civil War, and the family had to bury their silver to keep from going broke.

The second is the J.R. York Farm started in 1897 and eventually used by U.S. troops during World War II for maneuvers.

The Howells own Foxwood Farm, which was started by Clem Jennings in 1789.

Thomas said Wilson County currently has 84 Century Farms, which is the largest amount by at least 30 of any other county in Tennessee.

“The one thing that tells us is they like it here and intend to stay,” Thomas said. “They honor and the dignity of knowing these families here persevered throughout the years means a lot.

“There is a lot of history connected with each Century Farm selected. It certainly is a testament to the people who have roots in Wilson County for 100 or 200 years.”

Hale Moss with Wilson County Fair Promotions then presented Bob and Loretta Haley with a framed fair art print signed by the artist for their years of volunteer service to the Century Farm Committee. 

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