For the next several weeks we will be visiting some of Trousdale County’s “Century Farms” – farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 years!
We wrote about our local Century Farms back in 2005, but there have been some additions to the list since then. So we will be recognizing those, and each one has its own unique history and story to tell.
We start with the “Triple Stone Farm” in the Providence Community, currently owned by Quindy and Kathy Robertson. Quindy is the great-great-grandson of the farm’s founder, Stephen Stone.
Stone had moved to the area from Virginia, along with his wife Kezziah and their children.
Stephen and Kezziah Stone had 13 children!
One of those children was William Nicholas Stone, Quindy’s great-grandfather.
However, the first owner of the land now occupied by the Triple Stone Farm was not a Stone.
Jacob Dice was one of the first settlers in the area south of Hartsville, along the banks of the Cumberland River. When those first settlers arrived in 1822 and saw the verdant landscape, one of the first things they did was build a simple, one-room log church. When they finished the building, one of them remarked how “the providential hand of God” had led them to this piece of the Promised Land and had guided them to build a house of worship. The church then took on the name “Providence Church” and that in turn led to the community taking the same name.
It was Jacob Dice who was the original owner of the land that is now part of Triple Stone Farm.
In 1855, the heirs of Jacob Dice sold 250 acres of land to Stephen Henry Stone, as the farm didn’t pass through William. The land in question came through his brother, Stephen Henry Stone. Records show that Henry inherited 108 acres from his father’s estate.
In doing his research, Quindy found that his great-great uncle borrowed some money and used the land as collateral. In addition, the chattel mortgage also listed one horse named Bob, one roan mule, and a fawn-colored Jersey cow.
Great-great uncle Henry died a short time later and his family forfeited the land. The mortgage holder then sold the land to Quindy’s grandfather, James H. Stone.
As we can see, the deed trail is complicated, but proving the cycle of ownership is one of the requirements of the Century Farm program.
Quindy’s grandfather Stone farmed the land until his death in 1969. At that time the land was divided between his four children, William H. Stone, Mary Eleanor Stone Robertson, Wandalene Stone Woodmore, and Ethel Stone Dillard.
Quindy’s mother, Mary, received a portion of the 108 acres that had been in the family since 1855. But other land purchases over the years have increased the farm’s size to 355 acres.
To qualify for the Century Farm program, a minimum of 10 acres has to have been in the family for the required 100 years, and in Quindy’s case that would be the 30 acres given to his mother and that are now part of the total farm.
In preparing the forms for his application, Quindy Robertson included bits and pieces of history from the farm and its owners.
We won’t print the full story, but the first Stone to live in Providence (great-great-grandfather Stephen Stone) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.
Quindy’s great-grandfather served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was paroled at the end of the war in Greensboro, N.C., and had to walk the whole way home to return to his family!
Quindy has written a short novel, “Southern Trails Home,” based on his great-grandfather’s long walk! You can contact him to purchase a copy.
In 1897 there was a freak accident in the Providence Community, as a steam thresher blew up!
The steam-powered machine had a large boiler and a faulty release valve caused the steam to build up until the large iron contraption exploded. Four neighbors of the Stone family were killed and over a dozen men were injured, including Stephen Henry Stone. Fortunately, his injuries were slight.
Mother Nature has also left her mark on the family history. In April 1974, a tornado blew through the Providence Community and took the roof off of the home that had once been “Mammy Stone’s House!” It was being used as a tenant house at the time, but it was no less scary to its occupants!
Next week we look at another new Century Farm, and it too will have its share of history to relate!