The Allen-Rhodes Farm, located in Perry County, has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm. The Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in continuous production for at least 100 years.
Joseph Henry Allen founded the Allen-Rhodes Farm west of Linden near the Tennessee River on the Marsh Creek. A Civil War veteran, he served with Co. D of the 51st Tennessee Infantry. In 1867 Joseph and his wife, Frances Elizabeth Byrd Allen who he married in 1864, acquired the land, possibly through her family. She was the daughter of William and Temperance Byrd (Bird) who migrated to Marsh Creek from South Carolina.
Allen’s brothers also owned adjacent or nearby land and together they farmed about 1900 acres. They produced cotton, corn, and peanuts and raised cows and pigs while also owning and operating a warehouse and store on the Tennessee River near the Jennings Bluff Landing called “Allen Brothers Shipping.” An enterprising family, they also operated a gristmill and sorghum mill near their home on Marsh Creek. Joseph and Frances had six children survive to adulthood. Large tracts of this Allen land were acquired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in later years.
The third son of Joseph Henry and Frances, James David “Jim” Allen, and his wife, Leora Myracle, were the next generation to own the farm. They had eight children, and their daughter, Flossie, and her husband, Tavy Rodger Rhodes, were the next to own the farm. Before acquiring the farm in 1936, the Rhodes lived in Nashville while Tavy worked as the Chief Railway Clerk with the U.S. Post Office until he was disabled. The Rhodes had two sons, Herman Bliss and James William “JW.”
Herman Bliss and his wife, Joy Adkins of Benton, Kentucky, acquired the land in 1978. Their children are David (1951-2005), Jan, and Mike. When Herman Bliss passed away in 1995, Joy and her children became the owners. Mike works on the farm growing hay while some acreage is leased for corn. The family hosts an annual dove shoot each Labor Day weekend. “Miss” Joy lives on the farm surrounded by her family which includes her several grandchildren and great grandchildren. The Allen-Rhodes Farm is the fifteenth Tennessee Century Farm to be certified in Perry County.