The Patton Farm and the Old Home Place Farms, located in Wilson County, have been designated as Tennessee Century Farms. 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.
The Patton Farm was founded in the southeastern portion of Wilson County, north of Statesville, when John Patton purchased 150 acres in 1852. He and his wife Rhoda C. Cassity married a few years prior to establishing their farm and were the parents of seven children. After Rhoda died, John remarried Mary Jane Wamack and they had one child. In addition to farming, John was an important member of his community; he made household furniture and coffins, was captain of the militia, and an elder in the Mt. Vernon Church.
The next generation to own the farm was a grandson, Dee Roy Patton, who lived on the farm his entire life. He married Amanda “Mandy” Allen in 1902 and they had two children, Myrtle Viola Patton and Howard Donnell Patton. They grew a variety of grains, vegetables, and livestock including mules. In 1930, the farm passed to Myrtle and her brother Howard. The farm now included 112 acres. During World War II, the Patton Farm and the surrounding farms were used for training maneuvers.
By 1963, Myrtle acquired her brother’s acreage. Neither sibling had children so it was acquired by their cousin, William L. Patton, a great-great grandson of the founders, and his wife Faye in 1964. William works and manages the farm, primarily growing hay.
James Sterling Weatherly purchased seventy acres in 1888. He and his wife, Mary Louisa Ashworth Weatherly, had seven children. The family grew corn, wheat, and hay while raising cattle, sheep, and mules. When James died in 1927, his wife inherited the farm, though her daughter, Ona Pearl, and her husband, Frank Phillips, acquired the farm as well as an additional 150 acres that same year. The brother-in-law and sister of Frank, E. M. Marvin and wife Fannie Phillips Lester, jointly owned this land until the Phillips bought their interest in 1938. Ona and Frank Phillips had two daughters, Ina Rebecca and Mildred Ann. The 220 acres were used to raise cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, mules, and horses while also growing several varieties of corn, wheat, hay, sorghum, and fruit trees.
Mildred Ann Phillips Edwards and her husband, Riley Marshall, became the owners of 160 acres in 1960. Their children are Sharon Anne Edwards Buchanan and Marsha Lynn Edwards Beadle. Today, Mildred Edwards lives on the farm while her son-in-law, Bob and daughter Lynne Beadle work the land. They have added tobacco to their list of farm products. In addition to the farmhouse, several historic outbuildings including three log barns, a wheat house, smoke house, hen house, well house, and garage, are part of the history of the Old Home Place.
The Patton Farm and the Old Home Place were recognized at the annual Century Farms luncheon at the Wilson County Fair on August 23, 2012. These two farms bring the total number of certified Century Farms in Wilson County to 77, more than any other county.