Monday, April 6, 2009

John Wilson Massey - TN

These details are from

In 1905, John Wilson Massey and his wife Etta Lavonia Stiles Massey purchased 217 acres of land near Fayetteville, Tenn., to found Massey Farm. John and Etta had 10 children and their home was a log dogtrot house built in 1830. The family raised hogs, goats, beef cattle and milk cows, as well as corn, wheat, and tobacco.

According to the CHP’s records, the family recalls that “Mother Etta” said she didn’t know how she reared the children without water in the house. In 1940, Con S. Massey, one of their 10 children, and his brother-in-law, Charles Bledsoe, along with farmhands and mules built a “1,500 foot gravity flow water line from a spring with a catch tank.” This system is still in use today and is the only water source for the house.

In 1947 electricity became available in Massey hollow. An electric washing machine, stove, refrigerator and iron, as well as lights, were some of the wonders brought to the Massey Farm and their neighbors with the Rural Electrification Act. Around this same time, when the farm was benefiting from this new technology, Con. S Massey came home to the farm to help with its operation. Having acquired a degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee Con farmed as well as taught World War II veterans vocational agriculture in the Flintville area and taught agriculture at the Flintville High School.

In January 1952, Con S. Massey and his wife Dorothy M. Massey bought the farm. They had three children and continued to raise some of the same livestock and crops with the addition of sheep and hay. Con also continued to teach agriculture at Flintville High School until his retirement in 1973.

Con and Dorothy’s son, John Porter Massey, and his wife Rebecca Price Massey bought the property on Jan. 23, 1980. Massey advises that the and his wife continue to live on the farm “managing a cow-calf program, bailing hay, fixing fences, bush hogging pasture and spoiling grandchildren, two dogs, and a cat!”

Photo: A barn on the John Massey Farm.

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