Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN


From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Decatur County Printers, 1983).

Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Lillye Younger

Lealon Wyatt of Route 5, Bath Springs is the first farmer in Decatur County to enter his farm in the Land Heritage recognition program of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

His certified Family Land Heritage application dates back to 1847 by way of a Land Grant for the amount of 150 acres, however it is thought the land was owned prior to this, perhaps around the 1830's by Squatter's Rights.

The land grant is made to Solomon Wyatt, great grandfather of Mr. Wyatt, who was born in 1794 and died in 1860. The next owner was his grandfather, the late James R. Wyatt, who was born in 1825 and died in 1916 and then his father, the late David Chesley Wyatt, born in 1863 and died in 1947.

Mr. Wyatt has lived at the home place, with the exception of around two years since birth and farmed the land the years he was living on 100 highway.

Since the original Grant the farm has increased to 211 acres down through the years.

The 10-room house of yellow poplar logs was constructed with square nails. Mr. Wyatt explained that the logs were snaked from the woods by a yoke of oxen. Some of the logs were 52 feet long and were not spliced. Progress was so slow it took quite some time to complete the house.

In 1954 the log house underwent a "Face Lifting" when aluminum siding graced the exterior and the inside underwent some changes as well. The flavor of the lady of the house, Mrs. Burma Kelley Wyatt, is evident throughout the spacious inviting rooms.

The yesteryear awaits those who walk up on the front porch, which extends the width of the house. An old spring seat used in wagons is gaily painted and graces the porch as well as a school desk of the yesteryears, painted to match. Completing the furnishings is an old cream can at the front door.

Upon entering the house is the wide hall which is a picture of the early days. A giant oak roll top desk is glistening with shellac, upon which is placed a typewriter, telephone and an adding machine. An inviting cane rocker sets at one end of the desk and an oak hall tree is directly across from the desk. Nearby is Mrs. Kelley's mother's treadle sewing machine. At the end is a chifferobe once used for cloth closets in the early days. An old oaken water bucket adds charm to the setting.

Antiques in the form of heirlooms, furnish the massive living room, which has a large limestone fireplace in the center of one wall. A colorful braided oval rug enhances the beauty of the room which adjourns the dining area and kitchen.

The modern kitchen also has the flavor of "Grandmother's Days." A pie safe, with tin doors, in perfect condition, graces one bit of wall space where Mrs. Wyatt churns and cares for her butter.

Across the hall there is a limestone fireplace identical to the one in the living room, which was used in the early days as a heating system. "The upstairs is used for storage space mostly," Mrs. Wyatt explained.

The tall lanky farmer is widely known in the livestock field. He has raised Poland China hogs for many years and anyone who has ever attended the Decatur County fair can vividly see the prize winning ribbons which lined the square area in which the hogs were shown as well as the sign which read "Lealon Wyatt and Son". Not only has he captured numerous ribbons but trophies as well. He also has a stock of Hereford cattle and received trophies on his Champion Hereford Bull at the Hardin County Fair as well as the Tennessee State Fair. "We used to raise sheep but the dogs were so harmful we had to discontinue this endeavor," Mr. Wyatt said.

Near a babbling brook on the Wyatt farm is a huge flat rock which is used for a place to slaughter hogs. "I have seen 15 and 20 hogs butchered and hanging up there in hog killing weather," he admitted, "and that many more waiting to be slaughtered.". Beef is also dressed at the slaughter block. It's kinda a neighborhood deal where neighbors bring their hogs to be killed and dressed.

The Heritage home, perched on a slight rise, overlooking the panaroma, dotted with livestock is truly a haven of rest as the shades of night draw nigh for the Wyatts who truly have preserved the land and made it a better place in which to live.

Tennessee Century Farms

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