meet our ancestors
Harriet Strayhorn Barksdale + John Moore
Upon Emancipation, John Moore and Harriet Strayhorn married in about 1865 in North Carolina. John was born in 1814 to his enslaved mother, Chenney Streetcar Moore. Harriet was born in 1841 as the only child of her enslaved mother, Agnes Strayhorn.
In 1870, John, a shoemaker, and Harriet, a midwife, moved from North Carolina to the Flatwoods community in Benton County, Tennessee. On March 4, 1870 they purchased 218 ½ acres for a family farm that nurtured twenty-one children, 50 acres of crop, 100 acres of timber, 61 livestock including horses, mules, dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, and hogs,
Ida Menzies + John Lewis Moore
John Moore died in February 1880, and Harriet became the farm’s owner. She operated the farm with their son, John Lewis Moore. Harriet and other family members soon moved to Gibson County, where Harriet became the first Black woman to purchase land, a portion of which she donated for a school.
Despite Jim Crow, with 100 cultivated acres,100 timber acres, John Lewis and wife Ida Menzies lived on the farm and donated land for a school and church Moore Chapel CME, the first Black church in Flatwoods and considered one of the oldest in the county. Three of his fifteen siblings were teachers at the school. It was later renamed Friendship C.M.E. Church.
Inez Parsons + John Henry Moore
John Henry Moore, his wife Inez Parson Moore, and their seven children, guided the farm through the trials of the Great Depression of the 1930s and into the modern era of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.
Over 100 cultivated acres produced corn, peanuts watermelon, sorghum, sweet potatoes, peas, and livestock.
After John Henry Moore died in 1977, Inez operated the farm . A pillar of the community, she was the county’s pressure-cooker trainer for a state program that taught food safety and storage.
Moore Family Century Farm Group
The seven Children of John Henry and Inez became productive members of society with careers in the military, interior design, cosmetology, postal service, religion, modeling, acting, politics, childcare, clothing and shoe retail while maintaining the farm.
They raised numerous children who are the descendants now caring for the farm.
In 2015, they joined the Tennessee Century Farms a program recognizing families that have owned and farmed the same land for more than 100 years.
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