200 Years Strong
Last week, Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized two new Ohio Bicentennial Farm families at their county fairs. Congratulations go out to the Noyes family, Perry County, and the Young family, Adams County.
The Swinehart Family originally came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in search of good farmland with an abundant water source. In addition to farming, they were skilled as weavers, and the family owns one of the early woven coverlets made by their ancestors.
John Swinehart received a land grant from President James Madison for a quarter-section of land in Hopewell Township in 1813. Over the years, the farm passed to John’s son, Peter, then to his son, Simon Peter. Simon’s son, George Swinehart, acquired the farm. A second barn was built on the farm during the 1860s.
George Swinehart’s daughter, Lola Mae and her husband Wilbert Noyes, acquired the farm in 1951, and it was later transferred to their children, Leora and Don Noyes. Today the farm is owned by Don and his wife, Mary Jane. In 1997, they remodeled the 1860s barn into their retirement home. Their 127-acre farm is used to produce corn, hay, timber and for gardening.
In 1804, William and Hannah Stevenson moved from Pennsylvania and settled on 130 acres in Monroe Township. The farm eventually passed to their surviving children – Charles, Elizabeth and Margaret. Charles would later sell his interests to his sisters. Elizabeth and Margaret gave the farm to their niece, Louella Jane Stevenson Young, for taking care of them during the later years of their lives.
Louella and her husband, Hamer Young, owned a general store next to the home place. They also raised dairy cattle, chickens and hogs, along with growing hay, corn, and tobacco. Louella’s children, Bert Oakley Young and Betty McGovney, would inherit the farm after their mother.
Bert expanded the farm to include a blacksmith shop and sawmill. The saw-hands were paid a small amount and two meals a day, which Louella and Bert’s wife, Mary Belle, prepared. Mary Belle Young eventually inherited the property and deeded it to her children, Howard Young, Martha Ralston, Mary Buchner, Edward Young, and Margery Young. Margery, the youngest daughter of Bert and Mary Belle, purchased the interests from her siblings. Today the farm is 136 acres, growing soybeans, hay and corn.