Public Auction – May 16, 1998
For about 106 years, the Leatherwoods were caretakers and farmers of the land that Great Grandpa, James F. Leatherwood, homesteaded in 1892. From 1892 to 1998, James F., his son Jessie Burrell, grandchildren JB, Jimmie Dee, Nina Vee, Butch Valgene, Ronald Vincent, and great grandson, Jimmie Dee Leatherwood Jr. (Bud), worked this farm, breaking sod, planting crops, and harvesting. When the farm sold, the heavy impact was only softened a little by the fact that the buyer of the home place was Russell Trissel, a longtime close friend and neighbor. Russell made it clear that our family would always be welcome to visit the farm.
Generations were born on the Leatherwood Farm. James and Mattie Leatherwood had two children, Willie and Jessie Burrell, who were both born in the dugout on Little Elk Creek in 1901 and 1902. Jessie Burrell’s five children, Nina Vee, JB, Jimmie Dee, Butch Valgene, and Ronnie Vincent, grew up on the farm. The last Leatherwood to be born on the land was Jeremy Dee Leatherwood in 1975. Jeremy is the great great grandson of James F. and Mattie Stewart Leatherwood.
Grandpa referred to the old house on the southeast eighty acres of the farm as “the weaning off house.” It was located just south of the original home place. When Grandpa’s oldest child, Nina Vee, married John Wesley Walker in 1942, they were given the use of the little house until they could afford one of their own. When JB married Eva Mae in 1948 they lived there. A short time later, Jimmie Dee and Elsa Rae were married and spent their honeymoon on the front porch of the old house. Over the years, several different families made a home in the old house as well as the house located on the original homestead.
The years of work and play on Grandpa’s farm have passed. But family roots to this land are strong. We are blessed to have had many years there and now wonderful memories of the red dirt, fishing, hunting, muddy pond, horses, playing in the creek, barns, and many holidays together on the farm.
Powerful are the actions of one that touch so many for generations.
Thank you Great Grandpa, James F. Leatherwood.