HISTORY

History of the Farm

history1Bring your family and experience the “good old-fashioned” outdoors on the 180+ acres of Hodges Farm.  The Farm has evolved over the past 100 years, and following is some of the history behind this wonderful place. The Eugene Wilson Hodges Farm comprises approximately 187 acres of farmland, farmhouse, and related outbuildings northeast of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The property is one of the county’s largest farmsteads today.  The Farm is located on both the north and south sides of Rocky River Church Road. To the northeast and southeast, stand the l9th-century farmhouses of the Caldwell and Hood families who, like the Hodges family, have shaped the landscape of this part of the county for more than a century.

history3E. W. Hodges grew up on his parents’ farm which was also in Crab Orchard Township. The son of Calvin W. and Jane Hood Hodges, E. W. began acquiring land of his own in 1905 and continued to buy additional acreage through fifteen more purchases of Crab Orchard farmland, the last of which was bought in 1941, just two years before his death.1 According to the 1880 census, his parents farmed rented land, but by the time he died, E. W. Hodges had accumulated 486.38 acres.2

According to family members, E. W. Hodges built his house in 1905. He designed it himself and used lumber from his land to build it.3 There are no agricultural records available for the Hodges Farm from the census figures (the last of which that are available is 1880), but a picture of the agricultural production may be gathered from the settlement of Hodges’ estate in 1944.

history1The inventory shows that his farm produced 600 bushels of corn, 1000 bushels of oats, 1000 bushels of barley, 30 tons of hay, and 62 bales of cotton. He owned 22 milk cows, five heifers, and five mules. The farm implements were valued at $610.00, and he had an undetermined number of tenant farmers who were entitled to partial interest in 14 bales of cotton.4 From these figures, it would appear that Hodges farm was atypical in that it raised more oats and barley than corn, and that it continued to produce that amount of cotton into the 1940s.

history2After E. W. Hodges’ death in 1943, his estate was divided between his two sons, E. W. Hodges, Jr. and James Franklin Hodges, with Eunice Cochran Hodges (1880-1959), the widow of E. W. Hodges, Sr., receiving a life estate in the house plus the use of 100 surrounding acres.5 In 1969, a final partition of the land was made between the two sons and J. Frank Hodges received title to the home place tract and other parcels.6 J. Frank Hodges converted the land to a dairy farm called Hodges Dairy, Inc.

J. Frank (Frankie) Hodges Jr. operated Hodges Farm until his passing in April 2015. The farm is now run by Connor Newman (grandson of J. Frank and Olivia Hodges) and Kim Hodges (granddaughter of J. Frank and Olivia Hodges).

Interested in seeing how beautiful the Farm is today? Take a look! CLICK FOR VIDEO

 

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Notes and sources
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
Helen Hodges 2006, Frankie Hodges 2006, Mary Bath Gatza 1987
1 Mecklenburg County, Certificate of Death, Book 65, p.271; Mecklenburg County Deed Book 190, p. 389; 218, p.691; 280, p.588; 365, p.241; 365, p.412; 391, p. 390; 497. p. 55; 492, p.124; 526, p,491; 573, p.268; 573, p.283; 578, p.132; 776, p.41; 837, p. 72; 876, p.459; 1052, p. 383.2 Mecklenburg County, Record of Accounts, Book 35, p.88; U. S. Census, 1880, Mecklenburg County, Agricultural Schedules.3 Interview with J. Frank Hodges by Mary Beth Gatza, 1988, and Richard Mattson, 1989.4 Ibid.5 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1121, p. 36, 27 May 1944.6 Ibid., Book 3100, p.286, 9 June 1969; Map Book 14, p. 495.

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