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  • Jay Brothers

Cloydland Farm - Oldest in Wilson County

In 1780, Capt. John Cloyd, Jr. (1740-1795) and John Williamson accompanied James Roberton’s expedition to Middle Tennessee. They had finished their military service with the Revolutionary War forces in the Carolinas. They established claims and planted corn in the 1780s near present day Mt. Juliet area. Chased away by Native Americans, they returned and found a bountiful corn crop. Originally, they stayed in the Ft. Nashborough area, but when a smallpox epidemic hit, Cloyd and Williamson moved their families to safety. Capt. Cloyd wed Margaret Scott Cloyd (1743-1798) in 1758.


While Williamson’s home was lost, Cloyd’s home was built in 1791 in the Green Hill area (between present Hermitage and Mt. Juliet areas) is now the oldest home in Wilson Co. with the address of 13988 Lebanon Rd. - just west of Green Hill.


Capt. Cloyd’s son, John W. Cloyd (1814-1880), inherited the property. Cloyd resided there with his wife, Sarah Wade Brooks Cloyd (1816-1887). Their farm was diverse with corn, cotton and wheat as well as cattle, hogs and sheep being raised. Their other son, Rev. Ezekiel Cloyd, established Cumberland Presbyterian Church/ Cloyd’s Pres. Church which has an international footprint now. Rev. Cloyd’s son, Newton J. Cloyd, sold the land for a new Mt. Juliet train depot in 1870 that is from where the present-day Mt. Juliet grew as a railroad town. The next family owner was Dora T. Cloyd (1859-1916). The unmarried Cloyd daughter operated the farm until her death. The Cloyd House was then inherited by John and Sarah’s other daughter, Ella Van Leer Cloyd Ligon (1852-1931) and her husband, William B. Ligon (1854-1900). In 1916, Cloyd’s great-grandson, (James) Duncan Ligon (1889-1979), owned the home with his wife, Gladys Ware Ligon (1892-1987). They wed in 1916, and bought back all the original acreage.


Their homestead, known as Cloydland Farm, was renowned for breeding new varieties of cattle, pigs and sheep and for having the oldest herd of purebred Poland China hogs in the United States. Their son, Herschel Cloyd Ligon (1918-2010), inherited the farm. His first wife was Susan Wydell Lott Ligon (1921-1943) and second was Lillie Barnes Eller Ligon (1919-2006). He was a charter member of the Donelson American Legion Post 88 and a World War II veteran of Utah Beach who also helped establish the main communication line between Cherbourg to Frankfurt.


Herschel’s son, William “Bill” Ligon and grandson Andy Ligon inherited the property and became the sixth and seventh generation to work the farm. The original single room log cabin is now incorporated in the front portion of the current home, and Cloyd House was the first Wilson County site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a Tennessee Pioneer Century Farm - being owned by the same family continuously for at least 100 years. NRHP 1974

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