Morgan-Stuckey Farm honored


SABINA — Two hundred years in the family. The Stuckey family farm near Sabina was recognized Thursday night by the Ohio Department of Agriculture as an Ohio Bicentennial Farm at the Borton family farm near Wilmington during the Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting.

There to accept the award was Ruth Stuckey, and her daughter and son-in-law Mary and Elias Newswanger. Mary Newswanger describes the honor as satisfying and wished her father, Roy Joe, could’ve been there.

“(The farm) was something that meant so much to him. He worked a lot to do the groundwork for that and I know he would’ve loved it. We’re enjoying it on his behalf,” said Mary.

The now 147-acre corn and soybean farm on Hornbeam Road was founded by John Morgan, originally from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and deeded in February 1817. Around 300 acres were given to him by the U.S. government through the Virginia Military Survey.

Morgan’s father, Charles, was a member of George Washington’s survey team. He was entrusted to manage much of Washington’s property which was spread over a vast area of the Ohio River Valley.

The Hornbeam Road site would later be owned by John’s son, James, and his wife, Hannah Strouse Morgan, in 1852. Over the years it would become the Morgan Homestead.

In 1959, Roy Joe Stuckey inherited the farm from his mother, Elizabeth Morgan Stuckey, and moved to farm with his wife Ruth and their four children, now grown: Joseph Stuckey, John Stuckey, Mary Newswanger and Rebecca Howarth.

Ruth, who now lives in Cape May Retirement Village, remembers a lot of little things about the farm such as a strawberry patch they had. She also remembers her first big farming tasks. Including dressing 22 chickens with some family help.

“I hadn’t really been responsible for chickens before that, but I learned to cut them up,” said Ruth.

Mary Newswanger, one of Ruth and Roy Joe’s daughters, has memories of the farm that include the wide open spaces and their visits to the county fair.

“We liked having the open space to run and play. We enjoyed showing cows and different things at the county fair; that was always a lot of fun,” said Newswanger.

While corn and soybeans have been the main crops for the farm they did have other things going on.

“It was a regular family farm,” said Mary Newswanger. “There were Jersey dairy (cattle), chickens, hogs, gardens.”

Roy Joe developed herds of Jersey cattle for dairy. He first did this with his parents and sister, then at Wilmington College and at the farm. Roy Joe ended his cattle days around the age of 70.

“(Roy Joe’s) dad died chasing cattle at 70, and he decided at 70 to stop,” said Newswanger.

The Stuckeys’ contributions to agriculture didn’t stop at their produce. Roy Joe was also the founder of the agriculture department at Wilmington College and did development work for them. He continued to live on the farm until his death in 2015 at the age of 87.

While the farm is still owned by the Stuckey children, now named the Roy Joe and Ruth E. Stuckey Revocable Trust, it’s currently being farmed by Kirk Stuckey, a second cousin.

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
}
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
}
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
}
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;
}

The Morgan Homestead farm on Hornbeam Road near Sabina is 200 years old.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_Morgan_Homestead_p_f.jpgThe Morgan Homestead farm on Hornbeam Road near Sabina is 200 years old. Courtesy photos

A “barn quilt” depicts College Hall at Wilmington College. The Roy Joe and Ruth Stuckey Family have close ties to the college.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_quilt_square_p_f.jpgA “barn quilt” depicts College Hall at Wilmington College. The Roy Joe and Ruth Stuckey Family have close ties to the college. Courtesy photos
200 years loving the land

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.