Farm and Family History
For five generations the Pearson family has farmed the red clay of Crawford County. The duties involved in farming the land were willingly accepted as honorable, God given privileges as much then as they are today. More than 130 years ago, in 1885, Moses Winlock “Lockie” Pearson and his wife, Cornelia Emory “Emma”, moved to this area and planted the first peach trees for the Pearson family. There were six sons and six daughters in the family. Lockie and Emma were both born in 1858 and married in 1880. In 1906, Lockie died at the age of 48 leaving Emma to continue raising children and working the farm.
Moses Winlock “Lockie” and Cornelia Emory “Emma” Pearson
Old Zenith Homeplace, c. 1904 – second home of Lockie and Emma
This would be the homeplace for the Pearson family for years to come.
Emma and her oldest son, John, continued to farm, adding more land to the family holdings and planting more peaches. John married Rosa Lee “Mamma Lee” and the family thrived. John loved to “figure”, buy and sell land, and to chew tobacco. Rosa Lee loved to write, was a consummate gardener, devoted Primitive Baptist and an individualist. John and Rosa Lee had 3 boys and 2 girls who all worked in peaches, as children and later with their spouses as adults.
John and Rosa Lee Pearson
The Lee Pope House
The Lee Pope House came with the farm when John Pearson purchased the property. He and Rosa Lee raised their family there and took in borders – mostly teachers.
Lawton and Laurie Lanier Pearson
Lawton, son of John and Rosa Lee, married Laurie Lanier in 1937 and they had three children: Peggy, Ann and Al. As children, Peggy, Ann and Al all worked in the peach packing shed every summer where lessons in perseverance and tenacity were learned. No matter how tired or how late the hour, peaches must be ready for timely shipping to New York and other points north. After college, Al joined his father in farming. In 1972, he married Mary McLennan whom he met at the University of Georgia and they also have three children – Mary Katherine, Lawton and Laurie. In 1973 Al began operating the farm as Big 6 Farm, a partnership effort owned by Al and his two sisters, farming together for 35 years. After finishing law school son Lawton and Al purchased the business in 2008 and began farming together. Lawton married Lanier Defnall and they now have three young children – Adeline, Cort and Sutton. Although Al and Lawton continue to grow peach trees, they also grow a large acreage of pecans.
Lawton and Al Pearson, current owners and Pearson Farm generations 4 & 5
Al and Mary with their children and grandchildren.