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Result: National Championship

Location: Grand Junction, Tennessee

Post Date: Mar 1, 2019

Submitted By: William S. Smith


The Winner. Dunn's Tried'n True is posed by Tommy Davis. Directly behind are handler Luke Eisenhart (left) and owners Rita and Will Dunn, joined by the judges, NFTCA officials, and well-wishers. [Photo by Jamie Evans.]
GRAND JUNCTION, TENN. -- There are some interesting number combinations associated with Luke Eisenhart, Dunn's Tried'n True. This was Luke's seventh time to handle a dog in the National Championship. The number "7" is supposed to be the luckiest of all numbers.

Tried'n True is six years old. Seven plus six equals 13 -- the number of the brace in which Tried'n True competed.

This year was the fifth time Tried'n True competed in the National. Lucky 7 plus 5 equals 12 -- the number of championships Tried'n True has won. Coincidence or fate?

The "curse" of the morning course has been broken. For the first time since 2014, the winner ran in the morning. The previous four National Champions had all competed on the afternoon course.

Years ago, the morning course was preferred by the handlers, but the pendulum swung when more game contacts were recorded in the afternoon arrangement.

Shadow Oak Bo's successive wins occurred on the morning course in 2013 and 2014.

Dunn's Tried'n True is a striking white, orange and ticked canine athlete that was named 2019 National Champion in his fifth attempt at the title. In his four previous attempts, he completed the three hours twice. This win is his twelfth championship title. He secured four championships when he burst on the scene as a Derby in 2015 -- the Georgia, Continental Derby, All-America and the American Derby Invitational Championships.

He won his first all-age title in 2016 as a first year dog when he won the Quail Championship Invitational and, later in the season, he won the United States Open Championship.

The year 2017 saw three more titles added to his resume -- the All-America, the Missouri, and the Quail Championship Invitational for the second time. He added two more titles in 2018 -- the Southwestern and the National Free-for-All.

He also has five runner-up titles to his credit -- the International Pheasant Championship (twice), Southeastern, National Amateur Pheasant, and the Florida Championship. He has been one of the most consistent winners on the all-age circuit in recent years.

He has been under of tutelage of Luke Eisenhart his entire career and their relationship is obvious.

"Jack" is owned by Will and Rita Dunn of Lebanon, Ky. He competed on the second Monday of the trial on the morning course in conditions that were far from favorable. He was impervious to the conditions as he searched for his elusive quarry in temperatures below freezing and the wind chill factor in the mid-20s. Heavy rain had made the footing atrocious but the near freezing water and cold mud was of no concern to him.

He was in tune with his handler and it was obvious that he wanted to please. He was consistently in the 10 to 2 cone for the entirety of his effort. His scout, Tommy Davis, had little to do but to admire the performance.

His seven flawless finds coupled with his ability and stamina left little doubt as to the outcome by those who witnessed his bid. He scored three finds in the first hour; the first coming at 8 minutes into the brace, three finds in the second hour, and one in the last hour. He found two coveys that had not been seen previously. His relocation on his third find was outstanding when he pinned the running covey in the woodsedge after a deliberate search.

His demeanor around game was nothing short of pure, polished class. His style -- impeccable. His performance --inspiring. His character -- immaculate. His finish -- impressive. His performance was a remarkable three hours of stamina, ability, handling, and hunting prowess. His hard earned title of National Champion is well deserved.

"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play."

Mike Singletary

Brace No. 13 on Monday morning, February 18, featured Stardust Chaz, handled by Steve Hurdle and scouted by Korry Rinehart. Co-owners Bob Craig and Scott Kermicle braved the cold to watch their contender. Chaz's other co-owners are Sarina Craig and John Sayre.

Dunn's Tried'n True's owners Will and Rita Dunn were riding to watch the action.

It was 30 , a wind chill of 25 at 8:02 when the competition got under way.

True held the west edge of the Out Front Field and Chaz went to the east edge. True worked up through the T Piece and Chaz was past the pond levee headed to Heartbreak Hill. True went into Joe Woody and Eisenhart saw him standing at 8 in a bicolor strip. Chaz was standing in the same strip in close proximity but facing way. Both handlers flushed and both shot as the covey lifted. A divided find was credited here.

They crossed Ellington Road and True took the west edge and Chaz the east. They were out of pocket through the New Basin and both scouts were out. True and Chaz came in together in the Avent House field. Eisenhart's cap was in the air at 24. True was standing in the feed patch adjacent to Turner Road. The covey lifted when Eisenhart flushed and True remained motionless. At 26 Chaz was pointing in the pines on the north side of the Turner House place field. Chaz recorded his second find with no exceptions taken to style or manners.

They made quick time through the Longneck Field. Eisenhart found True standing for the third time at 40 just south of the Turner Pines. A relocation was called for and True displayed his determination and ability when he located the covey in the nearby trees. It was a dazzling piece of bird work.

Chaz had already crossed Turner Ditch and it was a long ride before True was back ahead at Govan Hill. Hurdle pointed Chaz out going over the hill and True went around the base of the hill. They ranged ahead and crossed National Championship where Hurdle and Eisenhart waited for the judges to catch up.

When released, Chaz worked the Mary Scott barn field on the left and True went toward Mary Scott basin. They sped across the levee and True turned into the lowlands at Eisenhart's bidding. Rinehart was sent into No Man's Land to search for Chaz. True was pointing again at 1:11 in a feed patch on the west end of the lowlands. The fourth covey of the day for True took wing when Eisenhart walked in front of the rigid True.

True went into Locust Turn and made a cast around National Championship South before crossing Turner Road into the Tennessee Field. Chaz had not been seen since the turn into the lowlands and Hurdle asked for the retrieval device at 1:25.

True took the east edge in the Tennessee Field and was stacked up again at 1:32 on the south end of the field next to a downed tree top. No. 5 for True was recorded. True made a big swing around the Morgan Field and was soon standing in a feed patch in the Supermarket Field at 1:44. He was flawless again when the covey rose and Eisenhart fired over him.

Eisenhart sent him ahead to Climmie Clark South. True went into the Edward Clark Pasture but returned to the course when Eisenhart called on him and he turned into No Man's Land. He was quickly through the Edward Clark Fields and out of sight over the hill to Keegan Bottom. When Eisenhart started down into the bottom, he saw True standing for the seventh time in a feed patch in Keegan Bottom at 2:08. He was a handsome sight as he watched his quarry fly.

True crossed Keegan Ditch and showed to the front through Jim Braddic and Tobe Polk. He turned south in Edward Clark North and sped over Cut Over Pine Hill and turned into Edward Clark Pasture. He was still strong as he went into Climmie Clark North and showed well as he exited Climmie Clark South. He took the west edge in the Morgan all the way to the south end of the field. He had been down two hours and 55 minutes, had not slowed and he was still running strong. Eisenhart turned him into the T Piece where he finished to the front going away.

It was an impressive performance and those who witnessed it knew that the standard had been set.

Brace No. 14 in the afternoon began under cloudy skies, the mercury at 42 but a cold wind made it seem much cooler.

Westfall's True Grit was piloted by Andy Daugherty for owner Ryan Westfall, Luke Eisenhart assisting. Scott and Julie Jordan own Strut Nation and Scott handled him. Julie watched from the road. When they broke away, Daugherty went under the power line to the north side of the hedgerow; Jordan took the south side. In the Jim Miller Field, Grit turned back and Eisenhart rode for him and turned him around. Jordan pointed out Nation at the far end of Jim Miller. Nation scored when he located a covey in the East Pasture Hay Field standing in a field road pointing into thick weeds at 15. He was steady at wing and shot. Grit was ahead in Buster Graves. Jordan called point for Nation just past the gravel drive in the Buster Graves Loop at 19. Another covey flew when Jordan flushed, Nation again steady. Grit was standing at 20 in the loop but Daugherty could not produce any quail and Grit was charged with an unproductive.

Nation was across the Kemp Fields and turned toward the horseshoe. Grit was missing in the Kemp Fields and Eisenhart and Daugherty were out at Cedar Hill. Daugherty joined Jordan in Peter Pugh and they rode for the horseshoe. Neither Grit nor Nation was seen in the chute and Daugherty requested the retrieval device at 48. Jordan rode ahead to the Strawberry Patch and when Nation had not appeared, he asked for the retrieval unit at 58 ending the afternoon running.

Erin's Full Throttle squared off with True Confidence in brace No. 15. Robert Henry handled Throttle for owner John Ivester, who was riding in the gallery, and Burke Hendrix scouted. Confidence was handled by Luke Eisenhart.

It was bitterly cold with the chill factor in the low 20s with a bone-chilling breeze. They raced ahead when released and were through the treeline quickly. Both handlers and scouts were out at Heartbreak Hill. Eisenhart was back with Confidence and he took the west edge in Morgan. Confidence was next spotted in the L. B. Avent Field. Throttle was still out of pocket.

Confidence crossed Turner Road and Henry was calling point for Throttle in the feed patch in the L. B. Avent field adjacent to Turner Road at 28. Throttle remained solid for wing and shot. Throttle caught up with Confidence in the Longneck Field and they both took the west edge. Throttle took the old course at Turner Basin and Henry followed. Eisenhart saw Confidence standing in weeds just west of the Turner Pines at 44. The stand proved to be barren and Eisenhart sent him on toward the Turner Ditch crossing. Henry was searching for Throttle at Govan Hill when Throttle was spotted in Tom Hert. Confidence was standing again at 54 in the strip between Govan and Tom Hert. This also proved to be unproductive. Confidence was picked up at 58.

Throttle crossed National Championship and at 1:11 he had his second find in Mary Scott just west of No Man's Land. Throttle continued to respond to Henry but the brutal conditions took their toll on him. It was evident that he was working against the elements that would only worsen and Henry picked him up at 1:44 in the Morgan Field.

Brace No. 16 scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, February 19, was postponed because of forecasted heavy rain with embedded lightning. Torrential rain during the night caused the start of the brace Wednesday morning to be delayed an hour to allow the heavy run-off to recede to allow safe crossing of Turner Ditch.

It was 9:00 a. m. when Shadow's Next Exit and Cole Train began. Robin Gates directed Exit with help from Luke Eisenhart. Train was handled by Randy Downs, assisted by Korry Rinehart. Dr. Fred Corder owns Cole Train, but was not able to attend. A steady rain was falling and would continue, sometimes heavy, throughout the brace. Exit took the west side and Train took the east side in the breakaway field. Exit stayed to the west and joined Train at the pond levee. Both handlers, scouts and dogs were out at Heartbreak Hill at 12. Gates was back with Exit at 24 in the Morgan Field, Downs close behind with Train. Exit turned toward the old course on the south end of Morgan and Train was in the New Basin field. Train took in the L. B. Avent field and Downs held up at Turner Road for the judges. Gates was in the Avent Field but still without Exit.

Train was in the Longneck going toward Turner Basin. Gates asked for the retrieval device at 47. Train was not seen through the Turner Pines nor the Turner Ditch but he was with Downs after crossing Turner Ditch, the was ahead at a moderate distance from Govan Hill to National Championship Road. Downs decided to save Train for another day and picked him up at 1:16.

No. 17, the final brace of the 2019 competition, was a highly anticipated brace because it featured two previous National Champions. Lester's Sunny Hill Jo, handled by Gary Lester, the 2017 and 2018 Champion, and Whippoorwill Justified, the 2016 Champion, handled by Larry Huffman. Mark Haynes scouted Jo and Nick Thompson worked for Justified.

There was a heavy mist in the air and a light fog over the course when the brace began at 12:07. Jo worked down the food patch next to Ames Road and Justified took the power line hedgerow. They went into the East Pasture hay field and both scouts were sent to the south in the hay field. Justified stayed on the south edge of Buster Graves and Jo was on the north. They made the loop and went into the Mounting Block Field. At 25 Justified was pointing into a feed patch between the Mounting Block Field and George Kemp East. A large covey lifted when Huffman flushed, Justified remaining staunch. Four minutes later, at 29, Thompson found Justified in a food patch in Peter Pugh. Huffman flushed a bird and shot and then noticed Jo standing on down the row, a divided find credited.

They soon entered the chute. Lester spotted Jo standing at 41 on the east side of the chute. Lester could not put anything in the air; the relocation also failed. Jo was back in the front at the Strawberry Patch and Justified had not been seen since the Agronomy Fields. Huffman stayed to the front confident Justified was ahead. Huffman called point for Justified at 59 in Sam's Water Truck Field. This would be Justified's last find today. Jo was backing and both dogs remained solid for wing and shot.

At 1:03 Lester called point for Jo, but Jo corrected and went ahead on his own. Justified was not seen again until the terraced hill going down into Turkey Bottom. Jo was already in the bottom and both dogs made a nice showing as they raced to the ditch crossing. They were moving at a fast pace through Alfalfa Bottom when Huffman raised his cap for the fourth time. Justified was standing in milo stubble. Jo was backing from about thirty yards away. There were no birds and Justified suffered an unproductive.

They were over Pine Hill and both handlers pointed them out going into Marshall Jack Harris. Jo had his second find in a feed patch at 1:38 in the Harris Field. Five minutes later he racked up his third and last find of the day in the Tyler Test Field. Justified honored his bracemate with a mannerly back. They ran the remaining fields with purpose. Neither seemed to be tiring as they ranged far to the front, up and over Cox's Ridge and streaked down the hill into Fason Bottom. They went up Fason Ridge independent of each other. Justified was on the north edge in A T's and Jo took the south edge. Huffman conferred with the judges and he picked up Justified at the Ellington Road crossing at 2:36. Lester followed suit at 2:40.

The 2019 National was concluded except for the announcement of the new champion.

Grand Junction, Tenn., February 11

Judges: C. F. Bryan, Jadie Rayfield and Dr. Stan Wint

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP [Three-Hour Heats} -- 31 Pointers and 3 Setters

Game Bo, w & lv, pointer male, by Rock Acre Rambo--Regret C. Dr. Fred Corder, owner; Weldon Bennett, handler. With

Dominator's Rebel Heir, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Rivertons Funseek'n Scooter--Pearl Again. James W. Hamilton, Jr., owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.

Touch's Mega Mike, w, o & tk, pointer male, by House's Ring of Fire--Touch's Blaylock Bess. Eddie Sholar & Ted Dennard, owners; Randy Anderson, handler. With

Hendrix's Signature, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Game Strut--Hendrix's Outlier. Guy & Burke Hendrix, owners; Burke Hendrix, handler.

Westfall's Black Ace, w, b & tk, pointer male, by Westfall's Black Ice--Black Bama. Bill Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler. With

Erin's Longmire, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Erin's Whiskey River--Erin's Wild Rose. Brad H. Calkins, owner; Robin Gates, handler.

Touch's Gallatin Fire, w, o & tk, pointer male, by House's Ring of Fire--Touch's Sandy. Alex Rickert, owner; Mark McLean, handler. With

Touch's Adams County, w, lm & tk, pointer male, by House's Line Up--Line of Beck. Richard Peterson, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

T's Nickleback, w, o & tk, setter male, by Rapidan--T's Skyline Angel. Bruce Sooter & Steve Burns, owners; Allen Vincent, handler. With

Miller's Speed Dial, w & o, pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In--Old Road Lou. Gary Lester, owner and handler.

Westfall's Black Thunder, w, b & tk, pointer male, by Westfall's Black Ice--Westfall's Quick Gold. Bill Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler. With

Touch's Blackout, w & o tk, pointer male, by Touch's White Out--B C Angelina. Richard Peterson, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

Erin's Wild Justice, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin--Sparrowhawk. Allen R. Linder, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler. With

Lester's Jazz Man, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Lester's Snowatch--High Point Jesse. Dan Hensley, owner; Randy Anderson, handler.

Touch's Spaceman, w, o & tk, pointer male, by House's Ring of Fire--Touch's Sandy. Matt Griffith, owner; Randy Anderson, handler. With

Whippoorwill Wild Assault, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin--Boxwood Bang. Jim & Stephanie Bickers, owners; Larry Huffman, handler.

Whippoorwill Mayhem, w & o tk, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin--Sparkles. Ric Peterson, owner; Larry Huffman, handler. With

Game Wardon, w, & lv tk, pointer male, by Caladen's Rail Hawk--Game Creek. Dr. Fred Corder, owner; Luke Eisenhart, handler.

Sleepless in Sacramento, w & o, pointer female, by I B Iron Horse--Super Express Nash Begone. Jim & Cami Wolthuis, owners; Sheldon Twer, handler. With

Coldwater Thunder, w, lv & tk, pointer female, by Coldwater Warrior--Thunder Bess. Doug Arthur & Rachel Blackwell, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler.

Quickmarksman's Tom Tekoa, w, o & tk, setter male, by Quickmarksman's Tekoa--Quickmarksman's Sue. L. S. Earls, owner; Mike Hester, handler. With

Touch's White Knight, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Lance's Last Knight--Prairieland Lucy. Eddie Sholar, owner; Mark McLean, handler.

Westfall's River Ice, w, b & tk, pointer male, by Westfall's Black Ice--Westfall's Quick Gold. Brad H. Calkins, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler. With

Lester's Georgia Time, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Ransom--Beane's Line Dancer. Baker Hubbard & Jim Clark, owners; Robin Gates, handler.

Stardust Chaz, w, o & tk, setter male, by Wild Wing Warrior--Stardust Coco. Bob & Sarina Craig, Scott Kermicle & John Sayre, owners; Steve Hurdle, handler. With

Dunn's Tried'n True.

Westfall's True Grit, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Erin's Brave Heart--Westfall's Irish Bell. Ryan Westfall, owner; Andy Daugherty, handler. With

Strut Nation, w & o, pointer male, by Game Strut--High Value Special. Scott & Julie Jordan, owners; Scott Jordan, handler.

Erin's Full Throttle, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Erin's Stoney River--Erin's Pretty Penny. John & Susan Ivester, owners; Robert Henry, handler. With

True Confidence, w & o, pointer male, by Two Acre Bulldog--Bar P Anex. Frank & Jean LaNasa, owners; Luke Eisenhart, handler.

Shadow's Next Exit, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Exit Lane--Weber's Little Snowball. N. G. Houston III, owner; Robin Gates, handler. With

Cole Train, w, b & tk, pointer male, by Lance's Last Knight--Quinton's Pretty Baby. Dr. Fred Corder, owner; Randy Downs, handler.

Whippoorwill Justified, w, lv & tk, pointer male, by Whippoorwill Wild Agin--Sparkles. Ronnie Spears, owner; Larry Huffman, handler. With

Lester's Sunny Hill Jo, w, o & tk, pointer male, by Ransom--Miller's White Wall. David Thompson, owner; Gary Lester, handler.

Winner--Dunn's Tried'n True, 1655258, pointer male, by Miller's Dialing In--White Royal Pain. Will & Rita Dunn, owners; Luke Eisenhart, handler.


Dunn's Tried'N True Winner of the National Championship


The annual National Field Trial Championship "Kickoff Dinner" was sponsored by Purina, Garmin, Ainley Kennels and Fabrication at the Bird Dog Museum on Sunday evening, February 10. This event is greatly anticipated and the most attended affair associated with the National Championship. The sponsors ensure that everyone who attends does go away hungry.

Purina is the official dog food sponsor of the 2019 National. Purina furnished a year's supply of Pro Plan to the winning handler and a sample to each participating handler. Purina also made a monetary contribution to help defray the cost of hosting this championship. In addition to the National, Purina supports and sponsors trials throughout the United States by their financial funding and by their gifts of apparel displaying the Purina logo and Purina product. Purina furnished coats to the officers and directors of the NFTCA, the judges, and others for their service to the National.

Purina was represented by Karl Gunzer, senior manager of all of the Purina Sporting Dog segments, Greg Blair, area manager in charge of the entire Bird Dog segment, and consultant Jim Smith.

Purina is celebrating its 125th year as a company this year. Purina also sponsors the oil painting of the 2019 winner by artist Ross B. Young.

The National Field Trial Champion Association is grateful and appreciative to all of the sponsors who donate their products and their support in order to make this event a highly prestigious field trial. [A listing of all the sponsors of the 2019 National Championship was carried in the January 5 issue of The American Field, pages 2-3.]

On Monday evening, February 18, Sportsman's Pride sponsored an "all invited" Brunswick Stew at Bryan Hall. Sportsman's Pride dog food is produced by Sunshine Mills located in Red Bay, Ala. They will also supply a year's supply of dog food to the winning handler.

While supplies lasted samples of dog food and souvenir caps were available in the Rhea Clubhouse. In addition, they made a monetary contribution to help offset the cost of this year's event.

Sportsman's Pride was represented by David Brown and Brad Kennedy.

Lester's Sunny Hill Jo was the winner of the Joe H. Hurdle Top Dog Award for 2018. He amassed 1,800 points in qualifying for this year's National. David Thompson of Edmonton, Ky., owns Jo and he was on hand to accept the award presented by Bobby McAlexander, the late Joe Hurdle's son-in-law. Jo is handled by Gary Lester.

Annually a contingent from the University of Tennessee comes to ride at least one brace of the National. Randy Boyd, UT president, Herb Byrd, UT vice-president of Public Service, Charlie Hatcher, Commissioner of Agriculture, Jamie Woodson, UT trustee, Tim Cross, UTIA Chancellor, and Keith Barber rode on the afternoon of February 12. Frank Proffitt, Angie Proffitt, Bob Sinclair, Kathy Ledbetter, Evan Beech and Keith Barber rode the afternoon of February 13.

The Hickory Valley Women's Club and women from Grand Junction, Saulsberry, Bolivar, LaGrange, Shannon, Miss., and Somerville were on hand each morning of the running in the Rhea Clubhouse to distribute sausage and biscuits that are furnished by the First Baptist Church of Grand Junction. They also offered coffee and for those frigid mornings they had a supply of hand warmers for sale.

The second most anticipated event of the season is the annual catfish dinner sponsored by Budweiser, Central

Distributing of Jackson, Tenn., and Purina. The Bird Dog Museum hosted the gathering on Thursday, February 14. The appetites of the several hundred who attended were fully satisfied with the abundance of catfish and hush puppies.

Ms. Catherine Bowling Dean of Me and My Tea Room Catering served lunch in Bryan Hall from 11:00 a. m. until 1:00 p. m. each day of the running. Bryan Hall is a popular place during the noon break.

Tonya Brotherton and her staff at the Bird Dog Museum extend the hours of operation to seven days a week during the trial. Along with hosting the Kickoff Dinner and the Catfish Dinner, the Museum also hosts the Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday morning before the start of the trial. Tonya, Cissye Pierce, and Renee Houston are the only full time employees. The Museum is eternally grateful to all the volunteers who give their time during this extremely busy time.

Aubrey Green, head of security, oversees the security teams that patrol the grounds and assist with traffic control at the road crossings. Aubrey is celebrating his 38th year working in security for the Ames. Paramedic Greg Tapp is horseback for every brace and his training has benefitted those who have needed medical assistance in the past.

Other members of the security patrol are: Kelly Green, Joe Thompson, Chris Kelly, Zack Parsons, Kerry Kimmery, Jacob Jenkins, Mike Kee, and Johnny Pattat. Joe Thompson has been providing security for the National since 1982. Moses Allen and Marilyn Woody are Sheriff Department employees who provide protection for the dogs and riders at every road crossing. Marilyn also records the number of gallery riders each day. The general conduct of those who attend is respectful and orderly and the security team usually has no problems but they are always alert to any situation that could cause a disruption or injury.

The roster of the NFTCA reads as follows: Dr. Dorwin E. Hawthorne, chairman of the board, Charles F. Bryan, president, Dale E. Bush, vice-president, and Dr. Rick Carlisle, secretary/treasurer. Directors are: Nathan Cottrell, Dr. J. D. Huffman, John Ivester, Bobby McAlexander, Rube Rhea, Jr., Dr. Terry Terlep, Douglas Vaughn, and Joe G. Walker. This assembly of men have the responsibility of operating the trial as near as possible to the stipulations of Mrs. Ames' will.

Did you know?

The story of Ames Plantation is not complete without including the contribution of slaves.

The practice of slavery did not originate in America but the use of slave labor was nonetheless practiced in America. Slavery and the use of slaves had its origin hundreds of years before America was discovered.

The population of the Roman Empire in the first century was estimated to be 3,000,000 people. As in many ancient civilizations, slavery played a big part in the culture of Rome. Slaves performed most of the labor and hard work that helped to build the Roman Empire and keep it running. A fairly large percentage of the people living in Rome and Italy were slaves.

Historians aren't sure of a precise percentage but it is believed that somewhere between 20% and 30% of the people were slaves. During the early parts of the Roman Empire, as many as one third of the people in Rome were slaves.

Slave labor built the first buildings and cleared the first parcels of land that would become a portion of the Ames when John W. Jones and Micajah Moorman began to build on land purchased by Micajah when the district was opened for settlement in 1820. The practice of slave ownership would continue on the future Ames' lands until emancipation.

Andrew Mitchell owned the morning breakaway field to Joe Woody and crossed Ellington Road. This land was purchased by Caleb Jones and the slave census of 1850 reported that Jones owned 33 slaves. In 1846 that number had increased to 46.

David Putney owned land bordered by Ellington Road, National Championship Drive, and Turner Roads. His property included the Morgan Field, the Supermarket Field, the L. B. Avent Field, and the New Basin Area. The southern boundary was approximately where the field trial stables are today.

David Putney passed away in 1847 and his son John inherited the land. In 1850 John is credited with owning 25 slaves. William Turner, son-in-law of John W. Jones, owned 600 acres that included the Turner Fields eastward to Mary Scott. The census of 1860 assigned 46 slaves to Turner's account. There is a slave cemetery located four tenths of a mile north of where the old Turner House once stood.

E. W. Harris owned property that is known today as Tom Hert, Govan, Bates Place, and land south of the old the Dunn property. The 1850 census counted 42 slaves associated with the Harris property.

Robert Cotton owned the Jim Braddic, Tobe Polk, Edward Clark North, Edward Clark Long Mudhole, and Edward Clark North of Pines Fields. He passed away in 1847 and as a result no slaves were listed in the 1850 census.

W. C. Harris owned the Edward Clark Corral and Pasture, the Edward Clark South, and the Climmie Clark North and South Fields. His wife Charlotte inherited the land on his demise and she is credited with 18 slaves.

On the afternoon courses, John W. Jones acquired the entire original Moorman tract from Micajah's widow and children. He purchased other land beginning in 1841 and became one of the wealthiest landowners of his time. He used slave labor that totaled 250 slaves.

John Hunt purchased most of the Jones property and additional land that went all the way to Caesar's Ditch. His slave count was 50 in 1850 and 60 in 1859.

The only woman to purchase and own land that would be incorporated into the Ames' land was Fanny Dickens. She owned Cox's Ridge through Fason Bottom and connected with the Caleb Jones holdings. She owned 40 slaves and it is known that at least some of her slave housing was located in Fason Bottom.

The above descriptions cover almost the entirety of the field trial courses used today on the Ames.

In 1850, an evaluation of 23 plantations/farms revealed over 1,200 slaves on those 23 properties. The study included 674 of those 1,200 slaves. Age, gender, and race were considered. The numbers revealed some staggering statistics. Thirty-eight percent of the study group were age 10 or under. Fifty percent were age 15 or under. Forty percent were between the ages of 16 to 40. Only ten percent were over the age of 40. Fifty-one percent of the group were male and 49 percent were female.

In another survey that included a much larger number of subjects the average age of that group was 42. Sadly, very little is known personally about these individuals. There is very little information available that reveals particular details about the individuals of this era. However, Mr. Jimmie T. Jones compiled a history of his family and the following excerpt sheds light on one of his ancestors: Sam Jones was born in 1846 in Tennessee and died on July 7, 1914 in LaGrange, Tenn. In appearance, Sam Jones was about 5' 10", brownish skin and weighed about 175 pounds. I am told he wore a mustache that was becoming for the period. . .

Sam was first located in a 1900 census of Fayette County, Tenn. He is buried in the rear of the LaGrange cemetery in LaGrange, Tenn. Evidence from a trust deed of Mary Cotton and John Walker Jones in 1850 indicates that he may have been a slave of Robert Cotton of North Carolina. If so, it also indicates that his father may have been Sam born in 1822 in Virginia and his grandfather was Ben, born in 1790 in Virginia or Africa and that Sam may have changed his name to Sam Jones. (The Elrod-Jones Harvey-Lambert Families, Jimmie T. Jones pg.xxxiv.)

Although their names, personalities, likes, dislikes, and stories have been lost to history we should not forget the contribution they sacrificed to the economy and growth of this nation.

Jimmie Jones was a tenant farmer who rented a house and land from the Ames Plantation. He paid two bales of cotton annually for rent and purchased all the equipment, seed, and tools, etc., to farm the land. All cotton crops exceeding two bales were used by him as he wished.

During the period when Jimmie Jones and his family lived on the plantation (1933-1943), the average acreage rented was about 25 acres. About ten acres were planted in cotton, ten in corn for feed for the livestock, and the remainder five in sorghum for making molasses; alfalfa hay for livestock that was bailed or made into a stack, sweet potatoes, watermelons, and a garden completed the remaining acres.

As indicated in The History of the Hobart Ames Foundation written in 2001, about the plantation in the period of 1950, at one time there were as many as 300 families living on the plantation.

Much of the 15,000 plus acres was rented to tenant farmers. A lesser amount was rented to share croppers. To provide food for the animals used to cultivate the crops and other animals, food crops were grown, cultivated, and stored. This provided income to wage hands that were employed at the main house, cow, horse, and mule barns and the kennel. In 1950 about 7,500 acres were rented to tenant farmers on the average of about 25 acres; about half of the acreage was used to grow cotton. In the mid 1930s and early 1940s wage hands earned $1 for an eight-hour day. For housework for women the pay was $1.25. (The Elrod-Jones Harvey-Lambert Families, Jimmie T. Jones pg. xxxix.)

Jimmie's early life was one of hard work with little pay but his whole life was not as bleak. He was a deacon at the New Zion Baptist Church before moving to Chicago in 1943 and his name is on the cornerstone of the church.

When he retired from General Mills in 1970, he returned to live in Memphis, Tenn., and again joined the New Zion Baptist Church where he remained a member until his death in 1993.