Receiving the Farm Family of the Year honor has a bittersweet aspect for the Olen Wilson family of Timbo.
With Olen and Elma Wilson not only farming but with him having taught agriculture for decades, they were an easy choice for the county selection committee in choosing this year’s recipient, especially considering that their son, Jerry, had taken over management of the cattle to extend the family tradition another generation.
A few weeks after accepting the honor, and just before scheduled visits to the farm by newspaper representatives and district judging personnel, 95-year-old Olen Wilson fell ill. It turned out that the family scheduled Farm Family obligations around his funeral.
“I certainly appreciate the honor given to Dad,” Jerry Wilson commented about being named 2018 Stone County Farm Family of the Year. “He was very happy when he learned of the honor. Unfortunately, his health failed very rapidly.”
The Wilson farm lays amid a picturesque setting along Highway 263 just north of Timbo. Olen grew up at Onia and attended school with Elma Fletcher. Having passed by the tract of land many times, they had both admired the lay of the land and Olen imagined a home on the nice level spot. After getting married in 1947. Olen completed college and began teaching, with his first job in Batesville teaching veterans about farming. He later taught in one-room schools at Roasting Ear, Onia and Old Lexington, and one year each at Rison and Fountain Hill before accepting a job at Timbo.
The Wilsons bought their house spot among 150 acres and built their home in 1959. It was the first Gold Medallion Home in Stone County, a designation of Arkansas Power & Light (now Entergy) for all-electric homes. The Circle W Ranch started with a small herd of cattle and became a second career for him when the herd grew to more than 100 head.
See the full story, photo page and sponsor pages in the June 20, 2018 issue.