Wednesday, July 18, 2012
We have a farm that has been in my family since 1811. We have a certificate of land grant signed by President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe. The land was granted to my ancestor, Joseph Brown. Was he the original "Farmer Brown"? We're not sure.
The 300 acre farm was occupied and farmed by my family until my grandfather and his two sisters decided to leave in the 1920s and become "city folk". Since then, it has been run by a series of tenant farmers. It was a dairy farm until the 1980s when it became a cattle farm. After the death of my grandfather and his sisters, there were three surviving family members left with inheritance rights to the farm, my father and his two cousins. They each had several children, so they foresaw that the number of family members would increase in generations to come. It was then that they decided to incorporate the farm so that shares could be distributed to all family members.
Now that my father and his two cousins have died, it has come to my generation. I have three sisters and two cousins once removed who are shareholders in the farm. Every year, by law, we must have a corporate board meeting. This Friday is our annual meeting for 2012. So, I will be traveling up north to Ohio to meet with my sisters and cousins. We meet at our accountant's office after an informal luncheon. As the corporate secretary, it is my job to keep the minutes. So, I am busy getting all of my papers together and preparing for this year's meeting.