Nicholsons have owned Century Farm in Capron since 1700s

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Editor’s note: This is the continuation of a series on Century Farms in Southampton County, which at 80, has more than any other county in Virginia.


Nick Nicholson Sr. and Nick Nicholson Jr. in front of the house on Pope’s Station Road, Capron. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS

CAPRON—While all other farmers are harvesting cotton, peanuts or soybeans, James Manning “Nick” Nicholson Sr. is more than content to let someone else do the work at his Century Farm on Popes Station Road in Capron.

“I farmed part time in the 1980s. It was terrible. I’ve rented it out ever since,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson and his son, Nick Jr., operate Nicholson’s Auto Parts, a NAPA Auto Parts dealership in Courtland, which they bought in 1998.

Nick Nicholson Jr. said family research has shown the farm dates back to the mid- to late-1700s.

“It was sold, I’m not sure who bought it, but my great-grandfather – Joseph Manning Nicholson — bought it from E.W. Creighton around 1900,” he said.

Joseph Nicholson was the son of Joshua L. Nicholson, who served in the 61st Virginia Infantry, Co. G. of the Confederate Army, and was at Appomattox.

The house, originally a square box of four rooms, goes back to 1880-1885, and has grown through the decades.

“We added all the back part,” said Nicholson Sr.

His father, Robert Lee Nicholson, farmed corn, peanuts and soybeans, and raised hogs.

Nicholson Sr. found the work too expensive and grueling, although he enjoyed it when things were going well, so the bad outweighed the good.

“I was losing my butt every year,” he said. “I was killing myself. It was all time-consuming.”

After about three years, Nicholson Sr. decided to let someone else do the farming.

Mike Grizzard is farming this year, he added. Previously, James Marshall Nicholson, a nephew, worked the 150 acres.