Leaning against his trusty red tractor with a beaming smile upon his face is a distinguished older gentleman in his button-down shirt, suspenders, and well-worn slacks. This is 3rd generation farmer and proprietor of Natural Springs Farm, Charles Thomas Hogue Senior.
The Hogue family first purchased the farm in the early 1900s, and when under the care of his grandfather and father, was an extensive enterprise. The land was a source of bounty which provided for them, their extended family, and as a means of profit. There were gardens along with cattle raised for milk, butter, and beef as well as hogs, mules, and chickens. They even built an incubator for hatching eggs and raising baby chickens. They also cut pulpwood, owned a sawmill, sold lumber, and grew dark-fired tobacco. They even outfitted one of their vehicles to transport children to school. To top it all off, their property also included the Hogue Store.
Charles has lived on the property all of his life and began working at the age of five when he was big enough to carry a lard bucket full of water. He would trek down to the property's natural spring to collect drinking water for the home hence their business name, Natural Springs Farm. In 1955, he considered leaving the farm behind when his crafty aunt coaxed him into staying by offering him a gift he could not refuse, his first black and white television.
Sixty-five years later he sits on approximately 300 acres of the family farm off of Dearborn Road. “You gotta love it to do it,” Charles said. “There is always something to do and you are always challenged. The main thing is don't get upset. If something happens I talk to the lord about it and let him take care of it.” At 85 years old, he manages the cattle farm with the help of his three sons who intend to continue the family's tradition when he retires. Conquering many obstacles, this historic family is an intrinsic part of our rich heritage in Campbell County.
Visit Campbell County Public Library System, Virginia to peruse their selection of books and records pertaining to Campbell County history.
By Darienne Skye Montgomery