The Buford-Carty Farmstead has provided for generations of families in Reynolds County, Missouri

CJ Coombs

The Buford-Carty Farmstead built in 1847 is a product of history that crossed through various generations. It was a one-and-one-half-story cabin. In 2004, the farmstead was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built by enslaved African Americans during the early 1840s, the Buford-Carty Farmstead was continuously owned and operated by the Buford, Carty, and Goggin families. The home is one of the few remaining from the era which corresponds with the arrival of some of the first Americans of European and African descent in the area. (Source.)

There is a barn and Carty family cemetery on the property contributing to the historic place. The farmstead has also been referred to as the Carty Log Cabin or the Thomas Buford Homestead.

The great-great-great grandson of Thomas and Calphurnia (Carty) Buford, Kevin C. Skibiski, has written a book about the farmstead entitled, History of the Buford-Carty Log House - Black, Missouri.

The historic home and farm are located in Black, Missouri. Black is not an incorporated community. It's located in the northern part of Reynolds County, Missouri on Route 49. Reynolds County was named after Missouri's seventh governor, Thomas Reynolds. It's southwest of Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. The community is supposedly named after an early settler, George Black.
Rhoda Jane Buford Carty and Joshua Carty.Find-a-Grave upload by Julie Carter in 2012.

The Buford-Carty Farmstead represents the agricultural makeup of its region that dates back to the early settlers. It's a rural farming area. The log dwelling is said to be the oldest building in Reynolds County and the forest that's nearby provided the materials to build it.

The Buford-Carty Farmstead has been in the family for generations. The Buford, Carry and Goggin families were involved with the development of the farmstead. They were among the first to establish a settlement on the Middle Fork of the Black River as far back as the early 1830s. There is also a family cemetery on the property.

Early Euro-American families that included the Carty and Goggin families set up farming communities in the area. The Buford family joined them and Buford Mountain was named after them. Their name is also linked to the Buford Mountain State Forest Trail.

Most of the mountain is hardened by granite known as Rhyolite, which serves as a testament to the area's volcanic past. A steep and challenging trail takes hikers and backpackers up the mountain and through several glades. The climb is rewarded at Bald Knob with a stunning view of the valley below. (Source.)

In 1831, John Buford's son, Thomas, married Calphurnia Carty. Thomas and Calphurnia joined a migration of families into north Arkansas. They stayed there for about a decade. They relocated to an area in Marion County, Missouri.
Calphurnia (Carty)

Thomas and Calphurnia Buford returned to the Middle Fork of the Black River establishing their permanent home. After Reynolds County was established in 1843, both the Buford and Carty families became active in establishing a local government. Thomas Buford's cousin, Pate, was influential in having the county named Reynolds. Missouri governor, Thomas Reynolds, was a friend of his.

Allegedly, the log dwelling was built by African-American slaves, but it was unknown that the Thomas Buford family even owned slaves. There is an inscription under the corner staircase on the first floor that reads, Slaves of G. B. Goggin. This refers to slaves owned by Green Berry Goggin (b. Aug. 4,195, d. 1910) who was on the opposite side of Black River's Middle Fork.

Interestingly, Green Berry Goggin's second cousin, Pamelia, was the grandmother to writer Samuel Clemens whose pen name was Mark Twain. Part of the Buford-Carty Farmstead is surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest.

In 1849, Thomas Buford's cousin, James Buford, organized a trip to look for gold in California. Thomas died of cholera that year during the trip. Thomas Buford's wife, Calphurnia, raised their children alone. Two of their daughters died young and are buried in the family cemetery. Calphurnia acquired ownership of the 244-acre farm where the log dwelling sits. During the Civil War, like most families, theirs was affected.

After the war, Calphurnia lived in the house until she died on August 9, 1886. She is buried in the family cemetery. The Buford-Carty family descendants continued to live on the farmstead.

Thomas Carty, a descendant of Thomas Buford and Calphurnia Carty Buford, lived in the log dwelling until he died in 1962. After this time, it became the first time since 1847 that the log house wasn't lived in.

The Buford-Carty hewn log house is credited as being the oldest building in Reynolds County. It has been cited in numerous texts as well as magazine and newspaper articles. It was established as a Missouri Century Farm in 1992. (Source.)

The Centennial Farm project initiated in Missouri in 1976 awards certificates to those owning farms for more than 100 years. That is, the farms have been in their family that long.

In 1986, the University of Missouri Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources started the Century Farm program and recognition. The Missouri Farm Bureau became a co-sponsor in 2008. Since the program began, over 8,000 Missouri farms have received the Century Farm designation.

The Reynolds County Museum also captures the history of its region.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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