Poultry in Arlington

A small part of the past

by Cleve Powell

A common sight in the twenties (and 30s-50s) when this photo was taken; “Chickens” running loose in the yard.  This photo was taken at the Johnson house on Lone Star Road.

From Cleve Powell: Right off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone who still has chickens in Arlington, Lone Star Stables may have been the last. Memories of Bunton’s chicken farm were recently discussed by the Arlington’s “Forever Friends” group so I thought I’d pass on the memories they shared and a couple of my own.

To start with quite a few of my friends had chickens when I was growing up, often running loose in the yard. The Bunton’s had a chicken farm, and the 1952 Lion’s Club directory list Morris B. Bunton on Merrill Rd ph. 9-1596. Bryant Mickler said “Keith Bunton’s folks moved to Arlington right after the war. Keith was tall with black hair. They had a lake behind their house known as #2 Lake.” (Lake Lucina was Probably # 1. This was the lake that overflowed in 1948 washing out University Boulevard and deepening the ravine at Jacksonville University). They had a big German Shepherd dog that had been in the war with Mr. Bunton. Lou Sikes remembers them as having two children, Lois and Keith. My memories are loading and hauling chicken manure every Saturday morning from Mr. Bunton’s two long chicken houses to our farm on Lone Star Road. His chicken houses were on the south side of Merrill near where Cesery now crosses. I hauled the manure in a trailer behind my car and even with due care it always had the odor of manure when you turned on the heater in the winter.

Easy to be confused with Bunton, in the same time frame, Mr. Harry E. Bunker had a turkey farm on the south side of Arlington Road. His driveway was directly across from the west end of Bruce Park and had a large clump of bamboo on each side of the entrance. My only sighting of the “Arlington Panther” was driving to Arlington early one foggy morning ca. 1953; it came gliding across Arlington Road from behind the bamboo, solid black and very long.

Hartley Steeves remembers a Philo’s chicken farm in Clifton where Philo’s chicken feed was manufactured. He worked there when he was in the ninth grade.

My folks also raised chickens on Lone Star and my Mother delivered eggs to many families during WW-II.

Also see:

  • Newsletter History Column version Poultry in Arlington (slightly updated but without panther story)

From Bryant: “Keith Buntin, parents moved to Arlington (Buntin’s chicken farm) right after the war, Keith was tall with black hair. They had a lake behind their house known as #2 Lake, they had a big Geman Shepard dog that had been in the War with Mr. Buntin. I lost track of him after I started to Fletcher. Bryant”

From Hartley: “I worked at a Philo’s Chicken Farm and feed mill where Philo’s Chicken Feed was manufactured, located in Clilfton, when I was in the nineth grade. I will venture there are a lot of folks who don’t recall that one.” Hartley

From Cleve: Carolyn:

As I remember it was located on the south side of Merrill Road kind of on a little hill about where Cesery crosses now. He had two big long chicken houses up off the ground and ca. 53, my dad made an agreement with Mr. Bunton to haul off all the manure. In return we got it free to use in our truck farm we had where the new part of Arlington Park Cemetery is now.

Every Saturday morning we took my Dad’s Model A with a homemade PU bed and a trailer behind my car and loaded, hauled, and dumped manure. Quite a few trips as we had to get it all. One cold night at the Atlantic drive Inn I turned on the heater in my old Mercury and when the carpet got warm my date said. “what’s that smell?”. No matter how careful you were you could never get it all off your shoes.

I’ll bet this is a different memory than you expected. Cleve

From Richard Steeves: “Only chicken farms I know of was Filows in Clifton, near the Colcords and the one on Arlington Rd across from Bruce Park and Eagle Film, I forget the name. UR.”

From Maude Carter, whose mom still lives on Flora Bluff Road since 1936: “Mom said she remembered it was called Bunker’s Chicken Farm and Mrs. Bunker was a member of several clubs. Of course, that was 75 years ago. Maude”

From Lou Sikes: “I remember two of the children. Lois & Keith. They were near my age (within a couple of years up or down). As I recall a nice family. Not sure if any other children or not.
Lou Sikes”

From Carolyn Bradshaw-Dixon: Thank you for your replies. I do not know why I do not recall Lois & Keith, but maybe in time I will.

As for the other chicken farms, I am leaving the hen house open for the rest of you. Windell, Norma & I are heading to the North Carolina mountains to our own hen house and will be gone two weeks. Don’t let any chickens cross the road ’til we return. Take care!


From M Carlton: I lived next door to the Bunton’s chicken farm in the early 1950’s. This is when Merrill Road was still a dirt road. Their farm was the last dwelling on the east end of Merrill Road at that time. There was a pond behind our house which the Ponsell family lived on. We called this Ponsell’s Pond. This may be lake number 2 that you are referring to.

From John C. Christian, III: I think I might have had the “last rooster” in Arlington. I acquired him as a small chick, gift with purchase, from the A & P grocery store located in the Arlington Shopping Center. You could get either a free duck or chicken when you purchased a bag of Robin Hood Flour* during Easter week. It was 1965. I built a chicken coop behind my house in Ft. Caroline Club Estates. I had him for almost two years. He was a Bantam rooster and we called him Lurch, after the character on the TV show The Adam’s Family. He never quite learned how to crow properly since he had no siblings. Never the less, he still managed to wake us up and some of the neighbors, too, at dawn, with his strained cock-a-doodle-do! He met his maker when he proceeded to take on a rather large dog who had just moved in next door. My next pet was a hamster, which came complements of W.T. Grant.

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