Long wait fi­nally over for the Roth­well farm

Maple Hill Farm named Out­stand­ing Farm Op­er­a­tion of the Year



— Hav­ing been a mem­ber of the Ce­cil County Farm Bureau for more than 60 years, Thelma Roth­well was due to re­ceive recog­ni­tion, ac­cord­ing to Wil­lie Ewing.

“She’s 94 and she’s been a farm bureau mem­ber 90 per­cent of her life, and she hadn’t been rec­og­nized yet,” Ewing said Fri­day.

That changed last month when Roth­well’s Maple Hill Farm was named Out­stand­ing Farm Op­er­a­tion of the Year for 2015. As the win­ner of the 2011 prize, Ewing just fin­ished his stint on the award’s nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee.

“It was my turn, I guess,” Roth­well said Thurs­day.


She ac­cepted the award, for­mally known as the Wil­liam D. Cis­sel Cup, at a cer­e­mony held March 18 at Ris­ing Sun Ban­quet Hall. Roth­well will now have a say in who will re­ceive the award next. She will serve a three-year stint on the nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee.

Al­though Spry Brothers oper- ates the farm now, Roth­well and her late hus­band, Ho­race, spent decades grow­ing grain and rais­ing Guernsey cat­tle and chil­dren. Mar­ried in 1938, both held var­i­ous ag-re­lated jobs along the way, in­clud­ing the dairy op­er­a­tion and Milk Bar where Baker’s Restau­rant stands today on Route 213 near Ch­e­sa­peake City. The cou­ple moved to the west­ern end of Ce­cil County in 1954.

“I had no idea how many places they had been,” Ewing said.

Re­search un­cov­ered that the Cedar Hill-area farm, with its 1795 farm­house, had been named Maple Hill Farm at one time, and the cou­ple de­cided to res­ur­rect the name. Lo­cated amongst ex­pan­sive fields and hemmed in with dense trees, the farm is also one of the highest points in Ce­cil County, from which the Delaware Me­mo­rial Bridge can be seen.

Along with farm du­ties, Roth­well was also ac­tive with Ce­cil County 4-H, in which daugh­ters Jean and Nancy were also in­volved.


Bill Cis­sel presents the Wil­liam D. Cis­sel Cup to Thelma Roth­well at the Ce­cil County Farm Bureau Ban­quet held last month at Ris­ing Sun Ban­quet Hall.

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