Cloverland Farm is more than an equestrian facility. It all started in the flyover state Illinois. The first white settlers came to White County, Illinois between 1807 and 1809. The first settlements were near the Little Wabash River and Big Prairie, one of the numerous prairies in the county. These families--Hanna, Land, Hay, Williams, Calvert, Ratcliff, The city of Carmi was founded in 1814, and incorporated in 1816. Early settlers Robert Land, John Hanna and Joseph Pomeroy were instrumental in organizing and establishing The Big Prairie United Methodist Church. The first services alternated between the John Hanna and Robert Land cabins. The Hanna farm was over 2,000 acres.
Fast forward to 1923, Harry Phil Pearce was born in Carmi, the son of Tice Albert Pearce and Helen Hanna Pearce. Raised on the Hanna Family's Cloverland Farm near Epworth, Phil was an 18-year-old sophomore engineering student at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Pearce was sent to China after the war's end and returned to Cloverland Farm April 14, 1946, after being discharged from the Marine Corps and rejoining the Marine Reserve as a 1st Lt. that same day.
Upon his return stateside, Phil returned to Millikin to graduate with a degree in industrial engineering in the spring of 1947. He returned to White County where he operated the local Standard Oil bulk fuel plant and owned the Massey-Harris farm implement dealership. He was called to active duty in 1951 during the Korean War, which forced him to sell both the bulk plant. He returned the final time to farm the family owned Cloverland Farm and eventually retired from the Marine Corps Reserves as a full Colonel.
His abiding passion was for racing and breeding Standardbred Trotters and Pacers. Cloverland racing silks were green and white. Phil stood 5 stallions, had as many as 100 broodmare with foals, and raced primarily Trotters throughout Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. He eventually partnered with Buddy Simpson's Fairfield, IL Battle Shoe Farm while Phil handled the breeding and Buddy the training and driving.
Phil's daughter Drue Pearce grew up on the farm and rode horses throughout her childhood. Later in life, Drue married Micheal Williams, at the family church, Big Prairie. Together they adopted a Siberian baby girl (Tate Hanna Pearce-Williams) from Russia in 1994. Although Drue and Micheal lived in Alaska, the Cloverland Farm remained in operation with throughout the years. Harry Phil Pearce, 91, passed away February 28, 2014. Michael and Drue kept their harness horse connections and continue the family business breeding and racing on a smaller scale then Phil once operated.
In 2016, The last Cloverland Farm Standardbred offspring was sold and the farm transitioned to strictly agricultural use. The farm is a yearly operation and to this present day, is manged by Drue Pearce and Micheal Williams.
Tate Hanna Pearce-Williams, is the 8th generational member to the Cloverland Farm. She has dedicated her life to horses following her grandfathers footsteps and successfully operates her private equestrian facility in Maryland, teaching horseback riding, training horses, and competing nationally. Horsemanship has been in the family since the early 1800s, and Tate proudly represents her business under the family name, Cloverland Farm.
Tate and her husband Brian Reilly, manage the equestrian business and together they are the real power team. Mr. Reilly, is known to be the farm manager and handles the up keep of the operation. Meanwhile, Tate strides for excellence in her teaching and training on the farm day to day.