Johnny Cash was 2 years old when his family moved into a 5 room home in Dyess, Arkansas.
Johnny Cash's parents were having a difficult time financially in 1934 and had just lost their farm. President Roosevelt began a federal agricultural resettlement program for 500 families. It provided a fresh start for those selected. They were chosen on the basis of need, farming knowledge, and physical fitness. Each of the 500 families would receive 40 acres and a mule to clear the land and farm it, and it was all government-subsidized agricultural colonies. The Cash farm was No. 266, and the small new home on the 40 acres had 5 total rooms with 2 bedrooms. Johnny Cash was just 2 years old at the time. He lived in the home with his family for the next 15 years, helping in the surrounding fields and picking the cotton. He did learn to sing there, and he wrote 2 famous songs while in his shared bedroom by the front porch. The songs are "Five Feet High and Rising," describing flooding on the property, and "Picking Time." After the Cash family left the property and moved to town, the house sat empty. In 2011, The Arkansas State University bought the property and began renovations. The original linoleum had been covered by carpet, and it had protected it so well that they were able to save it to show in the house museum that the university was restoring. Pieces of the Cash family furniture, including their piano, are in the home again. The museum opened in 2014, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. It is magical to visit and look out the bedroom window that Johnny did while singing and writing his songs.