Hardin William Reynolds (1810-1882) was a relatively successful tobacco farmer that built Rock Spring Plantation, now known as the Reynolds Homestead, on land that his father, Abram, bought in Critz, Virginia. There, he and his wife, Nancy Jane, had 8 of their 16 children survive to adulthood. One of those children, Richard Joshua ( 1850-1918 ), moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he founded R.J. Reynolds Tobacco company, the original producers of Camel cigarettes and soon to be tobacco empire.
After R.J.’s death, his wife, Mary Katharine (1880-1924) became a philanthropist for the community in Winston-Salem, and one of her daughters, Nancy Susan Reynolds, evidently took that philanthropy to heart. In 1970, after researching various universities in North Carolina and Virginia, Nancy Susan donated the deed to Rock Spring Plantation and 717 acres of land surrounding it to Virginia Tech for agricultural research and to preserve her father’s childhood home.
For more information on the Reynolds family, please check the other pages included on this site!