Virginia Tech® home

The Reynolds family

Hardin and Nancy Cox Reynolds

In 1810, Abram Reynolds made his way west and purchased 180 acres in Patrick County. He continued to purchase more land, and in 1825, he purchased 598 acres of land near the small town of Critz, Virginia, at the base of No Business Mountain. It was on this property that The Reynolds Homestead was built in 1843 as the Rock Spring Plantation by Hardin Reynolds, a successful farmer, merchant, banker, and tobacco manufacturer.

Hardin and Nancy Cox Reynolds’s son, Richard Joshua (R.J.), founded the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and their grandson, Richard Samuel, Sr., founded Reynolds Metals. The Reynolds Homestead has been designated a State and National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Registry of American Homes.

Abram and his wife, Polly Harbour Reynolds, had two sons, Hardin and David. After David died at age 25, Hardin became the heir to his father’s estate. Hardin and Nancy resided on and managed the Rock Spring Plantation. They had 16 children, 8 of whom lived to be adults.

Their oldest son, Major Abram David (A.D.) led a Civil War regiment at the age of 17, established his own tobacco factory, and was father to Richard S. Reynolds who transformed the metals industry when he founded Reynolds Metals.

Hardin and Nancy’s second son, Richard Joshual (R.J.) established a tobacco empire in Winston Salem, North Carolina, about 50 miles south of his boyhood home.

Children of Hardin and Nancy Cox Reynolds