City Directories and History: The Herald reported on Feb. 5, 1896 – “That Mr. H. B. Buist of Greenville has been appointed to manage the farm connected with Winthrop College. He will supervise the garden and orchard and also will have charge of the grounds around the college.”
The Herald reported on March 7, 1896 – “A bill has passed the legislature allowing Winthrop the use of 19 convicts in building a barn on the College Farm and improving the grounds around the college buildings.”
On May 20, 1896 the Herald reported that, “Mr. H. B. Buist has removed his family to Rock Hill and they are now at the home of Pres. D.B. Johonson.” Also, the work of fencing the Winthrop College grounds is being pushed along by Mr. Buist.
The Herald reported on Sept. 5, 1896 – “At the college farm, the large barn is being built. Winthrop College is getting some fine milk cows. It required about 40 gallons of milk daily to supply the college.”
The Herald reported on Nov. 21, 1896 – “Mr. John R. Barron is moving into his new home on Oakland Avenue. The house which he has vacated will be occupied by Mr. H. B. Buist of Winthrop College. Mrs. Buist has arrived from Greenville to join her husband.”
FROM THE ROCK HILL HERALD, November 28, 1896 – The force of 30 convicts sent to the Winthrop College Stockade four months ago by Supt. W. A. Neal were taken to the State farm near Camden yesterday, where their services are needed. Since they came here, they have done a great deal of improvement work on the college farm as well as having put the 32-acre campus, which was broken and rugged, in good condition. Besides, a detail has been at work on the infirmary, which is nearing completion, and another has built the immense barn at the farm. An Act of the Legislature appropriates to the college each year convicts to do all the work on the farm and campus and at the proper time President Johnson will make requisition for the return of the force.
MR. H. B. BUIST: In 1893, H. B. Buist was serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Winthrop (then known as Winthrop Normal and Industrial College). The decision had been made to move the college from Columbia to Rock Hill, and the board met in 1893 in Rock Hill to select an architect and decide on the site of the first building (Tillman Hall). The board met again in May, 1894 and laid the cornerstone for the building. At that time, brick work had reached the third floor on the main building and construction had also been started on a dormitory. H. B. Buist of Greenville was listed as a member of the board at both meetings. Buist’s name is included on the cornerstone of Tillman Hall as a member of the Board.
By 1896, the college had been fully established in Rock Hill and was becoming a success with families from various parts of South Carolina wishing to provide higher education for their daughters. In February 1896, H. B. Buist was appointed to manage the farm to be connected with Winthrop College. “He will supervise the garden and orchard and will have charge of the grounds around the college.” When he first came to Rock Hill, he lived with President Johnson. When his wife came and joined him later in the year, the couple moved into the home recently vacated by John Barron (the location of this home is unknown at this time). Buist was assisted in his initial work at Winthrop by a team of 19 convicts provided by a legislative act. “The convicts are to be used in building a barn on the college farm and improving the grounds around the college buildings.” ….. (Read the history of the Buist Family by clicking on the More Information – Buist History link, found under the primary image.)
The Winthrop Farm was a central area on the edge of Rock Hill used by the college to supply milk and other foods for the college campus. In the late 1950’s the farm was abandoned and most of the building either demolished or moved. Over the past decades the area has been developed to include the Winthrop University Coliseum, ball fields, and recreational areas for both the university and Rock Hillians.
“I have this post card and the house in the background I spent a lot of time in. It belonged to the Shafter William Baldwin family and I graduated with his son, SW. Mr. Baldwin was over the farm. His wife worked at WTS and the whole Baldwin family is a wonderful bunch of folks. I think I spent half my childhood at the Winthrop farm. Don’t know the names of the cows.” (Robert Ratterree – 2013)
“I grew up on Ascot Ridge and we could walk to the farm from our back yard. Remember going back there and getting homemade ice cream from the dairy. The Neely family lived on the farm right behind our yard. They were a wonderful family! Their house was moved to a different location and the “Shack” was moved up to it’s current location and bricked up on the outside. I remember the night the chicken house caught fire and burned up. Mules, chickens, cows.. …it was like living in town and having the country farm right out my back door!! Many great memories of that farm.” (Bobby Aycock – 2013)
“I remember the old Winthrop Farm as we called it. It was not hard to get to from the Aragon if the knew the short cut. Go to the end of Hull, at end of kuykendall and cut through the woods on the left. Path was very distinct. Probably 100 yds. and you were there.” (Don Mack McGinnis – 2013)
” I think I spent half of my childhood playing at the farm. We would play in the hay barn and make forts out of the hay bales. The white house on the left is the Baldwin home and S.W. Baldwin was in the same class as me at WTS. His father was caretaker of the farm and his mother worked at WTS. They had the best home made ice cream which was made for the College.” (Robert Ratteree – 2017)
“Bill Culp and his family lived on the farm. His daughter Dottie and I went to WTS together and my family would visit with them some Sunday afternoons.” (Ann Wilson Freeman – 2017)
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