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Robert Little Brown (1938-2016) was born in 1938 in Sumter, South Carolina. He graduated from The Citadel in 1960 with a BA in English and completed his MA graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972. In addition to his academic degrees, he is the graduate of various military officer courses and programs, including the Air War College.
He retired from the US Air Force in 1988 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with 28 years of active military service. His military experience included combat aircrew duty on various aircraft during the Cold War and Vietnam War. In addition, he taught English and Technical Writing at the Air Force Academy, served as Base Executive Officer for Offutt Air Force Base, and Director of Operations for Tactical Intelligence at Shaw AFB.
His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with five Oak Leaf clusters, Meritorious Service medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Outstanding Unit Award with ten Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with device.
In addition to teaching at the US Air Force Academy, he also taught undergraduate English Literature and Composition courses for the University of Maryland in Thailand, Emery-Riddle University in Nebraska, Saint Leo College and Troy State University in Sumter, South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina at Sumter as Senior Lecturer in English, Adjunct Faculty.
Greatly interested in family, local and regional history, he served as a member of the Sumter County Historical Commission and was a charter member of the Sumter Sons of Confederate Veterans, in which he held various positions, including South Carolina State Division Commander and member of the national Confederate Medal of Honor Committee. He has given numerous talks on local, Civil War and World War I history to various historical organizations and has served as editor and writer for several publications and books, including A Boot Full of Memories: Captain Leonard Williams, 2nd S.C. Cavalry, for which he was co-author.
Robert is married to his high school sweetheart, Catherine Valentine. They have two children- Sharolynn Leigh and Robert L. Jr.; four grandchildren- Kimberly, Shannon, Caitlyn, and Nathan; and to date, one great-grandson- Riley John.
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of Robert Little Brown’s memoir titled, The Boy And The Farm: A personal Memoir: The Winthrop College Farm & Stone House 1942-1946 which was published by the author at The Ravens Nest at Crow Hill Farm (the name of the farm) in Dalzell, SC in 2010. The memoir details the experiences of Robert L. Brown (1938-2016) growing up on Winthrop’s farm in the Old Stone House. Brown’s grandfather, Little Sheppard “L.S” Lindler (1886-1970). L.S. Lindler was the Farm Manager at Winthrop’s Farm from 1937-1947 and Robert and his mother, Henry Linnette “Nette” Lindler Brown (1917-2001), went to live with L. S. Lindler in 1942 while his father, William Hall Brown (1914-2008), served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He offers vast details on life on the Winthrop College Farm and the Olde Stone House. He delves into the operation of the farm and the work of his grandfather while also offering details of family history before and after his stay at the farm from 1942 to 1946. Family Names included are, Brown, Lindler, Goodson, and Stockstad. Mr. Brown also attended the Winthrop Training School while he lived at the farm and writes about his experiences. The chapter titles are: “The Boy Comes To Live At The Farm,” “The Lindler Family,” “The Lindler Daughters- Wives and Mothers,” “The Stone House,” “Early Farm Impressions and Lessons,” “Sand Boxes and Threshing Machines,” “Farm Playmates,” “Ice Cream and Green Apples,” “The Winthrop Training School,” “The World Outside the College Farm,” “The War,” “The Original Farm,” “The Farm’s Management and Production,” “Problems On The Farm,” “Changing Times ~ Moving On,” “The Boy at the Catawba Farm ~ New Lessons Learned,” “The End of an Era,” “The Boy Grows Older,” “Robert L. Brown,” and “The Renovated “Olde Stone House.” The collection contains the original unbound layout copy of Robert Brown’s memoir in a loose leaf binder, as well as, the digital copy on a CD and correspondence with Winthrop University about printing the book.
The papers of Robert Brown were received as a gift by the Alumni Office in 2010 and given to the Louise Pettus Archives in 2018. Two copies of the book were originally donated by Robert Little Brown on December 18, 2013. One copy was placed in Special Collections (F279.R6 B6 2010) and the other was added to this collection.
For information concerning copyright please contact the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University.
Finding Aid Citation
Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections, Winthrop University, "Robert Little Brown, The Boy And The Farm Collection - Accession 1626". Finding Aid 1044.
LC Subject Headings
Brown, Robert L., 1938-2016--Childhood and youth; Winthrop University. Olde Stone House--Biography; Winthrop College Farm (Rock Hill, S.C.)--Biography; School farms--South Carolina--Rock Hill; Farm life--South Carolina--Rock Hill; Rock Hill (S.C.)--Social life and customs; Rock Hill (S.C.)--Biography; Rock Hill (S.C.)--History