Hutson Story

Mr. Hutson was born close to the banks of the Savannah River, in Barnwell, South Carolina – sixteen months before the formal end of World War II.

From the beginning, Mr. Hutson knew the value of hard work. He was raised by a share-cropping family who instilled in him a passion to make a better life. He also learned that land was a commodity and its ownership was profitable. He knew he wanted to own – not borrow.

Mr. Hutson left school early to make his own way. One day, a customer came into the restaurant that he was managing, looking for sheetrock laborers. That was a seminal day. Mr. Hutson took off his white shirt and tie and went out the door to learn the residential construction trade. He became so adept at laying sheetrock that he could do it himself. He could out-produce anyone on the job-site. He learned roofing and then quickly moved into building the entire house – eventually building over 20,000 single family homes. As a successful businessman and contractor, Mr. Hutson was able to sell his first homebuilding company and then start-up a second one – which was eventually sold to Fortress Homes (subsequently purchased by D.R. Horton, America’s Builder).

Homebuilding proved to be a natural progression into land acquisition and land development. In the 1980’s, Mr. Hutson acquired the land that he turned into Oakleaf Plantation, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Company. Oakleaf garnered many planning and design awards and for a time was the fastest growing community in North Florida. Today, Oakleaf is a highly desirable community with on-going residential and commercial development. It continues to lead Jacksonville’s westside market.

As Mr. Hutson was developing with the Hutson Land Company, he maintained his keen interests in thoroughbred horse racing and breeding. In 1990, Mr. Hutson built the first of his eventual three Silverleaf Farms, in Summerfield, Florida – south of Ocala. Silverleaf Farm was the farm on which the 1997 Kentucky Derby winner, Silver Charm, was foaled. In 1998, Silverleaf was sold, becoming the Padua Farm and Mr. Hutson went on to build his second Silverleaf Farm near Orange Lake, halfway between Gainesville and Ocala. The second Silverleaf was also sold, becoming parts of Cupola Farm, Ardmore Stud and Sequel Stallions. Mr. Hutson’s third Silverleaf Farm was built near St. Augustine.

Over the years, Hutson stood numerous stallions at his farms, for himself and others. They included Silver Buck and Future Storm. Future Storm was Florida’s top freshman sire of 1997. Flashpoint was a top horse bred by Silverleaf and won the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) in 2011. Hutson’s Ocala thoroughbred operation at Silverleaf Farms gained international attention for its home stallion, Silver Buck. Silver Buck was the sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, Silver Charm.

In 1987, Mr. Huston began assembling the Hutson Ranch. He raised beef cattle on the property and moved his equestrian activities there to be closer to his home in Jacksonville. During his ownership and occupation of the Ranch, he made immense improvements. He has always been comfortable with equipment operation and, in fact, personally laid out and participated in the digging of the 50 acre lake in the northwest quadrant of the Ranch. The Hutson Family has used the Ranch for entertaining, ranching, riding, hunting, fishing, photography and family gatherings.

Today, the Hutson Company owns over 20,000 acres of land in St. Johns County, Florida plus the balance of Oakleaf Plantation in Clay and Duval Counties. Mr. Hutson is widely respected for his instinctual sense of land values. He has acquired timberland, productive farm land, ranch land and community development land. His acquisitions have all been strategic, in terms of investment, location and future values related to surrounding development patterns and infrastructure. He now owns some of the most desirable and valuable acreage in North Florida.