In NC’s Calcium Light – 2
Part 2 of 5
A Record of Notable Achievement In The Textile World
R. R. Haynes-Birthplace and Early Home Influence
R R. HAYNES was born, as he laughingly puts it, “some several years ago,” in the lower part of Rutherford County, N. C., about four miles from the South Carolina line. His father died when he was seven years old, and the responsibility of his training accordingly devolved upon his mother. Some idea of the wisdom and foresightedness of her careful training may be gleaned from the following sentence, which Mr. Haynes often repeats when in a reminiscent mood. In counseling her son, Mrs. Haynes would say: “Never go security, nor act as guardian, nor hold office”; and this advice Mr. Haynes has carefully adhered to.
As very little cotton was raised in Rutherford County during Mr. Haynes’ boyhood days, he went to Union and Newberry Counties, S. C., while still in his teens, and engaged in farming and the study of cotton culture for three years. Later on in his career, this experience served him in good stead, as will subsequently appear. At the end of this period, he returned to his native State, where he engaged in merchandising, farming, collecting taxes for his township, etc., for several years. Mr. Haynes has been heard to say that it was the commissions received from collecting these taxes that enabled him to pay for the second or third small tract of land owned by him.
Sawmilling, running cotton ginneries, wheat threshers, and buying and selling cotton at his country store and ginnery, were enterprises upon which he later embarked.
Accumulates Real Estate
At that time land was cheap, and Mr. Haynes would buy up tracts, from time to time, as he would realize from his various enterprises, until within the course of a few years he had accumulated a considerable amount of real estate, and at present he owns numerous farms and dwellings over the country. He rents some of these farms for a specified or standing rent; others for part of the crop; and some he retains under his own management. These are run by hired help, with salaried men to look after them. This plan he finds more satisfactory, as he says there are so many people who do not farm successfully. He owns a great many houses, lots, and tenements on his property at or near the mill towns of Henrietta, Caroleen, and Cliffside, which he rents. He also owns a half-interest in several thousand acres of land and some fine waterpowers on Main Broad River, which he intends to develop soon. One of the locations is about five miles below and another ten miles above Cliffside.
Mr. Haynes still owns his beautiful old home place and farm where he first settled and lived several years. Here he not only farmed extensively, but kept store. He continues to this day to run the farm, store, sawmill, and ginnery,from which he realizes a goodly income. When asked by old associates who knew him back in the early days if he still owns his old country home, he invariably answers “Yes; and that is where I get my living.” Mr. Haynes is considered one of the largest real estate owners in Western North Carolina.
Becomes Pioneer Mill Man in Rutherford County—the Builder of Henrietta
Along about the year 1884, there came into sale a tract of land and a fine waterpower known as High Shoal, on Second Broad River, in Rutherford County. This property is located about two and a half miles from where Mr. Haynes then resided. Mr. Haynes purchased this tract of land and waterpower, improved the farm, built farm tenements, and began the work of clearing the land along the river, with a view to building a small cotton mill, of which he expected to be sole owner. But being desirous of developing that section of the country more extensively by building a larger mill than his own means would admit of just then, upon hearing of some other men who wanted to build a cotton mill, Mr. Haynes succeeded in getting them interested in the undertaking. A stock company was formed, and in the year 1887 the first section of what is known as the Henrietta Mills was built. Mr. Haynes put in the land and waterpower as stock, and subscribed considerable additional stock. He did not have the management of constructing this mill, but was a stockholder, and had a great deal to do with building the mill and surrounding town of Henrietta. In 1891, the second section of the mill was built, and Mr. Haynes assisted largely in making this second development, and took his proportion of the stock.
Building of Caroleen Follows Building of Henrietta
About the year 1893, Mr. Haynes secured the options on all the land and power rights (necessary to build a mill), on the site where the Caroleen mill and town of Caroleen now stand, which site is located on the same Second Broad River, about one and one-half miles above Henrietta Mills. He afterwards turned these options and power rights over to the Henrietta Mills Company, and about the year 1894 the Caroleen mll and town of Caroleen were built. Mr. Haynes took his proportion of the increase in the capital stock, and aided largely in building the town and mill.
The Florence Mills Follow
Following upon the building of Caroleen, or more specifically speaking about the year 1897, Mr. Haynes organized a company, and after experiencing some trouble, in obtaining all the real estate necessary he built the Florence Mill, at Forest City, which was named in honor of his eldest daughter. Mr. Haynes was the largest stockholder in the Florence Mill, but afterward sold his interest.
Building of Cliffside Next Undertaking
About the year 1899, associated with Dr. T.B. Lovelace, of Henrietta, Mr. Haynes conceived the idea of building a mill where the town of Cliffside now is. After considerable difficulty, they succeeded in procuring all the land and water rights necessary. This land, composed of various tracts, lies in the lower part of Rutherford County, one and a half miles from the Cleveland County line, four miles from the South Carolina line, and four miles below the Henrietta Mills, on Second Broad River, one and a half miles from where it empties into Main Broad. These tracts were undeveloped, barren, and covered with rough surface rocks and trees. Not even a road wound through this desolate area; not a bridge spanned the stream; the nearest house was some distance removed. But undaunted, and with unwavering courage, Mr. Haynes set himself to the task of developing that section, by harnessing the great volume of water ruthlessly going to waste. The story of this development is a story of wonderful achievement. The plans at the outset were large, but none too large, for the man measured up to the plans. R.R. Haynes was a man not only with a vision, but he possessed the determination and power to bring his dreams into realization. He had fought and overcome tremendous obstacles in his early career. He had never brooked defeat, nor would be brook it now. The word failure had no place in his vocabulary. With a determination nothing short of daring, he commenced the work of building a cotton mill upon this out-of-the-way spot. Forests must be felled, the land cleared, roads and bridges built, a town laid out, tenements erected, a dam constructed, and the mill built. Work was started on the main section of the mill building in 1901. Other sections were added from year to year. Three hundred and fifty looms and ten thousand spindles were at first put in operation. The product of the mill was staple gingham.
The business of the town and mill increased to such an extent that it became necessary to resort to a swifter and more rapid medium of transit than the mule teams, at first used, afforded. And it was about the year 1905 or 1906 that Mr. Haynes obtained a charter, and with a few others associated with him he built a railroad a few miles in length from a branch of the Seaboard to Cliffside. Mr. Haynes is president and manager, and owns the controlling interest in this road, which is in a prosperous condition.