Some Mercantile History of Famous Cliffside
The mercantile history of Cliffside began in 1900 and is inseparably linked with the history of the town. In that year a commissary was established in a cotton warehouse. Mr. Z. O. Jenkins was manager of the store from its beginning and held that position until 1915 when he became Secretary/Treasurer of Cliffside Mills. He was succeeded by B. D. Wilson. It is a remarkable fact that the store has had only two managers in its history of 22 years. The commissary supplied the needs of the construction forces, and later, of the operatives of the mill, until 1902 when a large two story frame structure was erected just opposite the present store. This building saw a steady growth in the volume of business handled by the store, and in 1909 became inadequate to the needs of a thriving community.
The Main Store
At that time it was seen that if the store was to keep pace with the town, larger and more modern facilities must be furnished for the handling of the merchandise. So in February of 1909 the store was moved to its present location. The building now occupied is a large and magnificent structure 110 feet square and three stories in height. The building is splendidly arranged and lighted and is equipped with the most modern devices known for the convenient handling of good merchandise. The front is of plate glass and contains large display windows which are kept attractively filled with the latest styles at all times.
A description of the different departments might be of interest just here. As a visitor enters the front door he will be agreeably surprised at the splendid quality of merchandise displayed by the different departments. On the right at the front, one will find a splendid variety of piece goods and ladies ready-to-wear under the capable care of Misses Nora Freeman, Rose Gaffney and Mrs. C. H. Swofford.
Further back on the same side is the notions and gents’ furnishings department, with Messrs. J. B. Freeman and Clyde A. Erwin in charge. The entire left side is devoted to the display of shoes and men’s clothing. Here you will find the most complete stock in the county. Only the best and most widely advertised brands are sold, as Edwin Clapp and Glove Grip shoes and Hart, Schaeffer& Marx clothing. This is under the efficient direction of Mr. J. W. Dalton.
The millinery department is located at the rear of the store with Miss Evelyn Pusey, of Baltimore, in charge. This department sets the pace in styles for this section of the county and caters to a very select trade.
The grocery department is noted for the quality and completeness of its line. Here you can buy the choicest groceries to be had anywhere. Especial mention should be made of the neat manner in which everything is displayed. Everything is priced and the customer knows the price of each article before it is purchased. Messrs. Lloyd Williamson, Claude Gross and W. F. Blanton have charge of this department.
The hardware department is opposite the grocery department and under Mr. J. B. Suttle, ably assisted by Mr. Arthur Carpenter. This department offers a variety of hardware that is unsurpassed, both in quality and price.
The main store and branch stores are under the efficient management of B. D. Wilson, one of the cleanest and most aggressive young businessmen to be found anywhere. He has been connected with the store for 14 years and as manager since 1919 and knows the business thoroughly. He is ably assisted in the administration of the stores by Lloyd Williamson, assistant manager; Mr. G. A. Hines, bookkeeper; Miss Mabel Erwin, cashier; and Miss Ruth Davis, stenographer.
In the basement the visitor will be much surprised to note the large stock of heavy and fancy groceries, where both a wholesale and retail business is done. This department is under the capable direction of Mr. E. T. Hill, ably assisted by Messrs. George Hill, John Robinson, Willie Hoy and Broadus Wilson.
In order to better meet the demands of the people in bread stuffs, a corn mill and The Lakeview roller mill are run in connection with the store. The roller mill is of 50 barrel capacity equipped with Nordice and Marmon latest improved mill process machinery electrically driven. Nothing but choice Ohio wheat is used in milling, and a uniform flour is constantly made and sold under the brands of Lakeview and Marigold. A second grade flour is also produced which is sold under the brand, Farmer’s Friend. The mill is in charge of Mr. W. P. McMurry, ably assisted by Uncle Dick Padgett, who has been in the milling business over 50 years.
The Meat Market
The meat market, under the capable direction of Messrs. J. P. Carpenter and R. S. Greene, is a model of cleanliness and sanitary equipment. It is located in the ground floor of the building and contains a McCraw refrigerator, the largest manufactured by the company, and a display case to match. In equipment and quality of meats handled this market is unsurpassed in the county.
The Branch Stores
Under the same management as the main store, three branch stores have been established at convenient locations in Cliffside. These are the North Main street store under Messrs. Sam Haynes and Erastus Freeman; Fairview store under Messrs. W. P. Carpenter and I. W. Jolly; and the Riverview store under Messrs. Palmer Harrill and Livingston Freeman. All of these stores carry a complete line of general merchandise and all have a thriving business.
The Furniture Store
The furniture store dates from 1902, when it was opened on the top floor of a large frame building, which was burned later. It was then transferred to its present location.
Mr. Reuben McBrayer was manager at that time and remained in charge until 1919, when, ill health causing him to resign, he was succeeded by Mr. B. P. Caldwell, who, after a very successful period, resigned to engage in other business and was succeeded by Mr. J. H. Hill. During all these years this department has followed the unswerving policy of Cliffside Mills to do the right [thing] and serve the people in the highest and best way possible.
The present manager has a very able and efficient corps of salesmen and they are doing everything they can to hold high the torch handed down from other hands.
The name, furniture store, is not altogether fitting, for in addition to furniture, this department supplies a great territory in fertilizers, building materials and farming implements, and few people not intimately related to the concern realize the magnitude of its business, which grows by leaps and bounds from year to year.
The Drug Store
The Cliffside Drug Store had its beginning in and as a part of the main store. At that time, the clerk was employed to handle all the trade. Soon, however, it was found that there was not enough space so a new building was constructed. At first, not much merchandise was handled. Now everything that goes to make up the modern store is carried in stock. A modern fountain is in operation which serves the public with all the latest drinks. We now have a store that is equipped with all the modern devices. Mr. J. S. Rudisill is druggist and manager, with four assistants. The assistants are G. K. Moore, Jr., A. T. Humphries, Luther Campbell and Nellie Moore.
The Policy of Stores
One of the most important factors in the developing of Cliffside into a happy, contented community has been the manner in which Cliffside Mills has cared for its people in the mercantile field. No community has better opportunities to buy of the world’s commodities at better prices, nor does anyone receive more courteous service. The thought of service and accommodation is uppermost in the minds of those who direct the service rendered by the stores and the thought of profit is only a minor consideration.
The stores cater to a trade that is drawn from a radius of 25 miles. They handle everything there is to sell and provide a market for everything the farmer has to sell. That the volume of business is tremendous is evident from the fact that eight trucks are used daily in delivering merchandise to the patrons of the different stores.
The Haynes Band
The Cliffside band was organized in 1908 by Mr. R. R. Haynes for the benefit and pleasure of the people of Cliffside. It was first called “The Cliffside Renown Band,” an Dr. Baxter M. Haynes was manager. Much of the success of the band then was due to him. Prof. Dock Warburton, of Rockingham, North Carolina, was the first instructor employed. He built the band up to a good musical standard, and the band furnished music for all celebrations and public events in the county and many outside the county. It was then known as the best amateur band in this part of the state. Under this reputation this band went to Charlotte and played for the Democratic Convention when Kitchen was nominated for Governor. The 25 members of the band then proved the high place they held in the band world and stood first in the parades.
Prof. Jos. Martin, of Greenville, South Carolina, was the next band master. He took up the work were Prof. Warburton left off, and continued to advance the band. Prof. Martin and manager B. M. Haynes took the band to Charlotte to play for the 20th of May Celebration [commemorating Mecklenburg’s Declaration of Independence]. The band again headed the parades.
The next in charge of the band was Mr. M. T. Green, who was the leader from the beginning. He conducted the band for a few years, furnishing for most all celebrations in this section.
In 1916 Mr. D. C. Cole became the leader and instructor. The war came on and the band disbanded on account of so large a number of its members entering the service of our country. After the war, in 1919, Mr. Charles H. Haynes asked that the band be reorganized. Many of the old band members and some new ones came together and reorganized the splendid musical organization of which the town has always been so proud.
So earnest was the management of the mills to have an up-to-date band that they bought a new set of Frank Holton instruments for the boys. The equipment consisted of 26 new professionally-made instruments and 26 splendid up-to-date uniforms. All of this was a gift to the boys and to the town of Cliffside. It was then up to the boys to “stick and blow as never before.”
The band now consists of four trombones, four altos, six cornets, two baritones, one Eb and one Bb bass, six clarinets, two saxophones, bass drum, snare drum and orchestra bells.
The present band is equipped to handle standard music. Since the war the band has developed under the able leadership of Mr. Cole, and has accomplished much in the way of music. The present organization is called “The Haynes Band,” in honor of Mr. R. R. Haynes who founded the band and during his life thought so much and did so much for it.
The present band furnished music for one day at the “Made in Carolinas Exposition” held in Charlotte last year, and participated in the contest for the four best bands in the Carolinas. It won fourth place and was close second for third. The members of the band now consist of men and boys from the mills, construction department, store and office. The town tips its hat to the boys who have been so faithful and are making the band one of Cliffside’s proudest possessions.
Our present attainments are due largely to the efforts and untiring labors of our instructor, Mr. D. C. Cole, who has also instructed the Avondale band and has already made it a splendid amateur band.
The Lakeview Dairy was built and established in 1916 with about fifteen grade cows. From time to time these were replaced with registered Holstein cattle, the dairy house and barns enlarged, and at the present time it is one of the best, most modern and sanitary dairies in the state.
It is owned by the Cliffside Mills Company and was established during the lifetime of the founder of Cliffside, Mr. Raleigh R. Haynes, whose boys are trying to carry out the plans and wishes of their father.
Registered and graded Holstein cattle are used in the dairy altogether. All milk cows have been government tested by the U. S. Bureau of Animal Industry. No new cows enter the dairy without first having the government TB test. The stables are clean, cool and comfortable. Mr. R. S. Quesenberry, a graduate of VPI, is employed to test cows, milk and oversee the cattle.
A steam sterilizer for the cans and bottles and a bottler that will fill four bottles at a time are valuable parts of the dairy equipment. About 100 gallons of milk per day is realized from about 26 cows. This is used by the people of Cliffside, Avondale and vicinity and is delivered to them daily.
One of the best cows, Rosni Bale Dekol, has a record of 15,500 pounds of milk and 636 pounds of butter at two years of age. Another choice cow bought from Mr. Victor Montgomery, of Spartanburg, in January for $600, has a record of 36.79 pounds of butter and 653.1 pounds of milk in seven days.
The dairy now owns three cows that give 25 gallons of milk per day or three tons per month which is more than the original 15 cows gave in the same time.
You are welcome at any time and they consider it a pleasure to show you through.
Historical Sketch of Cliffside Baptist Church
The Cliffside Baptist Church was organized April 26th, 1903, with 34 members and soon called to its pastorate Rev. R. A. Hedgepath, who served until December 1905. He was succeeded by Rev. B. M. Bridges, who served until December 1907. During their pastorate Rev. Zeno Wall, now pastor of the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro, N. C., was granted license to preach. Rev. N. R. Stone succeeded Rev. B. M. Bridges, and served as pastor till September 1908, during which time the present church building was begun, and toward the close of his pastorate, Rev. Zeno Wall was ordained to the full ministry. In October 1908 the church called to its pastorate Rev. C. W. Payseur, and during his pastorate of about two and one half years, the church was completed and dedicated August 15th, 1909. Rev. W. T. Tate, who is now pastor of Caroleen and Henrietta Baptist Churches, was licensed to preach by this church August 14th, 1909. On August 20th, 1910, Rev. W. H. Lancaster was also licensed to preach.
On March 31st, 1911, Rev. C. W. Payseur pastorate closed and the church called Rev. F. B. Raymond, who was pastor until November 1912. Rev. L. R. Tate was granted license to preach by the church June 29th, 1911, and on July 20th, 1911, Rev. W. T. Tate was ordained.
On August 4th, 1912, the present pastor, Rev. W. K. Collins was licensed to preach.
Rev. A. T. Stoudenmire was the next pastor called and his work began January 1st, 1912. After Rev. Stoudenmire came Rev. D. J. Hunt and began his long and successful pastorate June 1st, 1914, and served until October 1st, 1921, at which time the present pastor, Rev. W. K. Collins began his service as pastor.
During these 19 years the Cliffside Baptist has steadily pressed forward in the Master’s name, beginning with a membership of 34, the church has grown to a membership of about 600.
During this time, the church has sent out seven preachers, namely: Revs. Zeno Wall, J. F. Weathers, W. T. Tate, L. R. Tate, W. H. Lancaster, W. K. Collins and Marion Blanton.
The church is now undertaking to erect a beautiful modern brick building that will take care of not only our present needs but the future as well. Work now is about to begin on this building, and we feel by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will gloriously finish this task for the glory of Christ who is the head of the church.
Historical Sketch of Cliffside Methodist Episcopal Church
In the year 1903, the Methodist church of Cliffside was organized by Rev. Z. Paris, who was then pastor of the Methodist churches of Henrietta and Caroleen.
The church was organized with only eighteen members. Rev. J. P. Hipps was the first pastor and served during the year 1903. Rev. J. B. Carpenter was pastor for two years serving the church during the years 1904 and 1905. Following Rev. Carpenter came Rev. S. E. Richardson who served during 1906 to 1909 inclusive. The pastorate of Rev. Richardson was followed by Rev. A. C. Swofford who was pastor for four years. It was during the pastorate of Rev. Swofford that the present church was built. Up to this time the congregation had worshipped in a hall over the store and in the school building. The church building was completed in the year 1913, and was considered to be one of the nicest church buildings in Rutherford county at that time. Rev. H. L. Powell was pastor for four years, 1914 to 1917 inclusive. He was followed by Rev. N. M. Modlin who served the three years from 1919 to 1921, and was followed by the present pastor Rev. J. C. Keever who is serving his first year.
During these years the church has made a good growth in membership. It now has about two hundred members which is a great increase over the original eighteen members with which the church was organized.
The Sunday School has grown. The church building is not adequate to meet the needs of our people, and plans are being laid to relocate and build a splendid new church which will meet the needs of the congregation.
The Haynes Bank, Avondale, was opened for business July 22nd, 1907, with $6,000 capital paid in.
The first officers were R. R. Haynes, president; Charles H. Haynes, vice president; J. B. Watkins, cashier. In 1910 the capital stock was increased to $12,000.
The branch at Cliffside was opened for business April 15th, 1916, with W. L. Hicks, cashier, who served until August 1918. Miss Willie Carpenter was elected assistant at Cliffside in October 1917. Mr. W. W. Nanny was elected in Mr. Hicks’ place in August 1918. Mr. Charles H. Haynes was elected president in March 1917 and Mr. G. C. Haynes, vice president. On August 8th, 1920, the capital stock was increased to $50,000.
September 11th, 1919, Mr. J. C. Hames was elected assistant cashier and bookkeeper at Avondale.
The present directors are Charles H. Haynes, G. C. Haynes, W. H. Haynes, Mrs. Virginia Caldwell, Z. O. Jenkins, J. B. Watkins. The resources now are $383,493.21.
The Ice Plant
The Cliffside ice plant was erected in 1916. Despite the fact that our population has grown so rapidly, we deliver ice daily in large trucks and also furnish ice for the Haynes Mill at Avondale. The demand for ice is such that plans are being made to enlarge our plant before another season with every equipment.
The Cotton Gins
In 1904 they began ginning cotton at Cliffside, starting with two 70-saw gins. At the present time we have three 80-saw gins and the capacity is being doubled to six 80-saw gins to accommodate the many farmers in this section.
The Cliffside Railroad
After the Cliffside Mills was completed and began operation, then came the problem of transportation for the mammoth production of beautiful ginghams being turned out daily.
Mr. R. R. Haynes, the man whose mind’s eye could penetrate the distant future, realized that if the town that he had founded and shaped according to his own ideals, was to progress and develop as it should, it must have a railroad. So in 1903 the work of grading the road began, with a Mr. Davis in charge. He, however, was soon relieved and Mr. G. K. Moore took charge and completed the road, which extends from Cliffside to Cliffside Junction, making connections with S & L at that point. In 1905, the first train was operated on this line. For a short time there was no passenger service, but later on coaches were secured and a regular schedule for passengers was inaugurated.
The road now extends to Avondale and connects the two towns, which is a great convenience both to the people and the owners.
The railroad makes the town accessible to hundreds who perhaps would never see or realize the merits of our town and community. The road not only serves the towns of Cliffside and Avondale but there are numerous business houses in the surrounding country whose needs are supplied daily by service from this road.
A larger and more modern engine was recently purchased by the Company and adds greatly to the equipment of the road.
The officers of the Cliffside Railroad Company are: Mr. Charles H. Haynes, president; Mr. W. H. Haynes, vice president; Mr. Z. O. Jenkins, secretary and treasurer; Mr. G. C. Shuford, auditor. Mr. H. M. Owens is the genial agent.
The crew operating the trains are: C. D. Hughes, conductor; J. L. Cooper, engineer; Van McAperson, fireman; Grady Harper, brakeman; and J. S. Duncan, mechanic.
The Cliffside School
One of the most noteworthy things about Cliffside Mills is the magnificent manner in which it has cared for the education of the people. No one realized more than R. R. Haynes that if he was to people the town of his dreams with the type of people he desired he must provide for them opportunities for education, so when the whir of looms began in one end of the mill a space was set for a school. Later when the first store was built, the upper story was devoted to the education of the youth of the town. When this became inadequate to their needs, the building first used by the churches became a school building. As time passed on, this building was enlarged as needs of the school demanded, until, finally, it too became too small. The the present magnificent building was completed and today it stands as a monument to the far-sighted policy of the builders. Of the best and finest construction known in educational architecture it is representative of better and finer opportunities of mental development that were ever dreamed of by the generation of the past.
Its enlightening influence touched the lives and characters of 660 children last year, and it is to be hoped that its power for good shall increase with the passing of the years.
The Cliffside Laundry
Another enterprise that means much to Cliffside and surrounding country is the Cliffside Laundry, managed by Mr, G. H. Parker, formerly of Gaffney, S. C. This plant is equipped with the American Laundry Company’s best machinery, and with the expert operators only first class work is turned out week by week. There are seven regular operators in the; plant, and everything in the way of laundry work is done. They have a Hoffman Pressing machine and clean and press both men’s and ladies’ suits. They are doing work for other towns and are in position to do their work and return it in much less time than when we had to send our work to other places. All work called for and delivered immediately.
Charles H. Haynes
The splendid construction work inaugurated by Mr. R. R. Haynes at Cliffside has been ably carried on by his noble son, Charles H. Haynes. Mr. Haynes became president of the Cliffside Mills in 1917, after the death of his father, and has been its guiding genius since that time.
That he has been unusually successful is attested by the enviable position Cliffside Mills holds in the industrial world today, both financially and in community work. Mr. Haynes is a quiet, unassuming man who prefers to speak in deeds rather than in words, and already his deeds have become an eloquent testimony of his sterling worth as an executive and as a man. Mr. Haynes has ever been zealous for the development of Cliffside Mills into a corporation with a soul, and the people show in increased efficiency and home development, that they have felt the good influence of his work.
Mr. Haynes was educated at Guilford College and after leaving that institution has been connected with the corporation of which he is now president, first as a secretary and later as vice president and treasurer. In addition to being president of Cliffside Mills, Mr. Haynes is interested in several lumber companies over Georgia and Alabama. He is Trustee of the estate of the late R. R. Haynes, a director of the Charlotte National Bank, President of the Haynes Bank of Cliffside and Avondale, and president of the Cliffside Railroad.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.