Charles Terrell Freeman
We received the following from Richard C. Fluck.
“My great-grandmother, Theodosia Charlotta Martin Jarrett, operated a boardinghouse in Cliffside from about 1912 to about 1925. The boardinghouse had nine rooms, all with outside entrances. She charged $6 per week for room and board. A library was built on the site of the boardinghouse about 1940. If I had to guess, I would say her boarding house was on the east side of N. Main Street, somewhere close to the Baptist Church. When I visited Cliffside in the early ’90s with my mother, who remembered visiting her grandmother as a child, we found the site (we think) of her boarding house. Only some concrete steps remained at the sidewalk. We then went a couple of blocks north to a small restaurant and had a delightful meal.
“Theodosia Charlotta Martin was originally from Chesnee, and the widow of Alfred Eliphus ‘Loge’ Jarrett, who died in 1911. Several of their children ended up in Shelby.
“Following are excerpts from an autobiography written by Charles Terrell Freeman, my great uncle, in about 1950. It is exactly as written, complete with all errors.”
A man by the name of Raleigh Hanes had built a mill three miles down the river from Henrietta and named the place Cliffside. His superentendants name was Fate Hughs. Hughs came up to our home one Sunday afternoon wanting us to move to Cliffside. He said we could not take the dog as Hanes could not stand the sight of a dog, and would not allow any one to own a dog in Cliffside. I told him I would not go unless I could take my dog. He would come back most every week trying to get us to move to Cliffside, but I refused to budge. Finally he came up and said Hanes had given in so we moved to Cliffside in the fall of 1904. My oldest sister who had married stayed in Henrietta and every few days we would go up to see her (that would be Minnie Sinclair Freeman, who married Burl Lee Hames). One night at twelve o’clock a baby was borned to my brothers wife (John Moten Freeman had married Lola Kathryn Hardin, and Lottie Marcella Freeman was born March 15, 1905 in Cliffside). My brother wrote a note to my sister as follows:
“By puppy express baby girl borned to Mr & Mrs John Freeman at twelve midnight [on such a date]”.
He tied the note around Dixie’s neck and told him to take it to Minnie. He went straight to her house and scratched on the door. When she saw something around his neck she took it off and tossed it out in the yard, the next morning when she was sweeping her yard she saw that a piece of paper was tied up in the string. She picked it up and unwrapped the paper and discovered the note. They still have the note.
After we had been living at Cliffside for about six month my dog disapeared. I gave him up as dead. So one morning there was a wagon standing in front of our house and I saw a dog head looking over the top of the wagon bed and two little boys holding it. I was standing in the doorway. I called mother and told her that I believed it was Dixie. She said she did not think it was him, so after a few minutes, I walked to the wagon. He jumped into my arms, it was Dixie, he ran into the house and jumped up on the bed where my father was, then ran into the other rooms to see the rest of the family. Then my father explained that at the request of Mr. Hanes he had found Dixie a good home out in the country. He said that Mr. Hanes had ask him to let this family have Dixie as two of his nieces had obtained dogs and he could not stand seeing a dog. So I agreed and took Dixie back to the boys in the wagon. So Hanes had his nieces to get rid of their dogs. The last time I heard from Cliffside there were still no dogs there. There used to be a saying that there were grown people living in Cliffside who had never seen a dog.
I worked at night at Cliffside, doffing. I made fifty cents a night five night a week. Later I was promoted to head doffer at seventy-five cent a night.
Cliffside had checks in the denominations of five ten – twenty-five and fifty cents and one dollar. You could draw on your time and trade it out between pay days. He required each family to draw out most of their pay in checks so that he would know that they were trading at the company store, he sold every thing any one would need. All prices were in line with stores elsewhere and many articles were cheaper and he saw to it that we took advantage of it.
There was only one church in Cliffside so all denominations went to it. They were mostly Methodist and Baptist. In Cliffside like Henrietta every one attended church.
I had a brother living there and he decided to pay cash and not draw out checks, so after about three month Mr. Hanes went to him and told him that he noticed that he was not drawing out checks. Brother told him no I am not but I am trading at the company store, Hanes told him that he must draw out checks so that he would know that he was trading at the company store. My brother quit and moved to another town. The company furnished houses rent free so when you quit you have to move out emeadiatly.
In the spring of 1905 I heard that you could buy a phonograph at Forest city for eight dollar, so I hired a horse and buggy one Saturday and drove up there. I got the phonograph an six records for eight dollars, this was the first one to be owned by any one in Cliffside. The only ones we had seen were men coming around with them charging five cents a record.
I became very poplar for a while taking my phonograph to parties.
We lived by the lake and on Sunday after noon the people would line up on the other side of the lake. I would bring the record player out on the porch and play the records over and over again. I rember two of the records. One was ‘I am old but I am awfully tough.’ The other was ‘Hiawaha.’
At Cliffside the boys and girls were from twelve to sixteen years old that worked in the spinning. Hanes would not stand for them to be misstreated. One day the overseer got mad at a boy and fired him. The boy was around fourteen. I saw the boy leaving the mill crying. In a few minutes Hanes came up to the spinning room. The overseer and I was standing at the head of the stairs when Mr. Hanes came with the boy. He ask the overseer what he had fired the boy for, the overseer started trying to explain to him. Hanes told to put the boy back to work, he told him that doffers were hard to get. He said he could hire planty of overseers so the
boy went back to work. The overseer told me that he had a good mind to quit, but where else could he get a job making thirty dollars a month.
Well my brother that left Cliffside wound up in Lindale, Ga. A mill several times larger than Cliffside. He had got a job there as head of the supply room an wanted us to move out there, so on the first day of July we were on our way. We shipped our household goods by freight and we went by train. I will never forget the way the railroad station looked in Atlanta. It had not been built very long. It was the most beutifull thing I ever saw. Well we arrive at Lindale, and in about ten days our household goods arived, so we moved them into a four room house.
Editor’s note: The Jarretts indeed ran a boarding house, at #1 Reservoir Street. We hope to uncover more information about and photographs of the people in this story.