RRH Life Story 3
Life Story of the Late Raleigh R. Haynes (continued)
Use navigation bar below
to move through pages.
Thus it was that he betook himself a few miles down the Main Broad River telling his own heart that here he would build a monument that would not only profit him, but would abide in its outgivings of thrift, harmony and happiness. The spiritual was hand-in-hand with the material when Mr. Haynes put aside practically Henrietta Nos. 1 and 2 for the new project that possessed him. It was a wide and rolling waste of briar and brush through which only creatures of the field and forest took their hidden way. The “creator” was touched into power from within. The pioneer planned and the site took shape for practical results.
“Thus it was that he betook himself a few miles down the Main Broad River telling his own heart that here he would build a monument that would not only profit him, but would abide in its outgivings of thrift, harmony and happiness.”
This was in 1901. In the meantime, Mr. Haynes had a short business experience in Forest City, near Rutherfordton, where he went to reorganize a mill property in which he was successful and afterward sold out his holdings. From Forest City, he came to Cliffside.
It was after having built up the great properties of Caroleen and Henrietta No. 1 that he went to Forest City. At first it was a small mill, not prospering that he took hold of to reorganize. After surveying the situation, Mr. Haynes decided to build a large mill, the construction of which is to be credited to G.K. Moore, the present foreman at Cliffside. This is the present Florence Mill, named after for the eldest daughter of Mr. Haynes. The difference in the situations at Forest City and at Caroleen was that in the former place, he was free to work out his plans in his own free way, whereas at the latter place, there were the natural checks resulting from associates. He had disposed of Henrietta and Caroleen—and later sold out the Florence Mill at satisfactory advance to himself. Then he came to Cliffside. He came to be one of the promoters of the First National Bank of Forest City of which he retained an interest several years after coming to Cliffside. The Florence Mill has 20,000 spindles and was considered one of the most ambitious undertakings of that time.
At first among his associates was Dr. T.B. Lovelace, who later, for a goodly sum, sold out his interest to Mr. Haynes. Dr. Lovelace at first had been vice president of the Cliffside Cotton Mills, of which B.D. Heath, of Charlotte, was president. Now Mr. Haynes swung out in midstream alone in the realization of what seems now to have been his life dream. Dreamers are dangerous in the world of business, provided they be impractical dreamers. But there is what is called the practical dreamer, and that rare type, it may be said almost without exception, is the only one who achieves in the kindest success, which startles his fellow men into admiration and loyalty. Such a man was Disraeli in the world of politics in England. Marshall Field might have been called another in America. Thomas Jefferson was of this type. Lincoln was a practical dreamer. They could be named from men less conspicuous in affairs from everywhere. This country abounds in them. Edison is another. But within the limits which his environments have marked out for him Raleigh Haynes was a practical dreamer of genius, which being translated in my own way means a man who has the common sense to put into effect his visions and his hopes of what should be.
On such lines was Raleigh Haynes in the solitude of his own soul proceeding when he came to Cliffside. Men believed in him. The men who are clustered about him now are longtime associates. W.L. Packard, the present superintendent of Cliffside, followed Mr. Haynes from Henrietta. Mr. Packard has known of him for 30 years and after a ripe cotton-mill experience in Cleveland County, he has been with the Cliffside Mills now for 10 years. The chief machinist has been there longer. G.K. Moore has known him since boyhood—been to camp meetings with him in other, older days, began working for him 24 years ago, and now is what is called the right man or general manager under Charles H. Haynes of the whole property and its varied interests.
How he raised $25
Mr. Moore, during my conversation with him, told me a story of a Baptist Association meeting that he and Mr. Haynes attended during the first years of Mr. Haynes’ married life. A new church was needed, and subscriptions were taken. “There were a number of men there, said Mr. Moore, “who were well able to contribute liberally, but they consoled their consciences with a subscription, some $1, some only 50 cents. When the paper came to Mr. Haynes sitting near them he put his name down for $25. He had a small store at Ferry, and on his way home he told me what he had done, saying that he couldn’t dream of how he could pay that amount. He told his wife, who met his mood with good cheering words of encouragement. Then followed a trip to Spartanburg with eggs and butter and chickens. A man stopped him on the street and priced his merchandise. There happened a high-priced holiday demand in Spartanburg. Mr. Haynes was amazed when the whole wagonload sold at prices he never imagined to be possible. When he returned home he had enough money to pay his $25 subscription to the church, the expenses to Spartanburg and return and $2 over. He told me this himself.”
Mr. Haynes in coming to Cliffside kept near him not only his old friends, but there seems to have been an unspoken, persistent mental purpose to bring together around him his whole family of children and grandchildren.
This result struck me as unparalleled in my experience. Here was a man with eight children and all lived now in comfortable, happy homes practically in Cliffside or within gunshot almost.
In the order of their ages these children are: Florence, who married Z.O. Jenkins, manager of the company stores; Robert E., married, who, though in bad health, conducts a dairy, corn mill, etc, nearby; Charles H., representing his father and sole executor of his estate; Sarah, the wife of Robert Love, who lives in Gastonia; Walter, married, who is a prominent and successful farmer at his father’s birthplace, Ferry; Grover Cleveland, married, a doctor of dentistry, who now, however, devotes most of his time assisting his brother Charles; Eulah, the wife of Dr. J.R. Shull, one of the physicians of Cliffside; Virginia, the wife of Barron Caldwell who is in charge of the hydroelectric power plant now nearing completion almost within a stone’s throw of Cliffside.
The instinct in him seemed almost dominant to gather under his wing those of his own flesh and blood. In his spacious and well-appointed home there lived with him his son, Charles, Grover and his wife and his daughter, Mrs. Caldwell and her husband. In one end of the home were his apartments where he worked alone with his plans and purposes for the future.