The Sad News
There is little news coverage of Raleigh Haynes’ death in 1917, and no photos of his funeral that we’ve been able to find. In her memoirs, Mabel Bridges Cargill recalls there were about 3,000 people at R. R.’s funeral, more than the Baptist church and the school house could hold. The man was a giant in the county and the state, a friend of senators, a force in the textile industry, so Cliffside must have been crawling with reporters and photographers once his death was reported. But where are the stories and pictures?
There is little information about what happened in the days between his death in Florida and his funeral on February 9, 1917. We have to rely on stories passed down that always begin with “I’ve always heard…” Charles “Red” Humphries has “always heard” that Mr. Hayne’s body was returned from St. Petersburg on the train. It arrived at Harris station (about eight miles west of Cliffside) and was placed on a wagon drawn by white horses. The trip from Harris to Cliffside was arduous; the weather was bad, some of Island Ferry Road was impassable and a new route had to be hacked and carved out through the woods to get to Riverside Street.
By that time, we have to assume, the entire town had turned out to watch the arrival, and surely it was photographed. We’re still on the lookout for more information, but for now this meager clipping from The Gaffney Ledger is all we have.
Cliffside Cotton Mill Owner Dropped Dead
R. R. Haynes Died in Florida—Was Well Known in This Section
St. Petersburg, Fla. Feb. 6.—R. R. Haynes, a wealthy cotton mill owner of Cliffside, N. C., dropped dead at his winter home here late today. His body will be taken to North Carolina tomorrow for burial.
[The Ledger added this to the wire story:]
R. R. Haynes, of Cliffside, N. C., whose death is announced in the above dispatch, is well known in this section, being one of the most successful cotton manufacturers in the district. He had been in Florida some time and while not ill he had been in failing health since last summer, spending much time under treatment at Rutherfordton hospital during that time. He is survived by the following children: Robt. Haynes, Walter Haynes, Charles Haynes and Grover Haynes, of Cliffside; Mrs. Z. O. Jenkins , of Henrietta, N. C.; Mrs. R. A. Love, of Gastonia, N. C.; Mrs. J. S. Shull and Mrs. Barron Caldwell, of Cliffside.
News article researched by Joyce Atkinson Hunter