Remembering Mr. Beatty
The Gathering – 2009
Beatty – Young Harley
Brenda Walters: We don’t have lot pictures of Dad when he was really young. I’m not sure why. We looked and looked and couldn’t find any. This is one of his youngest pictures we could find, in 1919. He was born in 1903 in Lucia, NC, which is east of Stanley, on highway 16, north of Charlotte.
There were nine of them, nine children. I think his brothers and sisters are listed in that program. But there was one older brother, a half-brother, that is not listed, Adora, so nine children instead of eight. About this age or a little older, I guess, was when he finished high school. One thing he said, he was real inspired to go to college by hearing a speaker from UNC and that really impressed him so much that he just had to go to college. He came from a family that did not have a lot, not what you called prosperous but they got along. So he needed to do that and he wanted to do that. We are not sure what year he actually started college but know he finished in 1927. Now that does not mean he did not teach before that. He used to tell us that the year before he graduated he stayed out the entire year to teach. Of course, he didn’t have his degree, I guess then it did not matter. I guess you could have a couple of years of school and still teach. So that’s what he, and I know he worked on and off through school. So it took him awhile to finish.
But he did finish at UNC, in 1927. And that was the time he came to Cliffside. I know also, when he was looking for a job, I guess there was an opening in Cliffside. He really liked coming here because, at that time, the schools were opened longer because the mill was helping pay the extra money for the teachers to have a full school year. And so, he was lucky enough as he thought to be able to come here and teach, and to be principal.
At the time there was a superintendent and a principal at the school. He talked a lot of times about Mr. Caldwell and I think there has been a lot of information about that, and you are familiar with him, Phillip, I know. And so he became, within a year or so he became the principal and Mr. Caldwell was still the superintendent here at Cliffside.
Recorded at the Society’s 3rd annual Gathering, October 9, 2009