Raleigh Haynes At Work
In the late 1890s Bob Hollifield worked for R. R. Haynes as a carpenter. In those days Mr. Haynes’ full attention was on building and running the mill and town of Henrietta. Among many other things, Hollifield helped construct Mr. Haynes’ grand house there. Here’s one tale Hollifield jotted down (not in the chapters published in the paper) that reveals some of R. R. Haynes’ character.
We were racing along one day in Mr. Hayne’s buggy and all at once he said, “Whoa, Joe,” and said, “Look there in the road at that necktie. Jump out and pick that up and I will give it to some old darkey that will be glad to get it. I can’t see why anyone wants to throw things like that away.” He never wanted to see things thrown away that could be used. He was always looking out for things that could be used for something. He would very often, in riding along the road, see a nice rock and point toward it and say, “There is a pretty rock to build pillars with.”
When he decided to build the cowbarn on the branch where Avondale Mill is, he told me to just go ahead by myself with the work, that he was not in a hurry. So I worked on it til I got it framed and ready to sheet and cover. So one morning he came down early with three darkeys and said “I will have several head of cattle in here in a few days and I want you to push the work along,” and said (referring to the three darkeys), “Here is Sam and John and Will. Let them help you.” I said, “Mr. Haynes, they can’t do this kind of work.” He said, “They can saw sheeting.” I said, “They don’t have a saw.” He said, “Ain’t you got one?” And I said, yes, but I don’t like for them to use it.” “Well,” he said, “they can use an axe. I think an axe was made first anyway.” And then he turned and went back to his office and left the darkeys with me to do the best I could with them.
He had a young darkey in his early teens that run errands for him at that time. The Henrietta Mills used checks and Mr. Haynes would cash a lot of those checks.