On July 11, 1916, the first meeting of Incorporators, Stockholders,
and Directors of The Haynes Mills Inc. was held at Cliffside, North
Carolina. The following were all incorporators, stockholders, and
the elected directors of the new corporation:
|Barron P. Caldwell
||G. C. Haynes
|R. R. Haynes
||Z. 0. Jenkins
|Chas. H. Haynes
||J. Rush Shull
|Walter H. Haynes
||J. B. Watkins
Officers elected were R. R. Haynes, President; Chas, H. Haynes, Vice
President; Z. 0. Jenkins, Secretary and Treasurer; and J. B. Watkins,
One of the items of business transacted at the meeting was the adoption
of a resolution by the Board of Directors looking to the purchase
of a tract of land from R. R. Haynes of 140 acres and on which was
already situated some 13 dwellings and various other improvements.
Plans for a 20,000 spindle spinning and weave mill was also presented
at the meeting. The purchase and transfer of the 140 acre tract of
land referred to was completed September 25, 1916, and marks the beginning
of The Haynes Mill and on which most of the town of Avondale is located.
A General Merchandise Store was opened up and operated in connection
with the main Company Store at Cliffside, N. C., under the supervision
of Mr. John G. Roach, Manager. The U. S. Post Office was located in
this store building and Mr. John G. Roach was the first Postmaster.
Sometime prior or possibly along with the beginning of the work on
the mill the Cliffside Railroad was extended from Cliffside Junction
to the site and to serve the new plant.
|The Haynes Mill at Avondale
Arrangements were made and work begun to carry to completion the building
of the new mill and the village. The name of the town, Avondale, was
given, this being the name of the winter home of Mr. R. R. Haynes
in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. J. B. Watkins, who was also cashier
of The Haynes Bank (then in Avondale), was in charge of construction
work and Mr. T. A. Biggerstaff performed valuable service in carrying
on the building program.
To begin with, it was the plan that Mr. R. R. Haynes and his family
would build the mill and the village of Avondale. Previously in 1897,
he had built the Florence Mills at Forest City and just after the
turn of the century around 1901 he had built Cliffside Mills and the
town of Cliffside, North Carolina.
In January 1917, Mr. R. R. Haynes was spending a few weeks for vacation
and rest at his winter residence in St. Petersburg, Florida. While
there and during the course of a conversation with friends in the
front yard of his home he suffered a stroke of apoplexy and died suddenly
February 6, 1917.
His sudden passing, together with the beginning of World War I only
a few weeks later, naturally caused a let-up along all lines of the
original program as set out for building Haynes Mill. It is noted,
however, that during 1917 some progress in the work had been made,
for on November 30 of that year a call meeting of the Directors of
The Haynes Mills Inc. was held and we note the following on hand which
indicates what had been accomplished up to the date of the meeting:
One hundred forty acres, more or less, of land on which is located:
|• 1 two-story Card and Spinning Mill building size 100
' x 220' with a one-story picker building size 100' x 40' adjoining,
all complete except floor in lower story and a little work yet
to do on stair tower
|• 1 one-story boiler and engine room building
size 40' x 130'
|• 1 two-story cotton warehouse
|• 1 cow barn
|• 1 private graded road complete with 38' steel bridge
|• 1 dam with 12' of water
|• 20 dwelling houses complete
|• 1 dwelling house under course of construction
|• Excavating place for slasher room and dye house which
cost probably $1,000.00 or more
|• 1 set of blacksmith tools and a lot of other tools
|• 4 mules
|• 2 wagons
|• 2 sets double harness
|• 165 bushels corn
|• 20 loads hay
|• 100M shingles
|• Farming tools
At this meeting it was decided to sell the property to Cliffside
Mills and dissolve the corporation of Haynes Mills Inc. Mr. Chas.
H. Haynes succeeded his father as President and it was under his management
that the property of Haynes Mill was transferred to Cliffside Mills
and the building of the new mill was completed.
The war going on, not much was done until late 1918, and in 1919
machinery was installed and the operation of a hosiery mill manufacturing
men's socks was started. This was discontinued in 1920 and the manufacturing
of chambray was begun and the mill continued to make this product
until the late 1930's when cotton and rayon specialties were also
manufactured. During World War II, the mill produced approximately
100% Osnaburg. After the close of World War II, the manufacture of
Greige Goods was begun and the mill has since continued on this product.
Mr. Maurice Hendrick was the first superintendent, which position
he held until about 1921 when he became Superintendent of Cliffside
In the building of the mill and the village, it is interesting to
note the source of the timber and lumber used in part of the mill
and most of the village of approximately 178 houses. During the period
1917-1920, the company operated a fertilizer plant at Avondale, manufacturing
fertilizer which was sold direct to farmers in the immediate territory.
Mr. J. B. Watkins, Manager, was returning from a trip to Charleston,
South Carolina to purchase fertilizer material for the plant, and
while passing through Wadesboro, North Carolina, he chanced to see
a notice of sale of some 7OO acres of timberland known as the Ratliff
Estate near Lilesville, North Carolina. He got off the train, stayed
over and went to see the timber and found it to be very good, and
put in a bid. After several weeks he succeeded in purchasing the tract
which proved to be very valuable. Mr. Watkins moved in several saw
mills and cut 2 1/2 to 3 million feet of lumber which was shipped
on railroad flat cars to Avondale and went into the building of Haynes
Mill and the town.
In about 1923, great deposits of gravel was disclosed on the land
and millions of tons of gravel have since been mined and shipped to
all parts of the country by B. V. Heddrick and Company, who first
leased the property and to whom it was sold outright in the early
In the years around 1923 cotton was still king in Rutherford county
and to serve the farmers in the surrounding territory a large cotton
gin was built and operations begun during that year. Mr. T. J. Wilkins,
who for years had been engaged in ginning and buying cotton locally
from the farmers, was brought from retirement and helped for about
two seasons to get this phase of operations under way. Mr. R. E. Jenkins,
Outside Overseer for years and who operated the gin, relates that
as many as 3600 bales of cotton was ginned in one season and that
102 bales was the largest amount of bales ginned in one day. This
cotton was ginned and bought by the company, on the ground.
The cotton gin building which still stands brings to mind the day
when from early morning until late at night wagons and trucks were
on the grounds loaded with cotton to be ginned daily during the fall
season of the year. To break the monotony of the continuous whirr
of the ginnery the occasional braying of a mule who had helped produce
some of the cotton on the grounds could be heard for some distance
During the early 1940's, cotton gin operations were discontinued
and the machinery sold.
Old timers still talk of the interesting incidents that happened
during this period. Mr. J. N. Goode, Sr., who was brought from Cliffside
to be the first Machine Shop Overseer, recalls to this day the big
turkey dinners served to all the employees and everyone present during
the building of the mill, and to celebrate the completion of different
sections of the plant,
In the late 20's or early 30's, Mr. H. G. Rolllns, Overseer of Spinning
of Cliffside Mills, was made Superintendent of the Haynes Plant where
he remained until 1942, when he accepted a position with J. P. Stevens
and Company. He was succeeded by Mr. J. L. Beard who, on his retirement,
was succeeded as superintendent by Mr. Ray Stallings.
The plant was designated as Cliffside Mills, Haynes Plant, until
1952. Mr. Chas. H. Haynes served as President until 1945 when he retired.
Mr. Maurice Hendrick succeeded him and served until 1951, retiring
during the year. Mr. Earle R. Stall, Sr. was elected President of
Cliffside Mills in 1951 and in 1952 Cliffside Mills merged with and
became a part of Cone Mills Corporation, of which Mr. Stall was Vice
President. The mill was under his management until 1960 when, having
served beyond his regular retirement date, Mr. Stall retired. He was
succeeded by Mr. Earl R. Stall, Jr., Assistant Vice President of Cone
Mills Corporation, who was in charge of the Florence Division, consisting
of the Florence Plant, Forest City, North Carolina; American Spinning,
Greenville, South Carolina; and in 1960 the Haynes Plant, Avondale,
North Carolina, became part of the Florence Division of Cone Mills
Corporation, Greensboro, North Carolina.
In the very beginning, Avondale erected two very fine houses of worship.
The Baptists completed their church in 1923 and the Methodists a few
months later in 1924. Prior to the completion of the two churches,
the Baptists and Methodists held services in what was formerly the
knitting mill building,
Thus the essential story of the building of the Haynes Mill and town
of Avondale is given. The building of the mill and town required much
more labor and hard work than if it were done today. In those days
men still walked a mile or two and probably forded a swollen stream
in order to begin the day early enough to do a good day's work by
sundown. Their efforts accomplished much and founded a textile plant
and community that today the state of North Carolina is proud to call
part of the very fine industrial section of lower Rutherford County.
Hollis M. Owens, Sr. 1896-1980, a veteran of World War II,
served for a time as president of Cliffside Railroad. He is buried
in Cliffside Cemetery. Our thanks to Mack Hendrick for providing this
copy of Mr. Owens' history.