by Joe DePriest
Star Staff Writer
The Shelby Star, Dec. 20, 1978
CLIFFSIDE - Cliffside's
clock is back.
After a two-year silence, four tons of bells tell the town the time
The huge clock has a new home, however,—the
R. R. Haynes Memorial tower—and around 200 people attended
its dedication ceremonies yesterday.
The memorial—made by Cone Mills Corp.—is
located on the site of R. R. Haynes homeplace.
|Staff Photo by Ken Wilson
|At high noon yesterday, Eugene Whitaker, assistant master
mechanic at the Cone Mills Cliffside plant starts the clock
in the new Haynes Memorial which was dedicated in Cliffside.
Whitaker has worked for Cone 28 years and looked after
the clock, formerly located in the now-demolished Haynes
Memorial building. "This clock was designed to only
move forward," he said. "I think that's the way
R. R. Haynes would have wanted it...something always progressing."
Lewis S. Morris, chairman of the board of Cone
Mills, spoke at the dedication and Joseph R. Shull Jr. of Charlotte,
grandson of R. R.
Haynes, responded. Some 59 descendants of Haynes attended the ceremony.
Haynes, born in 1851, was a pioneer of the textile industry in North
Carolina. He built mills at Henrietta, Caroleen and Forest City and,
in 1902, the Cliffside Mill. Haynes developed the town of Cliffside.
He became friends with Moses and Ceasar Cone in the 1880s and the
Cone Export and Commission Co. began selling agents for Cliffside
Mills. Haynes died in 1917. Three of his mills were acquired by Cone
In 1919, a $100,000 Haynes Memorial building was erected in Cliffside.
It was formally dedicated in 1922.
The Cleveland Star noted that the tower “contains
an immense clock with chimes while the interior contains a large
library, gymnasium, swimming pool, etc. as well as offices for the
community nurse which is on duty all the time.”
The building also contained a community meeting room and rooms for
out-of-town guests of the mill.
Buddy Weathers, personnel manager of the Cliffside plant, said the
building was torn down in 1976.
“It wasn't in good repair. The building
had served its purpose.”
The clock and four bells, each weighing a ton, were placed in a
mill storage room, Weathers said.
The new Haynes Memorial tower is made of bricks
from the old memorial building, he added.
The Rev. William Stroud
of Cliffside Baptist Church gave the invocation
yesterday and the Rev. Clay Morgan of Cliffside United Methodist
Church gave the benediction.
Before the striking of the clock, Phillip White, principal of Cliffside Elementary School, read an excerpt
from Raleigh Rutherford Haynes,
a 1954 biography written by Mrs. Grover C. Haynes, Sr.
The piece — entitled “Town Clock” — concluded: “After
day's duties are finished and night approaches, a gentle stillness
settles down and the town sleeps. But in the silent watches of
the night our town clock keeps vigil. Again in the hush of early
there it is, fresh and hopeful as morning itself.”
Update: “After the clock works
were removed from the Memorial Building tower, the next step was
to bring down the clock frame itself. They had the town blocked off
and had a bulldozer with cables hooked to the clock frame. Several
people were at the old church and I was one of them, to watch the
old town clock tower fall. Well, we all waited for a good while for
this to take place and when they finally did pull at the old clock
frame, I guess maybe 10 bricks came off and that's all. The old tower
didn't want to go. When we saw it wasn't going anywhere, we all left.
I don't know how they tore it down but they didn't do it with a bulldozer
that's for sure (not that day anyway). That was the last time
I saw G.C. Fisher alive; JD Johnson was also there that day. For
some reason nobody in the crowd had a camera. If we had only known.” —Sam