Robert Glenn Rhyne Sr., known to most as "Slick," was born in Stanley 75
years ago. He's still there.
"I was born and reared in the city limits of Stanley. I live about 100 yards
from where I was born. I didn't get very far," he said.
Maybe he hasn't gone far, but the Town of Stanley has—thanks to Rhyne.
As former mayor of Stanley for 16 years, Rhyne was instrumental in getting
the small town on its feet.
The town will recognize Rhyne's accomplishments on Sunday, May 23, which current
Mayor Bill Withers has proclaimed as R.G. "Slick" Rhyne Day.
In part the proclamation reads:
“The citizens of the area have benefited from his able leadership during
those years (years as mayor)—modern water plant, good streets, new town hall and many
more improvements. Mayor Rhyne left the town in much better shape than at the
time he took office."
A drop-in reception for the former mayor will be at Rhyne-Cannon American
Legion Post 266 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Rhyne began his 16 non-consecutive years as mayor in 1946. He would serve
in that capacity for 12 years before leaving town hall for two years and then returning
for another four.
When he first came on board as mayor, Rhyne remembered having to meet in an
old corn mill which was located not too far away from today's town hall on Main Street.
And only one street—one in Craig Heights—was paved.
Rhyne prides himself on having gotten things done during his years as mayor.
But, more than that, he prides himself on the way he got them accomplished. He was frugal when
it came to spending town money. He just about had to be since the town was run on tax dollars
and utility profits.
And the town treasurer registered about $1,600.
Always looking to save the town some money, Rhyne said he was instrumental in
getting 50 percent of the streets paved by the state.
"If I wanted a street paved I went to the state first," he said, adding that
it didn't cost the town a penny (no local tax money was used).
Rhyne said it was during his years as mayor that a water plant was built.
And Talon Zipper, which he tapped for money for improvements to the water plant,
located in Stanley.
Rhyne said on two different occasions he managed to get $75,000 interest
free from Talon Zipper to use for expansion of the plant and to purchase a
storage tank. Talon Zipper received water in exchange, he said.
Rhyne said his nickname wasn't acquired during his days as mayor, but
during his high school days. He said the girls apparently felt it an appropriate name because
he always got away with mischief.
“They got caught and I didn't," he said.
Rhyne is married to the former Louise Hoover, and the two have two sons,
Robert Glenn Rhyne Jr. and Charles Hoover Rhyne.
The following is an article from The
Stanley News, May 6, 1965
Rhyne Expresses Mixed
Emotions On Mayor's Post
By Sarah Nixon
I was a little sad ... and a little bit glad, too, I
guess," said former mayor Glenn Rhyne about not having his name on the
ballot for the Stanley municipal elections Monday.
Mayor Rhyne was at the polls "a couple times"
during the day, he admitted. Sometimes he is pretty relieved that he is not the
mayor and sometimes, just sometimes, he sort of wishes he had run again.
He really has a case of mixed emotions about the whole thing. Being in office sixteen of
eighteen years does sort of get you into the habit of it. Mr. Rhyne doesn't
even remember exactly which two-year term he sat out as mayor of Stanley, but
he thinks it was in the mid '50s.
"I'd been in six or eight years and decided I'd let
somebody else take over," he recalls.
During those two years, he decided that with his experience
he would like to try it again. He was ready to go back. Not that he had any big
objection to the way the town was being run, but he kind of liked the challenge
of being mayor and he wanted to see if he couldn't still do some good for the
With a bigger voter registration this year, was the turnout
as big as he anticipated?
"I figured we'd have about 300 votes. Yes, we had a few
more than I would have expected," he said.
The former mayor is a firm believer in a man's exercising
his privilege of voting.
"Sure, I voted. I always do and I always tell a man to
vote, even if he wasn't going to vote for me. I didn't expect to get all the
votes though I didn't want not to get any myself," he laughed.
"I think a man should vote and if he makes a mistake
and votes wrong, he can find it out and come back next year and change. It's
bad for people not to take an interest in selecting the town officials. If they
don't vote and things don't go to suit them, they shouldn't complain. Vote and
you have a right to fuss if you want to. I always like to see a majority of the
people vote and then if you win you feel like they are behind you," he
A town is bound to see some changes in almost two decades.
Glenn Rhyne saw a lot of changes and a lot of progress in his 16 years as mayor.
"We held our council meeting in a little corn mill over
behind Hubert Craig's back then," he said of 1947. "Then we moved to
a tin building over on Main Street across from the depot. It wasn't any better
building, but it wasn't behind something. It was on Main Street."
Eighteen years ago, only the highway running through town to
Lincolnton and Mount Holly was paved.
"We had about $4,000 when I took office, and we owed
about $26,000. Three of four wells furnished water for the town but then there were only
700 or 800 people living here.
"Taxes were $1.25 and we've only raised them a quarter
in 18 years. Today we have a modern water system, paved streets and some
sidewalks, a city hall, a fire department and lots of added conveniences,"
He pointed out sidewalks to both schools in town and noted
that kept the children off the streets.
We've been growing a little all along. I feel sure we will
keep growing. We've already passed on a new million dollar water tank and plans
have been drawn for an addition to City Hall," Rhyne explained.
Just because he isn't mayor any more sure doesn't mean Glenn
Rhyne won't be interested in the town. He just felt he had served long enough.
"A couple of fellows came by here last week and said
they never had voted for anybody but me. The kids around here can't remember anyone
else being mayor," he said.
Maybe he will run again sometime…there's something about
having your name on the ballot and watching the voters go to the polls. There's
a challenge in leading the town…especially when the people are so nice…knowing
you are doing something for YOUR town.
And, there's a relief that the responsibility has been passed to someone else.
Yes, former mayor, Glenn Rhyne, has mixed emotions about
Monday's municipal elections in Stanley.