Alfred Rhyne Remembers
Alfred M. Rhyne
"When a person gets well along in age as I am now, things in the past are much easier to recall
than more recent things. I was born in this town of Stanley in 1919 and have enjoyed life here.
I am thankful to my Lord for allowing me to be in this part of the world."
"Many things about Stanley are special. The original name of Brevard Station was given because
of the Brevard family giving the land for the town. The Brevards also gave land for the oldest
church, Christ Lutheran, and also the land for the Presbyterian church. Stanley has been blessed
with churches of various denominations."
"Some churches have been rebuilt or moved from original sites. The first Baptist Church (Bruington)
was located on Old Highway 27 within 500 feet of the present First Baptist (present name). The
Methodist was located where the community building is now located. The Presbyterian Church moved
down Old Highway 27 about the time the Baptist built. There was a Black Methodist Church where
the American Legion hut is now. It was moved to Springfield area. The reason I mention these
churches - they have meant so much to the people I have known here in the past and I hope to a
new generation. When I was younger on Sunday mornings the church bells would start ringing
reminding all that it was worship time. It created the most wonderful feeling in being a part of it."
"There have been some interesting characters that I have known in Stanley, that I would like to
"The F. V. Taylor Family. Dr. Taylor was a doctor for a number of years along with his wife, Lois
McKeown Taylor, who was a dentist here. Dr. Taylor was responsible for getting electricity in the
town. He owned the lines and had as his electrician a fellow by name of Lee Smith (another
character). Dr. Taylor also had water lines for a portion of the town and would have put water all
over town if the town had allowed it. Electric lines were sold to Duke Power."
"Another doctor that was in town before Dr. Taylor. His name was Dr. Reedy. He looked like Doc in
the Gunsmoke shows. Other doctors are Dr. Verner and Dr. P. B. Hall, these two and their families
lived in the old Carpenter house at different times. We thought so much of Dr. Bailey Weathers and
his faithful work. Dr. Fesperman was a much loved person also. These men are all gone now."
"Mr. Arthur Lay was a man everyone knew, he was the town Policeman at one time. I ran over him with
my bicycle one time. Oh how he cursed me."
"Mr. Wade Rutledge, Shug Cannon, Andy Armstrong. There are many others that are too numerous to
mention, but one needs mentioned, and he was Mr. J. R. Rogers Mr. Rogers ran a little store and
filling station combination on the Hawley curve. He was the Town Squire. He held court twice a
month on Tuesdays."
"I have mentioned mostly men so far so I must list some women who were quite well known in town. Miss
Bernie Rankin and Mrs. Ida Rankin Abernathy lived in a house where the Motorcycle shop is now.
Their brother, Mr. Jim (Rankin) ran the store and livery stable."
"Summerow Sisters, Willie and Juanita lived in a nice home where the log cabin eating place is now."
"Mrs. Mary Alexander lived in a nice home where the BB&T Bank is located now.
Miss Mary Smith and Brother lived in a big home where the present Methodist Church and Manse are
now. (First Catholic in town)."
"There are a number of stores that are no longer in business, but were in use a long time, and meant a
lot to town's folk, Boyd Hardware, run by Mr. Bert Boyd and son, Frank. It was a combination, hardware, post
office, grocery, feed and gas station. Shock's Grocery, Wallace Furniture and Funeral Home, N. C. Hammack
Funeral Home, Dellinger Drug Store, Earl Detter Drug Store, Wirt Hovis Grocery and Dry Goods, Graham
Rutledge Grocery, Earl Smith Garage, Taylor-Smith Gin and Blacksmith, old Creamery, Farmers and
Merchants Bank, Mobley McKeown Grocery, Handsel and Rhyne Cleaners, Jenkins Millinery Shop, Stanley
Theatres (3 in all), Doras Ballard Garage, Shocks Garage, Red Root Beer Joint, Katterman & Mitchell Silk Mill,
Lola Mills, Weather's Drugs, Fender Mauney Store, Russell Handsel Grocery, Bill Cannon Grocery, George
Watts Cafe', and Press Fox Store on old Hwy. 27."
"Entertainment when I was a young fellow, was looking at the medicine shows in the summer, Sauline
players in winter and perhaps a picture show if I had the money. Marbles, peggy, cops & robbers, ball, and the
good ole swimming holes, filled the days."
"Halloween was always a good time to get into mischief. For a long time boys would move Mr.
Dellinger's outside toilet to the front door of the drug store. Stanley used to own a big road scrape that they
pulled with a tractor. It was a big machine and heavy too. Some boys took it apart, carried parts up stairs in
the high school building, and re-assembled it in the hallway. Mr. Kiser had a fit. The train track got greased
many times and much porch furniture was turned over or carried away, no real harm done."
"Several happenings created excitement in the town. In the early 20's the Farmers and Merchants Bank
safe was blown up and robbed. People thought the world was coming to an end. No one was ever caught in
this robbery. Also in the early 20's the Depot burned. They even sent a fire truck from Gastonia to fight the
fire. It wrecked at the Hawley curve and nearly went into the railroad. Of course, the Depot burned to the
"A circus used to come to Stanley and one year they brought a bear that they offered to wrestle with
anyone who dared. A young black man offered to challenge the bear. They did and until the man's death he
was called John de Bear. (The bear won)"
"The bank was robbed several years after the first robbery, and this time they drilled a hole in the safe
and filled it full of water taken from the depot water barrels. After the money was soaked good they torched
a hole big enough to lift the money sacks out. The robbers were caught in Charlotte before anyone in Stanley
knew the bank had been robbed. Robbers were jailed in Gastonia, escaped, and were never heard of again."
"For several years the Seaboard Railway would put on an excursion from Rutherfordton to the beach.
They would come through Stanley Station after dark. You never saw so many drunks in one's life. They
picked up cars for people going along the way. Several drunks got off at the depot to excuse themselves and
never got back on, slept under the depot all night. The people became so rowdy that Seaboard stopped the trips
because they tore up seats and knocked out windows. Several men got on in Stanley, but got off in Charlotte.
Things were too rough."
"I remember my grandmother and my mother telling about how things were around here in the late
1800's and early 1900's. I hate we didn't write them all down. They told about the weather being
so much colder in the winters. Many of the big farms had ponds to trap water for cattle. These ponds
would freeze in early winter and remain so all winter. Owners would build insulated ice houses so that they could saw ice off
the ponds and thus have ice for ice cream on into the summer months."
"I remember a store here in Stanley that had everything from horse collars to women's sewing threads.
It was owned by Thompsons & Rutledges. It was in the present Gaston County Dyeing Machine Building."
"I remember the last shipment of buggies that came into Stanley. Mr. Jim Rankin ordered a boxcar load
to sell at his livery stable. Mr. Rankin's stables were located where Clarence Hastings' garage is now. They
unloaded the various parts from the boxcar and assembled them where the little flower plot is now. The
buggies were painted black and had black leather seats. The wheels were the last parts added. The wheels had
narrow solid rubber tires. As they were assembled they parked them along the side of the road in front of the
"Back in the buggy days, salesmen came to town by train and rented a horse and buggy to visit outlying
stores. One time a salesman came into town in his own horse and buggy. He asked Mr. Jim Rankin if he would
watch his horse and buggy while he went into the store. When he came out his horse and buggy was gone. He
asked Mr. Jim where it was, 1 thought you said you would watch it.' Mr. Jim said, 1 did watch it till it went
out of sight beyond the school house.' Mr. Jim, I reckon, wasn't happy the man didn't rent from him."
"Among the other happenings in and around Stanley was a wreck at the square. At the time there was
no operating stop light. A banana truck from Charlotte turned left to cross the railroad track and deliver to Joe
and Jim's Grocery. At the same time the banana truck turned left a truck load of crated chickens from up
Lincolnton way ran into the side of the truck turning left. I think every crate sailed off the truck and crashed
in the road with chickens flying every way. Every chicken relieved itself in the road making quite a mess.
Another chicken truck helped round up as many chickens as possible. There were chickens in the depot and in
the shrubbery and behind the store front seats. It took quite a while to clean up the busted crates and wash up
the highway. Quite exciting."
"The next morning Jim Rutledge rounded up enough chickens to fill the back of his car and took them
to his farm."
"The last big excitement was in 1947 when the old brick school building burned. Many fond memories
Recollections About My Father, Alfred RhyneBy: Kevin Rhyne
My father has always been mechanically minded. As a child he and some
of his friends would go down to the spring and creek down behind his house
on South Main Street. (I remember playing there when I was a child until
Mr. Hawley built houses there -- back down the hill behind where Neb Hollis
lives.) Alfred and his friends would use discarded machine wheels from the
mill and construct their own waterwheels that generated electricity for their
own miniature town -- complete with street lights.
Later he got interested in bicycles and hand powered go-carts which were made
of parts from various bikes.
He eventually became interested in motorcycles and cars. Witnesses said
that he used to ride down the street standing up on the seat of his
When I was a child he built my brother and I several metal framed go-carts
which were powered by old lawnmower engines. We had a blast.
Over the years he has constructed and still occasionally builds a new wagon
or trailer for his or my Wheel Horse lawnmowers or even rebuilds working
Wheel Horses out of broken ones.
One of his favorite hobbies for a number of years now has been to build
wooden toy trains, trucks, tractors, etc. to sell or give away to children.
He still loves anything mechanical. You may see him on any given day riding
around Stanley in one of his two cars, two trucks, a jeep, or a
motorcycle -- still riding one at the age of 82.
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