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Title: Oral History Interview with David R. Hayworth, February 6, 1997. Interview I-0099. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Hayworth, David R. , interviewee
Interview conducted by Darr, Dorothy Gay
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 160 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
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Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-11-13, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with David R. Hayworth, February 6, 1997. Interview I-0099. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series I. Business History. Southern Oral History Program Collection (I-0099)
Author: Dorothy Gay Darr
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with David R. Hayworth, February 6, 1997. Interview I-0099. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series I. Business History. Southern Oral History Program Collection (I-0099)
Author: David R. Hayworth
Description: 192 Mb
Description: 47 p.
Note: Interview conducted on February 6, 1997, by Dorothy Gay Darr; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series I. Business History, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with David R. Hayworth, February 6, 1997.
Interview I-0099. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Hayworth, David R. , interviewee


Interview Participants

    DAVID R. HAYWORTH, interviewee
    DOROTHY GAY DARR, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
This is an interview with David Hayworth. The interviewee is David Hayworth, I'm Dorothy Gay Darr. The tape number is 2.6.97-DH. This is for the Southern Oral History Program Furniture Series—we're going to be talking about the Hayworth family. Yesterday we talked about family background and I just had a couple of questions that came to mind. You said that your father started Hayworth Roll and Panel with his two brothers, and they had been out in Oklahoma. I was wondering, what were their names and what were they doing out in Oklahoma? Did you ever get that passed down in your family?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Their names were John Philip Hayworth and Daniel Sink Hayworth, the Sink being my paternal grandmother's maiden name as I mentioned in the previous taping. My grandfather, paternal grandfather, Joseph A. Hayworth—he and his wife married, had nine children and both lived to be—my grandfather died when he was eighty-four and my grandmother lived to be ninety, in her ninetieth year. My uncles John and Daniel were the older of the children. My father, Charles E. Hayworth, Sr. was the youngest of the nine children. John and Dan had gone to Oklahoma to, so to speak, seek their fortune. And my grandfather was running the farm and so they were not needed in that regard, and just why they picked Oklahoma I have no real knowledge except for the fact that I think at that point in time oil had been discovered in Oklahoma. They both bought property which, until 1996, the family still owned. But unfortunately, other than just having some veins of oil through the property for which we received a small amount of money, nothing of any great consequence. But over the years—after they died my father and then in turn my brothers and sisters, we inherited that property. But that was the reason they were out there. When my father decided to start the Hayworth Roll and Panel Company, and not having the financial means to do it alone, he enlisted their help in coming back because they had the funds to get the company started. And so that—I hope that answers your question.

Page 2
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
How did they have the funds? Do you know? Did they just—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I think they had perhaps—no, I really can't answer that for sure, Dorothy, but I assume—they were out there for a pretty good little, maybe a couple of years or something like that. I think they had—particularly my Uncle John was quite an astute businessman, more so than my Uncle Dan—and I think he was sort of an entrepreneur and had made some successful ventures out there, and that was where the both of them had acquired some money. My grandfather Hayworth, who owned and managed the farm—as I mentioned the other day, the farm was over a thousand acres at one time and he was a very prosperous farmer, so they could have gotten some money from him. I don't know that; I really can't answer that question for absolute surety. But anyway, go ahead. I don't want to be too verbose.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
No, no, please. That's what—please be as verbose as possible, because the more the better. But anything is better than nothing.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
But you think about—and this would have been around the company—Hayworth roll and Panel Company was founded in 1905, so it had to be around 1900 when my Uncle John and my Uncle Dan went to Oklahoma. You know, that was like you or I, Dorothy, might go to Europe or wherever—the Far East—in those days.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Probably more like the moon.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Or the moon, yeah.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
The Frontier!
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
But I do, just in that respect, I remember some years later, maybe in the '20s, I think that would be fairly accurate—my Uncle John died in 1921 and he was never

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married, and when he died he left his third interest in Hayworth Roll and Panel Company to my two older brothers, Charles and Richard. Joseph, my older brother next to me, and I were not born when he died. Sometime in the '20s my Uncle Dan had a seven passenger car—I've seen pictures of it, I think it was a Hudson, which has long since, but anyway—he and his wife, Eva, and two of my aunts—Aunt Minnie, who never married, and an Aunt Betty who did marry but was a widow—he took the four of them and drove that car to California. I've often wondered what a trip that must have been. I have photographs along the way; I remember they stopped at some famous springs, Old Geyser or something like that, but the funny hats they wore and the two or three tires on the back of the car—can you imagine how many blow-outs they must have had? But I think it's really adventuresome to think that they would have driven to California in the mid '20s.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It is because automobiles and roads were still—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Roads were just dreadful, and the farther west you got the worse they got. But anyway, that's all there is to that.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
We talked about—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
But it shows adventuresome spirit, you know. They weren't just content to sit at home and do nothing, you know. Anyway, that's all.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
[unclear] . We thought today that we might discuss individual family members and their part in the businesses, is that what we left off with?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
All right.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Who would you like to begin with?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, of course, if you just wanted to go chronologically, you

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might begin with my sister Katharine. Of course, she never had any active interest in the company. She had ownership in all the companies, which she had received when my father died at quite an early age and unexpectedly. He left his estate to my mother, and I think this is rather interesting that at that point in time she would have filed a disclaimer and did not inherit any of his estate; it was all distributed to her five—and then when I came along—six children. I think that's very interesting. Lawyers in later years told her that half of the businessmen in High Point would have given anything if they had done something similar. In other words, distributing their estate to their children before they died avoided such terrible inheritance taxes. That was the point that the lawyers made. But anyway, that's what they did, so Katharine, along with the rest of us, inherited some interest in the companies. But never had any involvement whatsoever.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Could you talk a little bit about Katharine and her personality? How you remember her? I saw a picture of her as a young woman and she was beautiful.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Katharine, as I said, was born in 1912. She was a beautiful young lady growing up in High Point, and a very popular member of the social set. There were three young ladies who grew up in High Point, not all the same age but more or less contemporaries. One was Alice Barbie, who is a very old High Point family. The second was Mary Alice Tate, I believe was her name; her father was Fred Tate who was a pioneer furniture manufacturer in High Point. Then the third was my sister, Katharine Hayworth. And they were supposed to be—it was always said and I've been told by people many times over the years that they were supposed to be the three most beautiful girls who ever grew up in High Point. I had seen pictures of the—I did not know the Tate girl or the Barbie girl—but I have seen pictures of them and in truth they were beautiful young ladies, as was my

Page 5
sister Katharine. My father, before he died, sent her to Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she graduated. And then he sent her to Martha Washington Seminary, which I believe I mentioned on the tape the other day. Nevertheless, that was a very exclusive, expensive finishing school in Washington, D.C., and that's where she was when my father suddenly died in 1928. She graduated in the following year, in June of 1929, and that was the end of her formal education. She came back to High Point as a young lady, and as I said became popular with the young social set. She was a member of, one of the early members of, the High Point Junior League, and had many, many beaus. Those were—well, she was a part of the roaring twenties and then into the '30s. She was married in 1938 to a man from Charleston, West Virginia. His name was Wilson Harley Daveler, and his father was the president of the Simmons Company—I guess the largest mattress manufacturer in the United States at that time. And as far as I know, they're still active in that field. But he was [unclear] for the company and would come here to the semi-annual furniture markets. As a member of the Junior League one of their projects was to entertain the furniture buyers who came, and I think meals were prepared, that sort of thing, before there were restaurants and country clubs to provide the buyers with entertainment. Anyway, she met him at a dance at the then Emorywood Country Club, and as I said, they were married in 1938. They were married in New York City because the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church to which we all belong was under repair—the church was closed at that point in time. They were married on September 8, 1938, and they were married at the Episcopal church on Park Avenue right beside Waldorf Astoria; its name escapes me for a moment, but I don't think that's terribly important. But anyway, that's where they married, and the

Page 6
reception was held at the Waldorf Astoria. I being too young was not invited to go to the wedding, and neither was my brother, Joseph, but all the rest of the family went. And then Katharine, I said to Katharine—they lived in Charleston, West Virginia for awhile, and then Columbus, Ohio and then Chicago; that's where they were living when World War II broke out, and her husband, who was called Dave, was drafted into the Army. Later on after the War Dave was a very, very popular man with everybody; he was just one of those people that everybody liked, a truly born salesman. So after the War, my mother enticed him to come and be a salesman for Alma Desk Company and Myrtle Desk Company. At that point in time, the two companies had a joint sales force—which changed some a few years later, but anyway, that's the way it was at that time. So, indirectly—I said she never had any involvement with the company—but indirectly she did through her husband. He was a great salesman, and his territory included Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas—sort of that southwestern part of the United States. So that's—he died I believe sometime in the '70s; at that point in time—they had moved to Dallas, Texas when he began to work for our companies, and he died, had a sudden heart attack and died. And my sister, because she was so fond of Dallas she chose to live there after he died, instead of coming back to High Point. And she died, my sister Katharine died in 1970, no 1987, excuse me, 1987. She had a stroke which forced her to—we brought her back to High Point; I went out there and chartered a plane and flew her to High Point, and she lived for about two years and died in a nursing home, Maryfield Nursing Home here in High Point, as I said in 1987. And that sort of wraps that up.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So she never worked outside the home?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
She never worked outside the home. Before she was married,

Page 7
which I failed to say, she—well, I take that back, before she was married—never after she was married—but before she was married for a point in time, and I cannot tell you exactly how long that was—but she was a model in New York, professional model and lived up there for a year or two. There was something I was going to say but I don't remember now. But anyway, she did work to that extent, and that's about all.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And so she chose to go back to New York for the wedding, and that's probably because she worked there?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, I think it was because the church was closed. The wedding would have been here but—a lot of friends here in High Point went up to the wedding. But, you know, I was too young to go. I was about eight years old, eight to be exact.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
You knew Dave?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh yes. I knew him very well. He was wonderful. My mother was just crazy about him, and he loved mother too. He always said she was his second mother, and he could not have loved his own mother any more. They never had any—oh, I know what I was going to say; they did not have any children. I was going to mention that.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
What was it like to be a salesman for Alma Desk? When he went out calling, who did he call on, for example? Did he call on retail stores?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah. Office—at that point in time it was office furniture dealers.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Not the individual companies like later. You actually contacted them so—

Page 8
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh no, no, no.
In those days, it was strictly sold to the dealers, and the better dealer network you had throughout the United States—we had, you know, from the east coast to the west coast, and from that point in time we maintained warehouses in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
This was in the '50s?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. And we shipped carloads of furniture out to the warehouses for distribution in the western states. We did not have a warehouse in Dallas at that point in time—where Katharine and Dave lived—but we later did, some years later we did; not only a warehouse, but a showroom in Dallas. And then in later years we had a showroom in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Seattle. That was the only way you could compete in the west, was to have ready availability to furnish the needs of the office furniture dealers and their customers, the manufacturers. In those days if you had an order, you shipped it. I mean, if it's a big job and they needed furniture, it isn't like a household where a housewife orders a sofa and she waits six months for it; the office furniture business was totally different. When a building's being built and they need the furniture for their offices, it's got to be there on the day that office opens or before the day it opens or you can forget it. That's the way the office furniture business differs so radically from the household furniture manufacturers. And I think that's one reason that household furniture manufacturers, when they tried to go into the office furniture business they would without exception fail. And these were some big people too; big furniture manufacturers who tried this because they thought it was a supplement to their operation. But they didn't understand the principles. You think furniture is furniture and it works both ways; it does not, absolutely does not.

Page 9
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And these showrooms that you had were for the dealers to come by and look at your furniture?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, you see, at that time—you talk about the period of the '50s—that was not so important, the showrooms. It later became when your customer was the manufacturer and you would call on—like we had contracts with, for example, Merrill Lynch, Nations Bank, which was NCNB in those days—you know, big banks and, financial institutions. They were our big market. And if you were trying to sell Merrill Lynch and you wanted a national contract, they wanted to see your furniture. Well, they might come to High Point, but if they would just go to the showroom right there in New York which we always had in later years—we had a warehouse in the beginning and then added a showroom—but you could bring them right in. And if there was a special desk that they wanted, you could have that shipped up there so it was right there for them to examine to their heart's content, or shipped to their office for them to use until they made a decision. That's when the office furniture business was becoming more and more competitive. We still had a lock on the market in the '40s and '50s and '60s. We were the largest manufacturer of office furniture in the United States, but a lot of people began to see that it was a very money-making venture, and so that's when a lot of other manufacturers began to make office furniture. And it became more and more competitive.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So beginning in the '60s and '70s.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, more in the '70s, and then in the '80s it really got hot; late '60s, '70s and '80s. When I said, make one exception—you know, there's always exceptions to everything—but anyway, there was one manufacturer of television cabinets and pianos which you will

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readily recognize, which was Kimball out in Indiana. The television business was beginning to slow down, the television cabinet business, and probably very competitive because somebody could always make a cabinet cheaper. You know, how that goes—they had a lot of empty factories sitting around, and somehow they got the idea to try to make office furniture. So the first thing they did was to buy a sample of every single desk that Alma Desk Company made and copy it down to the nth degree. If you ever want to go into something, copy somebody who's made a success, right? And that's exactly what they did, and of course, when they got going they—it took them several years, you know, to get revved up—and they were trying to sell just under us, you see, until they got a toe hold in the market, then they'd raise their prices up. They were very successful and they're still in business, though they're a publicly-owned company and they never break out their individual sales—like their office furniture division is so many million and so and so and so. They still make pianos, you know, and television cabinets, but anyway—and they make household furniture. Now, this is the one exception, and they make a more modest line of household—nothing like Baker, for example, not that price range. But Kimball was very successful; has been and continues to be in the office furniture market. Has done exceedingly well.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Who were some of your other competitors that came up in the late '60s and '70s?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, a big competitor was Steelcase because—though they made metal office furniture they later got into the wood office furniture, because—see, Dorothy, what was developing was these national accounts. And say, for example, you wanted to sell Merrill Lynch, just to pick a name, which is national all over the country. Naturally the big volume would be in all

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their branches, so getting your lines specified, whatever it was—and we made a special desk for them; it wasn't just an off-the-assembly-line desk—at the volume they bought meant you would make anything they wanted if you wanted to sell it to them. You don't make what you want, you make what they want if you want their business. And the volume justified doing that. Obviously, it had to be a big volume. But, at the same time, they liked to say, 'Okay, we've got all these; you're going to make all this for all these branches, now what about our executive furniture?' And that's what we could do that Steelcase couldn't, so they were far enough somewhere along the line, I think in the—I think it was pretty late on, but maybe it was in the late '70s—they began to try to make wood office furniture so they could again order the complete package. And they've been very successful. They are a multi-billion dollar company as you well know, and they have many, many, many—and they were a tough competitor, very tough in the late '70s and '80s. Not back in the '50s, you know; we're talking all-encompassing. You have to know what period in time you're talking. In the '50s Steelcase was strictly metal office furniture, and rather modest; I mean, they were okay, but they weren't the giant they are today, if you call them that. And they are a giant today; I don't know what their sales are, but several billion dollars a year in sales. Still privately owned, which I think is interesting, but that's going to change one of these days, you know. As families have children and grandchildren the stock gets spread out further and further, so somehow they're going to say, Look, you're not paying very high dividends and you want to go public so we can. Usual—same old story. Same thing that happened to us; we decided that rather than going public we would sell the companies.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Where was Steelcase based?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Grand Rapids.

Page 12
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Grand Rapids.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm.
There was another big name, more of a design-oriented company—Knoll International; very big manufacturer of—very high style expensive wood furniture. And into seating, too; Knoll Seating was expensive furniture, and the market that we were sort of big in—that we were not really competitive, you see what I mean? But like everybody else they saw the need to go down, and we were seeing the need to come up so you could give. . . The secret was to be able to offer a potential buyer a complete package. And another thing that was happening, Dorothy, as years were going along, and this is where Knoll Wood excelled; Knoll did not have a strong dealer organization throughout the country like we did. So because they didn't have that they chose to cultivate the design market and get a designer to specify their furniture on the job. At first that was not a real big factor but it became more and more, and that's when everybody in the industry, including us, realized that to get a big job you had to work with the specifier, designer—whatever you choose to call him—to specify what was going to go on a big job. You needed to cultivate him, explain why your product excelled "xyz's" product. The office furniture dealer, he said, 'Well, you're talking about 200,000 or 300,000 jobs'; the average office furniture dealer in the United States is small. As it used to be said, they're strictly mom and pop stores. Well, that's probably not so true today, but it certainly was back in the '50s when—and they couldn't handle that kind—they couldn't afford—they didn't have the finances, do you follow me? So it had to be specified through the design community. And then, of course, you sold the job direct. What you did, what we always did, you sold—but, say the job was in Kansas City; well, we couldn't send a crew out there and do all this installation once the job was manufactured and shipped; that's where the local dealer came in for the installation, and then got a

Page 13
specified commission for doing his work. In other words, we told him rather than he telling us, you see. That's how the industry changed so rapidly from what it was, how it was in the '50s. Which I think is very interesting, the progression; some of your questions that I was reading on how the industry changed or progressed, or whatever—that was a major change in our industry and a whole change in marketing. The type of products you made were more design-oriented, and we began to hire designers, professional designers to design lines and all that sort of thing, which was totally different from the '50s when you kind of made what you wanted to make because you could sell everything you made. But that wasn't true in the '70s and '80s; particularly the '80s. The total industry had turned upside down by the '80s. It was no resemblance to the way it was in the '50s or '60s.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Just to continue on, do you think that the—you're saying that the way manufacturers started dealing with the large jobs was—large, nationwide companies like Merrill Lynch or growing concerns like NCNB, who's now Nations Bank.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Right.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
The dealers were changing also, perhaps? Or did manufacturers lead the change with the dealers, do you think?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, yes, I think the manufacturers did, and I think the dealers reluctantly rely on their ability to do a satisfactory installation. And where they—which was, well, I guess what I'm trying to say is by doing the installation successfully, to the satisfaction of the consumer, then they more than likely were able to get their contract for office supplies and all the printing needs and all that sort of thing. All large office furniture dealers offered that service, and the little small ones began to just disappear. And it was the bigger dealers who could handle these installations and supply

Page 14
them with all their office supply needs and that sort of thing that—they were the ones who survived and the small ones just gradually died out. So the retail office furniture dealer was changing just as dramatically as the manufacturer was. And some dealers just didn't, you know, just couldn't accept that and so were left by the wayside, because that's the only way it would work. A designer would never go to an office furniture dealer. They wanted to deal directly with the manufacturer. So an outfit like Knoll, which I mentioned earlier, which had gone to them in the first place—because they didn't have a dealer network, so they didn't have any problem. See, we had, our whole selling organization was set up around the retail office furniture dealer, so it wasn't as easy for us to say—you say to a dealer whom you'd been selling for years and years and years, well, we have to work for the designer. That was hard for the retailer to take, and a lot of them were really very reluctant to accept that and accept the change and understand how the industry was changing. And those, as I said, those retailers just were left running.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
How did you handle the design process? Did Alma, for example, hire designers or did you use them on a consulting basis?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
We had both; we had both in-house designers and designers we would handle, I mean, excuse me, employ for more of the upper-end lines. As you know we made all price ranges, but as years went on our concentration was more and more toward the upper-end, particularly when we got into manufacturing the open plan office furniture, which was becoming a very hot item in the '70s and '80s. We had to hire professional designers to design a line of, a total, complete line for us of the open plan system.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Talk about that a little bit; what that—define it and tell me a

Page 15
something about it.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, construction costs like everything else were going up, and there was—this concept of the open plan originated with an industrial designer in Germany; this would have been sometime in the early to mid 70s, early 70s. And his last name was Werner, I believe, Von Werner. I could trace that name, but—it's not right in my head. But anyway, he was the—he developed the concept of the open plan system, and the theory behind it is that you could install partitions so much less expensively than solid walls. And from these partitions you could attach tops of the size that was required; it wasn't, it didn't have, you know—it wasn't like it was manufactured and this was what it was, you know. You could specify on a job the size and also what the pedestal would contain. Obviously, a person in the secretarial area needed one type of pedestal, an executive would need another type, someone operating a computer would need another type, so that gave a great deal of flexibility. And another key thing to this concept was, okay, a year or two down the road you didn't need this configuration any more. Say you had a room a hundred feet long by fifty feet wide, just to give you an example, which was full of all of these partitions and different hanging cabinets that all hung off these partitions. You could have an "L" arrangement, if you follow me, or your desktop and then a side top coming off; you could have a "U" arrangement with what we call credenzas in the back with one pedestal, two pedestals, or three all the way across, depending on the particular requirements. In big companies, you know, they're always changing or reconfiguring all that sort of thing; a lot of changing of employees, you know—that was the thing that's a fact of life today. Well, right at this point of time, from what I read and hear, employees are not doing so much changing of their jobs—which is one reason that inflation stays so low, because they fear of losing jobs. That wasn't true in the '80s, as

Page 16
you well know.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It gave great flexibility.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It gave you all kinds of flexibilities; you could totally reconfigure a whole area and it wouldn't even resemble the way it started out.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And you could do it cheaper.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh, yeah. These panels were very sophisticated the way they were designed, because they had to support all of these attachments that you were going to hang on them, and had to be designed so that they would accept these cabinets or wall units, whatever they might be; they would hang so that there was no problem of stability. All these things—it was very sophisticated, but we realized that in order to be competitive in the market place that this was the coming thing. And the idea of closed offices and a desk like you traditionally think of—an office that was going by the board. And now today, even the most modest manufacturers—not manufacturers, but whoever they might be in business—has gone to this type of office furniture.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It's the norm now.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It's the norm rather than the exception, you're exactly right. So that's another major change that's taking place in the office furniture industry.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And Alma started dealing with this change in the early '70s?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
They began to develop it and got it really going sometime between 1975 and 1980, so by 1980 we were ready to compete in the market place in the office plan system.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Were you leaders in this plan in the United States? You said it

Page 17
came from a German industrial designer?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I think we were one of the leaders. Knoll, for instance, had a system. Now, unlike—Steelcase had a big system. See, their's was all metal and so it depended—our market, I guess a big job—in other words, for the very lower echelon you might have metal office furniture partitions, but it moved on up to middle management; top management, always preferred wood over metal. It was, you know, a psychological thing that wood was more upper end and metal was more for common clerical—eliminate the word common, just the clerical help. You know what I mean. But all the major manufacturers were getting on the band wagon, so to speak, as we were. Some before us, some after us, but they were all smart enough to see the need and—let's see, your question was were you the leader? No, I think that would be—I don't think that would totally be accurate to say we were the leader; that's not true. There were other people in the office partition business—or open plan system, as it's called—before we were. But we were smart enough to see the growing popularity and the need for it, and that's the reason we had a very sophisticated system design for us to manufacture. And these panels were all postered and the consumer had a selection of various fabric and colors. Everything was coordinated, you know, with various woods; some were made out of walnut, oak—oak was very popular for an office plan. Walnut was the wood of choice almost throughout the office furniture industry. Wood office furniture industry. And the metal people were smart enough to see the growing requirement of wood, so that's the reason they got into the wood manufacturing wood business, also.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So walnut and oak were the two most popular ones. Did you use cherry at all?

Page 18
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Some, yeah. In fact, one of the last major lines that we designed—not cherry in the office plan, I'm talking strictly about just freestanding desks, credenzas—was a line of cherry designed by a noted designer in Chicago. At this point in time I was very heavily involved with this particular line, which I enjoyed thoroughly. And it was a very successful one. One of the first really big jobs we sold in this line was to Phillip Morris, headquarters in Richmond. You know, you need a really big job to get a new line going, and that was a really big one. They bought a lot of this open plan for areas, but for their executive offices they bought all this line of cherry. And it was beautiful, it really was.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I love it.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
About the color of these walls. This is cherry; I'm sure you realized that. All these panels—not this part—you know, all came from not [unclear] but the panels themselves were made in Hayworth Roll and Panel Company. Charles, my brother, was very careful about selecting the veneers, and I'm very proud of the fact that we in effect made this room.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
We're sitting in David's library and it is beautiful paneling all around. It's on all four walls; it was sort of Hayworth Roll and Panel that made this room.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
That's right. Sure was.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Did you remember any of your other competitors in the '70s and '80s? As competition grew fierce there's one office supply, excuse me, office manufacturing concern called Haworth, too.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I might just comment on that. I was going to mention Haworth when we got into Myrtle, because that's where they have a direct tie-in as you know. But

Page 19
Haworth, which is spelled H-a-w-o-r-t-h—which from my understanding is the correct spelling of the name—and Haworth, Inc. is a manufacturer of metal office furniture. They are in direct competition with Steelcase. And that branch of the family, if you trace it back you'd find where we are kin in some respect; I don't know what it is, but my sister-in-law Marianne could probably tell you. But anyway, when the first Haworth's came over from England and were settled in Pennsylvania, at some point in time in the early eighteenth century one group migrated down and wound up in Guilford County, North Carolina. Another group of descendants of the original went into Indiana. And that's where this Haworth, Inc. comes from; their ancestors were located in Indiana.

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[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Right. Haworth, Inc. is located in Holland, Michigan. And as I said, their main product is metal office furniture; they were big into this office partition, as was Steelcase. And, I might add, that they had a patent, Haworth did, on a locking device to connect these office furniture partitions. That's very important—that they locked together and they locked just right. Apparently, at some point in time Steelcase copied this design, which subsequently Haworth filed a suit—a patent infringement— and this suit was in the court for a long time. The lower court ruled in favor of Steelcase, I mean in appellate court. Anyway, long story short, they went on to the highest court you can go for this particular kind of patent infringement and this—just within the last year they finally ruled in favor of Haworth, and Steelcase had to pay Haworth two hundred thirty million dollars to settle this claim; that is what the court awarded Haworth. So that's pretty big bananas, you know. But they said they had to be paid by December 31, 1996 and they sent them a check on Christmas Eve.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Don't companies have insurance for things like that?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
You know, I don't know.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Probably not patent infringements.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
You know, I've asked a question that I'm not prepared to answer directly. We never had any insurance like that, but a big company like Steelcase or Haworth might. I just don't know. But anyway, how Haworth—they're sales are not as large as Steelcase, but they are just right under them. They're that big. And they—when Steelcase decided to get into the wood office furniture manufacturing business they chose to start their own plant; built a building as opposed to buying a wood office furniture manufacturer. And they had a great deal of difficulty.

Page 21
[Phone ringing]
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Okay.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Now, as I said, Steelcase decided to get in the wood office furniture by starting their own wood office furniture manufacturing plant. When Haworth decided to get in the wood office furniture business they elected to buy a wood office furniture manufacturer, and Mr. Dick Haworth, who was president of the company at that time, called my brother Charles. We had already sold our companies at that point, but he—I remember Charles said he said, 'Well, you got anything else to sell?' Charles said, 'Well, yes, as a matter of fact.' That was Myrtle Desk Company, which was another wood office furniture manufacturing company we owned. So, long story short, Haworth bought Myrtle Desk Company.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
What year was that?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
That was in 1990 or '91. And they also bought—we had a wood office chair manufacturing plant here in High Point, the name of which was Clarendon Industries; they made office seating for both Alma Desk Company and Myrtle Desk Company. It was, I might add, a very profitable operation. When Haworth bought Myrtle they also bought Clarendon, and they have subsequently shut down the operations here in High Point. Myrtle also. We had a plant down in eastern part of the state which was a very state of the art plant, and there was a good labor supply down there. The labor supply, as I mentioned earlier, was very tight in High Point, and that was the reason for locating the plant where there was a more plentiful labor supply. That plant, it is my understanding, is still in operation as a part of the Haworth, Inc. So the only thing they have in High Point at this time is the Clarendon Industries, which makes all their seating; wood office furniture

Page 22
seating.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I'd like at some time—you don't have to do it right now—for you to go down the plants that you owned. Could you just do it for Myrtle then? Where was this plant in the eastern part of the state?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, I knew you were going to ask for that, and the name just, I don't know why—you know, every once in a while you just pull a blank.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Is it [unclear] ?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It's near Wilmington. It's on the way, say about thirty miles west of Wilmington.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
In a very small community, I imagine.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
A very small community, but—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Well, it'll come back.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I want to say—anyway, go ahead. I don't think that's critical to our story, but nevertheless, I'm sorry I can't just recall the name. It slips my mind. This is seven years ago, you know. Time does march on. That's not so long. I'll think of it.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Plus you do have other interests; you've been travelling a lot and different things.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
If—somebody said, "David, I think you're on every board in High Point," and I feel that way sometimes.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
We better get on with these two later.
What were the plants of Myrtle Desk here in High Point? Where were they located?

Page 23
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, they were located very near Alma Desk Company's main number one plant. Oh, you know, Southern Railroad—most plants in the old days were built along the railroad, because that's the way you shipped your furniture. Nowadays, almost—well, I don't think anything is shipped by rail—office furniture, and probably not household, either. I can't directly speak to that, but many years ago we converted to trucks because it was so much quicker, faster. As I say, that's something that's so critical in the office furniture industry; you've got to have the furniture there when the customer needs it. If you don't, all hell breaks out. It's just that simple. That's a lesson to some people that they have a hard time learning, but it's so elementary. And if you just stop and think a minute, you can see how critical it is. You may not get your sofa when you want it, but that's not life or death. But boy, if your furniture isn't there and you've got fifty employees ready to get moved into their desks, church is out.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
That could be a costly mistake.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
That's right. A costly mistake. So we tried to always avoid that, needless to say. And sometimes your own employees didn't realize how critical that was. Mother had—many years ago I remember when she first had to go down to Hayworth Roll and Panel Company to save that company from bankruptcy—which would have happened; it was just a matter of time. She realized when she got into things the mismanagement and the fact that there was no business anyway in the Depression years. But she had such a hard time convincing the people there how important it was to get the plywood when the customer needed it, even though it was household. You see, they had a cutting line that was a certain—say a bedroom suit of furniture, for example. Well, they had to have the plywood, and they have to have it on this day; not tomorrow or next week or Friday, right now, today.

Page 24
And she just used to get so exasperated that the people in the plant couldn't seem to quite conceive of how important that is or was. Fortunately, she had sense enough to know it was. Thank God.
So, let's see, getting back to Myrtle, Myrtle had three manufacturing plants and three or four warehouses, you know.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Were they here in High Point?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah, at that point in time they were all here in High Point. And I might add—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Clarendon was the fourth right?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, Clarendon was, I said, joint.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
But their location, I mean, on the east.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Clarendon was—yeah, and it was—yeah, uh-hmm. What Myrtle Desk did [pause] some time in, I'd say, into the early '70s'—I think I'd be pretty accurate about that—they began manufacturing library furniture. And they were—Myrtle was very successful in its venture. At one point in time they were the largest manufacturer of library furniture in the United States; they practically had no competition, and they made everything in the world you could think of that would go in a library. You know, like all the card cases and all that sort of thing. Of course, like everything else somebody out there began to see how successful they were and began to get more and more competitive. Eventually it was not profitable, and they dropped it some time in the—I'd say late '70s or early '80s, because it had just gotten to the point that it was not profitable. But at one time it was like a money machine.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So like a decade, a golden era decade for Myrtle?

Page 25
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. And I'd say, since it had been about mid-'60s at the latest when the really—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Went on maybe eighteen years.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Who made that decision? Who saw that niche in the market, since you owned Myrtle—your family had owned Myrtle since the '20s?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah, but we had managers down there, you see. You had to be careful, Dorothy—rightly or wrongly, and I think that's debatable—the companies—the two companies were never merged into one company, so therefore my brother, Charles, who was president of both companies after my mother retired—she was always president of Myrtle Desk Company and Alma Desk Company and, well, Hayworth Roll and Panel Company. For a long time, you know, she was president of the whole kit and caboodle and was a major stockholder and all—well, not Hayworth Roll and Panel, but Alma and Myrtle, because she gave—she let that stock to her children. But she always kept a major block of shares of both of the desk companies, and I think she was wise to do that. She was a smart businesswoman; she wasn't going to give everything away. But anyway, we had a very good manager of Myrtle Desk Company, whose name was Tom Pitts. His real expertise was, he was a very good salesman and he knew how to handle customers and everything. He was a salesman for the company at one point in time, and then he later came on and was chosen to run the companies. And I think it was his idea to start this manufacture of library furniture. He was very successful, as I've already said—just hit the market at the right time, in its infancy. And there were so many—back in the '50s and '60s there were so many new libraries being built and that sort of thing all over the country,

Page 26
and it was just—I can't tell you how successful it was.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So it was in the '50s you started manufacturing for libraries?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It really was. I said '60s, but it really was the '50s. I just a little bit—slipped my mind as to how far it went back, but probably by the mid-'70s they were beginning to get out of it. Or maybe did actually get out of it rather, than the early '80s. So just moved it back to about the '50s, mid-'50s to about that period of time. But they made a lot of—and it was beautiful furniture too; they had these wonderful, long library tables that you see, you know. And, of course, a lot of—well, we made what you call director's tables for offices, you know. Every big company has a director's room and it was pretty much a custom operation. We had our standard, but we could make, you know, whatever the customer wanted; going back to that, 'What does the customer want?'
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Myrtle Desk started by manufacturing rolltop desks, didn't they? Weren't they a leader in rolltop desks?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh, yeah.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And that's pretty much all they did initially, didn't they? Rolltop desks?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Exactly. You're exactly right. And, see, the difference—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And that was started by Henry Frazier, wasn't it?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yes, it was.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Named it after his daughter Ira, I think it's Ira Myrtle Sinclair; she married a Sinclair.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. That's right. You're exactly right. I hope that what

Page 27
you're saying is being recorded, but if it isn't we can always fill it in since—I'm going to say it, because the microphone is turned toward me. Myrtle Desk Company was started by this Mr. Henry Frazier [sneeze]. Excuse me.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
He lived at 407 West High Avenue.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Exactly. The house is still standing there.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Still standing.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
A wonderful Victorian.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
His daughter lived next door, but that is no longer standing. That's where the American Legion is.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Exactly.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And High Street used to extend right on down to Myrtle Desk Company, didn't it? Myrtle was—no, no that was Alma.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, that was Alma. That's where it stopped. At the corner of Grimes; Grimes Street—that's where High stopped—and then, as you know, later it was closed off where you are.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Henry Frazier helped start Alma Desk also?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, no.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Not Alma Desk but—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, had nothing to do with Alma. If he did you're telling me something I don't know.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I think he was one of the three founders with [unclear] .

Page 28
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, I tried to find it the other day and, of course, it was Redding, and Captain Rankin—A.M. Ranking—and you say he was the third one?
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I think he was.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, you—yeah, I wouldn't argue because you're the historian. I somehow—you know, that's what I was trying to find in one of those books the other day when you arrived, because it sort of—I don't know why. I guess because Captain Rankin's name is there, because I'm a good friend of his [pause]. . .
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Son?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, it would be his, I think his grandson. See, Alec Rankin—Alexander Martin Rankin, Jr.—Captain Rankin was Alexander Martin Rankin I, I guess, and then my friend, Sandy Rankin is Alexander Martin Rankin III. So that's who I'm talking about, my contemporary, which I guess would be his grandfather. I had a long conversation yesterday at the NationsBank board meeting with Ed Pleasants, and he knows a lot about the history; that's another name because see he married Tootsie Rankin. And he doesn't remember—when Tootsie was born, her father was sixty years old and she was the youngest of the children. There was a girl named Peggy, who was the oldest; then came Alec Rankin, Jr. and then Blair Rankin, and that no doubt—Mrs. Rankin may have been a Blair. I guess she was, but anyway, one of the children's name was Blair who died—didn't live very long; didn't live to be an adult, I don't think. And then the last was Tootsie, who married Ed Pleasants. And he has, Dorothy—he was telling me yesterday, he has this beautiful, old rolltop desk that he bought from somebody, and there was so much noise I didn't quite catch who he said, but I said, 'Ed, I must see that desk.' He was getting ready to go to Florida for a few days.

Page 29
'When you get back please call me, because we both suspect it is a Myrtle Desk. I think that's only logical.' See, Alma never made rolltop desks, because when my father converted Alma Furniture Company to Alma Desk Company that was in the, well, I guess late teens and early '20s. But by then all the rolltop desks were beginning to become passe, and you made desks that we sort of think of, as we think of a desk today, a flat top as opposed to a rolltop. But Myrtle always made rolltop—I mean, made rolltops at the time that Mr. Frazier started it. And so that's sort of the difference, the fundamental difference between the two companies. When my father bought Alma Furniture Company and subsequently Myrtle Desk Company—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Do you remember those years?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh, no, no. See, he died before I was born.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Right.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, no. This would go back in the late 'teens and early '20s. I think he bought Alma in 1914 and Myrtle in about 1920, something like that. He decided that he would make more of the commercial grade furniture at Alma and Myrtle would make more of the executive furniture, and so that was the way that was carried on for a number of years until, as I mentioned in another context, a little while ago. The point arrived in marketing where you had to give the customer a complete line, not just commercial, if you wanted to get the job. The customer wanted a single source; executive, middle management, commercial. So Alma had to start expanding to make a complete line for their customers; a single source. Myrtle had to do the same thing; they had to go down. So the two firms—I think I touched on this but digressed—became very competitive. My brother Charles' idea was that you can go down—this is just an analogy—but you can go down one side

Page 30
of the street with Alma and the other side of the street with Myrtle, and therefore you don't miss anything. And that concept worked for a long time and was very successful. But perhaps at some point if the two companies had merged they would have been as a single unit more able to compete in the market place, as other johnny-come-lately's—like Kimball, for example—were taking a bigger share of the market. But that was never done and so that's the end of the story. But the two companies were very successful for a long, long time. And very competitive, which I think is interesting.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Because you had to have two managements even though [unclear] .
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Absolutely. And that's what I think I was in some context going to say to you, it was always important—we said something about who made the decision to make library furniture—but because of the competitiveness it was very important to keep the companies at sort of arms-length. There were other people until maybe—let's see, there were other people who had ownership in Myrtle Desk Company until it came to the point where it was the decision to buy out those other shareholders; but for awhile there were other shareholders. Charles felt it was extremely important that some shareholder couldn't say, 'Well, you own the company, most of the company, and you can read their mail. Therefore, you have an advantage.' So Charles felt very strongly about that for a long time.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
That was probably a delicate road he had to hoe or to walk.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
And he never, ever, to my knowledge—he was a very honorable businessman and very successful businessman, and I don't think he ever, ever took advantage of that situation. [Phone ringing]

Page 31
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
This is before you were born?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah. I'm old, but I'm not that old.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
No, you're not old.
This was before you were born, but did any stories come down through your family about the foundings of Alma and Myrtle? I know they were founded before your father—your father didn't found them—but he did buy into them or buy them early on. Do you—were there any stories about why he decided to do this? Did he have any assistance in doing this? Did he have any partners? Were there any—I guess there weren't any local, state or federal agencies involved in the founding of these companies; that was really before—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It was before the government tried to tell you how to run your business.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
That's right. Literally.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Literally. That's right, literally.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
But, were there any stories about how he came upon these opportunities?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah, I can tell you—what I know I'll be glad to tell you. I'm glad you asked the question. As we've already stated, he had established—founded—started Hayworth Roll and Panel Company, the first and oldest plywood company in North Carolina, which happened to be located—Grimes Street is right across from what was then the Alma Furniture Company, which was owned and operated by Mr. J.P. Redding. He did not have any sons or heirs. Ms. Alma Redding, for whom the company was named, did not live to be an adult, I believe; I think—according to my mother, she died at sort of a school age level, maybe fifteen or sixteen. But anyway, that's where the name

Page 32
came from, which my daddy—this is just a little aside, I don't know why it popped in my mind—but when he bought Alma and then subsequently Myrtle, he used to call the two companies girls, you know. Interestingly enough, when he bought Myrtle the question came up, 'Well, what are we going to name the company?' He said, 'Well, we're going to rename it Myrtle Desk Company in honor of my mother,' whose name was Myrtle. But anyway, the reason he bought Alma was because Mr. Redding was getting to retirement age and wanted to sell his company, having no sons to take over. And so it was—it came up for auction. So it wasn't a private sale in that sense of the word. The significance of that, Dorothy, is the fact that he put in his bid, okay, and—there was a rather, I guess he was probably one of the wealthiest people in High Point at that time—Mr. Wren—and he owned a lot of real estate.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
This is Tom Wren?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Manliff? Was it M—wasn't there a Tom?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Tom Wren, that's who it was. Now, there was another Wren who was Mr. M.J. Wren.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Well, they all called him Bud or something.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Exactly. Bud Wren. But this was the other one. He was very wealthy—they both were—but I think he was maybe more so. And, long story short, he raised my daddy's bid, and daddy wasn't rolling in money in those days by any matter of means. He had a prosperous operation and he was making money and all that, but he wasn't a multi-millionaire; wasn't anybody in those days a millionaire, I'll say, but Mr. Wren probably was. So, daddy came home and told mother that he didn't get the company because Mr. Wren raised his bid, and mother said, 'You go

Page 33
right back and meet that bid; don't let that old you-know-what get that company away from you.' He did, and she always felt that if it hadn't been, if she hadn't been so supportive and so anxious to see him succeed that he might have not bought the company. And so she sort of took credit for him buying the company.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
She had a strong idea that he should? I mean, she felt strongly enough about it?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Absolutely. He was definitely a visionary, and as years moved on before his sudden death he—his philosophy of business, Dorothy, was to buy a company and have somebody run it. You see, he didn't limit himself to, 'Well, I've got this company and this is it.' And that's exactly what he did with Alma; I don't know exactly how long after he bought it, but he pretty soon he hired a man whose name was D.R. Parker, David Rowe Parker, to be the manager of Alma Desk Company. And I'm sorry I cannot tell you exactly what Mr. Parker's background was, but obviously it was in manufacturing or daddy wouldn't have hired him. And he was a good manager. And down at Myrtle Desk Company he had a man whose name was Tom Powell, which, of course, is a name that I'm sure you're familiar with. And then at the time of his death he had a company called Arnold Lumber Company, and he hired a man named Claude Cummings to run that company. And he was heavily involved in a household furniture manufacturer over in Burlington, and he just had his interests in all kinds of things. In August of 1927—before he died in February of 1928 he loved the mountains, and went to Blowing Rock a lot. There was a magnificent hotel in Blowing Rock named Mayview Manor, and it had been built by a man from Charlotte who had gotten into financial difficulties. It was sold at auction, and in 1928 he bought it for $180,000; it inventoried for a million.

Page 34
A lot of his friends here in High Point kidded him about buying this white elephant and his comment, according to mother, was that, 'Any time I can buy something—' Did I say $180,000? It was $160,000. Because he said, 'Any time I can buy something for sixteen cents on the dollar I'll make money.' And he would have if he'd lived. He had an awful lot of real estate all on top of the mountain. This hotel was way up on the top of a mountain and here was the little village of Blowing Rock down here, and it had the most gorgeous view of Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge that you could ever imagine; there's no more beautiful view in western North Carolina than there was from the sight of that hotel. I went there many, many times as a child, and my fondest childhood memories were being there at Mayview Manor. Mother, of course, kept—she inherited the hotel, and she didn't know anything about running a hotel but she had sense enough to hire a young man who she believed would be a very successful hotel manager. That turned out to be the case. This man was named Milton Chapman and he ran Mayview Manor; managed the Mayview Manor in the summer, and in the wintertime went to Florida and had a hotel down there. And he told mother many times that there was no real secret to running a hotel; all you had to do was make every guest feel they were the most important guest in the hotel. How simple, but how important. I think that's interesting.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
That's one of the major things about a fine hotel is it's good service and friendly help.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Good service, and he believed in having the best chef you could hire to run the dining room—have food that everybody would want to come back for.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
So your family continued to own this hotel.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Mother owned it.

Page 35
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Throughout the Depression?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. She really did. And it was amazing—she was amazed too—but the season in those days was very short; the hotel opened the first week in June and closed the day after Labor Day, which is what?
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
[Laughter] [unclear] .
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah. They didn't go to the mountains in the fall, the most beautiful time, for some reason in those days. I don't know why. I guess people maybe did, but not enough to keep a hotel that had over two hundred rooms. It was huge, you know; just sort of went around the crest of the mountain, on the side of the mountain. And St. John's Gorge and Grandfather were in the distance. But she kept the hotel all during the Depression, and always said, 'We never made any money but we never lost any.' And I think that's incredible for those particular years. And one of my daddy's very good friends—a very successful household furniture manufacturer—was a man named Tom Broyhill, and his company was Broyhill Furniture Industries in Lenoir. This man never went to school a day in his life, but he went to work in a furniture plant in Lenoir and was obviously very successful until he could buy his own company. He was the youngest of I believe—I mean, correction—oldest of six children, and he sent every one of his brothers and sisters to school; that included Ed Broyhill who succeeded him. He was the youngest of six—Tom was the oldest—and, of course, he greatly expanded Broyhill Furniture Industries and was a legend unto himself. But his education came from his older brother and I have never, ever read that in anything I've ever read about Broyhill Furniture industries. One of Mr. Ed Broyhill's daughters wrote a history of the company and sent me a copy because she knew of my connection, you know, with Mr. Tom, not Mr. Ed, and there's

Page 36
not one word in there of what I've just told you. Now, how do you like that? If that isn't erasing history or making it read like you want. She wanted her father, Ed, to get all the credit and I don't think that bothered him one bit.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
[Laughter] Sometimes we like to think we just come about full blown, don't we?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah, and Ed's not by himself in that regard. But getting back to this, Tom Broyhill and my father were very close friends and so he talked my father into buying half of the hotel. So, anyway, mother sold her interest to Mr. Tom Broyhill, I think it was in 1939, and the reason she felt it was wise to do it was because the hotel really needed a lot of renovation. They felt it was critical to put in a sprinkler system, and there was a big lake at the foot of the mountain—where the little village of Blowing Rock is—which the hotel owned, and that required that they carry very heavy, expensive insurance in case of some child falling in the lake and drowning. And bearing in the mind that the country was just coming out of the Depression and money was not plentiful—I expect she could well use the money—she sold her interest to Mr. Tom Broyhill. So from the late '30s on we did not own the hotel, but we continued to go up there and it existed for several years. It began—I tell you what my daddy never would have done had he lived but mother and Mr. Tom Broyhill did, because of it being in the depths of the Depression. This may explain—no, this wouldn't explain why the hotel didn't lose money—but anyway, all this vast amount of real estate the hotel sat on my daddy would have built a golf course, which would have been incredible. That was the original owner's plan, and they chose to sell off the real estate for home sites so that a golf course was never built. My daddy would have played golf. That's what took him up there in the first place; they stayed at a hotel down in the

Page 37
village, whatever the name of it is where there was golf—you walk out the door and there's the golf course. But that was never done. So by the late '30s golf was really coming into its own, and you would go to a hotel that had, or a resort that had golf. So the hotel in the '40s and '50s began to go downhill and ownership changed. Mr. Tom Broyhill died and left the hotel to the Baptist Convention, obviously for them to sell—he was a very staunch Baptist—and they sold it to a group of businessmen from Tennessee. It just, you know, sort of finally was decided to tear it down. And I'll never forget standing out there on the grounds and listening to the workmen tear that hotel down.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Oh, you were there when they were tearing it down?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
It nearly broke my heart.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
What date was that? Was that in the '50s?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. And fortunately, there was an artist there whom I was not aware of—whom I did not know—that painted a picture of the hotel on the mountainside, like you were over on Grandfather looking back towards the hotel; painted this beautiful, magnificent water color. And he has an agent—the artist was from Raleigh, most of his work was in landscapes—I mean, seascapes—but he just happened to be in the mountains and this magnificent hotel had been torn down and he [said],'I'm going to paint this.'
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Do you remember his name?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
His name was Walter Kerr. I don't know whether he pronounced it Karr or Kerr; you know, Governor Kerr, so I'm not sure and I don't know if there's any connection. I never met the artist. I never knew him, but his agent just happened to know of my interest in the hotel and he said—he wrote me and said, 'I have something I know you're going to want

Page 38
to buy.'
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Do you have the painting?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. I have it in my mountain house and it's beautiful.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Wonderful. How fortunate!
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I have a photograph of the painting I'll show you sometime. So, that's a little side light.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
[unclear] hotel.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
But, you know, I thought, when I walked in that door I thought I was the cat's meow.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Oh, you were.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
And I was running around, you know, mother would get me out of the rooms, so she—and in those days you dressed for dinner every night, and so she wanted to get me out of the room so she could dress; she'd send me to go down and talk to all the ladies, and so I'd go down and show off.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And be doted on.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I'd love to have a picture of myself, but anyway. It was a beautiful place, and it was an exciting part of my childhood. I loved it.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I can imagine. That's a lot of room to roam.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yes, indeed. It surely was.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And such a beautiful setting.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Wonderful, big ballroom and they'd have a dance every

Page 39
Saturday night; had a separate dining room for children. Of course, people in those days would take their maids with them and all that; mother and daddy did, when he was alive—they always took the nurse along to look after the children. That was the way of life in those days. But they had a separate dining room for the children and I would not, I absolutely refused. I wanted to sit where the grown-ups sat.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And did you get to?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh, yeah. You know, I thought that because my mother owned the hotel I could do anything. Well anyway, I remember always sitting there in the dining room.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
When you went out to the hotel, did you and your mother go, and some of your other brothers and sisters go? Would all of you go as a family?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
A lot of times they did, but they were older so they could drive their own cars. I just remember—well, many times Joseph went, but it seems like I can't quite remember Joseph as much as I went. As I told you, he went out to stay with his aunts on the farm a lot more than I ever did. But I have pictures, I have photographs of mother the summer after I was born in which I would have been about a year old. She's holding me and there's Margaret in the picture and all kind of family, whoever was up there, and you can see where the road is leading up to; at that time they were all dirt roads. It's changed a lot since those days. I'm not sure it's always for the better. But anyway, I think I've reminisced about that enough. But, you know, it means a lot to you, [so] you can't help talking about it. That's probably boring to anybody else.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
No, it's pretty fascinating. I was going to ask you, do you remember how much your father paid for Alma? Do you remember that?

Page 40
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
The figure that sticks in my mind, Dorothy—and this is going to blow your mind—is $14,000. But I expect that's about right because that's about all he could have afforded. Bear in mind that Alma Furniture Company bore absolutely no resemblance to anything like it was when we sold it. It was probably just two or three little buildings there, and that old lumber yard and a little siding for the railroad. That's about all that was there. A little machine room, you know, where the machines were to run the machines. And I think that there are some pictures around of the company, it looked like, back in those days.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It was a wooden factory building?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh yeah. Tin roof, sure. That's the way they all were in High Point. It was no different; that's the way things were built in those days. You know, there wasn't any great wealth in High Point like the Reynolds became in Winston, or the Hanes or the Cones in Greensboro. You know, they had built a beautiful place in Blowing Rock, Cone Manor which is still standing today. It's a visitor's center. A beautiful house; sort of a neo-classical style.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
All of the earliest factories in High Point were wooden, weren't they?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh, yes.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Brick didn't really come in until the turn of the century.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Or later.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
After 1900.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Really? Even getting on later.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
uh-hmm.

Page 41
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
As far as factories were concerned. Now, brick may have been used in—.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Not too many houses either. It was really the 'teens before brick—.

Page 42
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I'm with David Hayworth; this is Dorothy Gay Darr. This is two of two, tape number 2.6.97-DH. You were just talking about how much your father paid for Alma—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, what we were really talking about right as the tape stopped, Dorothy, was the fact that brick wasn't used much at that point in time, but I do remember—what I started to say but I'll just say this—I do remember one house which we talked about the other day, you and I did, was that old Armfield House on Broad Street. That was a brick structure, and that's the only one that I can remember that was. Now, you take the—there was a house there where Market Center Towers is now that was a stone house, and the Arthur Kirkman House is a brick house. And the Long's, Charles Long, who was the first manager of the Southern Furniture building when it was built in the '20s, he lived in a stone house there where the United Way building is right now. The stone walls are still there, and that was his home. And the reason that there were these stone houses built—and the old Quaker church which was at the corner of South Main and Commerce across from what was then originally the Commercial National Bank, I think that's a brick structure. I don't know exactly what year that was built, but that would have been somewhere in the '20s. That's when I think brick kind of—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Uh-hmm. And stone too.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Stone, sure.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Was in the '20s, wasn't it?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, I believe it would have to have been earlier. There was a

Page 43
man who came here who was a stone mason, and he came here I believe, to build the Quaker church. I can remember it very well; I can see it right like it was today standing on that corner. It was stone from bottom to top, and handsome in its own way; sort of foreboding, but nevertheless, he was a fine stone mason. And I want to say, and I could be wrong about this, but I believe his last name was Ronald, which of course would be very German but you could see how that might be. Who brought him here or how he came to High Point I do not know, but subsequently there were a fair number of—the Alexander home on English Street, which was a magnificent home with stone columns, beautiful house; and then right down, like I said, was the Long house and a lot of the . . .But there were just as many wood, and sometimes there were wood and stone combinations, and then all wood. A lot of those beautiful old houses along Main Street which have all been razed were sort of the Victorian style, so many of them. I remember where Sechrest Funeral Home used to be, which was—I think it was the old Lindsay home—but it was high Victorian, you know. It was one of the ones that wasn't torn down quite as soon as some of the others, but as soon as they moved to where they are it was torn down, unfortunately. There's nothing there now, you know. That's the sad part of High Point; it's been replaced. Look where the beautiful Alexander home is. And I think I said the other day, it's just a blank parking lot. It's tragic; it's really tragic, but it happened in the guise of progress. But in some southern towns, as you know, this did not happen. They sort of—it was like it was in a time warp, and they never changed. But that wasn't the case with High Point; it was strictly a mill town, and that's where the money was coming from. Then later the textile industry took off, and so they thought they were doing the right thing to tear all these houses down.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Well, we've had such great eras in prosperity, you know. It

Page 44
was the first three decades, and then the '50s experienced another and through the early '60s up to '72.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Oh yeah. Tremendous growth.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And then we had another era of prosperity in the '80s.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
That's exactly right.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And then we centered around that furniture market.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Absolutely.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And that really anchored everything right there in that building.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yes it did.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
In downtown, and we just didn't move two or three blocks like a lot of others in our growth. Really staid.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah, you're exactly right.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It's too bad, because we had, as our wealth grew, a lot of architecture to go along with it at the turn of the century.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Do you remember the Bud Wren house? I can remember that; it was a piano teacher, May Kirkman—who was a single woman—but she was one of the Kirkman's, old Kirkman families, her parents were. She taught piano for many, may years and she always had her recitals in that home. Mrs. Wren let her use that home for her recitals. I can remember going there—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Is that the one with the double columns all the way across?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Uh-hmm. And I want to say that was out of yellow brick, I believe. There on Commerce. Dr. Stanton's house and the old Cox house; that was a [unclear] . And then Broad Street, you know, all of that was where all the big folks lived in those days.

Page 45
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
What did Alma make? You said Myrtle made roll-top desks; what did Alma make initially?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Dining room furniture.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Dining room furniture.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I would say probably of medium grade, not high style like you might think of a Chippendale dining room table. It wasn't anything like that.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
And that was pretty representative of what kind of furniture was being made in High Point at that time?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yes. I remember mother saying that Mr. Bud Wren, who was a successful furniture manufacturer, saying—I guess his company would have been Wren Columbia wouldn't it?—and he always said—I quote my mother—'Other people made furniture and he made money.' He probably made very cheap furniture, but he was very successful. And, you know, his widow—he never had any children—but his widow, Mrs. M.J. Wren took over the business after he died and she gave High Point College the Wren Library, which is a beautiful building. She always told mother that it really broke her to build that building. And of course, later she did go bankrupt, and it was really the talk of High Point when it came out in the headlines of the paper. 'Mrs. M.J. Wren files for bankruptcy.'
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Was that after the Depression? When was that?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
That was sometime in—I believe in the '40s.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
When did she give that library, do you remember? Was that during the Depression?

Page 46
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
No, I would say it was probably the late '30s or early '40s. And I don't know just what caused her to build that; I guess somebody out there probably said, 'We need a library and would you do this in memory of your husband?' And she did. It's a beautiful building; I was in it not too long ago, and the architectural detail of the interior is just as handsome as the exterior. I would love to know who the architect was, but he did a wonderful job. I'm sure you know—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
I've only seen the building from the outside; I'm not as familiar with the inside. It's now the computer sciences building?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I'm not sure.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
It's just to the right of the main administration building right there off the [unclear] .
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Yeah. It's what I call pure Georgian and very restrained, and very elegant in its simplicity. That would be my description of the building.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Do you want to talk about the next family member now? I think it's Charles, I guess we should start with Charles. He's such a—had such an essential role.
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Well, I think we could talk about Charles and then maybe that would be a good place to end. And if we don't complete that we can always start over with Charles, because certainly a lot needs to be said about the role he played in turning the whole family companies, businesses into the largest office furniture manufacturer in the United States. Alma alone, not counting Myrtle, as I mentioned that to you the other day.
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
David, do you feel like since we've been talking about the early beginnings of the company in the '20s and '30s and '40s, do you feel like perhaps talking about your

Page 47
mother a little bit?
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
Whatever you say. I'll be guided by your—
DOROTHY GAY DARR:
Well, we were going to talk about—
DAVID R. HAYWORTH:
I guess if you're going to talk about sort of the family history she should come before Charles. Chronologically he's the next child, but I don't think that's significant. [Phone ringing] Excuse me just a minute, I don't know who this is. [Recorder is turned off and then back on.] Okay.
END OF INTERVIEW