D.E. Rhyne


Dan Rhyne in a 'speakies'




Daniel Rhyne was born February 8th, 1852 to Moses and Margaret Rhyne.

His career virtually coincided with the industrial revolution in North Carolina.  In the summer of 1873, he and R.C. Grier Love, his brother-in-law, partnered to manage the merchandise and supply store at Woodlawn, the site of the Woodlawn cotton factory.  Mr. Rhyne soon purchased Mr. Love’s interest in the store and began a partnership with his brother, Abel Peterson Rhyne.

In the latter part of 1873, he and Abel and Ambrose Costner decided to build a new cotton mill at what is now the town of Mt. Holly.  He sold his interest to Mr. Costner in 1883 at which time the Rhyne brothers joined with T.A. Davis to build a new and much larger mill about 2 miles down the Catawba River at a place called Tuckaseege Ford.

Mr. Rhyne sold his interest in the Tuckaseege Manufacturing Company in 1887 to his nephew, John Love, and moved to Lincoln County where he partnered with James Alonzo Abernethy, another brother-in-law, to build a mill on the South Fork of the Catawba River, at a place called Laboratory, a site of a former cotton mill and Civil War pharmaceutical laboratory.

Around 1893, Mr. Abernethy sold his interest to Mr. Rhyne but the two then went in together to build the Lincoln Cotton Mill at South Side, a half mile below the Laboratory Mill.  Around 1895, Mr. Abernethy sold his interest in the Lincoln Cotton Mill to Robert Love.  Not long after, Mr. Rhyne purchased the entire property and became the sole owner of both the Laboratory and Lincoln cotton mills, which he continued to own and operate the rest of his life.  In 1938, the two mills were merged and became known as The Rhyne Mills, Incorporated.

Lutheran Heritage:

“A feature article by Mabel Miller in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer will interest Lincoln County people.  It follows:

“Lutherans throughout the state will join hands on Monday, February 8, in paying tribute to D. E. Rhyne, of Lincolnton, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of his birth.  Mr. Rhyne is one of the greatest benefactors the North Carolina Lutheran synod and her educational institutions have had.  No less than 35 Lutheran churches in the state owe part of their buildings and equipment to the generosity of Mr. Rhyne.  These donations ranged from $100 to over $26,000, making a total of about $102,000.  In addition to his gifts to the church, Mr. Rhyne has endowed Lenoir-Rhyne college at Hickory to the extent of a quarter of a million dollars and paid for the construction of the Daniel Efird Rhyne building which bears his name.

The first large gift, one hundred thousand dollars in war savings stamps, was made to the college in 1919 after Mr. Rhyne had come to her rescue by paying off several deficits that faced the institution.  In 1923 he supplemented his endowment with a gift of $200,000 in preferred mill stocks.

In the following year the name of the school was changed from Lenoir college to Lenoir-Rhyne college as an honor to Mr. Rhyne or “Uncle Dan” as he is called by many persons.

After the disastrous fire at the college in 1927, when the administration building, “Old Main,” went up in flames, Mr. Rhyne again came to the rescue.  He saved the college by contributing the funds to erect the handsome new administration hall that centers the campus.

Thus out of the aches arose hope and renewed determination that resulted in the greater building program at Lenoir-Rhyne”.”

~Lincoln County News