james joseph haverty
A department store cash boy at age 14, in 1885 James Joseph Haverty (b.1849 d.1939) invested $6OO in a 25 x 75-foot Atlanta furniture store that he parlayed into today's $300 million multi-state Haverty Furniture Companies.
The son of Irish immigrants, Haverty learned retailing in Atlanta dry goods stores. Of his early pioneering partnership with Amos Rhodes he said, ''I am proudest of the system which provided every homemaker with an opportunity to obtain beautiful furniture to provide his family with more pleasant surroundings than he could otherwise afford." This was by selling furniture on the installment plan. Attracted by the growing West, he would buy a furniture store, retain the former owner as manager and partial owner and thus assure his heart was in the business. This group became known as "Graduates of Haverty's Management." Privately, he headed the Atlanta Arts Association, as well as President Franklin Roosevelt's Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration for the Atlanta area. In 1936, he was named a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Pius XI.