MR THOMAS WILFRED HAUGHTON
Mr T. W. Haughton was one of the best known men in the Ulster linen trade. His very successful business career began about 1876 when in partnership with Mr J. W. Frazer, he established a linen merchanting business in Belfast. This developed rapidly and in 1881 the partners added bleaching to their activities. They founded the bleach works at Cullybackey and gave steady employment to a large number of workers.
Mr Haughton was deeply interested in public and political affairs. He was a member of the Ulster Unionist Council, and one of a delegation which visited England shortly after the establishment of the Northern Parliament to put Ulster’s position clearly before the members of the Imperial Parliament. He was also for a considerable time a very active and valued member of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce. He was also a Justice of the Peace for County Antrim, a Prince Mason, and a member of the Union Club. Always interested in sport, he excelled with the gun and won many cups for shooting in connection with the Ulster Gun Club.
Mr Haughton was possessed of a genial, kindly disposition and was regarded with affection by all sections of the community. He took a deep interest in local affairs and was exceedingly generous and sympathetic towards all worthy objects. He died on the 29th January 1936 in his 81st year and was survived by his widow and two sons Mr J. Haughton and Mr S.G. Haughton and a daughter Mrs Malcolm Patrick of Glarryford.
Samuel Gillmor Haughton, second son of Thomas Wilfred Haughton, was a well-known member of the Haughton family of Hillmount, Cullybackey, and a director of the firm of Messrs. Frazer and Haughton Ltd. He was educated at St. Edward’s School, Oxford and entered the business in 1907.` He was an original member of the committee which formed the Linen Industry Research Association and was an administrator of the Irish Linen Society, on whose behalf he travelled to America.
Major Haughton became an Orangeman in 1919 and was elected as a member of the Grand Lodge of Ireland Committee. In 1945 he became an honorary secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council and was one of the Ulster Unionist Party’s trustees. Throughout his life he took a keen interest in farming and was vice-president of the Cullybackey branch of the Ulster Farmer’s Union and was president of the Cullybackey Young Farmer’s Club. He was also vice-president of the County Antrim Agricultural Association.
In 1920 he was chosen to organise the Advertising Exhibition at the White City, London, a huge undertaking promoted by the newspapers of the country. For several years he was president of the Advertising Club of Ulster and he organised the publicity for Ulster at the time King George V opened the Ulster Parliament. In 1936 he was appointed a member of the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board. In 1945 the then Home Secretary appointed him as a member of the committee which is investigating the Betting Laws and Practices in connection with gambling.
His public career was interrupted by the war and Captain Haughton as he was then, at the age of forty-nine, left Ballymena as second-in-command of the Anti-Aircraft Battery in September, 1938 and served with it in the Middle East, rising to the rank of Major. Early in 1944 he was invalided out of the army after serving almost five years and returned home but his interest in the Territorial Army continued through his appointment as Honorary Colonel of the 248 L.A.A. Regiment, R.A. He was also appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the county and was High Sheriff in 1955.
On his return he resumed duty as a member of the Transport Board, a position from which he resigned on his election as an M.P., in 1945 a position which he held until 1950 when he proved to be one of the most winning, effective and hard-working representatives ever sent by Northern Ireland to the Imperial Parliament.
His main recreational interests were hunting and horse racing. He belonged to several County Antrim hunts and was a steward of the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders.
Samuel G. Haughton died suddenly at his home on 17th May 1959 at the age of seventy. He was survived by his wife, a daughter-in-law and a grandson, his son was sadly killed in an airliner crash at Nutt’s Corner in January 1953.
A faithful member of Craigs Parish Church, he was laid to rest in the adjoining burying ground.