Haywood Beverly and Robert Fitzgerald were friends, and since Beverly knew the tanner’s trade, and Fitzgerald was good with business, they decided to enter into a partnership and start a tannery together. They opened their business west of Hillsborough, in a "town" named Chaseville.
Fitzgerald was primarily a school teacher, and worked on the tannery after school. He and Beverly soon built a one-room office (which Fitzgerald called his little “Cottage by the Stream”), installed tanning vats, and purchased hides.
In late March 1869, the firm of Beverly and Fitzgerald, tanners, launched its business: “Finished Mr. Moore’s 3 hides and delivered them to him. …place 1 kid and 1 sheep skin at H. N. Brown’s Store for sale. Our hides are all stamped with the name of our firm and they look hot.”
By January 1870, Fitzgerald dissolved his partnership with Beverly, and took his share of the hides to trade locally for other goods. He also dismantled the tannery office that he had built, and “hauled the logs, lumber, door and window sashes” to his family farm, Woodside, where he traded them to the local wheelwright for partial payment on a buggy.
In early May, 1871, Fitzgerald sold his interest in the tannery property to Beverly for $400. The 1880 Federal Census lists Beverly's occupation as a tanner, and his residence as Hillsboro; in an 1886 business directory, Haywood Beverly was listed as a tanner, and as having an office on King Street and as living in Hillsboro. The tannery property was later rented (in August 1887) and sold in April 1888 to James A. Cheek, who operated a distillery on the property.