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A trip back to Haddenville
Bessie and Homer Helmly
Bessie and Homer Helmly

The following was written by the late Freddie Helmly, who lived at the corner of Stillwell Clyo Road and Berryville Road near Haddenville. “Papa” in this document  refers to Homer Helmly, Freddie’s father.


The house at Haddenville was a large white house with a porch around one side and the front. It was about where the road makes the point now on the north side of the store. (This is now where the current Union Spring Road intersects Hadden Lake Road between Stillwell and Clyo, Georgia.) Mr. Arthur Hadden and his wife (I don’t remember her name) lived in the house and ran the store.  They had one son named Charles.

The road went right in front of the house. We would go by the house going to Papa’s field. I remember going by there once and Charles was riding a tricycle on the long porch. Not very long after that the home burned. I guess the Haddens lived in the store after that as it had several rooms. As well as I can remember they sold groceries and work clothes in their store for their laborers and neighbors.

About 150 yards on the south side of the store was a cotton gin. It was a two-story building. I remember seeing a horse on the second story pressing the cotton bales — going around like a sugar cane mill. I guess about 100 yards south of the gin was a saw mill.

The barns were some distance north of the home. I believe there were two barns. Mr. Hadden’s mules would be turned out. Very often they would graze on the lawn at our house. There was a row of tenant houses about 300 yards behind the house. I believe there were six houses. They were about 100 yards apart. I guess they were built like that in case of fire. They were small four-room houses.

Cousin Nellie Mae Dasher Wall remembered Mr. Hadden and Charles coming to visit with a horse and buggy. Charles would fill the legs of his knicker britches (loose britches gathered just below the knees) with candy from Mr. Hadden’s store.  Then he would share this candy with Cousin Nellie Mae, her brother Hubert and others including me.

I don’t remember any of the tenant’s names. I was told that a group of hands would come there from South Carolina to chop cotton. They would stay in one of the houses.

Henry Goldwire said he worked there some. I do not know if he lived there or not. I believe he was some type of foreman. He said when the men were plowing down toward the river, Mr. Hadden would ring a bell for them to come to the house.

The field Mr. Hinely owns was Mr. Hadden’s. It was known as the Summer Field. At about the branch were two roads. One on the right went towards Rahn Hill. The one straight ahead was the one Papa had to go. It went through the woods and came out into the Old Augusta Road south of the saw mill.

Sometime in the late teens (1915-1919) the company from Virginia bought the property. They tore down the gin, mill and old barns. Papa built them a large barn. They had 12 to 15 mules and ran two stave mills. (See last week’s story.)

When Mr. Hadden left Haddenville, he moved to Savannah to live. I remember him driving a meat truck here in the county.

Correction from last week: The Gnann Brothers who ran the saw mill were incorrectly identified last week. They were Bertie, Willie and Walter A. Gnann.

This was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society with a document from Glenda Helmly Newkirk written by her father Freddie Helmly. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: