Hamilton Morgan Rahn was born March 2, 1883 and died May 30, 1967 and is buried in the Springfield Cemetery. He was the son of Alexander Jefferson and Eulalia Morgan Rahn. His first wife was the former Bessie Shearouse. They had four sons: William, Charles, Earl and Warren.
A few weeks after the birth of Warren, Bessie succumbed to complications from childbirth. Burdened with three sons and a baby, “Hammy,” as he was known, faced the tough decision of giving the baby up to be reared by his brother Willard J. and wife Annie Helmly Rahn who had no children and lived in Guyton. (This is the same Willard Rahn who was featured in the Echoes issue Nov. 12).
It is of interest that during World War II all four of Hammy’s sons served in the Armed Services at the same time. Charles, an engineer, was a career Army man who retired coming back to Springfield and lived his father’s house. William was a merchant marine who died and is buried at sea. Earl was in the Navy during the war and later lived in Port Wentworth, had a family and worked in local industry. Warren was in the Army, serving overseas.
During the war, William was a cook serving food to generals. Charles ran into him during his time in the European theater and ate many of his pies he had just baked requiring William to bake some more for the generals.
Mr. Hammy’s home sat on Second Street in Springfield with his horse and mule lot about where the Commons Apartments now are located. He had a blacksmith shop at one time on Laurel Street about where the Nelson brothers operate their dental office. In his later days he did iron work and shoed horses from his barns by his home.
Bessie and Hammy owned property on Laurel Street. Hammy sold, according to Tommy Snooks, H. M. Rahn General Merchandise, in January 1948, to Otto Snooks and Milton Rahn on a Saturday and they reopened the business as Snooks Store on the following Monday without a lapse in service expanding the former mercantile and dry goods store offerings.
Mr. Hammy shoed horses, worked on farm implements, and built, fixed and sold items needed in homes and on farms. One thing he made and sold were screened doors. He was very friendly and well known as a trader of mules, horses and land.
The last of the property Hammy owned on Laurel Street, that he had inherited from his late wife Bessie, is where the current Hey Beautiful Hair Salon operated by Jinci Allen is located beside the Masonic Hall. The building was built by Warren Rahn as a dance studio and dress shop for his first wife Louise.
Hammy was known for his metal work in the area. The accompanying photograph shows him shoeing a horse, perhaps for what he was best known.
This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society with photo and information provided by Barbara Rahn Scott. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org