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Walthourville's first mayor is outstanding mother too

Liberty lore

POSTED: May 9, 2011 12:39 p.m.

Mother’s Day is today and mothers across the country are being honored, which they should be every day.
This is a story about a lady known by all of the-old timers and many of the newcomers in Liberty County.
This was partially printed three years ago, but I think it deserves to be printed again, as Lyndol Anderson represents an outstanding mother and citizen in Liberty County.
Lyndol Helmuth was born on a farm in Bulloch County on July 28, 1922. She joined two sisters and one brother. Later, she had three younger brothers. One sister and one brother survive today.
Lyndol graduated from high school in Bulloch County with top honors. She was a quick learner and loved school.
Later, she married a local farm boy after he came home from World War II. His name was William Hollis Anderson, but he quickly became known as “Sweetie.” They had two daughters, Melinda and Deborah.
Hollis later began to work at Fort Stewart, and it required him to leave before daylight and sometimes get home when it got dark.
Much of the farming operations fell upon Lyndol to accomplish. She first learned to milk the cow, and from then on it was her job. She kept plenty of milk to drink and churned fresh butter and sold the extra.
Then she learned to drive the tractor and do the farming. She became very good at it.
She grew all the vegetables they needed and canned them. She made their ketchup and even their mayonnaise.
She made jellies, jams and preserves from wild blackberries, plums, peaches and pears. Very few items had to be purchased in town.
Melinda recalls that after the tobacco was sold, her mother would splurge and buy some real bologna sliced off the large roll.
She fried it and they had a Sunbeam slice of bread to eat with it. That was such a wonderful treat that they looked forward to.
After all, they had to eat pork chops, homemade smoked sausage, roasts, steaks, hamburger, fresh vegetables, biscuits, cakes of cornbread, homemade cakes and pies and homemade ice cream. They never ate any fast-food treats.
Becoming tired of the long drive, they moved to Wheelerville in 1953, just inside of Long County on Highway 84. Lyndol became a Stanley Products dealer.
In 1958, they purchased the old Fletcher Store in Walthourville, which was located where a Mexican restaurant is today.
In 1962, they bought land across the road and built their home connected to a store. It was named Anderson’s Corner Market.
She tried to stock whatever customers wanted — gasoline, kerosene, oil and many grocery products along with animal and chicken feeds.
Many young soldiers lived in the community and visited the store. Sometimes they needed items and simply did not have any money. Lyndol provided food for free many times over the years.
When Mother’s Day arrived, she received a box full of cards from people scattered all over the world who remembered her kindness and generosity.
Lyndol was an expert seamstress and made all the girls’ clothing — panties, slips, dresses, pajamas, blue jeans, dungarees and coats.
Melinda, a magistrate judge in Liberty County, said her mother still made panties for her even after she got married.
Some of the dresses were made from chicken linen, the cloth sacks that chicken feed came in.
Cooking was one of her great pleasures and she was good at it.
People who ate slices of her homemade German chocolate cake never forgot it.
When the girls were in school and had to bring snacks for parties, they always volunteered their mother to do it. And she did. She attended all of the school events her children were in and went to all PTA meetings.
She still enjoys watching the cooking channel on television.
One of her great joys in life always has been planting flowers and pretty plants.
When I moved to Walthourville in 1971, I saw a large clump of daylilies by the store’s back door. These were the first daylilies I ever had seen.
Lyndol shared them with me and that began my love for daylilies. She can grow any kind of plants.
She not only has two green thumbs, she also has eight green fingers!
When Lyndol was young, she liked to sit on the dirt in the yard and play. Her mother often scolded her for it.
One day she was fussing at Lyndol for sitting on the dirt, and Lyndol replied that she was not sitting on the dirt; she was sitting on top of a Coca-Cola cap!
Several people have been asked to describe Lyndol. The same words come up repeatedly.
She is caring, responsible, compassionate, dependable, trustworthy, down-to-earth and determined.
Old people who could not read trusted her to read their mail to them. They knew she would treat them right.
She never was interested in diamond rings or the latest jewelry. She would rather dress comfortably and wear shoes that were good enough to wear in her garden than to keep up with the latest fashion.
She would rather spend money on her children, her five special grandchildren or someone in need rather than on herself.
Lyndol became the city of Walthourville’s first mayor in 1974, when the city was incorporated.
She had an all-woman council. City water was provided to all homeowners under her leadership.
Noel Osteen provided legal counsel to the floundering mayor and council. He was paid very sweetly — by pounds of homemade pecan divinity, chocolate fudge and peanut brittle made by the mayor. He said that was some of the best pay he ever received!
Lyndol’s longtime husband and soul mate, Sweetie, passed away a few years ago, and she still misses him terribly.
Her health began failing as the years passed, and she could not keep up with the demands of Anderson’s Corner Market.
She leased the store and it now is Anderson’s Feed and Garden Supply, where one can find anything from horse feed to live baby chicks.
She still lives in the adjoining house, and customers often can find her in the store helping out.”
She spends much time with her girls and five grandchildren and still slips out to her garden every time she feels like it.
To be almost 89, she still is pretty active. She is a member of the Walthourville Baptist Church.
A good friend like Mrs. Lyndol Anderson is like a good bra — hard to find, supportive, comfortable and always close to your heart! Bulloch County’s loss in 1953 certainly was Liberty County’s gain.

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