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Walthourville's first mayor turns 86
Liberty lore
Lyndol Anderson
Lyndol Anderson - photo by Photo provided.
The small crowd of approximately fifty people anxiously watched the door of the Walthourville Baptist Church for Mrs. Lyndol Anderson to come in on Saturday evening of July 26. She was being honored with a surprise birthday by the church members.
She was escorted in by her daughter Melinda Anderson, Magistrate Judge of Liberty County. When Lyndol realized what was taking place as all rose and began singing "Happy Birthday"to her she was overcome with tears of joy and surprise. Pastor John Hubbard read a passage from the Bible and dedicated it to her and sang one of her favorite songs "Because He Lives." Little Emilie Hein played "Ode to Joy" on the piano. A tribute was given by Margie Love. Members of the audience shared their thoughts and feelings about Mrs. Anderson. She was adorned with a crown of roses by Emilie. A beautiful framed photo of the church was presented to her by the church members. Delicious food was enjoyed by all in the decorated social hall.
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 working at Fort Stewart and it required him leaving before daylight and sometimes getting home about 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 it. She made their ketchup and even their mayonnaise. Jellies, jams and preserves were made 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. They also ate pork chops, homemade smoked sausage, roasts, steaks, hamburger, fresh vegetables, biscuits, cornbread cakes, homemade cakes and pies and homemade ice cream - never any fast food treats.
Becoming tired of the long drive they moved to Wheelerville, just inside of Long County on Highway 84 in 1953. Lyndol became a Stanley Products dealer. In 1958,  they purchased the old Fletcher Store in Walthourville, which was located where Goo-Ma's is today. In 1962, they bought land across the road and build their home connected to a store. It was named Anderson's Corner Market. Gasoline, kerosene, oil and many grocery products along with animal and chicken feeds. She tried to stock whatever customers wanted.
Many young soldiers lived in the community and visited the store. Sometimes they needed items or food and simply did not have any money. Lyndol provided food free of charge many times over the years. When Mother's Day arrived, she got 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 said her mother still made panties for her even after she 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. If someone ate a slice of her homemade German chocolate cake, he or she never forgot it. When the girls were in school, they always volunteered their mother to bring snacks in for parties. And she did. She attended every school event her children participated in and all PTA meetings. She still enjoys watching cooking channels on television.
Lyndol also has always enjoyed 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 had ever seen. Lyndol shared them with me and that began my love for daylilies. She can grow any kind of plants. She not only has a green thumb but ten green fingers.
When Lyndol was little she liked to sit in the yard on the dirt and play. Her mother scolded her often for it. One day she was fussing at Lyndol for sitting on the dirt and Lyndol told her mother she was not sitting on the dirt - she was sitting on top of a Coca-Cola cap.
Several people were asked to describe Lyndol Anderson. The same words came up repeatedly. She was caring, responsible, compassionate, dependable, trustworthy, down to earth and determined. Old people that could not read trusted her to read their mail to them. They knew she would do them right. She was never interested in diamond rings or the latest jewelry. She had rather dress comfortable 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 Anderson 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 OíSteen provided legal counsel to the floundering mayor and council. He was paid very sweetlyóby 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 long time husband and soul mate, Sweetie, passed away a few years ago and she 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 is now Anderson's Feed and Garden Supply. She still lives in the adjoining house and often she can be found helping out in the store. She spends much time with her girls and five grandchildren and still slips out to her garden every time she feels like it. 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 was certainly Liberty County's gain. The Walthourville community and Liberty County salute Lyndol Anderson on her 86th birthday!
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