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Newell Notes

Newell - Mentions in the Charlton County Herald 1908 - 1938


By Lois Barefoot Mays

In 1901 the planners for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad decided to build a line from Jesup to Folkston, which became known as the Jesup Short Line. A 1,000 foot spur was added there in 1905 to hold cars while they were being loaded with timber. It helped create the village of Newell, about seven miles north of Folkston near U.S. 301. It was just a flag-stop on the railroad but Newell became a busy shipping point for naval stores and timber products.

Willie C. Newell, naval stores operator, established the settlement soon after the railroad spur was built. A sawmill and turpentine still operation provided much-needed jobs for local families until World War II. Mr. Newell lived there only a few years; perhaps he left because he was provoked with the grand jury that indicted him in 1905 for “Unlawfully selling goods and carrying on his general mercantile business and commissary on the Lord’s Day.”

J.C. Littlefield was engaged in the sawmill business, naval stores, piling, poles and cross tie operations at Newell. He also owned the general merchandise store. The big sawdust pile at the mill was an popular spot for the children who enjoyed sitting on a wide board and sliding down the small mountain In 1903, Mr. Newell hired Mrs. Belle Brantley Roddenberry as governess and private tutor for his children. She remained in Charlton County for almost fifty years, teaching in the public school system, and she became one of the most revered teachers who ever taught in this county.

Newell had a post office in the community from 1904-1917 and six postmasters through the years handled the village’s mail. They were Willie C. Newell, Alonzo B. Kesler, Robert A.J. McDuffie, Noah W. Wainwright, Mollie Sikes and Vannie Sikes. The post office was discontinued in 1917, and mail for the citizens of Newell was sent to the Winokur post office.

The community watched with anticipation, as the Newell sawmill processed the lumber needed for their own school. As soon as enough boards were milled, the construction work began. The school was completed in May, 1911, and eighteen students attended that first year. The Newell Literary Society met every two weeks with officers Josephine Allen, Ardell Jones and Zora Wainwright leading the group. Teachers from 1908-1922 were Rozella Crews, Hilda Mattox, John Gibson, Jessie Sikes, Vannie Allen, Clinnie Stokes, Mrs. Gautier, Lottie McEachern, W.M. Wilson, Nellie Readdick, Fannie Maynor, Nomia Sikes, H.G. Langley and Mrs. D.F. Pearce. Rev. Willard of Burnt Fort taught the African-American school for many years. The salary in 1919 was $30.00 per month. (The school was consolidated with Folkston in 1922, and the Board of Education sold the school building.) An unrented house in Newell served as a church building, and pastors and laymen from Folkston taught Sunday School each Sunday afternoon. One of the favorite teachers was Mr. John S. Tyson. Many of the local families were members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, several miles away.

Like most small communities the social life revolved around the activities of the local school. The annual Christmas Tree (with gifts for all the children) was held at the school. Another annual event was the fund-raiser for library books, which often took the form of Pound Parties, when each guest contributed a penny for every pound they weighed.

In March, 1911, traveling dentist, Dr. S.E. O’Quinn came to Newell, and treated the local patients, filling and pulling teeth. Many times these painful procedures took place on the front porch of the homes, with small children in attendance.

In the summer of 1913, Newell was connected with the rest of the world when the first telephone was installed. The Bailey Branch Telephone Co. completed stringing it lines from the Mills settlement and from Newell to Folkston.

Now, with the new telephone, whenever emergencies occurred, -- such as when the timber cart tongue fell on B.H. Lowther or when Mossie Thomas, a gum dipper for J.C. Littlefield, got bitten by a rattlesnake, or when the front-yard gate fell on Preston Wildes’ two year old child -- a telephone call quickly brought a Folkston doctor.

Each family had its own garden nearby. When J.A. Allen began missing sugar cane from his patch, he slipped around the corner one evening and came upon two pretty young ladies, knives in hand, ready to whack. Mr. Allen just took his gun back to the house.

The Hercules Powder Co. started operations in Charlton County in the spring of 1925, and located their field headquarters at Newell, under the direction of Arthur “Boge” Allen.

The community had its share of tragic events. Everyone was shocked when Lawton Williams killed Ed Hinds in June, 1917. The two were loading a train car, when Hinds attacked Williams with a stick of wood. Williams went for his pistol, and killed him on the spot.

Some of the families who lived in Newell were: Allen, Anderson, Catoe, Clark, Crews, Harris, Henderson, Jones, Kesler, Knight, Littlefield, Lloyd, Sikes, Tucker, Wainwright, Wildes, Williams and Wilson.

Nature has reclaimed much of the land where the noisy sawmill once stood, where the homes of some of the finest people in the county once stood, and the busy school, church and store bustled with activity, in this tightly-knit, and isolated community of Newell.

Newell:  Notes

 From "History of Charlton County" by A.S. McQueen

P. 79

During the year 1901 the ACL Ry. Built a line from Jesup to Folkston known locally as the Jesup Short Line and when it was built through the county to Folkston the towns of Winokur and Newell were established.  Newell, seven miles north of Folkston, is a flag-stop on the A.C.L. Short Line. This station has been long a shipping point for naval stores and timber products.  J.C. Littlefield, Folkston, is the principal owner of Newell.

P. 175

Charlton  County according to the official U.S. census figures for 1930, had a total population of 4,381, mostly rural and there are ten towns and villages within the county: Folkston, St. George, Homeland, Moniac, Toledo, Winokur, Racepond, Newell and Mattox.  

Red Book:

P 431

J.C. Littlefield was extensively engaged in naval stores, piling, cross tie, sawmill, light and telegraph poles, stock raising and also operated a general store in the village of Newell. Newell as a village had been settled by a northerner by the name Newell and for whose children Miss Belle Brantley had come to serve as governess .

Newell Mentions in the Charlton County Herald 1908 - 1938


Miss Rozella Crews is teaching school at Newell.



The summer Normal School to be held here for a term of four weeks conducted by Prof. J.R. VanVoorhis, assisted by Prof. L.E. Mallard, opened Monday with 19 in attendance. They included, from Newell, Misses Vannie Allen, Eula Allen and Katie Kessler.


School opened here last Monday with quite a number of scholars. Miss Hilda Mattox of Folkston is the teacher.


Several new scholars entered this morning from Peterson’s Camp. Our Newell school is progressing nicely and the roll numbers 18.  [1-29-1914: We learn that J.S. Peterson has torn up his tram road and will suspend operation for the present. This is a piece of news we do not like. Everybody liked Peterson and will miss him.]


Newell school closed last Thursday. We regret very much the loss of our teacher.


We are glad to know lumber is being sawed for the erection of a new school house in the city of Newell.


The people of Newell have just completed a new school building and are raising funds with which to purchase a library.


John Gibson met many of his friends around Sardis Church last Sunday after having been teaching near Newell for the past month.


Miss Jessy Sikes is progressing very nicely with her little school at Newell.


The following is a list of those who are licensed to teach in the school they preside over:  …..Newell, Miss Vannie Allen. 


Miss Clinnie Stokes has taken up the school work in Newell in place of Miss Vannie Allen, who resigned.


Supt. Mallard visited the Newell school and found everything in good shape with the school garden showing a fine crop. Mrs. Jessie Allen is teacher.


The Newell school is moving rapidly to the front. This is a model school. Mrs. Gautier has won the confidence of her pupils.


The list of teachers appointed in Charlton County is as follows: …Newell, Lottie McEachern. …


Mr. John Gordon Highsmith and Miss Lottie Malisee McEachern were married at the residence of J.H. Sikes at Newell Sunday. She is one of Charlton’s most popular teachers, teaching in the Newell school. Mr. Highsmith is located at Bayhead, Fla., manager of a large plantation.


The Newell school began on September 2, with W.M. Wilson as teacher.


The Newell school is perfecting arrangements for an entertainment and Christmas Tree.


At the Board of Education meeting the following amounts were audited for January: …Newell School, J.H. Sikes, $50.00…

Owing to the probability of spreading the flu the Newell school was suspended till it can be resumed in greater safety. The following persons of Newell have been victims of the flu: Mrs. Mary Moore, Stella Wilson and Tom C. Tucker, all of whom are convalescing.


There are eighteen flu cases at this time at Newell. The excessive rains and the flu have just about put the final quitans on the school.


At the school board meeting the Sec.-Treas of the schools received the following amounts: …J.H. Sikes, Newell school, $30.00.


Miss Nellie Readick is teacher of the Newell school.


There was a Pound Party given at Newell school Friday night. It was very much enjoyed by all present.



The Newell school is progressing nicely. Miss Fannie Maynor is the teacher.


Miss Nomia Sikes is at Newell, to begin teaching Monday morning with a splendid enrollment.


The Newell School is progressing nicely. Mr. H.G. Langley is the teacher.


The Newell School is progressing nicely. Mrs. D.F. Pearce is the teacher.


Several cars from here [Folkston] went to the closing exercises of the Newell School Wednesday evening. Mrs. D.F. Pearce has taught this school for the past term.

Red Book, P. 432

For years J.C. Littlefield hauled Preacher Willard, a Negro teacher, back and forth from Burnt Fort to Newell and when school was not in session would give him work so as to have him next term.  [P. 433] At Newell, school was held in the Negro church. 


At the school board meeting petitions were read from Newell and Bailey Branch schools asking to be consolidated with the Folkston school.


At the Board of Education meeting, it was agreed to add Newell school to the Folkston Consolidated School.


The Newell and Littlefield schools have been consolidated with the Folkston school and the Board of Education will purchase a truck to convey the children.


NOTICE: Bids will be received for transportation of pupils to and from Folkston for the following schools: Newell, …   B.G. McDonald, Chm. Board of Education.


For sale, school buildings and lots not in use for school purposes: … Newell school …

L.E. Mallard.


[Belle Roddenberry, teacher for almost 50 years]

As an attractive 26 year-old in 1903, Belle Brantley left her home in Hancock County, Ga. near Sparta, to take a job as governess and private tutor for the financially well-off Willie Newell family, founders of the little community of Newell, Ga. near Folkston, a job for which she was well qualified. She had graduated from Southern Female College in LaGrange, Ga. with an A.B. degree and a degree in music.


A Southern train that passed Newell between 8 and 9 o’clock killed Robert Cato’s fine bird dog last Thursday morning.


The baby of Mrs. Charlie Lloyd passed away Saturday night about 12 o’clock and was buried at Antioch Sunday afternoon.

Little Willie Sikes came in from play Saturday afternoon and he started to lay down for a nap when he saw his father’s 44 force power rifle lying on the bed. He decided he would fire the gun. He shot through the bed, setting it on fire, the load going through three rooms, some clothes and on out into the yard. No one was in the house or it would have been serious.


We are glad to learn they are running a revival meeting at Winokur.


The happy marriage of W.R. Catoe and Miss Eula Allen took place at the home of Justice J.W. Davison on November lst. Mr. Catoe is a prominent business man of Squirrel Den and Miss Allen is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Allen of Newell. The ceremony was performed by J.W. Davison and it was his first. The couple went to Squirrel Den to make it their future home.


Miss Marie Jennings and Mr. Sol Mills, Miss Kate Allen and Jim Allen were out horseback riding Sunday evening and made Newell a call.


The gate fell upon Preston Wildes’ two year old baby causing an ugly wound on its head but we are glad to know it is not as serious as was at first thought.


Dr. S.E. O’Quinn is doing dental work at Newell this week.


Miss Marie Jennings left Saturday for Newell and will take charge of the school in the Allen settlement.


Newell is the most thriving little town in the county. Several new buildings have gone up and lumber is being placed for others.


Married on April 17th, J.L. Sikes to Miss Katie Allen, Rev. Thompson of Homeland officiating. Mr. Sikes is a prominent young man interested in naval stores operations of Newell and Miss Allen is a charming and attractive young lady of that section of the county.


We were glad to have Uncle Joe Mills with us Saturday.

Brother Earnest Altman preached two interesting sermons here on Sunday. He will preach here each second Sunday.


Miss Katie Kessler of Newell passed through Folkston Saturday enroute to Moniac where she has accepted a position as teacher.


We regret to learn that J.A. Prescott of Newell happened to the accident of breaking his arm last Sunday, caused by a mule throwing him.


J.H. Bryan, the man behind the fencing of the A.C.L. right of way, has moved his family up to Newell and will make this section his headquarters.


J.W. Sikes of Newell was down here Monday and reported the wind Sunday evening strong enough up there to blow down a small house and the shed over the stave mill.


A card from Miss Vannie Allen of Newell requests us to announce that there is a meeting now running at Mt. Zion Church which will continue through the week.


Mr. J.W. Anderson of Newell died May 18, 1913. He was SS Supt. at Mt. Zion.  Longer


The Bailey Branch Telephone Co. has completed the lines in the Newell and Mills’ settlements and are now on the edge of Folkston asking for a union with us.


We are pained to announce the death of the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Sikes of Newell. The little one passed from this earth to dwell with Him who said “suffer little children to come unto Me” last Tuesday shortly after noon. May the God who comforts all be with them in their sad hours.


J.A. Allen of Newell has been missing cane from his patch lately and went around to investigate and on slipping around the corner of his patch there stood two pretty young ladies with their knives in hand, ready to whack. So Mr. Allen just threw down his gun.


J.A. Allen of Newell was a visitor to our city last Saturday and as the strain from watching his cane patch is over, he looks a great deal better.


Patrick Seaborn Allen died January 2nd at 8 o’clock at his home near Newell. His remains were laid to rest in the Allen cemetery. Patrick was a young man of sterling worth, just in the bloom of life, being 21 years and a few months old. He made friends wherever he went, being a young man of sobriety, honest, upright and truthful.


Married on Wednesday evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Sikes, Newell, their daughter, Miss Jessie, to Mr. Arthur Allen, Rev. J.A. Thompson uttering the words that join their lives in happy union. The contracting parties are of the county’s most prominent and honored families and have hosts of friends who wish them a cheerful and prosperous life.


Noah Wainwright of Newell died very suddenly with heart disease Thursday night and his death was a sad shock to the community. The Herald offers condolence to the grieved relatives and friends.


Sunday afternoon Ordinary Stokes officiated at the nuptials of Archie D. Williams and Mrs. Annie Belle Anderson of Newell. This happy couple has started out right on this life’s voyage and the Herald hope that they will live a long time and be happy all the while.


B.H. Lowther of Newell has the misfortune to be injured when a timber cart tongue fell on him.


 Mrs. Mollie Sikes of Newell died. She was Mrs. J.H. Sikes, wife of our county commissioner. She died Thursday and was buried in Allen cemetery. Died March 11, 1915.  Five children and husband,  Longer….



J.H. Sikes and Miss Vannie Sikes were married by Ordinary Stokes at the courthouse Tuesday. The contracting parties are from Newell and are among our best people. The Herald wishes them all the joys that are in life.


Rev. Joseph Mills died. He had filled engagements at the Baptist Church in Newell, etc.


Daniel Taylor, an aged man, about 80, died at Hoboken at son in laws house. Brought down to Newell. Buried at Bethel. 9 children. [must have lived in Newell at one time] 



Newell Post Office was entered Sunday night. A small lot of booty was obtained.


James A. Williams, 61, died.


A pretty home wedding took place last Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 when Mr. N.L. Edwards led Miss Pency Allen to the altar at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Allen at Newell, Judge J.J. Stokes officiating. Mr. Edwards is the county warden.


The marriage of Miss Tula Wainwright and Mr. Philip M. Wildes on March 18 was quite a surprise to their friends. Mrs. Wildes is the daughter of Mrs. Noah Wainwright of Newell and one of Newell’s most charming young ladies. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P.E. Wildes and one of Charlton’s most successful farmers. They will make their home at Coleraine.


Lawton Williams shot and instantly killed Ed Hinds last Saturday at Williams’ wood camp near Newell. It seems that they were loading a car and Hinds hit Williams with a stick of wood. Williams got mad and went for his pistol with the above result.


The Newell Literary Society was organized last week with Miss Josephine Allen, president; Ardell Jones, vice president and Miss Zora Wainwright, secretary. The Society will meet every two weeks.


Mr. Rob Knight died at Newell Tuesday of pneumonia following influenza.


The Tax Receiver’s last round this year, to receive tax returns, will be at Racepond, Homeland, Uptonville, Winokur, Bachlott, Newell, Toledo, Moniac, Stokesville, St. George, Traders Hill, Billys Island and Folkston.  H.H. CREWS, Tax Receiver.


Mr. C.F. Anderson, 68  of Newell died Friday. He was at the barn feeding the stock and surrendered his soul. Buried at Corinth.  Five survivors listed. 


Willie Sykes of Newell and Miss Lou Wainwright were married at the Baptist Church in Winokur Sunday. He is son of J.H. Sykes.


Thursday Mossie Thomas, a colored gum dipper at J.C. Littlefield’s Newell camp, was bitten on the hand by a rattlesnake. He was rushed to Folkston and Dr. Fleming administered the recently discovered serum for treatment of such accidents. He was able to walk after treatment.


Terrible rain storm, …At Newell, Winokur and Hickox the Coast Line track was so badly washed it stopped traffic on the Short Line. Several places were washed out leaving the tracks hanging by the rails. …


A nice crowd from the Winokur community attended Sunday School at Newell Sunday P.M.


Marriages in April: Willie Brown and Pearl Maner at Newell.


The new road grading machinery purchased by the county commissioners has been at work this week connecting up the link through Sam Crews’ place at Newell.


Charlton’s first-born reported to the Herald in 1931 is a fine young lady that arrived Wednesday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. P.H. Lyle at Newell. Dr. Fleming was the attending physician and says the young lady is a nice fine baby.


March marriage records are as follows: … Sterling Nobles and Effie Boyd, Newell, on the 14th. …


Eustis Gardner and Bessie Mae Phillips of Newell came down on July 16 and had the judge tie them up in wedlock for better or worse. They will live at that place.


Samuel C. Crews died at his home at Newell.


Mrs. Carrie Lowther Harris died in Newell.


Hercules Company has moved its loading camp from Newell to Homeland.


Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Littlefield, Jr. of Newell announce the birth of a son on August 12. He has been named John Morrison.


Mr. and Mrs. Holland Brown of Newell announce the birth of a baby daughter July 3. She has been named Juliette Louise.

Metions in CCH
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