The Whisper Of Clayton County, GA

Real Estate Views Through The Eyes Of Your Local Real Estate Professional

The Community Of Rex, Georgia

Posted by brandebradford on April 3, 2007

I love the bridge in Rex! Yes, I know that they are working on moving it.  However, I also understand that it will be used as a walking bridge, with I think will help to preserve some of the history of Rex.  Rex, is one of those places that a nice Sunday afternoon drive through can be heart warming to those that grew up in a small town.  It definitely reminds me of home.

There is no longer a Rex, Georgia.

The community of Rex is located just east of Highway 42. It is the home of Rex Mill, a historic grain mill sitting along the banks of Big Cotton Indian Creek. Although the mill has not functioned for decades, many long term residents of the area still remember it being in operation.

Crossing the creek at the mill is an old steel bridge which allows only one-way traffic (controlled by stop lights at each end). Clayton County is in the process of rerouting the roadway and leaving the old bridge open to pedestrian traffic only.

There is little readily available history about Rex, Ga. It is known at in the 1930’s and 1940’s, farmers used to bring their grain by horse pulled carriages from as far away as Lakewood Heights (now part of southeast Atlanta) to be processed at Rex Mill.

James Walter Estes, on of the former Mayors of Rex, was born there in 1882. He was president of the Rex Chair Company and was in the industry, serving as the the president of the Bank of Rex for over 30 years. Estes also served in the Georgia State Senate for two terms.

Today, along with the old mill, several dilapidated wood frame downtown buildings remain. Although the downtown area of Rex has lost its commercial appeal. The residential community has grown by leaps and bounds. Rex is a popular place to live and housing is in good demand. Commercial services are pretty much limited to Highway 42, which runs in a north to south direction paralleling Interstate 675.

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95 Responses to “The Community Of Rex, Georgia”

  1. Bob Loblaw said

    Where did you find this history? I grew up here and would like to learn more. Where can I find out more about the overpass project? Will the old bridge still be visible? I’d always looked forward to someone restoring the mill.

  2. Bob, Brande is my wife. My father (also a real estate Broker) knew James Walter Estes personally. As a child my father would ride on the wagon with my grandfather taking grain to the old mill. As an adult, my father did a little real estate business with Mr. Estes. So, I got the information posted here first hand. A little bit of the information was validated though some very limited on-line sources.

    There has been plans to restore the mill on at least one occassion. I understand that a few decades ago a couple of local attorneys were considering purchasing the mill and restoring it as a restaurant, but it was not cost effective. From what I have been told, the mill is in such condition that it will take some civic assistance (grant money, etc…) to restore it.

    I also believe the old masonic lodge on the east side of the creek used to be the bank building.

    In regards to the bridge, I understand the old bridge will remain as a foot-bridge with the new bridge being located to the south. I think the roadbed of the new bridge is 50 feet or so above the creek bed, so I believe the old bridge will be visible from at least the west-bound lanes.. but I can not be certain.

    If you want to see the old Rex Train Depot, it is located behind a house on Rex Circle near the top of the hill. Instead of allowing it to be demolished someone purchased it and moved it up the hill.

    Any additional information you find about Rex, please let us know.

    • lisa moyer said

      Mr. William Emory Barr 92. still living tells many stories of the town Rex. He mentioned Mr Walter Estes owned the chair factory in the town.

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        That would be Doug and Don’s dad. I had no idea that he was still alive. For any one of you who would be so kind to email me your family info or any of the information that you can obtain, I will be happy to compile it and come up with some kind of history, even if it is just personal remarks and rememberances sent in by each of you. My email is tmhayes4@gmail.com.

      • Wayne Barr said

        Did Emory Jr give you any contact information that you would share with me? His dad was my grandfather’s brother (Samuel Walter Barr) and I have been trying to find information on their father John Peter Barr my great grandfather. I did not know that Emory Jr was still alive and being 92 years old he may be able to fill in the blanks for me. Anything you can give me will help.

        Kenneth Wayne Barr

        971 Madison Rd

        Eatonton GA 31024

        706-485-7232

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        Sorry this is so late getting back to you. I think my computer wasn’t behaving and then I forgot. Emory and June had three children, Martha, and twin boys, Doug and Don. Don is no longer with us, but Doug still livers in Rex and I think Martha does too. I think Doug lives behind his home place where Evans Drive and Rex Road come together.

      • Kenneth W Barr said

        Thanks I will see if I can contact Doug I have a lot of questions about our family that he can help with I hope. I also need to see what I can found out from the Rock Baptist Church.

  3. I used to visit my Aunt & Uncle many times in Rex. I love the old mill, the bridge & have spent many nights in the old railroad depot, as my Aunt & Uncle lived in it for many years. I have fond memoris of the place. Rex, I’m sure at one time was a booming little town. As, the community of Keener, Al, where I was born & raised once was.

  4. Random T. said

    If you ever want to read a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this post for four from five. Detailed info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!

  5. Dianne Johnson said

    I recently moved to Rex, Ga. My question is: Is there a government office, is there a Mayor?

    Thanks.

  6. We can help you buy a home in St. Mary’s GA, Kingsland GA, near Kings Bay GA Naval Base

  7. My great grandfather use to run the mill, He was a Hollingsworth in 1880’s.

    • Matthew Cook said

      My grandmother who is a Hollingsworth, told me that the town of Rex was named after the Hollingsworth dog. She told me that the Hollingsworth were the oldest family in the town, and they were given the honor of naming the town, the opted to name it “Rex”! Funny.

  8. what street is the mill on?

  9. Tina said

    My grandparents moved to rex when they wereyoung and all my grandmothers siblings worked in the chair factory.My dad grew up in rex and played hookie in the old mill.I lived there off and on growing up and have pictures of the old bridge before it was paved.I still have kin folk living there and that will never move.Rex will always have a special place in my heart.

  10. Valetha R. Rose said

    Please let me know where I can purchase a picture or print of the Rex Mill. I am trying to get one for a christmas present. I have found the comments of the mill on line but no place to order a picture. Thank you.
    Valetha R. Rose
    2056 S. Lexington Ave.
    Springfield, Mo. 65807-2222

  11. I vivited the old mill today quite by accident. I was just looking for spots to take photos. I live in Eiverdale, Ga. a few miles away. I will post some of the better pics on my Multiply page and come back here to provide a link.

    Valetha, if you see any that you like I will email them to you for free!

    Phil Whitley

  12. For anyone interested, I have posted several photos of the old mill on my Multiply site at http://brew99.multiply.com/photos/album/19/Rex_Mill . The sun wasn’t very co-operative since it was late in the day, but I think it made for some interesting shots anyway.

    Feel free to browse around my other albums while you’re there and leave me a note in my guestbook so I’ll know you visited.

    Thanks,
    Phil

  13. Tina said

    Phil,my name is Tina Wiley and my family are all from Rex.They all use to work at the chair factory.I saw your pictures and tryed to contact you but it woudnt let me log in.My e-mail address is wileytina@bellsouth.net.My home number is 678-289-0123.My mom still lives in Rex and so do several members of my family.I would love to have a few of your pics please contact me.Thanks tina Wiley

  14. Tina, thanks for contacting me. I will send you any or all of the photos I took today. I have always been fascinated with small towns and the old Rex didn’t disappoint me. I would like to know more of its history. I am sure there are stories to tell!

    To see some of my book info (and read a few of my short stories), visit my website at http://www.philwhitley.com

    Phil

  15. It was a beautiful day with blue skies today. I was looking forward to shooting pictures of Rex Mill and was not disappointed.

    http://www.gadoodles.com/images/History/RexMill.htm

    Enjoy!

  16. Vicki said

    There used to be a small store and the post office was in the little village of Rex until it moved to the old Hale Haven shopping center. My friends and I would play in the creek by the mill and I attended a fair that was held behind the buildings along the creek in the 70’s. I remember going inside the old mill before it became unsafe. I hope someone can restore it before it is gone forever.

    • Sandy McG said

      just read your post about Hale Haven. I am doing some research on that spot and was wondering if you could tell me anything about it or if you know how i can get some photos. Do you happen to know how it got it’s name? I am a Hale and we think it may be named after our great uncle Troy or James Gordon Hale but we’re entirely sure.
      Many thanks

      Sandy
      sanmcg6@gmail.com

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        I don’t really know a lot, but my dad was from Holland and came to America when he was 11 years old and settled in Chicago with his family. (He was born in 1911). When he grew up he got a job at Hormel and I believe Paul Trippe was his supervisor. Paul Trippe married Ethel (I believe she may have been an Adamson, but also think Hale was part of her family tree). Paul and Ethel owned the land from Lake Harbin Road all the way past Fielder Road. They also owned the land across from the store where the boarding house was (now a day care center). Paul sold my dad the piece of land that adjoins the Lyle property. My grandfather had had a heart attack in Chicago, so my dad got him a job at Hale Haven store. He also lived in the little house located beside the store (no longer there). My grandfather built our house in 1946, and also died the same year of another heart attack. At that time my Aunt Mary and Uncle Perry came and ran the store and lived in the little house next door and later in the boarding house across the street. I think the Fielder’s ran the store after Aunt Mary and Uncle Perry, and later the Dupres. I do not have any pictures. I don’t know if aunt Mary does or not.

  17. MONEC said

    the old mill, several dilapidated wood frame downtown buildings remain. Although the downtown area of Rex has lost its commercial appeal”

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    • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

      Why not have a “town fair” with boothes, etc. However, please do not make entry fees too high, maybe $20.00 to $25.00 per booth. At that price I’m sure you would get a lot of interest.
      I was also raised in Rex and lived on Hwy. 42 near Fielder Road. My homestead is still located there and is up for sale. My grandfather ran Hale Haven Store in the 40’s and also built our house on Hwy. 42.
      I now live in Lawrenceville and have an assistant manager from Walmart who lives across the road from Walter Estes park. He drives an hour a day back and forth to work at the Pleasant Hill Walmart in Duluth. I have had fun telling him about growing up in Rex and he has kind of re-sparked my interest.

      Linda Hilverink Hayes

      • Patsy Evans Lewis said

        Linda, this is Patsy Evans who lived on Evans Drive in Rex when we were growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. While my last name is now Lewis, I still live on Evans Drive in Rex. I have very fond memories of your mother, you and your sisters, going to church at the Rock (oh, those hats!) and school at East Clayton. I believe Janice and I are about the same age. When I saw your name, I just had to say Hi!

        By the way, they are having some sort of festival in Rex on October 6th. My sister Nancy and I are trying to get a booth/table; I make jewelry–she does too as well as a lot of sewn items. If you don’t have anything better to do, maybe I’ll see you there!

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        Hi Patsy and Linda. This is DiAnne Dalton Wallace. I remember you both. I also went to the Rock and remember Mrs. Hilverink and she was so sweet. Patsy, I am sure that you remember us, the Keiser’s, the Colemans. I know you remember DC and Catherine Williams. Patsy and Wade Duffy. We moved to Rex in 1959. Mom and Dad lived there until 1994. I lived on Park Road along Big Cotton Indian Creek. Our land started at the bridge and went for about 3 acres to the other dam. A lot of people did not know that there were 2 dams in Rex. The one by the mill and then the one where our land ended. Besides swimming at the dam by the mill we also swam at the other dam until flooding and when that happened it broke the dam below our house and the water level was never the same. I have a lot of good memories growing up in Rex. I graduated in 1967 from JHS. We had a 45th class reunion in August and it was so great to see about 15 of the old East Clayton group. Miss the days of when neighbors helped each other. When neighbors had each others back. When if there was a tragedy you were there for each other. Would not take anything for growing up in Rex.

      • Beverly Hale Callaway said

        I am hoping to reply to the person who said their parents ran Hale’s Haven Store, but I would love to hear from anyone who remembers the Hale family from Rex. My great-grandparents were James Madison Hale and his wife, Mary Ann. They are listed in the Census there from 1900 to 1920. I believe they were there even longer because he received his Confederate pension there for many years. They died in 1922 and 1923. They are buried in The Rock Baptist Church Cemetery along with many other members of the Hale family. My great-uncle Troy Hale, who also lived in Rex, was a charter member of The Rock Baptist Church. Another great-uncle, James Gordon Hale, a successful Atlanta businessman, died in Rex at his summer home in 1939. I understand that building now houses a daycare center. He was married to Aurelia Adamson from another pioneer family of the area. A great-aunt, Rosa Hale, married Greenberry “Fox” Estes. I don’t know how he is connected to the Mr. Estes who so many have mentioned, but as small as the area is, I’m sure there is a connection.

        I would love to hear from anyone who might be related to, or have information on any of these people. Thank you in advance. I loved reading the Rex memories.

        Beverly

  18. Bob Estes said

    J. Walter Estes was my beloved Great Uncle. I have in my home (in my office) a wonderful picture of the mill, painted by Walter’s wife, my Great Aunt Winifred. She had included the bridge.

    I have great memories going to the “family compound” as a kid and eating vegetables from Uncle Walt’s gardens and going down the street and over the river on the bridge to the house that he and my Grandfather, William Barney Estes grew up (with their other brother, and sisters). I’m delighted that it still stands and is in great shape.

    Rex is a special place to our family and was the place we met over the decades (and apparently a century) for family get-togethers. I remember Uncle Walt telling stories of Indians and trails and to this day I can remember him taking us to where the Wagon Trails were.

    My only regret is that I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask him more about family history handed directly to him from his father, William Calloway Estes. I’ve only recently discovered limited photos of his Grand AND Great-Grand Parents (Allen Calloway Estes and Allen Toney Estes), whose lives stretch back to 1798. Whew!

    All my best to Rex. I hope the “old village” comes alive again.

    Bob Estes
    Atlanta

    • Harry Wootan said

      Wow! What a surprise to run across your comment about your great uncle. I was “surfing” to see what I could find about Rex and Rex Mill. Believe it or not, I also have a painting of Rex Mill that was painted by your great aunt.

      I lived in Rex from 1953 (when I was almost a year old) until 1961. My folks moved us there when my dad became the pastor of the Rock on Hwy 42. In 1960 the church built a new house for us to live in. Your great uncle, Walter Estes, was a member of the Rock at the time. He brought us the framed painting for our new house … and it’s been on one wall or another ever since.

      I’d love to swap photos of the paintings with you. In case you read this, my email address is ‘au’ followed by my last name (as one 8-letter word, and note that my last name is spelled with an ‘a’), then the @ sign, then ‘gmail.com’. Sorry for being cryptic. I’m just trying to avoid being picked up by an automated email gatherer.

      -Harry Wootan (III, not Jr.)

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        How well I remember your dad,he baptized me. I can remember when I was baptized at the Rock that they had a problem filling the baptistry and the fire dept. came and filled it. The water was not exactly clear. (LOL). I went to church at the Rock for many years. We move there in 1959 and my parents retired in 1994 to Lake Sinclair. My nephew and his wife bought the house and lived there for several years. I lived in Rex from 1959-1975 (when I married) on Park Road. Rex has so many good memories for me. I have sketches that Ralph Mitchell did of the Rex Mill.

      • Denise Beck said

        I have an art gallery in Florida and have acquired a painting of Rex Mill by L.V. Benfield of 2502 Barge Rd. Atlanta. I have so far been able to find out that he was a Draftsman of many years for Lewis Edmund “Buck ” Crook. It is a beautiful , very old painting and I would love to learn more about the artist. If any one there could help me with that I would appreciate it very much. please feel free to call me at 407-957-1583 Thank you.

    • Donna White said

      My mother was the youngest child of George Mosely Fielder and Mary Lee Hicks Fielder born in 1925 on Fielder Road. Her father died when she was a toddler, but she told many stories about Mr. Walter Estes and how he would always make sure they had Christmas presents, fruit, etc. after her mother was widowed. She told of how he would bring chairs and cane to my grandmother’s house on Fielder Road and pick the chairs up after they had been “seated.” That was one of the ways my grandmother supported her family through the depression years. My thanks to the Estes family. My father worked at the Rex Chair Factory before entering the Army in World War II. They met at The Rock Baptist Church and married in 1940. I remember very well Rev. Harry Wootan from The Rock and also from First Baptist Conley when he was our pastor.

    • Beverly Hale Callaway said

      Bob, I see that you are from the Estes family. I have a longer note above detailing my connection to Rex and the Hale family there. I hope you will take a look at it.

      My father’s aunt, Rosa Hale, married Greenberry “Fox” Estes. Are you familiar with that name or perhaps related to him? I know my Dad’s family was connected to Hale’s Haven, but I don’t know exactly how, I was always told that his family developed the Hale Peach. I don’t know how true that is. As I said above, James Gordon Hale had as a summer home the white house across the road from Hale’s Haven that recebtly housed a daycare center. (I assume it still does.)

      If any of this sounds familiar to you, I would love to hear from you.

      Thanks,
      Beverly

      • lisa moyer said

        one of your distant relatives still lives in Ormond Beach. Mr WilliamEmory Barr Jr. His father owned one of the peach ochards in the area. His father Sr. married Alice Pauline Adamson. He has in his home paintings done.by local artist M Harvy 1969. Mr Barr went to Rex School House. He he tells stories about how he road his pony to school and he use to board his pony across the street during school hours. The Barr family were known for their peaches, milk, butter and eggs. During the great depression Mr Barr Sr. gave women milk even when they had no money. Their milk run Was Tues. Thurs. and Sat. They furnished two stores as well Langford and Bridges grocery stores.

    • Sandy McG said

      Hey there Bob I am looking for info and maybe pics about the Estes family in Rex as I am related. I would love to be able to email you directly with a couple of quick inquiries if that would be possible? my email is sanmcg6@gmail.com

      Many thanks

      Sandy

  19. [...] about online and wanted to get pictures of.  I’d found out about the tiny little village of Rex a few weeks ago on the Georgia Trust’s Places in Peril list, and wanted to get out there [...]

  20. [...] about online and wanted to get pictures of.  I’d found out about the tiny little village of Rex a few weeks ago on the Georgia Trust’s Places in Peril list, and wanted to get out there [...]

  21. Beth Buckner said

    I grew up in Conley/Ellenwood and the Rex Mill was a favorite spot to visit.

    My family also attended the Rock Baptist Church and I was honored to have several opportunities to meet and talk with Walter Estes. Mr. Estes always made you feel welcomed in his home and loved sharing historical information about the South. I was the photographer for Morrow Senior High yearbook and I brought a group of Seniors to have photos taken on his property and at the Rex Mill for the 1983 yearbook. I wrote the following,,, Rex Mill home is the backgrop for the senior superlatives. Located by the Rex Mill, the home of James Walther Estes was used for Senior Superlative pictures. Mr. Estes who was one hundred years old in December, formed the Estes manurcaturing company and the Estes Corn Mill which is now the Rex Mill. Later both companies were bought by the Rex Furniture Company. He served as a Georgia Senator two terms and was mayor of Rex. Also he served as President of the Atlanta Area council of the Boy Scouts of America.

    I remember going on a field trip to Rex Furniture Company to watch how the chairs were hand crafted. I am looking for more information about the Rex Furniture Company since I own a dining room set which was made over 35 years ago from the store in Rex. Any information about how the furniture was made or the craftsmen working there would be great history to tape to the base of the table.

    I also have several Rock Baptist Church (established in 1889 with the new sanctuary built in 1964) directories with pictures of all the families that went to the church. H.P. Wootan Jr. was Pastor from 1953-1961.

    Thanks for sharing in fond memories.
    Beth Buckner

    • Diane Cates said

      Hi Beth, I too lived in Rex 1946-1957………….my grandfather worked for Mr. Estes as a tenant farmer, and rented homes from Mr. Estes dating by into the 1920’s until my grandfather and my aunt purchased a home on Rex Circle in 1948. My grandfather, my mother and two of my aunts worked at the Rex Chair Company at various times. I have a great photo taken in 1940 in front of Rex Chair Company (it later became Rex Furniture Company but I don’t know what year) with all the workers in front of the building. Mr. & Mrs. Estes and their daughter, Eloise Estes Keiser are in the photo. The oak chair frames were constructed by the men and the “seating” (cane weaving) was done by the women. The chair frames were also delived to homes in the area and the women that did not go to the factory would “seat” them during their spare time. I think the pay was something like .25 cents per chair…………..Mr. Joe Bowman who was the foreman at Rex Furniture bought my grandfather homes when he sold it in 1963. Mr. Bowman purchased the train depot and had it moved onto his property. I too wish I knew more about the history of the town and the chair factory. I have fond memories of visiting the store where the post office was originally located. Miss Emma Barr Stewart was the postmistress when I lived there, followed by Catherine Mitchell and then I believe Helen Helton. I still live in the surrounding area and drive thru there often. I have a cousin that still lives in Rex as well as several friends……………………I attended The Rock Baptist Church when Harry Wootan was pastor and received my salvation while attending a GA camp in Sunnyside Ga and was baptisted in the old church. I would love to see if my family appears in any of the church directories that you have. Please contact me at the email address I have listed………….Thank you…………..DC

      • Tina Wiley said

        My name is Tina(carreker) wiley.I bet you knew my grandparents and father.My grandparents were Irene and lemule Carreker and my dad is Tom Carreker.My family lived on Pinetree lane.My grandmothers sisters all worked at the chair factory.They were all phillips.I have lots of found memories of Rex as well and lots of pictures/i live in stockbridge now and I still have lots of family in Rex.

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        All of the names you have mentioned are bringing back memories. Mr. Estes was a good man. His daughter and grandkids lived across the street from me back in 1959 (Keisers). I went to school with Steve, Walter. I remember going up the hill to Mr. Estes’s house and thought I was in a mansion. He had such a beautiful place on the hill over looking the waterfall. If I remember correctly, Mr. Walter drove till he was in his 90’s. I remember the Mitchell’s, Phillips, the Carreker’s, Evan’s, Smith’s, Williams’s, Anderson’s, Powell’s, Wooten’s, Born’s (Ivan and his brother) and so many more

      • Kenneth W Barr said

        My name is Wayne Barr, My grant grandfather lived in Rex and is buried at the Rock Baptist church. I am looking for anyone that can give me any information on the Barr Family. His children were Samuel Walter, William Emory, Maggie I, Mary Tempie and Robert Monroe Barr, Any thing anyone can share would be helpful. I can be contacted at 706-485-7232 , email barrkw@bellsouth.net or 971 Madison Road Eatonton, GA.

      • Jim said

        Hi Diane , what all you know about mr bowman ? Thx

      • Jim said

        Thx Diane

  22. Esther Williams said

    I was born in 1929 in a house close to where Ft Gilliam on 42 highway.Ellenwood school let us walk to Rex and catch the first train that ran through that wasn’t steam. We rode back to Ellenwood.I’m a Williamson,and remember the horse and wagon full of corn rides to Rex. I just moved back to Rex . My father Olin Williamson talked about Mr Estes. Thanks for sharing old memories
    Esther williamson Williams

    • Patsy Evans Lewis said

      Mrs. Williams: My name is Patsy Evans Lewis, and my father, Carlton Evans, was born in Rex in 1925 in a house at the corner of Rex Road and Stagecoach Road. When he was 11 they moved to a house they built on a dirt road that became Evans Drive in Rex, on property that I now own and have built my own house on. My brother owns a house two doors down from me. I don’t know if you remember my dad, his parents were Buck and Mae Evans. He and my mom now live on Stagecoach Road in Stockbridge (but just barely over the line into Henry County). I am certainly enjoying reading all these postings; I am new to this site and was really looking for information on renting a booth at a festival that I understand is being held in the middle of Rex on October 6th. Well, I guess I’ll keep looking …. Nice speaking with you.

  23. janelle childers said

    My name is Janelle King Childers. My grandfather on my mother’s side was from Rex and his name was James Emmett Mitchell. My mother’s name was Mayme Mitchell King. I also lived in Rex when I was about 7 (around 1948) and we were living there when my brother Mike was born. I don’t remember our address but it was a little white frame house. We also attended the Rock Church (I think everyone did)!!! My grandmother Georgia Ann Toney Mitchell and my grandfater are buried in the cemetary as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My cousin recently had a new granite wall and white tiny rocks put around our family plots. My husband and I now live in Macon,Ga.
    Our daughter recently became interested in our family history and has been doing some research. She drove up to Rex a couple of weeks ago and visted the Rock Church and two cemetaries. I believe we are related to some of the Estes family also. I do not know what my grandfather did except for being a farmer. He had 8 Mitchell children.

    If you remember any of my relatives or could send me more information, I would really appreciate it.

    If anyone remembers any family members

    My daughter, has become interested in our family history and visited Rex two weeks ago and went to two cemetaries

  24. Debbie Born said

    How pleasantly fascinating to discover this site and see all of you! My name is Debbie Born, and I am still here, on the same piece of property my family has homesteaded for three generations. My grandfather, A. P. Born, rented the corner store on the South side of the Rex Village, next to the railroad track. There he ran A. P. Born General Mercantile until he died in the 1940s. Part of the white painted name can still be seen on the side of the old, brick building. Ray and Katherine Mitchell lived next door to us until she finally moved near her son around age 86. When I was young, my sister and I spent many a nice day on Mr. Mitchell’s swing–under the big tree where the cows hung their heads over the pasture fence–being taught some song: “Three itle fishies…and they swam, and they swam right over the dam.” “Mitchell” owned a lot of land back behind his house. All of that land is now part of Katherine Valley subdivision, running off of Katherine Road. Back then, Katherine Road was a little, dirt road beside my house that led to a dairy farm. It has been delightful to see all of your names and hear your memories, bringing back my own. Rex has been, and still is, a great place to live.

    • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

      Hi Debbie, I remember Harmon and Ivan Born very well. My dad worked for Ford Motor Co. and bought his cars from Harmon. I remember that back in 1972 or 73 when the tornado came through Rex. My brother, Kenney Dalton, once rented the old white home right at the old barn of Mr. Mitchell’s. Even though they built nice houses on their farm land, it was not the same. The pasture land was so beautiful. The old Methodist church on the right in front of the old barn and house was such a part of the history of Rex. I can remember going down the hill towards Rex seeing the Mitchell’s on the right, then Mr. Born’s place, the Smith’s house, all nice and neat and back in the 60’s they looked like hugh homes to a kid back then.

      • Patsy Evans Lewis said

        I remember all of you very well. DiAnne, I believe my late husband, Neal Lewis, and I graduated the same year as Kenney from JHS (1968?). I did get that booth for the October 6th festival in “downtown” Rex, so if any of you are going to be there, stop by to say hello–or to buy some jewelry from me or photography services from my daughter Molly, who will be manning the booth with me from about noon on (she has three daughters, two of whom are county rec association cheerleaders in Henry County, and one of them has a homecoming game that morning so Molly will join us as soon as she can). I will have samples and business cards of hers to pass out until she can join me.

        I started making the jewelry as a pastime when I was laid up for 5 months in 2009 after I broke both legs in a car wreck, and since I am currently unemployed I thought perhaps I can actually finally make some money from my efforts. And Molly is just getting a photography business started, so she is offering discounts to interested parties for their first photo shoot. Oh, well, if I only make back the $20 for the booth at least it will probably be fun! My sister Nancy Evans Reeves will be there too, although she is 8 years younger than me so you might not remember her as well. Nancy sells many different kinds of goods, mostly that she has sewn as she is a very, very good seamstress. She was into the jewelry for awhile, so she might have a few pieces too.

        Well, I look forward to seeing any of you there that can make it this Saturday. It will run from 9:00 to 3:00.

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        Jimmy graduated in 1966, me in 1967, Robert graduated in 1968 and Kenney graduated in 1970. When did you loose Neal? My husband died in 10/10/01. He was only 56 when he had a massive coronary. He had never even been sick during the 26 years we were married. Such a loss of a wonderful man and human being. Do you remember Ms Padoni (sp?). She lived next to the Kaiser’s. I think she had been a nurse. She was a widow when she lived there.

      • Patsy Evans Lewis said

        P.S. My dad went to high school with Harmon and Ivan Born, as well as Terrell Starr and a few others I can’t remember now. He can sure tell some stories about folks in Rex …. My great-uncle Bill Evans ran the barbershop next to Rainwater’s; his daughter Shirley was Raymond Allen’s wife, and after I had moved away, moved back, married and had two kids, I was looking for day care for my son Clay and someone recommended a Marie Allen, who turned out to be the wife of Brent Allen, son of Raymond and Shirley Evans Allen, so without even knowing it I was hiring a relative to care for my son. Back when Evans Drive was a dirt road, my dad used to say that if we weren’t kin to everybody in Rex, somebody we were kin to was married to everybody else in Rex. Of course, there were probably 300-400 people in Rex back then. Lots of Estes, Phillips, Mitchells (my grandmother Mae Evans was married to a Mr. Mitchell before she was married to my grandfather Buck Evans), Williamsons, and of course, Evans.

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        I remember your family well. You are right about there being lots of Evans. I remember Bill at the Barber Shop. Most every guy and some girls got their hair cut there. Funny how what goes around comes back again.

      • Debbie Born said

        It’s so fun listening to the memories ya’ll have. I see Mrs. Bobbie Phillips once in a while. She’s still in the same place that she and Max lived in for several decades. Rainwater’s store has been closed up and vacant for some time now, but it still sits on the corner of 42 and Rex Road. Do either of ya’ll remember Hugh Elliott, the bus driver? He used to live on Rex Road, too. Daddy acquired the land that the old Methodist church was on, Diane, as well as the old, one-room schoolhouse and well. All of that history now sits on my property. The only thing you can see though is the closed well and some naturalized and beautiful land. I remember getting in trouble a number of times when I was young for trying to play in the old condemned buildings before they tore them down.

        My Dad married a Williamson, Patsy. Ruby Williamson, daughter of Alton and Nellie Williamson, who lived on Rex Road on the West side of 42 Hwy. She taught a Sunday School class at the Rock when I was a kid. I know Judy Laney and one of the Hilverink girls was in her class. I don’t know if ya’ll were still there, then. Her father owned about 50 acres of land, including a farm. I’m sure he was kin to one of the Williamsons you know. And, I had forgotten about the barber shop until you mentioned it.

        Sorry to hear about your husbands. Uncle Ivan has Alzheimer’s and is in a facility. Most of his memory is gone, but he still talks about “going home” to the old, white framed house my grandfather built at the top of the hill there in Rex.

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        Debbie, I so remember all of the info you wrote. Mr. Elliott was one serious bus driver. He did not take foolishness from any of the kids. I remember your grandparents and was in Ms. Nellie’s class at one time. Cannot remember if it was in the RA’s or SS. I guess the funniest thing to me as a kin was Mr. Rainwater’s name. He went by Ira, but his initials were I.P. Rainwater. We would say his name and laugh. If I remember correctly the streets behind his store in the subdivision was named after his grandkids. Do you remember the Smith’s that were across the street from his store? I know that they had a son (cannot remember his name at the moment) that was so cute to me as a girl. He was much older, but I had a school girl crush on him. Sorry to hear about Ivan. I am dealing with dementia with my Mom. I retired 5 years ago and moved to Lake Sinclair to take care of her. I lived at home on Park Road in Rex from 1959-1975 when I got married. Mom and Dad stayed lived there until 1994 and retired to Lake Sinclair. Dad died one year after they moved there. Glad to know that you have taken care of the old history of Rex. Things change in life but I memories go on until we cannot remember anymore. If you go to my facebook page you will see some old photos of the mill and dam that I posted. DiAnne D. Wallace is how it is listed. Thanks for the updates on Rex.

      • Patsy Evans Lewis said

        Not only did Hugh Elliott drive my bus to elementary school at East Clayton, he drove my Daddy’s bus to high school at Forest Park High! My fond memories of Hugh are that we had to put “free in a seat,” not two (Hugh could not talk plainly), and we first had to fill up the side of the bus opposite the side his driver’s seat was on, because he “could hold down that side” so we needed to hold down the other, like if somebody sat on his side first the bus would simply flip over! Well, Hugh was not a small man ….

        Hugh’s wife made my wedding cake in 1980. And she made the best cheese logs you ever tasted. Secret recipe, she always said.

        I graduated high school with Hugh’s son, Wesley. My mom used to tease me about dating Wesley. She said I would never get bored, because if we didn’t have anything to do I could count his freckles. Lordy, it would have taken a week of counting, he had so many!

      • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

        I know what you mean. Mr. Hugh was very strict about how we sat on the bus and how we behaved. Mr.Hugh and Wesley did have the red hair and angel kisses on their faces. I rode his bus to East Clayton from 1959-1963. I can remember kids making fun of his lisp. His t’s have f’s, but he was a good man. You are right, Mrs. Elliott made awesome cakes and cheese logs.

  25. Sharon White said

    Hugh’s wife also made my wedding cake in 1963………………There are some really special people I have know from my mother’s home church, The Rock. Thanks for all these memories. My mom was Billie Fielder White of Fielder Road in Rex, Georgia and attended East Clayton School……………Many years ago. Her siblings also went to the Rock……….Marjorie & Calvin Baker, Pauline & Charlie Baker, Ruth & Charlie Fincher……….

  26. Phil Singleton said

    Hello, I moved to Rex with my family back in August of 1973. I was around five years old and remember the houses being rebuilt after the tornado on March 31 that year. I have tried to find news accounts and pictures; If anyone could send pictures or stories/personal experiences, I would really appreciate it, Sincerely, Phil Singleton

  27. What a joy to find this site; to know there are a few persons who remember “the Rex that was.” I am Johnny Turner, we lived in Rex Village from 1947 to 1954. My Dad worked at both the chair factory and mill, and mom worked at the chair factor too. I attended all 7 grades at East Clayton. Back in the 80s I wrote a 47 stanza entitled “Remembering Rex,” which I am now expanding. My wife, Isabel, has several paintings she has done of the mill. My sister is Reba Turner Patterson. I plan to become active in working to “restore” Rex. Look forward to contacts.

  28. Edmund said

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    • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

      I can remember as a child, being afraid to walk across the bridge. Only one car at a time could go across it. Then there was a head on collision and after that a traffic light was put on each end of the bridge. Big time place then (LOL). The bridge seemed so massive to a 10 year old. My family lived in Rex from 1959-1994. I remember swimming above the dam. Walking to Pete Smith’s store or the Post Office to get our mail. I remember the time that a massive storm hit Rex and the rain was so hard and that the banks over flowed and it broke the dam that was below our house. We hated it, because that is where we used to swing across the water on a rope and drop off into the water. We would fish and catch big catfish. Back then the most exciting thing was when our cow got out. Rex is one of those towns that has history and needs to continue to have history. As kids we said that it looked like something out of gun smoke. Loved living there.

  29. Dating So said

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  30. Linda Hilverink Hayes said

    For Beverly Hale Callaway. Just wondering if Ethel Trippe’s maiden name was Hale? Paul Trippe was the owner of Hale Haven and I thought he had married into the Hale family.

    • Beverly Hale Callaway said

      Linda, thank you so much for your reply. Ethel Trippe was the daughter of Troy Hale. Troy was my grandfather’s brother; however, as far as I know, my grandfather never lived in Rex. Their parents, James Madison and Mary Ann Hale, plus Troy and his family are listed in the US Census in Rex from 1900 through 1920.

      All my memories of Rex are “borrowed” so to speak — things that I have been able to discover through genealogy research. I have visited the town and the cemetery at The Rock Church, where my great-grandparents are buried. I know that Troy was a charter member of that church. Others of that family are buried there also.

      I was not aware that Ethel’s husband ran Hale’s Haven. I know that another brother James Gordon Hale (one of James M. Hale’s sons) had a home there in which he died in 1939. He was married to Aurelia Adamson. They had two daughters. There was a sister, Rosa, who married an Estes, and another sister, Lena, who married a Dease. I would think there are still members of some of those families left in Rex. I would love to know if there are.

      I hope you do your book. It sounds wonderful.

      Beverly

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        Somehow, Paul Trippe owned the property that you mentioned – the big boarding house that is now a day care. My Aunt Mary and Uncle Perry McLendon lived in one side of it with my cousins, Mary Ann and Bobby when I was little. We played all over that house. The empty side was our playhouses and each room had a closet that you could pass thru to the next room. There was also bathroom facilities in the closets so I guess at one time it was used more for a boarding house. Paul and Ethel would spend their summers in a small house that was behind Hale Haven store which you entered from Lake Harbin Road. Paul also owned and rented a small house next door to Hale Haven on the Hwy. to Stockbridge, My Grandparents lived there at one time while they ran the store for Paul. Later Aunt Mary and Uncle Perry lived there while they ran the store after my grandfather died. Also the Fielder’s lived there and ran the store after Aunt Mary and Uncle Perry. In addition to these properties, Paul owned pasture land on both sides of Hwy. 42 to Fielder Road and beyond. He also owned the two acres that he sold to my dad John Hilverink that adjoins Bud Lyle’s property. Sometime in the 60’s or 70’s, Paul and Ethel rebuilt the old boarding house into quite an estate. Their grandson Tommy Trippe, whom they raised, married Jane Gravitt and after Paul and Ethel died, they continued to live there.

  31. Linda Hilverink Hayes said

    I have thought quite seriously of compiling a book of “rememberances” from the families of Rex. If any of you would like to contribute I would make an effort to compile them in family chapters, since Rex is a relatively new town and at least some of us know the people who were there for the past 60 years, and remember those who were there even before that.

    • DiAnne Dalton Wallace said

      Linda, I think that is a great idea. I have photos of the old mill dating back to the 60’s 70’s 80’s. My family lived there from 1959-1994. I remember your family. We went to the Rock for several years. I went to East Clayton and JHS. There are so many things that I remember about Rex

    • Debbie Born said

      Oops, I pushed the wrong button and it didn’t reply to you, Linda. I’m redoing this reply so you will get it in your email. See my comment below in #32.

  32. Debbie Born said

    Hey Linda. Long time no see. For the past year, I have been putting together some information on Rex history, as well as the Born families. Maybe we could get together one afternoon and share information.

  33. Linda Hilverink Hayes said

    Debbie, if you would like to be the collector of information it would be fine with me. I know that your mother has a lot of history and I think it was Ivan that did the little talk at the bicentennial which I attended many years ago. You could contact the churches and ask for memoralbilia.from the founding families descendents. Thought it would be nice if any family would send their individual information, such as how they got there and who they descended from. It would make for an easy outline. The families would write it so that all you would have to do is record it. You are so much closer than I am, plus you see most of the families on a regular basis. You could leave flyers at the P.O. and in Rex proper. I just feel it’s important to have it done.

    • Debbie Born said

      Thanks for your suggestions, Linda. I’m not sure I have the time to do all the information you are suggesting. However, I, too, think it’s important to be done. I’ve started putting together some history of Rex based on information and historical items from my family, and have collected a great deal regarding the Borns and the Williamsons. I think your ideas are wonderful! My time, though, is limited, which is why it has taken me a year to get what I have together. Could we talk and come up with some way to share the effort? My home phone is 678-284-6454.

    • Ladies, I’m still in Rex–heck, I’m still on Evans Drive–and both my parents are still living. As you know, my Dad was born in Rex in 1925 in that little house at the corner of Stagecoach & Rex Road, and probably knew everyone in Rex until it started growing so much. I’d be happy to contribute some Evans and Palmer background (my grandmother was a Palmer). My mom wasn’t from around here, but Daddy lived here all his life until they moved over on Stagecoach just into Henry County, and mom moved here in 1951 after they got married. Let me know what kind of info. you’re looking for. My great-uncle Bill Evans ran the barber shop next to Rainwater’s, and his daughter (Shirley Evans Allen) and some of his grandchildren still live in Rex. My brother Perry still lives in Rex, too, in a house that belonged to Walt Phillips and his wife, whose name I can’t recall right now. I am sure my parents have some photos or stories. (My mom seems to at least know who was sleeping with who back then, but we’d better not go there, huh?)

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        Patsy, I’m sure your history would be very much appreciated. I started to send you a friend request on FB, but then I read your feelings about fb posting and I ‘m afraid I qualify for a bad guy! However, check my profile under Linda Hilverink Hayes. I do have a nice memorial to my mom and her hats.

      • 2890123 said

        Hi there My name is Tina (carreker}Wiley.My grandparents were Irene and Lem Carreker.Walt Phillips was my grandmothers brother his wifes name was Clara.My grandparents were killed in a car accident 25 years ago but i still have a lot of family there.My dad Is Tommy Carreker.Rex has changed alot since i was young.

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        Tina, I know your dad well. He and I were in the same grade together, and he is on my Face Book page. I remember when he was the “new boy” in town. I don’t think I knew that he was related to Walt Phillips at that time. Funny, because today I got a friend request from Frankie Phillips Smith and Harold’s daughter Amy.

      • Tina said

        Thats neat I love to hear stories about my parents. Dad doesn’t get on Facebook much. I encourage him to but he doesn’t. My dads mother was A Phillips. A lot of the Phillips in Rex we’re his relatives. My dad now lives in Fayetteville. My mom still lives in Rex on Dease Drive and my brother luves on Pinetree lane. I miss how close and quiet Rex use to be. I use to feel so safe there. I miss those days.

  34. Denise Beck said

    I have a large painting of the Rex Mill that is painted on Wood in oil paint by L.V. Benfield who was a draftsman for Buck Crook who was an Architect there a long time ago. I believe the frame that it is in was made from wood from the mill as well. If anyone knows of anyone who might be interested in purchasing it from me please pass the word. I can send pics if they contact me at 407-957-1583 I would love to see this piece go home. It is VERY well done and in very Good shape.

    • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

      Sounds tempting!

      • Oh, Linda, we thought you folks must be the richest family in Rex because of all your mother’s wonderful hats (we weren’t aware of the Garbers then, since they didn’t attend the Rock). We swore she never wore the same thing–hat and all–to church twice, that it was something new each Sunday and we so looked forward to it. Thinking about your mom all dressed up reminds me that I was commenting to my Mom just the other day, after spending an afternoon at the Clayton County Courthouse, that it was downright disgraceful the way people dressed to come to court nowadays–ragged jeans, tank tops, denim mini-skirts, those slicky warm-up suits the guys wear, it just isn’t proper attire for court. She commented the same thing has happened to church, everyone goes to church in jeans now. I said, you know, when I was young it was the simple act of getting so dressed up to go to church that reminded and impressed upon me that I was going to a place of respect and importance, such that an effort to look my best was the least I could do to show my respect. What has happened to our world?

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        I work at the Pleasant Hill Walmart in Duluth and so help me, we had a male customer, probably in his 50’s walking through the store in his cotton pajamas tonight! I was also talking to a little 7 year old girl who was with her dad buying fabric and she said that she had only worn a dress one time in her life. I told her dad how we had to wear dresses to school and he couldn’t believe it! I told the little girl to come back and show me her dress sometime and she said she couldn’t because it was at her Grandmother’s! I still love wearing dresses, it makes me feel like a girl!

  35. Winfred said

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  36. TQ said

    Hi everyone. I just read that First Lady Michelle Obama’s mix family heritage was traced to Rex, GA and the Shields family. (I read the newspaper link to Ancestry.com and rabbit trailed my way over to your site!) They had a family reunion and the article made the families seem like such sweet people. I have family in Butler, Thomasville, Roberta, Forest Park and all over Atlanta. It was very nice reading about the fond memories you have of your home town. Be blessed.

  37. Linda Hilverink Hayes said

    I am interested in collecting data from the families of Rex, before 1950. Right now, I will just collect any info, stories, photos, family trees and history of the people of Rex. Eventually, I hope to compile them in a book that will show the history of Rex. You can email me at tmhayes4@gmail.com, mail me at 1185 Great Oaks Drive, Lawrenceville, Ga. 30045, any advice or help would be appreciated. Just think this is important.

  38. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little
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    • Denise Beck said

      I have a beautiful oil painting of the old Rex Mill, painted on wood by L.B. Benfield. I believe the frame is made from wood from the mill. Benfield was a draftsman for a Man named Crook who Built a lot of homes etc. back in the day. If anyone on here knows of someone who may have an interest in it please have them contact me. Thank you.

      • Linda Hilverink Hayes said

        What is your asking price?

      • Denise Beck said

        The piece is approx. 27″x37″ I am asking $300.00 + Shipping Let me know if you want me to send you a photo of it. Thanks for asking.

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  40. Linda Hilverink Hayes said

    Maybe not at this time but will keep it in mind.

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