Ray Winderweedle

Ray Winderweedle, son of Polly and Charles H. Winderweedle, attended Ray City School in the late 1930s. His father, Charles Hence Winderweedle, was a merchant of Ray City.

Raymond Howard Winderweedle, Ray City, GA

Raymond Howard Winderweedle, Ray City, GA

The Winderweedles came from Lafayette County, FL to Ray City some time before 1918.  In Florida, the red-headed, blue-eyed Charles H. Winderweedle had been a farmer, but in Ray City he went into the mercantile business.  About 1928 or 1929 Mr. Winderweedle went into a partnership to form the firm of Johnson and Winderweedle, which did a general mercantile business and carried a high grade line of groceries.  Johnson and Winderweedle was one of the first of the businesses of community to advertise in the depression-era booster pages of the Nashville Herald.  It was bad timing to start a new business, but Winderweedle and his partner were quite optimistic about their beginning and the prospects for continued growth in trade.

The Winderweedles lived in a big house on the northeast corner of Bishop Street and Main Street. This house was later the residence of Maudell and Thomas Julian Studstill, and their children Jean Studstill, Thomas and Frank. Some time before 1940 the Winderweedles moved to Nashville, Georgia where Charles H. Winderweedle died of cancer of the larnyx on September 14, 1940.

After high school, Raymond Winderweedle joined the Army.

Raymond Howard Winderweedle, 13th Infantry Medical Company at U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Eustis, VA, 1953

Raymond Howard Winderweedle, 13th Infantry Medical Company at U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Eustis, VA, 1953


Obituary of Raymond H. Winderweedle

GM (Ret.) Raymond H. Winderweedle, 79, of Columbus, GA, died Friday, May 11, 2012 at Columbus Hospice House. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Monday, May 14, 2012 at Evangel Temple with Reverend Paul Thomas, Reverend Watson McKemie, and Reverend Bud Rupel officiating according to Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Road, Columbus, GA, 31907. Interment will follow in Parkhill Cemetery with full military honors. The family will receive friends this afternoon from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the funeral home. SGM (Ret.) Raymond H. Winderweedle was born September 23, 1932 in Ray City, GA, son of the late Charlie and Pollie Hewitt Winderweedle Benefield. He served his country in the U.S. Army for 24 years, serving tours of duty in Vietnam, Korea, and Germany. During his distinguished career in the Army he served in Army Finance. After he retired he continued to serve with Civil Service at Fort Benning as Chief of Military Pay, then he worked with CB&T at Fort Benning, GA, until 2008 helping new recruits with their finances. He was a faithful member of Evangel Temple Assembly of God and the Joint Heirs Sunday School Class. He also served the church as director of the XYZ Group, and served on the Board. In addition to his parents, SMG (Ret.) Winderweedle was preceded in death by his step father, Raleigh Benefield, 3 half-brothers, and one half -sister. Survivors include his loving wife of 59 years, Lanora Winderweedle of Columbus, GA; three children, Cathy Bolin and her husband, Steve of Columbus, GA, Rick Winderweedle and his wife, Paula of Hoschton, GA, and Mark Winderweedle of Columbus, GA; six grandchildren, Brad Jones, Ryan Winderweedle and his wife, Beth, Rachel Campbell and her husband, Mark, Erika Winderweedle, Mitch Winderweedle, and Joel Winderweedle. One great grandson, Ryder Winderweedle; one brother, Frank Winderweedle of Arlington, TX.

Ray City Prosperity Proclaimed Amid 1929 Stock Market Crash

In 1929, less than 30 days  after Black Tuesday and  the beginning of the stock market crash,  the Nashville Herald was running stories to bolster the local Berrien County, GA economy.  The Ray City “booster” story assured readers that the bank in Ray City was financially strong,  and that trade was brisk among the  businesses of the town.

The Nashville Herald, front page, November 21, 1929


In keeping with the policy of the Herald to boost and build up all sections of Berrien County, Mr. A.W. Starling and myself spent Monday afternoon in the interest of a Ray City Community page which appears in another section of this edition.  Upon our arrival, which was the first stop we had ever made in this enterprising town, we were greeted by our old friend, Mr. C.H. Winderweedle, of the firm of Johnson and Winderweedle, who do a general mercantile business and carry in connection a high grade line of groceries.  Mr. Winderweedle showed us every consideration and was one of the first of the business men of the community to sign up for one of the spaces in the booster page.  He was quite a bit more optimistic than some of th merchants called upon and stated that although his was a new firm that he was well pleased with their beginning and intimated that with the bargains they were offering that the and his partner anticipated a continued growth in trade.

Our next stop was made at the Citizens Bank of Ray City, where we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. John D. Luke, the popular and efficient cashier of the institution.  Mr. Luke is a man of very pleasing personality and during our short conversation we can very easily understand why the banking institution of which he is the head has prospered as it has.  As we understand it the Citizens Bank of Ray City is one of the strongest financial institutions in the county and its business is growing steadily as will be shown by the last financial statement as called for by the superintendent of state banks.  It has total resources of over $150,000, and deposits of over $100,000 and shows that it has no notes and bills rediscounted.  Berrien county is justly proud of its banking institutions and conservative business men do not hesitate to place the Citizens Bank of Ray City along with the head of list.

We casually visited the firm of Swindle and Clements and were surprised to find the class of merchandise that a large force of clerks were busy dispensing to a large number of customers who were continually pouring in and out of the store.  In fact their rush was so great that it was several minutes before we could interview Mr. Clements, and when we did he readily agreed with our proposition to assist in boosting the county and he and Mr. Swindle readily signed up for one of the ads on the Ray City Booster Page.  While in his store we were what might be termed a “victim of circumstance” insamuch as we spied a string of jack fish, which were so near uniform size that we became attracted to them and after getting their weight, bought the six pound string for the insignificant sum of 90 cents.  Mr. Clements stated that his firm always has a supply of these fresh water fish on hand, which are alive when brought to his store, and supplies the lovers of the finny tribe with fresh oysters at all times in season.  Their meat market which is operated in connection with the store is modern in every detail and is equipped with Frigidaire cold storage apparatus, insuring their patrons of always receiving the most sanitary meats.

Upon a trip of this nature it is natural for one to become fatigued and need refreshing so we made a call upon the C.O. Terry Drug Store, the proprietor of which is familiarly known as “The Accommodating Druggist.”  Dr. Terry, himself waited upon us and true to his slogan proved to be very accommodating.  Being a very busy man dispensing cold drinks, filling prescriptions and waiting upon the trade in general, we did not get to spend as much time with him as we would have like, but a careful survey of the store convinced us that he was modern in his ideas and carried a choice line of drugs as well as druggists sundries.  Another noticeable feature was a large sign across the rear end of the store reading “Sargon” which is evidence enough within itself to show that he is the leading druggist of his section.

Just before taking leave of the little city it was our pleasure to visit the garden of Mrs. J.H.P. Johnson, which is a marvel, especially considering the dry weather.  Our observation of the garden and surroundings, convinced us that there is no danger of the family going hungry unless they should suddenly become too weak to pull up vegetables, milk a cow, kill a chicken, or clean a hog, as there was plenty of evidence that this family believes in living at home.

The above trip was an eye-opener to us, and our suggestion is that the people of Berrien County should “Know Your County Better.”

Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker.