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 • Bainbridge
 • Decatur County
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Charles Howard Betts
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Birth: Mar. 1, 1856
South Carolina, USA
Death: Dec. 1, 1938
Decatur County
Georgia, USA

Husband of Charity Roberson Betts
Son of Philo Betts & Permilia Elizabeth Vaughn

Bainbridge Post-Searchlight
Bainbridge, Georgia
Issue of November 11, 1971

The Story of Bettstown

C.H. Betts, who was born in South Carolina on March 1, 1856, came to what later became known as Bettstown in 1892.

Betts was a millwright by trade. At the age of 17 he had designed a turbine water wheel of wood. The man for whom he was working in South Carolina tried to get him to apply for a patent. Betts did not apply, however, until two years later, when someone had already gotten a patent on the wheel.

At the age of twenty-six, Betts decided to come to Georgia to claim a land deed which he though was in Decatur County, that belonged to his mother. It turned out, however, that the land for which he had been sending money to pay the taxes, was actually located in Florida, and since no money had been received in Florida for the taxes the land had been sold. But C.H. Betts decided to remain in this location which is in the southern part of the county, near the Florida line. He began working for a large lumber company that was there. The company would only trim the finest trees and then the land was sold cheaply. Betts continued to buy all of this land he could until he had a thousand acres.

Then he sent for his two brothers, Johnny and Billy, giving them each 50 acres of land for a beginning. The three brothers married three Robinson [sic - Roberson] sisters, thus until the present time, most of the people in this area are kin, or family connected.

C.H. Betts also bought the old Sanborn mill that was build by slave labor located on what is known as Betts Mill Creek. From this mill at one time there was a cotton gin, grist mill, saw mill, shingle mill, and lathe mill operated from this same mill. The grist mill is still standing. Its sills are the original ones that were made of mud by slave labor. The bearing of the mill was a lightwood knot, which was replaced about 40 years ago by another lightwood knot. Although the grist mill is all that remains of this large one man operation, it is still in excellent condition, and could be put back in use on short notice.

C.H. Betts turned the operation of the mill over to his brother Billy, since C.H. was the bridge superintendent for the Central of Georgia Railroad and also for Decatur County. C.H. designed and built the first bridge of concrete in Decatur County. It is on Four Mile Creek, highway 97, south of Bainbridge, about 100 yards east of the present bridge.

Frank H. Betts, the oldest son of C.H. Betts, took over the mill operation in 1912, operating it until 1960.

Family links: 
  Charity (Mrs. C.H.) Roberson Betts (1865 - 1931)
  Frank Howard Betts (1886 - 1960)*
  Ausmus Outler Betts (1894 - 1959)*
*Calculated relationship
Franklin Baptist Church Cemetery
Decatur County
Georgia, USA
Maintained by: Edwin Duke
Originally Created by: Winnette
Record added: May 31, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70671963
Charles Howard Betts
Added by: Edwin Duke
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In Remembrance ~
- Winnette
 Added: May. 31, 2011

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