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Born in Nelson on May 25, 1926, Claude Akins (1926 - 1994) is undoubtedly the town's most famous former resident. From the 1950s through the early 1980s, Akins was a prominent character actor who appeared in more than sixty feature films and made hundreds of appearances in over seventy different TV programs. Some of his more memorable motion pictures include, From Here to Eternity, The Caine Mutiny, Rio Bravo, and Merrill's Marauders. He also starred in two television series, as Sonny Pruitt in Movin' On (1974-76) and as Sheriff Lobo in B. J. and the Bear (1979 - 81) as well as guest-starring in many other series including, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rawhide, Dragnet, Perry Mason, Mission Impossible, I Love Lucy, and many others.
A native of Pickens County, James G. Edmondson (1923-2015) made his home in Nelson during the last seven decades of his life. In World War II, he was a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter pilot who flew forty-six successful missions in Europe before being shot down near Cologne, Germany in October, 1944. He spent the duration of the war in the infamous Luft III POW Camp made famous by the movie The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen. Jim Edmondson's many awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, the Prisoner of War Medal, and others. Later, as Chief of Design and Drafting for the Georgia Marble Company, he was most proud of his work on the eastern facade of the U. S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. In 2002, Nelson honored him for his service by naming the community ball field after him.
During the Vietnam era, the small community of Nelson sacrificed greatly losing two native sons to combat. Corporal Billy Guinn Langley, at the age of twenty-four, was killed on February 11, 1969 while serving with the 196th Infantry Brigade, and just fourteen months later, Sergeant Bobby Arthur Young was killed while serving with the 101st Airborne Division on April 15, 1970, just three days past his 21st birthday.
Willie Mae Weaver was a beloved career educator who lived in Nelson and who taught for many years at the local Tri-City School, yet it was her love of children outside the classroom that endeared her to the community. During her lifetime, Willie Mae fostered fifty children, many of whom were high-risk, and also adopted six, including four boys and two girls.
1985 Kennesaw Ave.
Nelson, GA 30151
PO Box 100
Nelson, GA 30151
9am - 4pm Monday thru Friday
Since February 14, 2011
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