AFTER HAVING the wonderful privilege of visiting the two homes shown in the accompanying photos, I wondered what inspired two Barnesville native farm girls, Betty Kay Hunkler Modie of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Susan Bailey Lapham of Houston, Texas, to create two fantastic homes. After some thought, I came up with the idea that it must be their Bailey family genes. Betty Kay is the daughter of the late Virginia Bailey Hunkler and Susan is the daughter of the late Chaney Bailey, resulting in the two women being third cousins. The Baileys were brought up on farms east of town where the famous Jersey cows provided their milk. In addition to their spectacular homes, they have done memorable and generous civic projects.
  Because they couldn’t find suitable riverfront property near their home in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on which to build, years ago, Betty Kay and her husband Dr. Paul Modie, Jr. went across the Ohio River to Hockingport and built their first small A-frame. They loved it there for about 20 years before it was torched at Christmas. Their families had enjoyed visiting there also. Families and friends increased and Betty Kay conceived a more spacious A-frame which would accommodate large numbers of family and friends and another house where Paul could escape from his demanding life as a surgeon. So the three-story A-frame was built to accommodate large gatherings of relatives and groups of friends. Focal point of the great first floor is the huge bar from the former Wayne’s Bar and Restaurant at the junction of old Route 40 and State Route 149. The highly regarded Arizona architect was Ronnie Hunkler’s son-in-law, Mike Terry who carried out all the unique ideas Betty Kay had, as well as adding many other special touches. The big first floor gathering center, dining and kitchen area also includes laundry and bedrooms. The second floor has a TV room and four bedrooms. The third floor is a dormitory. On rare occasions there have been 100 overnight guests.
 DURING HER mother, Mary Bailey’s, long battle with ALS Susan made more frequent trips back to the Sandy Ridge Bailey farm home. Susan became more aware of the beauty, comfort and peace of country living not experienced in the hectic pace of living in Houston. She and husband Wayne bought acreage east of Sandy Ridge and transformed it into this beautiful estate. Susan, a graphic design artist, designed the house which Tim Ackerman built along with the garage, two guest cabins, a large pavilion with fireplace and comfortable lounge area and many other features. Also included is a large vegetable garden which provides enough produce to eat during the summer and can and freeze for winter.
   IN ADDITION to building these unique homes, both women have contributed much to benefit the area. When Walter and his wife, Mary Lynn Hunkler, owners and operators of Wayne’s, died, their only heir was their son Lynn Hunkler, cousin of Betty Kay’s. Betty Kay and her husband, Dr. Paul were closely associated with cousin Lynn especially in his terminally ill years. Betty Kay handled Lynn’s estate after he died and carried out his wishes of the future of the Morristown area property. Lynn did not want the property to be used commercially. Thus the creation of Lynn-Hunkler Park. Working with the late Anita Curry and Morristown officials, the park now provides five ball fields used by area youth and Union Local High School. It has been host to the Beast of the East Competition.
   SUSAN’s VENTURES in downtown Barnesville are well-known, such as the purchase of the former Hallmark House on East Main and its upscale expansion. The most recent purchase of the original Schafer’s Restaurant and bar on West Main has been cleaned up and is being transformed into a more open and friendly venue for “after hours.” Future plans call for greater food offerings and dining at the Blue Moon.
ANOTHER THING these cousins with Bailey genes both have is great, supporting husbands.
Jeanealities is compiled by Jean Palmer Davis, lifetime Barnesville Enterprise associate. She may be reached at