History relating to Herndon has been difficult to locate and what I have found has been difficult to confirm. Ken Krakow, in Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origin, states the community was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, who died when the S. S. Central America sank off Cape Hatteras during a hurricane in 1857. It was the largest loss of life in any commercial ship disaster in U. S. History and Commander Herndon was praised for his role in saving women and children before going down with his crew.
I’m not sure of Krakow’s source for the name, but considering two other towns were named in Herndon’s honor around this time, it’s a real possibility. It’s also possible there was a family named Herndon in the area.
Volume III of Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form, published in 1906 describes Herndon as a village of Jenkins County…located on the Central of Georgia Railroad about ten miles west of Millen, and in 1900 reported a population of 200. It has a money order post office, an express office, stores with good local trade and does some shipping.
A post office operated here from 1858-1971, and it’s possible the structure pictured here, possibly a general store, as well as the store by the railroad tracks, served that purpose at one time.