R. Ward Harrison, Editor, Charlton County Herald

May 26, 1950

A native born son of Charlton County, Theodore Dinkins, known as Theo among his friends, was born in February of 1899 in the Uptonville district on the old Dinkins family homestead settled by his grandfather, the late Daniel R. Dinkins.

Daniel R. Dinkins was one of the early settlers, coming to Charlton from Tattnall County, Ga. He spent the greater part of his adult life in this county where he was highly regarded as an honest, reliable, law-abiding citizen. He was a Confederate veteran.

A son of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Dinkins, Theo Dinkins grew up on the family farm, attended the public schools of the county in which he obtained his education. At the age of 17 he left the Uptonville School as a student to take over the job as teacher of a school in the Moniac district. This was his first work and he continued as a teacher for two years during World War One, being under age for service in the armed forces.

In 1919, soon after the war ended, he went to work for Georgia-Florida Investment Co. alternating between the commissary work at Traders Hill and the company store in Folkston now known as the Folkston Grain and Grocery Co.

After terminating his connection with the Georgia-Florida Investment Co. in 1923, Mr. Dinkins was employed by the county in various capacities for some time, at one time being assigned to the St. Marys River Bridge as toll collector. This was in the days of the Florida boom when toll collecting was a real job with almost bumper-to-bumper motor traffic.

In 1929 Theo went to work for the James Grocery Co. as the manager of their Folkston store. He continued as an employee of this concern until 1935 when he bought out the Folkston store of this chain organization. With hard work and careful management he gradually built up a successful business. In 1944 with other interests demanding his attention, he sold out to M.G. White who later transferred the business to Johnson Brothers, the present owners.

In 1941, in association with George R. Gowen, Jr., Mr. Dinkins took over the local agency for the Standard Oil Co. Soon thereafter, Mr. Dinkins and Mr. Gowen organized the Folkston Motor Co., adding the Ford Sales Agency to their activities and building the brick structure on the highway now occupied by this concern. In 1945 Mr. Dinkins sold out his interest in the business to Mr. Gowen, who is now the sole owner.

Soon thereafter construction was begun on the Topper Theater, Folkston’s modern moving picture building. The Topper Theater was open to the public in July 1946 and has since been successfully operated under the personal management of Theo. The office building adjoining was completed the following year.

Throughout his business career in Folkston Mr. Dinkins has been actively engaged in the cross tie and timber business and has gradually acquired extensive land holdings. He is also engaged in operations of a sawmill here, having purchased timber leases of the former Charlton Lumber Co. The sale of electrical appliances, building material, etc is another of his local activities.

Although one of the city’s busiest, hardest-working business executives, Mr. Dinkins has always willingly and cheerfully taken time out from his many activities to carry out his obligations in full as a public-spirited citizen. He has served for about twenty years as a member of Folkston’s city council and for two years, 1948-49, was president of the Lions Club. He was active in organizing the Sportsmen’s Club at the swamp for a tourist attraction and fishing resort, and served as its president from the beginning. This has been a valuable asset to the city and plans are now underway for further expansion.

In 1925 Mr. Dinkins was united in marriage to Miss Lois Jones of this city. They have no children but take an active interest in all community affairs and are widely regarded as being among our most public-spirited, useful residents.

Charlton  County Archives