REVIEW OF A WELL SPENT LIFE
Charlton County Herald
by R. Ward Harrison, Editor
March 2, 1934
Mr. and Mrs. W.O. Gibson recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage at their home at Folkston. Both were reared in Charlton County. Mr. Gibson was 81 years of age on the 29th of August and Mrs. Gibson who was before her marriage Miss Julia Ann Vickery, was 76 on the 17th day of January. Besides a large number of their children and grandchildren several other relatives and friends spent their anniversary with them. They received many beautiful and valuable presents and many letters of congratulations.
Mr. Gibson, who lost both his parents in early childhood, was denied the advantages of attending school except about nine months, though by close application to books he secured a fair education and several years of his life were devoted to teaching. He has also taken an active part in public and political affairs. At the age of 25 he was elected Justice of the Peace for the Centrevillage District of Charlton County. When he had served four years in this office he was appointed Tax Collector by Robert Hatcher, Ordinary, to fill the unexpired term of P.M. Courson, who had been elected to the legislature. At the close of this unexpired term he was elected to the same office for the succeeding term of two years. At the end of this term he was elected to the office of Ordinary.
After serving four years in this office he moved to Brooks County where he spent one year farming and teaching school. Returning to Charlton County he was appointed by the federal government in 1890 as census enumerator for the entire county. In the latter part of that year he was elected county school superintendent and at the end of a four-year term in that office he was elected to the General Assembly of the state and served in the sessions of 1894-1895. In addition to these offices he served two years as deputy clerk of Superior Court by the appointment of Jesse W. Vickery, Clerk of that court.
After this, he retired from public life as regards to political affairs and in February 1898 he was ordained an elder in the Alabaha River Primitive Baptist Association of which he has been a member since 1880. During these 54 years of membership he has represented Sardis Church as a delegate in 51 annual sessions of the Association and has served as Clerk 47 years. He has survived 104 others with whom he has served as a delegate.
In recent years he has written several hundred poems, many of which have appeared in the columns of the Herald.
Mrs. Gibson, who is a plain, intelligent motherly woman, has been indeed a helpmeet for him. Her words and acts of encouragement have assisted him in overcoming many difficulties. Besides rearing ten of her own children, the death of their mothers placed two infants in her care from the time of their birth. One was Mattie, the daughter of Judge H.G. Gibson, a brother, who is now the wife of Mr. A.G. Powers of Waycross. The other is Marjorie, the daughter of Charles H. Gibson, the youngest child of these elderly people. She is now a girl of eleven years and is the sunshine of her grandparents’ lives.