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VINCENT A. HODGES -- RETIRED ROADMASTER

CHARLTON COUNTY HERALD

By R. Ward Harrison, Editor

May 5, 1950

A native of neighboring Clinch County, Vincent Archibald Hodges was born on November 14th, 1876, near the town of Homerville in that county. His parents were the late Mr. Johnnie Hodges and Mrs. Sarah Smith Hodges, both members of well-known Clinch County pioneer families.

Raised on a farm near Homerville, Mr. Hodges obtained his education in the public schools of Clinch County. He worked on the home farm during his youth, attending the county’s school during the brief winter terms when farm work was less pressing.

In 1898 Mr. Hodges left the farm to make his own way in the world. He went to work for the old B & W Railroad, then a part of the Plant System, as a track laborer, his wages being 65 cents per day. In 1900 he received his first promotion, being made assistant section foreman at $1.15 per day.

Then in January 1901 he was advanced to the post of section foreman at a salary of $43.00 per month, his first assignment being at McDonald Mill, now Aonx, Ga. In 1903 Mr. Hodges left the railroad service to enter business with his father, being engaged in mercantile and cross tie operations for about two years.

Having been bitten by the “railroad bug” Mr. Hodges re-entered the railroad service in 1905 as a lifetime career and was an employee of the Atlantic Coast Line continuously from that date until his retirement in 1946. The Plant System had been taken over by the A.C.L. during his brief absence and on his return to service he was assigned to the yard at Jacksonville terminal where he was in charge of tract maintenance.

From Jacksonville he was transferred to Nahunta section foreman where he was on the job for two years. He then went to Naylor in the same capacity for two years, after which he was sent back to Nahunta for four years.

From Nahunta, Mr. Hodges was assigned to track maintenance at Waycross for two years after which he was transferred from section work to an extra gang for another two years. With this long record of faithful service to his credit, he was promoted to the top post of Roadmaster in October of 1914. His first assignment in this capacity was to the Jasper, Fla. division where he remained for four years and four months.

He was next sent to the Jesup-to-Jacksonville division with headquarters office at Jesup. Then on January 15, 1918, the office was transferred from Jesup to Folkston where Mr. Hodges remained as Roadmaster until his retirement on October 2, 1946 after 41 years of continuous service with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, from 1905 to 1946.

Through his long years of service with the Coast Line, Mr. Hodges made an outstanding record as one of the railroad’s most efficient roadmasters, having been awarded top prize several years. He was a loyal employee and highly regarded by the officials.

Since coming to Folkston to make his home Mr. Hodges has taken time out from his heavy duties as a railroad executive to meet fully his obligations as a public-spirited citizen. He has served the City of Folkston as Mayor for two terms and also as a member of the City Council for several terms, having been on the board when the city’s water system was installed. He also served as a member of the local Draft Board for Charlton County during World War Two.

On Sunday, December 1, 1901, Mr. Hodges was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Peagler of Coffee County. To this union have been born two sons, Edwin of Palatka, Fla., and Roy, of Folkston; three daughters, Gertrude, of Palatka, Mrs. P.S. Barnes of Lake Worth, Fla. and Mrs. D.L. Stewart of this city.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Hodges are members of the Baptist Church and Mr. Hodges is a veteran member of the Masonic Order. In retirement Mr. Hodges is taking life easy, enjoying a well-merited rest. He is an accomplished gardener and his chief recreation interest seems to be centered in this work.

Charlton  County Archives