Clifford H. Lewis, Local Merchant
Charlton County Herald
by R. Ward Harrison, Editor
August 18, 1950
A native of Colquitt County, Georgia, Clifford H. Lewis was born May 12, 1908 on the family farm near Moultrie, being the eldest of ten children.
He attended the public schools in the New Elm community of Colquitt County and worked on his father’s farm until he reached the age of nineteen years. Soon thereafter he was married to Miss Bertha Sellers of Sylvester. Following his marriage he rented a farm in his old home community which he continued to operate for fifteen years.
In the spring of 1941 Mr. Lewis decided to give up farming as a permanent occupation. At that time he entered the service of the South Georgia Grocery Co. with headquarters in Quitman, operators of the Suwannee chain of grocery stores. His first assignment was the Suwannee Store in Adel, Ga. where he was stationed until the fall of 1942.
Having made a highly creditable record at Adel, Mr. Lewis was in the fall of 1942 appointed as manager of the company’s Suwannee Store in Folkston. The business was then located in the old Davis Building now occupied by Lott’s 5c and 10c store. After operating there for one and a half years the volume of business had been built up to such an extent that larger quarters were required. The local store was then moved to the corner store in the Wade Block where it is now located. In this store, much larger and more spacious quarters were available and there Mr. Lewis developed a local Suwannee chain store into one of the leading grocery establishments in the city, handling a large volume of business.
In June 1948 Mr. Lewis decided to establish a business of his own. He thereupon resigned as manager of the Suwannee Store and purchased the Folkston Seafood Market, then owned by Kelly Walker and also located in the Wade Block. Soon after buying this business he added a line of groceries and fresh vegetables as well as the seafood and poultry specialties and has continued to carry on a successful business enterprise there, to the present time.
In 1946 Mr. Lewis acquired a ten-acre tract of land in the southern section of the city where he has built a modern six-room home, having reached a decision to make Folkston a permanent home for himself and family. He took this step because of being so favorably impressed with the congenial atmosphere of the community and the very cordial welcome given by the people of the city and county.
Since acquiring the property Mr. Lewis has made considerable improvement thereto, having cultivated the tract for a number of years, where he has carried on truck farming on a small scale in an effort to determine the most profitable crops for this area. Grape culture and other experiments have been given a trial and he is continuing the program with other products.
Since coming to Folkston Mr. Lewis has been an ardent booster and a faithful worker for the progress and advancement of the city and county. He has served as Secretary of the Lions Club in which he was an active member. Aside from his full-time avocation as a Talmadge booster, his chief hobby is fishing, being one of the leading exponents of both activities in this community.
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have six children, Mrs. Julian Wildes of Folkston, and Mrs. Aldine Tomlinson of Florida, with Doyle, LaVerne, Carolyn and Gerald at home completing the family. Wynette, a sister of Mr. Lewis, lived with them until recently.
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are both members of the Baptist Church, Mr. Lewis additionally being an active member in the local Masonic Lodge No. 196, the Eastern Star No. 270 and the Royal Arch Chapter at Woodbine.