Editor R. Ward Harrison

January 6, 1950

A native of Pennsylvania, Charlie J. Passieu in 1910 decided that the south was the “land of opportunity” and immediately set out for the land of promise and sunshine and cast his lot with the southern people to make his permanent home and build his future career. Arriving at Hilliard, then a young colony town, he decided it was a likely place for an ambitious, energetic young man to locate, and made it his journey’s end. He immediately went to work at any job on hand and within three years he had accumulated sufficient capital to establish a mercantile business.

Opening his Hilliard business in 1913 Mr. Passieu devoted his energy and enterprise to its operation and soon had a growing prosperous business established. He then expanded his activities to include the rapidly developing garage and auto business which he was to later make his life’s work. Although he had a prosperous business at Hilliard, Mr. Passieu decided that Folkston offered a larger field of opportunity and in 1920 he came to this city to locate, having formed a partnership with L.E. Mallard in the garage business and as Ford dealers for this area. He has been a resident and a successful public-spirited citizen and business man here since that time.

In 1924 he bought Mr. Mallard’s interest in the garage business and Ford agency as well as the building in which the business is located, and continued its operation until 1933 when he disposed of the Ford agency for this territory. Continuing in business at the same place he then took over the local Chevrolet agency which he has continued to operate until the present time under the name of Passieu Chevrolet Co.

Since coming to Folkston Mr. Passieu has been one of this city’s most successful business men in addition to his garage building and home, has acquired other city real estate including his valuable tract on the highway near his home and joint ownership of the old B.F. Scott property, a block of five stores and a residence.

At the present time he has under construction a modern building to house his Chevrolet business. The new structure is on the relocated route of U.S. Highway No. One on a site between the old and new highway route. When completed it will be one of the most modern and attractive business structures in the city as well as one of the largest.

During his long residence here Mr. Passieu has been one of the city’s most active boosters, always ready to contribute to any worthy undertaking and assist in any movement for the welfare and upbuilding of the city and county. He has perhaps served for a longer period of time as an officer of the city government than any other citizen. He was a member of the city government continuously as mayor or on the city council for more than twenty years. Then after being out for one term he went back on the city council where he is at present serving. He has served two terms as mayor and has lost count of the times he has served as councilman.

As his name indicates, Mr. Passieu (pronounced Pass-hew) is of French descent, his father having emigrated from Provence in the south of France to Pennsylvania, where the subject of this sketch was born and grew to young manhood. He came south, however, before his twentieth birthday and is now as much a southerner as any native to the manor born.

In 1915 Mr. Passieu was united in marriage to Miss Cecil Green of Hilliard who passed away during 1933. To this union three children were born, Louie Passieu, now of Jacksonville; Mrs. L.D. Majors and Miss Jo Ann Passieu, both of this city. In 1935 Mr. Passieu was married to Miss Janie Lou Calhoun of Waycross, the present Mrs. Passieu. They have no children.

Through the war years Mr. and Mrs. Passieu operated the Ritz Theater, then the city’s only amusement enterprise. This business was discontinued several months ago.

Mrs. Passieu has been in declining health for several months and is now seriously ill in a Jacksonville hospital. They have the very best wishes and prayers of the community for her recovery and return home soon. Mr. and Mrs. Passieu are held in the very highest esteem among a wide circle of friends and are regarded as among the community’s most friendly and congenial couples.


Charlton  County Archives