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Oscar E. Raynor, Merchant and Civic Leader

Charlton County Herald

R. Ward Harrison, Editor

April 14, 1950

A native of North Carolina, Oscar E, Raynor was born at the family farm home near Linden in that state. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. John A. Raynor and he was a member of a family of seven brothers and five sisters.

He grew up on the family farm and obtained his education in the public schools, having graduated from the Linden, N.C. High School. Thereafter he attended Kings Business College at Raleigh, N.C., completing a commercial course there in 1914.

Coming to Charlton County in 1916 Mr. Raynor first located at Winokur where he was employed for two years as a bookkeeper and clerk for N.G. Wade Investment Co. Then in 1918 he purchased the general mercantile business at Winokur from Dave Wasdin, which he successfully operated for two years.

Selling his business at Winokur to Gross Warren, a native of Charlton, he returned to his old home at Linden, N.C. where he operated a mercantile business for himself until 1926.

Having become attached to Charlton County as a desirable place to make his home, Mr. Raynor sold his North Carolina business in 1926 and came back to this county to reside permanently, settling at Folkston, since which time he has been a loyal citizen of this city. Soon after coming here he purchased a bus line operated between Folkston and Waycross from his father-in-law, the late J.T. Bell, which he continued to operate for four years.

After selling the bus line to Henry Solomon, Mr. Raynor took over the local agency of the American Oil Co. which he successfully carried on for a number of years, building up a large and profitable business. He closed out his oil business in 1943 due to war conditions and scarcity of products, being unable to obtain supplies for his customers.

During his early years here Mr. Raynor for a number of years was also extensively engaged in buying furs, hides and other products. This at one time was a source of considerable revenue in this county and nearby territory with coonskins and gator hides topping the list.

During the years of the late World War Two, Mr. Raynor served as a labor superintendent with J.A. Jones Construction Co. in the Brunswick shipyards, and also operated a bus line for shipyard workers between Folkston and Brunswick.

Since coming to this county, Mr. Raynor has taken an active interest in politics and civic affairs. He was a member of the Folkston City Council from 1924 to 1928 during the time the water system was installed. From 1939 till 1943 he served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, part of the time as Chairman. In 1943 he was elected to represent the Fourth District, composed of Charlton, Camden and Glynn Counties in the State Senate and during 1945-46 he served as State Tag Inspector in the Motor Vehicle Department.

After retiring from this position he purchased a general merchandise business from W.E. Gibson where he now carries on a flourishing and successful business.

In May 1916, Mr. Raynor was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Bell, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Bell. They have one daughter, Mrs. Kirby Jones of this city. Both Mr. and Mrs. Raynor are faithful and long-time members of the Methodist Church, Mr. Raynor having served as a Steward in the local church for a number of years.

Aside from his interest in politics, Mr. Raynor’s chief hobby has been fox hunting. For many years he maintained a large pack of trained hounds and is an ardent devotee of fox, wildcat and bear hunting. Advancing years, however, have somewhat cooled his enthusiasm for this strenuous sport and he is now numbered among the occasional hunters.

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