January 27, 1950

William Smith, known to his scores of friends as “Uncle Bill” celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday, January 13th and in spite of his advanced age, he retains all his faculties and is still spry and in reasonably good health.

Mr. Smith is widely known as an expert fisherman having devoted much of his time during the later years of his life to that tranquil purpose. He always brings home a nice catch.

Born in Pierce County in 1860, Mr. Smith moved with his mother in 1865 to Calico Hill just across the St. Marys River at the present site of Crystal Springs. He grew up there in the days before the coming of the railroad when large schooners made monthly trips from New York bringing the mail and merchandise and carrying away cargos of naval stores and lumber. He vividly recalls seeing the first train operated over the newly constructed railroad from Waycross to Jacksonville during the second week of June in 1881. He helped build the original railroad bridge across the St. Marys in 1879.

A resident of Folkston since 1906, Mr. Smith is one of our oldest citizens, not only in years but as a resident of the city. His mind is still clear and alert and he recalls many interesting incidents of the early days of this area. He has often hunted deer and other game on the present site of Folkston, long before there were any buildings nearer than old Centrevillage.

Charlton  County Archives