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E.B. Stapleton, Sr. -- Stapleton's Drug Store

Charlton County Herald

R. Ward Harrison, Editor

December 30, 1949

Born near the town of Weston in Webster County, Georgia on December 1, 1887, Emmett B. Stapleton, Sr. has been a resident of Folkston and Charlton County and a progressive, outstanding citizen for nearly thirty-three years, coming here to make his home in February 1917. A member of one of the prominent, widely-connected pioneer families of Webster County, Mr. Stapleton is the oldest in a family of thirteen brothers and sisters, ten of whom are still living. His father and mother both lived to an advanced age, having passed away in recent years.

Spending his childhood and youth on the family farm in Webster County, Mr. Stapleton attended the public schools of that county after which he was graduated from one of the leading business colleges in Atlanta where he took a course in General Business Management and Administration. Upon completion of his education Mr. Stapleton began his career as an employee of one of the largest chain banking organizations for that period. His first assignment was at Whigham, Ga. where he was employed as bookkeeper for some time. He was later promoted to cashier and was transferred to the bank at Sopchoppy, Fla. After serving there for several months as cashier he was returned to Whigham as cashier. About 1914 he returned to Webster County, his old home, where he entered the cotton warehouse business in association with his brother, Robert, and carried on extensive farming operations. Cotton warehouses were operated by the firm of Weston & Preston. Early in 1917 after cotton had been disrupted by the boll weevil and following a long depression in the cotton industry Mr. Stapleton closed out his operations in Webster County and came to Folkston to stake his future on the possibilities and opportunities of Charlton County, then considered one of the state’s frontier areas. He quickly recognized the opportunities offered by the timber lands of this county and the possibilities of a new and growing town and territory. His later success can be attributed to his foresight in this respect.

Soon after coming here he entered the timber business in partnership with C.Y. McMullin a son-in-law of the late S.F. Mills, Sr. This enterprise had been in operation only a few months when in association with D.F. Pearce and Dr. J.A. Moore, Mr. Stapleton purchased the town’s only drug store at that time from R.K. Napier. The active management and operation of the drug store was taken over by Mr. Stapleton who has continued to be in charge of the business up to the present time.

About two years later he and Mr. Pearce purchased Dr. Moore’s interest in the business and on October 24, 1923 Mr. Stapleton purchased the interest of Mr. Pearce and became sole owner of the enterprise which has since operated under the name of Stapleton Drug Store.

In January 1918 he established a fire insurance agency which has been a profitable enterprise from the beginning. Soon after coming to this county he gradually began to acquire timber and other real estate holdings, now being the owner of extensive tracts in the county as well as considerable city real estate in Folkston. He has recently become interested in the development of permanent pastures and plans to engage in a cattle industry on a rather large scale. He has made a creditable start on a tract known as the White Lands north of the city where he has considerable acreage already in coastal Bermuda and other pasture grasses on which high grade beef cattle are being grazed.

Through his foresight, energy and enterprise and his confidence in the future of this city and county, Mr. Stapleton has accumulated extensive property interests here and is regarded as one of the county’s most enterprising business men. He has also served the county for one term as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, served several terms on the City Council, two terms as Mayor of Folkston. He also owns farm lands and other property in his old home county of Webster.

Mr. Stapleton has been a member of the Masonic Order since February 7, 1911. He is also a Shriner, becoming a member of the Alee Temple in Savannah in September 1919. On January 5, 1913 he was married to Miss Rosa Pearce of Whigham. They have four children, two sons, C. Pearce Stapleton and Emmett B. Stapleton, Jr., both being associated with their father in the drug business and other business interests; and two daughters, Mrs. Merrill Johnson of Waycross and Mrs. David Littlefield of this city.

Mrs. Stapleton is an active and devoted member of the Folkston Methodist Church, and while he is not a church member, both Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton have contributed much to the community’s religious and civic activities. During their long residence here he and Mrs. Stapleton have made many warm friends and are widely regarded as among the community’s most useful and public-spirited citizens.

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Charlton  County Archives