Charlton County Herald

By R.Ward Harrison, Editor

November 18, 1949

Born in Springfield, Ohio in 1882, Mr. Stroup moved to the thriving colony town of St. George, Charlton County, Ga. in December of the year 1905. He was then a young married man and was accompanied to Georgia by his wife and seven months old son. He had been married the previous year to Miss Ocee Smith. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Smith, also came to St. George where they operated a hotel for several years. Both are now deceased.

Residing in St. George during its early boom years as a colony town, Mr. Stroup recalls that it grew into quite a thriving little city. At the peak of its development, it had a weekly newspaper and an incorporated city government. The real estate business was especially active for several years. During his residence there he was employed most of the time as a salesman in a store.

In 1912 he moved his family to Palmetto, Ga. near Atlanta, where he resided for two years and was employed as a salesman in a large general store. However, he could not forget the lure of the South Georgia flatwoods and in 1914 he returned to Charlton County.

In June, 1914 Mr. Stroup came to Folkston to make his home, and since that day he has been a resident of this city a period of thirty-five years. Having had some experience as a barber, he decided to enter that line of business. Coming here he purchased a barber shop operated by Mr. Kilberry and has carried on the business till the present time.

Mr. Stroup’s first shop here was located in the Old Bank Building in the quarters now occupied by Mrs. Elkins’ Beauty Shop. This building, now owned by Theo Dinkins, was one of the city’s first brick structures. Later he moved to the west side of the railroad. The building stood about where the Herald office is now, being an annex to the Old Scott Building. After several years in that location, he moved to the present quarters. Much of the equipment with which Mr. Stroup began business is still in use. A remarkable feature of the shop equipment is a small kerosene oil heater presented to him soon after he began business by the late Col. W.M. Oliff, which has been in use for 34 consecutive winters. The heater is still in good condition and is ready for another winter’s service. It is a “Perfection Heater” , serial No. 120-C and no doubt would be highly prized by the manufacturer as a publicity feature.

While Mr. Stroup is still actively engaged on the job and retains ownership of the shop, he has recently begun to take things a little more easily, and has associated with him in the operation of the business two young barbers, B.T. Lee and John Thomas. New and modern equipment has been installed by Mr. Lee and the shop is now operated as a three-chair establishment equipped to render the highest type of service.

During the many years he has carried on his business, Mr. Stroup has always been faithfully on the job every business day, ready to serve his customers and the public. After thirty-five years of this regular schedule he is certainly entitled to take things a little easier and enjoy some periods of rest and leisure.

Folkston was not much of a town when he first came here, Mr. Stroup reveals. The only brick buildings were the courthouse, the Old Bank of Folkston Building, the H.J. Davis store and the Scott Block. The frame school building had just been burned and the town was engaged in building the original brick high school, part of the present structure. Other places of business he remembers then in operation were the Bud Altman Store, the Jehu Paxton Store, McDonald’s Store and possibly others, all in frame buildings. The Central Hotel then stood on West Main Street about the site of the present Tyson Store. Dr. T.P. Revelle and Dr. A.D. Williams were the local physicians and the late Col. W.M. Oliff was the town’s only lawyer. The Herald was edited and published by the late F.M. deGraffenreid. Although a dyed-in-the-wool Ohio Yankee, known to his friends for some unknown reason as “Pete”, he has lived so long among Georgia crackers that he could easily pass for a native, nearly all traces of his mid-western accent and other characteristics having disappeared with the years.

Soon after coming to Folkston Mr. Stroup built the attractive home they now occupy. They have one son, Richard B. Stroup of this city. Mr. Stroup is a Woodman and a former Odd Fellows. He served at one time as Folkston’s city clerk and treasurer. Both he and Mrs. Stroup are faithful members of the Baptist Church and have been active in church work during their long presence here. Since coming here to make their home they have become identified with the general community life and are held in the highest esteem among a wide circle of friends.

Charlton  County Archives