ELIJAH HAWLEY WRIGHT -- SERVICE STATION OPERATOR
CHARLTON COUNTY HERALD
By R. Ward Harrison, Editor
August 11, 1950
Born at Kings Ferry on the St. Marys River in 1881, Elijah Hawley Wright has been a lifelong resident of this immediate area. He is a son of the late Dr. James C. and Lillian Cason Wright. At the time of his birth his parents were living at Kings Ferry where his late father was engaged in the practice of medicine, having settled there soon after the establishment of a large sawmill at that point.
In the latter part of 1889 the subject of this sketch became a resident of Folkston, his father having moved here from Kings Ferry to carry on the practice of his profession. Since that date, less than ten years after Folkston was established as a town, E.H. Wright has been a loyal public-spirited citizen of this city, having had an active part in its progress and upbuilding to its present status.
Member of a pioneer family of this area Mr. Wright is a grandson of the late Dr. E.H. Wright who came to Camden County from Massachusetts in the early days, first settling at old Jefferson, then the county seat. He was perhaps the very first college-trained practitioner of the medical profession to settle in this section of the state and his practice covered a wide territory. In addition to being a medical doctor he was a cultured and highly educated man and a very useful citizen in the days immediately following the War Between the States.
His son, Dr. James C. Wright followed in his father’s footsteps having graduated from the State Medical College in Augusta, and practiced his profession in Folkston from 1880 until his death. Dr. Wright’s first wife was Miss Lillian Cason who was the mother of E.H. Wright. His second wife was Miss Annie Roddenberry, now deceased.
After completing his studies in the public schools of Charlton County, E.H. Wright first entered the grocery business in Folkston which he successfully operated for about four years. Thereafter he learned the carpenter’s trade which he followed for about ten years, later operating a sawmill business for a number of years.
Disposing of his sawmill interest Mr. Wright then opened Folkston’s first garage business, his place of business, a metal structure, being located where Gowen Brothers store now stands. Mr. Wright recalls that in front of his garage the sand was about eight inches deep, Main Street being little more than a sand bed at that time. He well remembers his hand-operated gas pump which turned out one gallon of gas a stroke, as well as other crude beginnings of the gasoline era.
In 1926 Mr. Wright took over the first Chevrolet dealership in Folkston, for which he erected a building now occupied by Stokes Motors. He successfully carried on this business for about five years. He also managed a Ford agency for L.E. Mallard for about five years. From 1928 until 1942 Mr. Wright operated a Standard Oil agency in Folkston. Since selling this agency to William Mizell in 1942 he has operated his own service station near the courthouse, distributing Standard Oil products.
For many years Mr. Wright served as a member of the Folkston City Council and has always taken an active interest in civic progress, especially as a booster for good roads.