George Edward Franklin was born August 30th, 1896 in Richmond County, the fourth and final child of William Ryland Franklin and Apphia Judson Sisson.
George appears on the 1900 census at age three in Washington township of Richmond County. His father's occupation is watch and clock repair.
On the 1910 census George's two oldest siblings have moved out the house. Willie Franklin is listed as working as a farmer. Emma, 15, and George, 13, are both marked as working on the home farm and attending school.
On May 31st, 1918 George filled out a draft registration card for WWI. He gave his home address as Haynesville, but his employer as Winchester Manufacturing Company, 203 W. Pratt St. Baltimore, MD. He identified his height as medium, his build as slender, eyes as brown and hair as light brown. He was not drafted.
In the 1920 census George is listed living with his brother Ben in Baltimore, MD on Harlem Avenue. Ben has a wife and 4 year old son, Ben Jr. George's occupation is given as clerk for the Treasury Department, Ben is listed as a machinist in the drug industry. George probably took some college courses around that time.
According to his daughter Frances, George suffered some kind of mental breakdown and was put in a hospital in Baltimore. He returned to the Northern Neck in 1925 and began working as a cashier at Hague Bank in Westmoreland, VA. This is said to be where he met Thelma Frances Barnes. They soon were married October 2nd, 1926 at the Baptist parsonage of Reverend Ogden in Kinsale.
The 1930 census shows George and Thelma renting a home in Hague and having a 2 year old son, George Edward Franklin, Jr. George’s profession is given as bank cashier. He did some side work repairing watches and clocks, a skill he learned from his father.
George kept copies of much of his correspondence relating to his work at the bank and personal business dealings. In 1937 he wrote to Schwartzchild Jewelers in New York and ordered a variety of watch parts so that he could go into the jewelry business full time.
By 1940 George and Thelma's daughter, Frances, had been born, the census that year shows that the family moved from Hague to Haynesville and George is now working as a jeweler in a retail and repair jewelry business. He is shown as completing 2 years of college, Thelma as completing 3 years of high school, George as finished 4th grade, and Frances not yet starting school.
George operated Franklin's Jewelry Store in Warsaw for about 30 years, it was the first jewelry store in the Northern Neck. In 1968 Franklin's Jewely Store burned down along with the other businesses it shared a wooden frame building with. George estimated his losses immediately after the fire at $6,000-$8,000. He must have already had it in his mind to scale back the business and work closer to home before the fire because the previous year he had put up a small cinder-block building in his yard in Haynesville. Even though he was in his 70's already he wanted to have something useful to do.
George was a Deacon of Totuskey Baptist Church as well as serving as Sunday School Superintendent, President of the Baptist Training Union, Brotherhood President, and other roles. He was also a Mason and served as Master of the Westmoreland Lodge for a time. He and Thelma traveled a bit and George took a number of photos.
In the late 1980's George and Thelma moved out of their house in Haynesville and retired to the Masonic Home in Richmond City. George passed away on Christmas Day 1992. He was buried December 27th at Totuskey Baptist Church by Rev. James Dunn.
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