Among the historic landmarks that took rank and prominence in the days of “Georgia’s Aristocratic Knighthood” was “Old Spalding,” in Macon County, Georgia, and it was here that Thomas E. Lovejoy, the eldest son of the late P. H. and Henrietta Lovejoy, was born, sixty years ago.
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Graduating in the schools of Hawkinsville, he later finished his business course in Poughkeepsie, New York. He began his career in the grocery business with T. R. Wilcox, under the firm name of Wilcox & Lovejoy, in Hawkinsville. Very soon he became assistant cashier of the Planters Bank of this city, continuing in this position until he engaged in the dry goods business, under the firm name of Adams, Lovejoy & Company, finally purchasing the interest of his partners and operating the business under the name of the Lovejoy Company.
While in this firm he organized the Gulf Line Railroad, which operated between Hawkinsville and Camilla, and was made the first president of this road. Later his services were sought in Montgomery, Ala., where he went to take charge of the Montgomery Bank and Trust Company, and was president of this institution until he
purchased the controlling stock in the Manhattan Life Insurance Company of New York, where he now lives, being president of this company. He is a member of the advisory board of the Chemical Bank and Trust Company of New York, and is connected with other large banking institutions in that city.
For quite a while after leaving Hawkinsville he retained his stock in the First National Bank of this city and his office as vice president.
Possessing a natural business turn of mind, and having an inherited instinct for successfully handling finances, there were gathered about him early in life valuable business associates. And with his honor, character, ability, courage, and energy, successes naturally followed “one upon another.”
He is an unassuming man, gentle in disposition, very friendly and sociable, exceedingly strong mentally and morally, and is a Christian gentleman. By precept and example he has always been loyal to the church of the living God. He is a Baptist by profession, always following in the wake of the church’s teaching and contributing to its upkeep and maintenance.
Early in his business career he gained the heart and hand of Miss Fannie Brown, of Talbotton, Ga. This beautiful, Christ-like spirit proved a benediction to him, and her tender care and affection for him, and his complete love and devotion to her, made of this union a perfect and happy life.
While engaged in business in Montgomery, for some reason unknown to mankind, Providence took his wife, and he was left with three small girls and a baby boy. With the love and sacrifice of his sister, Mrs. Annie Lee Twitty, these children were reared. He devoted his life to his children and his business, never marrying again. His devotion to his children, his sisters, and brothers-in-law has always been remarkably beautiful.
A country boy without money, working out his own salvation, a public-spirited, sympathetic, Christian gentleman, he can, if he so desires, by the force of his genius, retire at this time with a competency.
His daughters, Susie (now Mrs. George Harris), Henrietta (now Mrs. Mitchell), and a son, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Jr., all of New York, are close to him and he spends the time from business in the enjoyment of their company. He also has a daughter, Fannie (now Mrs. Wilson Harris), living in Centerville, Md.
Hawkinsville has produced some great men. The culture, intelligence and refinement of its people, is naturally conducive to greatness; and in passing it must be said that the patriotism, civic pride, culture, business ability, honor, and Christian character of Tom E. Lovejoy entitles him to a place among her favorite sons.