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Wainwright, George Lindeman

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In Memoriam George Lindeman Wainwright
November 22, 1908 — October 9, 1986

George Wainwright was born in Wilson County on November 22, 1908 to Harry McGee Wainwright and Margaret Applewhite Wainwright. He had one brother, Kennon Vine Wainwright. During the Depression, his family lost their home. This experience put a "fire in his belly" and gave him the determination to become a success. He attended Charles L. Coon High School, but he did not attend college. However, he worked hard so that he could send his brother to college. After high school, George traveled all over the country, working and gaining experience before coming back to Wilson and beginning his career in tobacco. On October 12, 1935, he married Susan Minshall. The couple had two children, Susan Wainwright Hudson and Judge George Lindeman Wainwright, Jr.

From 1933 through 1938, Mr. Wainwright was the supervisor of sales of the Wilson Tobacco Market, which made him the youngest supervisor of sales in the world. In 1939, he constructed the Big Star Warehouse in Wilson with his partners Joyce Gibbons and Wallace Dixon. A few years later, in 1947, he built Wainwright's Warehouse, which was the largest bright leaf tobacco warehouse under one roof. In 1964, he went into partnership with Grady Deans, buying Smith Warehouses A, B, and C. They were also partners in Planters Warehouse.

Mr. Wainwright owned extensive farmland throughout Wilson County. He was one of the five largest landowners in Wilson County at one time. He was also instrumental in several building projects around Wilson. Along with being a founding member of the Greenfield School, he built the Barbeque Barn on Hwy 42 W, the Heart of Wilson Motel (originally called the Urbanna Inn) with Dr. Cleon Goodwin, and developed Brookside Subdivision with Walton Smith Mr. Wainwright also served for years on the Board of Directors of 1st Citizens Bank.

Not only was Mr. Wainwright a smart businessman, but he was also a very giving individual. His acts of kindness and generosity are legendary. Mr. Wainwright showed tremendous care and concern for those who were less fortunate around him with generous acts, whether it was handing $100 bills to all of the employees for no reason or filling up his truck with products from Nahunta Pork Market and giving it all away. He would also plant a garden on his farm in Stantonsburg every year just so he would be able to distribute the food to those who needed it. He also had a delightful sense of humor and was a devoted husband and father.

Given in memory of Mr. Wainwright by the Tobacco Farm Life Museum at the Excellence in Agriculture Dinner on October 14, 1999, honoring his outstanding contributions to our agri-business community.

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