UTU retiree John Hageman was recently re-elected to his fourth four-year term as city councilman in Fitzgerald, Ga.
This is not surprising, since the 84-year-old Hageman’s forefathers helped found the town back in 1895.
Fitzgerald is a town of about 9,500 residents in south central Georgia. Hageman started railroading in 1950 as a trainman on the Atlantic Coast Line, now part of CSX.
He retired in 1988 after 38 years of service. He is a lifetime member of Local 1790, Fitzgerald.
“I am an energetic person, always have been,” he said. “After I retired in 1988, a job came open on the city council, and I have always said I would try anything once.
“I am a direct descendent of those who founded Fitzgerald in 1895, so I ran for the office. I was up against some big odds; I ended up running against and defeating the son of my lawyer.
“Fitzgerald is actually a Yankee town in south Georgia,” Hageman explained. “A Union Army drummer boy, P.H. Fitzgerald from Indianapolis, got out after the war and wanted to create a place in the south where aging Union Army veterans could enjoy the warmer winters and have a good place to live out their years.
“My great grandfather was a Union Army veteran out of Indiana, and he was one of the original 2,500 who helped found this town.
“I just enjoy working and doing something for somebody,” he said. “If they come to me with a problem, I try to help them out.
“Mayor Gerald Thompson has been in office 42 years here, and we were both just re-elected to four more years.
“My campaign slogan was ‘Four more at 84.’ It has been very rewarding; I have no regrets whatsoever.”