Introduction & Biography of John A. Leynes Jr.
Second Founder & President of The Florida Railroad Company

I am a Florida native, born in Jacksonville Florida in 1949. I worked for BellSouth until retiring in 2001 with 30 years of service. I am a United States Armed Forces Veteran and U.S. Patriot. I hold a "Cold War Recognition Certificate" signed by the Secretary of Defense, expressing the appreciation of a Grateful Nation, for my military service.

In both the U.S. Navy and for BellSouth, I specialized in electronics and communications technology. I provided Network, Telecommunications, Computer Operations and Support for BellSouth. I lived and worked in Jacksonville until 1992 when I took a job assignment with the engineering department of BellSouth in Gainesville. I have 35 years of experience in networks and computers, and much enthusiasm for using the technology for preserving, and promoting Florida's history.

I am very proud of my Florida Heritage. I love studying the history of Florida and my family's part in it. I have been a member of the Archer Historical Society since 1997, and served on the Alachua County Historical Commission for 3 years. As of January 2005, I serve as the Treasurer of the S. E. Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Jacksonville Florida.

My Grandmother, Velma Crevasse Leynes, was born on Atsena Otie Island at Cedar Key in 1885. Her father, John W. Crevasse, and her Grandfather were ship captains, and both of them at various times piloted the "Belle of the Suwannee", a steamboat that operated up and down the Gulf coast and the Suwannee River. My great great grandfather was Joseph N. Crevasse, and he and one of his sons are buried on Seahorse Key, near the old lighthouse.

My Grandfather was George Robert Leynes Sr. He emigrated from Germany in 1885, grew up in Crystal River Florida, in Citrus County, and later worked at a phosphate mine in Morriston. My Grandmother met and married my Grandfather in 1904 in Morriston Florida. After they married they moved to Archer in 1905, where he came to work as the first pattern maker at the Maddox Foundry. After a short time staying at the old Snavely house, they bought the Lipsey house just south of town on the east side of highway 27/41. Here, my father, three brothers and three sisters were born and raised. The "old home place," as we called it, was the scene of many memorable and wonderful family reunions, filled with good times, Southern Hospitality, and love. Mrs. Phillips now owns the house. I have many first cousins, mostly in Florida, and one still in Gainesville.

The work I continue to do for the Archer Historical Society is much more than a community service project for me. It was so wonderful to be near the "old home place" and to remember those good ole' times. Now you know why I am very excited to be able to play a part in the preservation of the history of Archer, Alachua County and the Florida Railroad.

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