The Sterling Dilemma

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A few weeks ago, I found out that Emmett decided to pull up stakes and relocate from Marianna, Florida to Sterling, Illinois in January, 1906.

This just seemed odd to me: Why would someone up and leave his home, family, business and professional contacts, and budding political network to relocate 1,500 miles away, where he’d be virtually starting over, all alone?

And, why go from Florida to rural Illinois in January, for goodness sake?

There had to be something to that. Emmett wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment guy when it came to building his career: He was boringly methodical. What was the trigger that drove Emmett to make such a big move, where he’d be freezing his arse off and pretty much alone, only to return home six months later?

Well…I might have that answer in a few days! This came in today via InterLibrary Loan:

Both Sterling, Illinois newspapers from 1905-06!

Both Sterling, Illinois newspapers from 1905-06!

Both Sterling, Illinois newspapers from the time of this six-month relocation stint!  Thank you, dear colleagues at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library! (Virtual non-threatening hug here!)

I’m so thrilled! I’ll start reading the film this afternoon, and I’ll let you know what I find out!

Before I go: A tip of the hat to the librarians and archivists working with me on the Emmett Wilson biography. Every librarian, archivist, research assistant, and staff member I’ve contacted so far has been nothing less than wonderful and helpful.

Librarians and archivists rule!

54709441Or, they should.

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