Friends I have finally booked the second trip to Pensacola.
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again, and filling in some of the information holes in Emmett’s story. I’ve met some very nice folks along the research trek, so, that makes doing work enjoyable. I wish everyone liked their job as much I like mine.
Here’s my tentative plan for Pensacola:
- Escambia County Courthouse Archives. The wild card in the whole trip. I get the feeling that there’s not much about Emmett’s cases in terms of oratory there, but I have to see. I’m in search of three speeches he gave at three different trials. If, perchance, they are there, this will be huge.
- University of West Florida Archives. The Frank Penton papers. This guy gave Emmett holy hell during most of his tenure as District Attorney, then State’s Attorney. Penton and several family members were charged with murder more than once. Ironically, or, maybe not ironically, Penton later became Escambia County Sheriff. His papers may include commentary on Emmett’s prosecutorial skills.
- Christ Church. Emmett’s funeral service was held here. Also, the day before his funeral, Emmett’s friends viewed his remains at the Kehoe’s home on Baylen Street. Today, it is a private residence, but it still looks pretty much the same as it did in 1918. I’d love to see the inside of that place; cross your fingers. I’m working on that.
- Pensacola Hospital. That’s where Emmett died. There is a lot of this structure that is still intact and original; the first floor is where he was treated (i.e., the hospital had two rooms specifically designated to treat alcoholics. It was ahead of its time).
I have a few other places I want to visit, but it depends on how much I find in the Courthouse Archive. And of course, I plan to pay Emmett a visit, perhaps clean his stone up. It was looking a little frumpy last time I saw it.
I also have two other places to visit: Chipley, where his boyhood home was recently refurbished (and looks great, by the way), and Marianna, where Emmett lived with his older brother Cephas for about four years. He called Marianna home when he was in college. I cannot wait to meet the kind folks there who I’ve been corresponding with on this project!
It’s exciting to think about finding new information about Emmett, and how it will shape his story. I’ll keep you posted as the big day draws near!
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