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Intestate Man

The search for Cephas Love Wilson’s descendants continues.

I had a brainstorm last week about how I might track down the descendants — or, at least where Cephas’ papers, books, and unfinished client work would have gone when he died in 1923: Find his will.

So, I asked my friend, the excellent Sue Tindel (at the Jackson County [FL] Courthouse) about Cephas Love Wilson’s will. Surely a guy like Cephas, who has just been named to the Florida Supreme Court bench, would have planned ahead about the disposition of his law practice in the event of his eventual demise.

Cephas Love Wilson, Jr. Intestate Man. Source: State Archives of Florida.

Cephas Love Wilson. Intestate Man. Source: State Archives of Florida.

But guess what?

The prominent lawyer-judge-state attorney-mayor of Marianna-president of a local bank… died intestate.

No will.

“Can you believe that?” Sue asked me.

Heck no, I said.

That really surprised me. This was a guy who had it ALL together when it came to his career, his property, his money, his professional life… or, at least that has been the impression I had over the past three years.

Even Emmett, who died almost exactly one year to the day that he wrote his will — and who knew he was on the final spin cycle of life — got something down on paper about what to do with the little personal property he had. I wondered why Cephas didn’t.

Sue told me that he probably left everything orderly, and so it didn’t really matter. It sounds like he didn’t have any outstanding debts. Or, some unacknowledged child out there who might make a claim for support.

Anyway. Sue said that since both of Ceph and Lula’s children were grown and married, Lula received everything. It sounds as if Lula was well provided for after Ceph died.

By 1926, Lula had remarried, and moved to Jacksonville.


So, the search for the descendants continues. Next, I’ll put in a request for Lula Wiselogel Wilson’s will. We’ll see where that leads.

Categories: Book Congressman Family Research Status

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Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
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