Emmett’s grand-niece (his sister Katie’s granddaughter) discovered a hidden cache of Wilson family clips the other day, and (God bless her), she promptly sent me copies!
Today, I’ll share an interesting one about Cephas. The source is unidentified, but it is likely a West Florida newspaper, because of the way the reporter speaks about Cephas and his family. The article is also undated, but based on the description of Ceph’s accomplishments, I’d estimate this to be around 1902.
I had to break the file into two pieces, by the way, because the original scanned file was huge.
I’ve come to have a better appreciation for Cephas over the past three years. This was a guy who knew what he wanted — to be rich, successful, prominent — and his family was none of those things in the 1880s.
He didn’t even have an education: He was nine years old when his family pulled up roots and moved to the jungles of Central America, where there was no infrastructure, and certainly no established school system. Cephas was there for eight years, and when he returned to the United States — at 17 — he was a grown man, homeschooled for the most part, without a formal education. Ceph was ambitious, and knew if he wanted to be somebody, he was going to have to do it on his own.
Lacking money, education, and position, Ceph took what he did have — connections, brains, and tenacity — and used that to make his way in the world. Cephas set a goal, went after it — and, mostly, he got what he wanted.
The one goal that eluded him was the governor’s mansion, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Katie’s granddaughter sent me several other clips, too; I’ll share them in later posts. Some of the clips are about Emmett; they do not add a lot of new information, but what’s there is still good, because:
a) the clips are from completely new-to-me newspapers (one outside of Florida);
b) the reporting about him appears to be consistent with earlier reporting of his person and character; and,
c) the information in the articles is repetitive and/or similar to information I’ve found in other documentation — which is a sign that I’m close to the end of research in a particular area.
Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
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