Happy anniversary to Cephas Love Wilson Jr. and Louise Adelaide Hughes, who were married 81 years ago today, August 15, 1936.
Cephas Love Wilson Jr. was Emmett’s nephew, the son of his closest brother and law partner. I’m been intrigued by Cephas Jr.’s story, mostly because this is the one branch of the Wilson family descendants that I’ve been unable to locate. But, over the past four years, small details about this branch of the Wilson family tree reveal themselves.
Imagine my excitement to find Cephas Jr.’s marriage records the other day! There’s a lot of information here, and of course, I can’t resist picking these documents apart. Here’s what I found:
- Louise Hughes, a schoolteacher, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of George Warriner Hughes and Ida Hughes. According to the 1920 U.S. Census, George managed a restaurant in Allegheny County. The Hughes family was large; Louise was the second oldest. By 1930, the Hughes family (minus Louise and her younger sister, Florence D.) had moved to Cincinnati, where George was also managing a restaurant.
- George was born in Florida; his sister, Florence P. Warriner, was a well-established music teacher in Jacksonville. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, Louise and her younger sister Florence D. were living with Florence P. Warriner.
- Another aunt, Adelaide Hughes, was also a school teacher, and living in the Florence P. Warriner household in 1930 — so, a household of schoolteachers, all in the family!
- In 1930, Louise is listed as a student — she was only 18 at the time — likely still in high school, or at least in college. Sure enough, there’s a yearbook photo of her!
Stunning, wasn’t she?
According to the 1940 U.S. Census, Louise did not graduate from Florida State University; the highest level of education attained is listed at second year college. If she was a Freshman in 1930 (right after the stock market crash), that meant she only went as far as here sophomore year (meaning she probably left around 1931 or 1932). The same census reveals that Louise is a teacher in the public schools (despite not finishing her degree), and that Cephas Jr. is a photographer at C.W. Dishinger Studios in Jacksonville. It isn’t specified what subject Louise teaches at the public schools, but I believe she probably taught music, as her aunts and sister (with whom she was living in 1930) were music teachers.
Somewhere between 1932 and 1936, Cephas Jr. met Louise Hughes. I like to think that Ceph’s mother Lula might have had a hand in getting the couple together, as she was musically gifted, and seriously tied into the music community at this time. Perhaps Lula knew Florence Warriner; perhaps the two ladies introduced the young people.
The witnesses to the wedding were Louise’ sister, Florence D. Hughes, and J. Richard Grether (1897-1961). According to Richard’s WWI draft record, he was tall and slender, with gray eyes and light brown hair. His WWII registration card lists him as an employee of the Barnett National Bank in Jacksonville, with a ruddy complexion and a weight of 150 pounds, and living with his father, John Dillon Grether, at the family home.
Grether was the son of John Dillon Grether (1870-1943). John Grether married Cephas Jr.’s mother between 1925 and 1930, after the death of Cephas Sr. in 1925; J. Richard and Cephas Jr. were stepbrothers.
The Rev. Frank August Gustafson was the past of the Church of the New Jerusalem, also known as The New Church. This was Louise’ church, as Cephas Jr. was raised as an Episcopalian.
The house Cephas Jr. listed as his residence in the marriage license application is still standing; Louise’s home at 816 Oak Street is not. And the house where Cephas Jr. and Louise Hughes Wilson lived in Jacksonville (built in 1940) is still standing.
The address where the marriage took place — 4240 Marquette Avenue — appears to have been a private home in 1936. It is hard to tell if the house at that address today is the original Gustafson home. This was Gustafson’s home address (according to the Jacksonville City Directory in 1936); it was not uncommon for weddings to be held at home, especially if the bride and groom were of two different religious faiths.
Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
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