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Chapter 45: On Frank Jr.

October 21, 2014 McKeldin Library Research Carrel University of Maryland Campus, College Park Sometimes when I hit a dead end in the Emmett Wilson research trek, I try a side-road, namely, I stop looking directly for Emmett and instead dig around for information about his siblings. I figure with nine […]

Chapter 36: News to Me

December 22, 1900Dr. Francis C. Wilson’s Office, Downtown Chipley Continued from here. === I climbed the stairs and paused at the top; my heart was pounding.  I closed my eyes, and counted to ten; rubbed the center of my chest. Touched the liquor flask hidden in my coat pocket. After […]

Chapter 16: The end and the beginning

I have to forget the sanitized, clinical image in my mind about Emmett spending his last days in a hospital bed. You should, too. His last days weren’t tragically romantic. It wasn’t pretty, despite the fact Emmett was tended to in Pensacola Hospital, by the Sisters of Charity, nun-nurses hovering […]

Chapter 15: Irony and Uselessness

You want to hear something funny? Or more honestly, ironic? As I sat with my newfound information about Emmett Wilson, I was angry. Pissed, actually. First, this guy. Emmett Wilson, who (from what I had read so far) was from a privileged family; a family who held respectable jobs in […]

Chapter 14: What is he to me?

That was the question I kept asking as I dug deeper into this stranger’s — Emmett’s — story. I couldn’t keep calling him a stranger, though. For such an obscure guy who didn’t leave much of a mark while he lived, I was turning up dozens of tiny blurbs about […]

Chapter 13: Disappointing diagnosis?

About two weeks after following up with Mike Burke with the proper Wilson ancestor information, and approval from Sacred Heart Hospital’s general counsel, I received this email message: Well, there it was: An official hospital record indicating Emmett was an alcoholic. But was that enough? In research, one has to […]

Chapter 12: Clues in the genealogy

I dug into the Milligan family genealogy right away. With note-taking, it took two days. It’s basically written as a conversation from the author, John Evans Wilson, to his children and descendants.     Emmett’s family story is on the second to last page. Here’s what John Evans Wilson said […]

Chapter 9: Emmett’s Death Certificate

By the end of July, 2013, Emmett’s research was in its third month, and I was reaping the rewards of having mass contacted Wilson family descendants, as well as Emmett’s neighbors, friends, political allies and foes. I reached out to descendants of his congressional office staff, to hospitals where he […]