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History of Florida, Past & Present

In 1923, Harry Gardner Cutler published a ginormous compendium of Florida biographies, complete with similarly sized title History of Florida: Past and Present, Historical and Biographical. Three volumes complete the set, and today, it is available via Google Books at this link. It’s an interesting and informative resource; in fact, […]

that which is most familiar

“We seek out what is familiar and comfortable emotionally, even though what is familiar and comfortable may not be healthy.” — Carolyn Hax, The Washington Post, June 2018 Everyone does this, alcoholic or not. “Fixing” Emmett’s unhealthy drinking habit would have been possible if he’d had help with a competent […]

Henry Lee Bell Photograph Collection

In the University of West Florida Archives, there’s a wonderful collection of more than 20,000 photographs of everyday Pensacolians between 1911 and 1949. Henry Lee Bell opened photography studio in 1911 in Pensacola Florida. Used to be partnered with George Turton. Was Turton & Bell around 1900 to about 1911, […]

Life Expectancy

As I write Emmett’s story, I always wonder how long he would have lived had he not drank himself to death. Several of the men in his family, particularly his twin brother Julian, were long lived. Emmett was 35 when he died of uremia on May 29, 1918. The website, […]

Why Everything is Not Digitized

Of course, I’d love to have had everything available about Emmett Wilson to be accessible via the Internet. It would have certainly made my life easier as I dug around for primary sources in a variety of libraries and archives, both near and far, over the past five years! But […]

Emmett’s Secretaries: B.A. Murphy

When I started tracking down Emmett’s secretaries, I didn’t know what to expect. Mostly I started looking for Emmett’s secretaries because I hit a brick wall with Emmett himself (there’s very little primary information from him). At present, I’ve found as much as I can about and from Emmett’s siblings […]

Cephas Jr. and the Great War

Cephas Love Wilson, Jr. was stationed in France in 1917, during which time he wrote home to his mother and father whenever he could, letting them know he was safe, and likely, telling them a sanitized — and probably censored — version of what was going on with him and […]

Why This Is Taking So Long, Part IV

Want to know why writing Emmett’s book has been taking so long? I submit: I found this during my ‘go back and check databases for updates’ routine. Something I do every other month or so. The Chronicling America database is huge, which is why one would want to limit the […]