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John Smithwick: A Kind-of Renaissance Guy

As promised, I’m following up on the earlier post about the folks at the Smithwick luncheon. I’ll start with information about the host, John H. Smithwick: Farmer, attorney, U.S. congressman, accused check kiter, and survivor of the Knickerbocker theater disaster. When the 1907 article was published, Smithwick was Walter Kehoe’s […]

An Expensive Lesson

Emmett’s best legal education came not at Stetson University (where he was the valedictorian of the 1904 law class; it came not at the hands of his esteemed and experienced older brother, Cephas Love Wilson, Esquire. It came when he was, essentially, fired from his dream job in Sterling, Illinois […]

Emmett in Pensacola, 1902

A little over a month ago, I reported on finding electronic copies of The Pensacola News for 1902. The electronic newspaper is located on a database at the George A. Smathers Library of the University of Florida. You can see the copies for yourself at the link here. There are […]

Book Progress; Emmett’s Vacation

Emmett’s story is still moving forward; as reported a few weeks ago, I’m nearing the end of the first installation of the book, which covers 1899-1906. At present, I’m deep in the last half of 1905, around Labor Day. It wasn’t a big, last-summer-hurrah vacation for Emmett, because in 1905, […]

An Update on Walker Anderson Maxwell

Earlier this week, we looked at a few of Emmett’s colleagues from his early days in Pensacola. Since then, I’ve had an update on Emmett’s uncle, Walker Anderson Maxwell, from the excellent Sue Tindel of the Jackson County (Florida) County Courthouse. Just to review, here’s the newspaper clip from the last post: […]

A Study of Notoriety

In the early 1900s, if you got your name in the newspaper, it was a big deal. It indicated prominence in your community. If you think about it, the community news blurb columns were a sort-of equivalent to our Facebook. In Pensacola, these columns were mostly found in the Society […]

I Know Where You Were

I do periodic revisits of different databases, since they are updated from time-to-time. For example, Chronicling America (one of my favorites), which updated their electronic holdings of The Pensacola Journal back in June. Sometimes I just don’t catch everything on the first run-through. Database revisits are akin to editing drafts. […]

The Addicted Life

The blogger Michael Segal asks an interesting question: Is ambition an addiction worth having? As some of you know from a few earlier posts, Emmett Wilson essentially drank himself to death at age 35 on May 29, 1918. Behind the drinking, I think, was another addiction: Ambition. Part of a […]