One-Shot at a Free Ride


I’ve been thinking about the vocational/educational breakdown of Emmett’s immediate family:

  • Two physicians; one on-the-job training, one college-educated (Dr. Francis Wilson and his second eldest son, Percy Brockenbrough Wilson)
  • Two lawyers; one on-the-job training, one college-educated (Cephas Love Wilson and Emmett Wilson)
  • Four railroad professionals; high school diploma only, mostly on-the-job training (Frank Jr., Meade, Julian, Walker)
  • Two state-certified teachers; high school diploma only (Dora and Katie)
  • One musician/pharmacist/editor; high school diploma only (Max)

Emmett’s education was a bit unusual because he was the only Wilson child with two chances to go to college — he either failed out or dropped out of West Florida Seminary (now Florida State University) in 1900, and two years later, enrolled at Stetson University, graduating in 1904.

Frankly, this surprises me, given that

  • higher education was expensive, even for an upper middle class family like the Wilsons, and
  • there was little if any extra money available for things other than necessities. And:
  • the Wilson family genealogy sent to me from Walker Wilson’s descendants indicated resentment among Emmett’s siblings that the younger Wilsons had to contribute funds to brothers and sisters attending college — a opportunity either not extended nor available to the younger Wilsons once they became old enough.

It seems like the family helped Emmett pay for the first college (West Florida Seminary) tuition, but the second time, I believe Emmett was on his own financially. It just doesn’t make sense to me that the family would put up two college tuitions for one child, and not do the same for the other younger children. Emmett had one shot at a ‘free’ tuition ride — and when it didn’t work out for him at WFS, he knew he’d have to pay his own way if he ever wanted to go to college again.

Ad from The Chipley Banner, 1894. DJ Jones was a well-established attorney and judge for many years. Source: Chronicling

After Emmett came home from WFS in January, 1901, he immediate started clerking for Judge Daniel J. Jones, one of the most important lawyers in West Florida, with the idea that he would do as his brother Cephas: Clerk for a prominent jurist for a few years, take the bar exam, and begin his practice.  But times were changing for the legal profession around 1900, as more states were requiring law school and official degrees as proper credentials over old-school apprenticeship training.


Emmett and Judge Jones must have discussed the future of the profession, and I am certain Judge Jones would have encouraged Emmett earn a law degree at a college or university, to ensure his best possible professional opportunities.

Advertisement from August 30, 1901 edition of The (Pensacola) Daily News. Emmett had been clerking for Judge D.J. Jones, during this time — but he could only do so much without knowledge of shorthand. It is likely Jones recommended Emmett obtain shorthand training. Emmett was visiting family during the summer of 1901, and this advertisement got his attention. Source: The (Pensacola) Daily News, August 30, 1901.

Emmett remained with Jones as a clerk for about six months, before he left to take a shorthand course at Meux’s Business School in Pensacola, returning in 1902 to clerk for Cephas in Marianna for several months, earning enough money to attend Stetson University in September, 1902.


Dissecting the Message, Part III


We continue to dissect Cephas Love Wilson’s letter to Emmett Augustus Meade, dated January 6, 1910:

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“Uncle Meade” was The Reverend Everard Meade, O.D., “Gentleman, Soldier, Man of God.” He was the rector of the historic Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton, Virginia (about 30 miles south of Washington, D.C.), which was established in 1732. Uncle Meade’s wife was Lucy Brockenbrough Maxwell Meade.


Lucy Brockenbrough Maxwell Meade, Emmett Wilson’s aunt. Source: Katie’s granddaughter.

Uncle Meade was not always a minister; he started out as a teacher and the owner of a school in Pensacola in 1868, when Augustus Emmett Maxwell and his family (wife Julia, daughters Lucy [Emmett’s Aunt], Elizabeth [Emmett’s Mother], and youngest son Simeon) returned to the family home, “Oakfields,” after the Civil War.

Emmett’s father, Francis C. Wilson, was also living in Pensacola, and apprenticing with a local established physician. The backstory of this part of Emmett’s family history is in an earlier post, by the way.

The Maxwells were devout Episcopalians, as were the Wilsons, at least up until the death of Lucy’s sister, Elizabeth Maxwell Wilson in 1891 in Chipley.

The current pastor at the Episcopal Church in Chipley told me that there wasn’t a congregation there until the 1920’s, and parishoners either attended services in Marianna (20 miles away), or Eufala, Alabama. Dr. Wilson was not Episcopalian; but he and Elizabeth raised their family in her faith.

Dr. Wilson remarried in 1893 in Chipley. His second wife (Catherine “Kate” Langley Jordan Wilson) was the daughter of the local Baptist minister. Kate was devout and strictly temperance; she was a regular at the Baptist Church, but it is not clear if Dr. Wilson attended church with her. We do know that once Dr. Wilson remarried in 1893, his two daughters (Emmett’s sisters), Katie and Dora, moved in with Cephas (who now lived Marianna with his wife, Lula, and had a successful law practice). Emmett’s sisters attended St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Marianna regularly; Katie would marry Emmett Augustus Meade at St. Luke’s in 1902.

Dood and the ‘Break’ Stunts

Cephas’ description of Lula Wiselogel Wilson doing ‘break’ stunts is wonderful, and quite different than the impression I’ve had of her over the past four years — mostly, she’s come across as serious, thoughtful, kind, musically talented, creative, and long-suffering [given that she had to put up with Cephas’ infidelities, which were publicly known and at least once reported on in West Florida newspapers].

The idea of Lula as someone who would pull ‘stunts’ seems out of character for Lula, but then, the tone of this letter from Cephas is joking. I think this letter was Cephas’ attempt at jollity and relief, as Katie and Emmett Meade had lost several babies in a span of only five years. I’m certain that Katie and Emmett Meade were overjoyed with their new son, but also probably terrified that something might happen to him, as it had with their two other infant sons. This was confirmed in an interview I had with Everard Meade’s daughter, Elizabeth, who told me that Katie Meade would hover over her son for most of his childhood, and stay closely connected to him all his life (sometimes to the chagrin of Elizabeth’s mother).


Everard Wilson Meade at his graduation from the University of Virginia, with his mother Katie Wilson Meade and father, Emmett Meade. Everard’s wife took this photo. Charlottesville, Virginia, about 1930.

Another interesting detail from Cephas’ letter is that Lula drank alcohol — at least occasionally. And, like Cephas, she wasn’t used to champagne.

Also, the gathering at Cephas’ house on January 3, 1910 with Jeanet McKinnon and Jhon Burton doesn’t appears to have been planned, but a spontaneous celebration of Katie and Emmett Meade’s new baby.  Jeanet McKinnon and Jhon Burton happened to be at the Wilson’s home on Lafayette Street for dinner on the day Cephas received word about the birth of his new nephew.

One final thing to note is the fifth line of this blurb, where the party attendees talk about their hopes for the baby’s future. Cephas, naturally, wishes the baby to be a successful lawyer.

Jeanet McKinnon says she hopes the baby is ‘as nice as his father’ and ‘as sweet as his mother.’ I’m sure Cephas was ‘nice’ to Jeanet; she was related to him by marriage (her sister May was married to Cephas’ older brother Frank Jr. in Pensacola), but Jeanet didn’t know Cephas that well.

And Lula “…hoped that whatever he was, he would be the best.” That comment is exactly in keeping with Lula’s character. Lula was the kind of woman who would never push her expectations on anyone — not her children (Cephas Jr., Kathleen), not her husband, not Emmett (who saw Lula as a surrogate mother from time to time).

Lula was also the kind of woman who hoped her family members were prominent and successful, but she also knew that real happiness was more about inner fulfillment and happiness, because Lula didn’t seem to have either while she was married to Cephas.

We’ll finish up with the analysis of this letter in the next post.

Dissecting the Message, Part I


In the last post, we took a close look at a letter written by Cephas Love Wilson to his brother-in-law, Emmett Augustus Meade in January, 1910.  Today, we’ll do what I think is the fun part of corresponding research — dissecting the text of the letter! I’ll take a few sections out and examine them with you.

Let’s get started!


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I thought the punctuation style was a little unusual — it looks like a half-emoticon through my 20th-century lens, but I’ve seen this style on other letters, too.  Without knowing that this was OK, it would appear to be a typo.

Cephas received a message from Emmett Meade, sent on January 3rd, that Everard Wilson Meade was born on January 2nd. The Meades were not wealthy, and so would not have telephoned this to Cephas. Likely, Emmett Meade (who worked for the railroad at this time) sent a telegram. Cephas was probably not the only one who received a telegram: Likely, Dr. Wilson would have received word in Chipley, as would have Emmett Wilson, in Pensacola, also by telegram. Two of the Wilson siblings (Julian and Walker) were living with Cephas in Marianna at this time; Dora was married and living a few blocks away in Marianna as well.


The Golden Geese by Everard Meade. Source:

The safe delivery of Everard was a big deal: This would the fourth and last child of Emmett and Katie Meade. They had lost three infant sons over the past eight years, none of whom lived to see their second birthday. Everyone was anxious about Katie and the new baby, who would grow up to be an advertising executive and an author.

The comment about the U.S. Supreme Court is interesting, and totally in line with the way Cephas thought: Cephas never had a general goal in his life; he aimed for the top prize, always.

Elizabeth (Katie’s granddaughter) told me that she never thought her father, Everard Meade, was interested in the law, despite the exposure he had from the numerous uncles and cousins who were lawyers and judges.

Cephas, himself, would not have entertained the idea of becoming the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He had thrown his hat into the Florida Governor’s race at least twice, and his political star was definitely on the rise in 1910 — his big lifetime dream was to live in the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee. But it couldn’t hurt to encourage big dreams in his brand new nephew; the Wilsons were all about politics.


“Jeanet and Jhon Burton.” That’s misleading; these two were not married, and they wouldn’t ever marry each other. They might have been courting at this point; if they were, it didn’t last.

Here, Cephas is talking about Jeanet MacKinnon, a longtime friend of the family who never married, and a man named Jhon Wilton Thomas Burton. (That’s not a typo, by the way: His first name is spelled Jhon; click here to see his tombstone in Marianna. Unusual, isn’t it?)

The story with Jeanet is that many family and friends were keen about matchmaking for her — at least, that is how it appears. I always had a feeling that our Emmett was even put out as a consideration, but of course, Emmett never intended to marry.

I’m sure Emmett knew Jeanet from childhood. Emmett was Jeanet’s escort at Katie and Emmett Meade’s wedding in 1902. If there had been a chance for Emmett and Jeanet to get together, there was always ample opportunity; but, things didn’t work out between Jeanet and our Emmett.


The County Judge is BA Meginnis, who was a classmate of Emmett Wilson’s, when he attended West Florida Seminary.  I don’t recognize the witness names; the Burtons were married in Tallahassee. Source:

In 1910, Jhon was living with his brother Massey R. Burton’s family; he was the manager of the telephone exchange.  Knowing this, it is possible that Jhon received a phone call from Emmett Meade all the way from Alexandria, Virginia to Marianna, Florida — but it would have cost about $60 in 1910 dollars — and still would have been prohibitive for the Meades.

He was about 30 when he was married on January 12, 1916 to Mary Florence Willard. In 1920 Census, he and Florence are living with her mother, and brother, in the Burton house, in Marianna. He is a bookkeeper for a store; she is a bookkeeper for a bank — perhaps Cephas’ bank.

In 1930, the U.S. Census reports Jhon to be divorced, but interestingly, still living with his mother- and brother-in-law (Pearl Willard, Stewart Willard). He is listed as a grocer. This makes me wonder who filed for divorce — it seems as if Florence’s mother would not have tolerated living with the son-in-law if he were the one who petitioned for divorce.

In the 1940 Census, Pearl is living with her daughter Florence and her husband, in Pensacola. Florence remarried sometime between the 1920 and the 1940 U.S. Census; Jhon has also remarried to Mary Lena Burton. Jhon appears to be a salesman for a snuff company (the handwriting on the U.S. Census looks like it is “Snuff Co.”), and he had an 11-year-old son named George. Mary Lena is 21 years younger than Jhon; it looks as if they were married around 1928 or 1929.

I honestly didn’t plan to do this much work into the Burton story, but the line in Cephas’ letter that says how Jhon Burton is like a member of the family intrigues me. If Jhon is that close to Cephas, I wonder if Cephas handled his divorce? Did Cephas think of Jhon as a younger brother? He was about Emmett Wilson’s age.

I’ll take a break here, because the analysis on this one little piece is running long for this post. Tomorrow or the next day, I hope to finish with information about Jeanet MacKinnon, and the rest of the highlighted points from this portion of the letter.

I’m always surprised by how much information one can glean from a single document, if you examine it closely!

Circle of Family: Percy Brockenbrough Wilson


Emmett’s brother, Percy Brockenbrough Wilson, was born in Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi, on October 25, 1871.


Percy was the fourth son of Dr. Francis C. and Elizabeth Maxwell Wilson, only about 18 months after the Wilsons moved from Pensacola to Holly Springs. As discussed elsewhere in the blog, the Wilsons moved to Belize in 1875, hoping to rebuild the fortunes the family had lost during the Civil War.

Percy was about four years old when he and his family emigrated to Central America. There is very little information about his childhood — except that we know he was considered ‘the angelic one’ of the Wilson children!

According to a narrative written many years later by Percy’s younger sister, Katie Wilson Meade:

Percy and Frank Jr. decided to go fishing on a Sunday, which wasn’t allowed (Katie said her parents preferred to dedicate Sundays to church and related activities). The boys snuck off to a river, caught at least half a dozen fish, and kept them on a line in the water, until the next day, Monday.

The next day, the boys asked their father permission to go fishing. When they returned, he knew they hadn’t been gone long enough to catch that many, and so asked them directly if they had gone fishing on Sunday. Frank said no. Percy said yes. Dr. Wilson knew that Percy was not one to tell lies, and so Frank received a punishment (a spanking). Katie tells us in the narrative that Frank later got even with Percy (we aren’t sure what happened, but she hints that it involved fisticuffs).

Sometime around 1882, when Percy and Frank were 12 and 13, respectively, their parents put them on a steamer for a two-week trip through the pirate-infested Gulf of Mexico headed for New Orleans. Percy wanted to become a doctor like his father; the Wilsons knew the small settlement schools in Belize were fine for primary education, but as the Wilson children got older, the teachers were not equipped for the higher grades. That’s when the Wilsons made the tough decision to send their children back to the United States for schooling.

Percy and Frank Jr. were sent to Pensacola via the port of New Orleans, where Elizabeth’s father, Judge Maxwell, would take care of them, and where they would attend school.

This plan only lasted a few years: The Wilsons didn’t like the idea of sending more of their children back to the U.S. It was a difficult, dangerous trip for a child on his or her own; also, they didn’t like being separated from their children for so long, and at such a great distance. Finally, the sugar plantation in which Dr. Wilson had invested his family’s savings was not doing well. The family decided to cut their losses, and return home.

Manifest of the passengers on the City of Dallas, June 1884. The Wilsons only had a few trunks of possessions and clothing to take back to the United States, not much more than they had brought with them on the original trip to British Honduras back in 1875. Source: NARA, via

Manifest of the passengers on the City of Dallas, June 1884. The Wilsons only had a few trunks of possessions and clothing to take back to the United States, not much more than they had brought with them on the original trip to British Honduras back in 1875. Sons Percy and Frank Jr. were not passengers on this trip. Source: NARA, via

When their parents emigrated back to the U.S. in 1884, they reunited with their sons in Pensacola; then moved to Chipley, where Dr. Wilson established his practice.

Eventually, Percy would attend medical school in Mobile. Frank would attend school in Pensacola, and eventually get a job with the L&N Railroad.

Percy graduated from the Medical College of Alabama (which was in Mobile) in 1895. He established practice in Sneads.

Lulie Butler Wilson. A child bride. Source:

Lulie Butler Wilson. A child bride. Source:

He married Lulie Butler in June, 1897.

Lulie Butler Wilson died October 23, 1897, only 17 years old. Percy’s great-granddaughter once told me that the family story is that she died in childbirth — which is possible — I tend to doubt it because they were only married four months. Of course, she could have been pregnant when she married Percy, but we’ll never know.

A news item in The Chipley Banner makes me think it was most likely tuberculosis, which was a problem in West Florida at the time. (Interestingly, tuberculosis is what eventually killed Percy, and several other Wilson family members too). Percy was devastated by her death.

Percy remarried in 1900, to Bonnie Bessie Stapleton. They had six children: Irene, Elizabeth, Percy Jr., Bonnie Jr., Katie, and Robert. Interestingly, Percy and Bonnie were twins!

Their first child, Irene Elizabeth, was born November 20, 1900.

Irene Elizabeth Wilson, the first child of Percy and Bonnie Wilson. Source:

Irene Elizabeth Wilson, the first child of Percy and Bonnie Wilson. Source:

An article in the February 12, 1903 issue of The Chipley Banner mentions that one of Percy’s children became critically ill in February, 1903. The child is not named in the paper, but it was Irene.

Percy brought Irene to Chipley from Sneads in the hopes that his father could help treat her, but unfortunately, the child died on February 6, 1903, and was taken back to Sneads for burial.

We don't know the cause of death, but at this time, several Wilson family members had come down with scarlet fever, and Dr. F.C. Wilson had recently gone to Pensacola to help treat Frank Jr.'s daughter, Clara for scarlet fever. Unfortunately, Clara died. Source: The Chipley Banner, February 12, 1903.

We don’t know the cause of death, but at this time in 1903, several Wilson family members had come down with scarlet fever, and Dr. F.C. Wilson had recently gone to Pensacola to help treat Frank Jr.’s daughter, Clara for scarlet fever. Unfortunately, Clara died. Source: The Chipley Banner, February 12, 1903.

An aside: There’s still no vaccine for scarlet fever (today called ‘scarletina’, which originates from strep-A bacteria), but it is treated with antibiotics. Interestingly, in the early 1900s, scarlet fever itself wasn’t always deadly , but it often led to other more serious illnesses, such as meningitis, pneumonia and/or kidney or liver failure.

Percy led the typical Wilson family life: Active in community service and politics, effective in his chosen profession.

Percy was named State Medical Examiner for the Florida first judicial district in 1901. Source: 1901 Florida Secretary of State's Report.

Percy was named State Medical Examiner for the Florida first judicial district in 1901. Source: 1901 Florida Secretary of State’s Report.

Apparently, he did well enough in his rural practice to purchase an automobile. In 1910, according to a record in Florida, Percy owned a Brush Runabout.

A 1910 Brush Runabout. It cost $495. Source:

A 1910 Brush Runabout. It cost $495. Source:

In 1913, he took a step up to a Hupmobile!

1913 Florida Secretary of State's Report. Percy had a Huppmobile! I'm not sure if the certificate number was the same as a 'tag' number; but I do know you could purchase your car tag for only $1 back then! Source: Florida Secretary of State's Report for 1913.

1913 Florida Secretary of State’s Report. Percy had a Hupmobile! I’m not sure if the certificate number was the same as a ‘tag’ number; but I do know you could purchase your car tag for only $1 back then! Source: Florida Secretary of State’s Report for 1913.

A 1911 Hupmobile. Source:

I couldn’t find a photos of a 1913 Hupbmobile, but here is the 1911 model. Source:

After Emmett became a U.S. Congressman, in 1914, he had Percy named Postmaster for Sneads, Florida. The postmastership was a plum political appointment in the early 1900s — it was a sinecure, and, depending on the size of the postal grade of each district, paid between $1800 to $2400 a year. That was big money, given the average income of a family of four was between $400 and $600 a year.

Percy was appointed Postmaster of Sneads, Florida, Marcy 18, 1914. Source: U.S. Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-1971, via

Percy was appointed Postmaster of Sneads, Florida, Marcy 18, 1914. Source: U.S. Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-1971, via

Yeah, this was definitely nepotism, but Emmett was also doing it because Percy was failing.

The one letter I have from Emmett to his sister Katie Wilson Meade, dated summer of 1913, states that Emmett had had a letter from Cephas telling him that they feared Percy had tuberculosis, that Percy was not doing well at all. By 1914, Percy was probably not practicing medicine anymore; he was that ill.

Percy had been spending time in San Antonio, in a sanitarium, for tuberculosis. Source: The Pensacola Journal, August 29, 1917.

Percy had been spending time in San Antonio, in a sanitarium, for tuberculosis. Source: The Pensacola Journal, August 29, 1917.

I think the writer was being kind in the article, because Percy’s health never improved, and he died of tuberculosis on March 10, 1918.

The quote on the headstone says: "We knew no sorrow, knew no grief, till that bright face was missed." Source:

The quote on the headstone says: “We knew no sorrow, knew no grief, till that bright face was missed.” Source:

What’s great about Percy’s story is that I have been in contact with his descendants; specifically, his great-granddaughter!

Although the descendants report that they don’t have any anecdotal information or photos of Percy, I think this brief essay paints a pretty of the man who was Emmett’s big brother.

I’d love to have more anecdotes, and even photographs, if they exist, to include in Percy’s story, and to share with his descendants. We never know — the photos may come to light one of these days!

Bluemont, Virginia


This is a great story, folks.

Last night, I had a message from “Tell My Story” reader Mark, who said:

“Some years ago, I found (in a box of stuff at a Mt Vernon auction) a small B&W photo of a woman working in her flower garden. On the back is a penciled notation: “Katie Meade, Blueview, Va”. Stamped on the back is PEOPLES DRUG STORES JUN 23 -1936. She bears a striking resemblance to the Katie Meade shown in your blog. If you would like it – or a scan of it – please contact me. No charge, just looking for a proper home for the photo.”

I could barely contain my excitement after I got that message! And people, I was FLOORED, humbled, and grateful to receive a message like this.

If you’ve been following along during the life of this blog, I’ve been looking for about a year and a half for anything out there about Emmett and/or his immediate family, and Katie Meade is VERY important in telling Emmett’s story.

I got back in touch with Mark, who kindly sent me a scan of the front and back of the photo. Here is the front:

Katie Wilson Meade, June 23, 1936

Katie Wilson Meade, June 23, 1936; she looks like she enjoys gardening!


And here is the back:

Katie Meade, Bluemont, Virginia

Katie Meade, Bluemont, Virginia

Peoples Drug Stores was a big pharmacy chain (founded here in  DC in 1905) up until the mid-1990s. They were bought out several times, ultimately becoming the current chain, CVS. I used to shop at Peoples Drug Stores all the time; it makes me feel more of a connection to Emmett, as they would have been in business when he lived here. I’m very sure he shopped there on occasion.

A took a close look at the reverse of the photo, and it appeared to me to be “Bluemont” rather than Blueview. Like Mark, I checked around and could not find anything on “Blueview, Virginia” — but a lot on Bluemont.

Bluemont, Virginia is a place I’m not familiar with; Katie Meade was living in and around Arlington/Mt. Vernon, Virginia at the time this photo was taken. Her son, Everard Meade was living in Charlottesville, Virginia (he was a student at the University of Virginia; later, a communications faculty member).

It turns out that Bluemont was a great little vacation getaway for folks who lived in DC and wanted to escape the heat and grossness that is Washington in the summertime. You would catch the WO&D train from Washington (it was called the ‘Virginia Creeper’). Bluemont is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Katie Meade’s husband, Emmett Meade, worked for the WO&D, and affiliated lines and so, it is very likely they were able to get passes, and take a vacation.

I noticed that there is a fellow on the Bluemont, Virginia webpage who appears to be local historian (he was born in 1930), and I plan to contact him this week. Maybe he knows something about the Meades — or — perhaps there is something in their local history about them.

UPDATE 12/11/2014: I just got off the phone with Katie Meade’s 97-year-old niece Jule, who confirmed that Katie Meade did, indeed, have a summer place in Bluemont, and Jule spent time there with her aunt and uncle often!

Thank you again, Mark, for your kindness and generosity in sharing this photo with me. I am so appreciative of it. This one photo appears to have opened up another window into Emmett’s research, and I cannot express adequately my gratitude for the photograph.


What Emmett Saw in Pohick


It occurred to me yesterday while I was at the Pohick Cemetery that Emmett had been there.

A little background:

Emmett’s uncle, Everard Meade, was the rector of Pohick Episcopal Church. His aunt, Lucy, had been very close Emmett’s mother, and she likely remained in close contact with her nieces and nephews over the years.

When Emmett became a congressman in 1913, it is reported that he visited his sister’s family several times. Everard and Lucy Meade were part of his sister’s family.

Everard Meade died in December, 1913. Emmett was in the area, and very likely attended his uncle’s funeral. Everard Meade was an important person in the Pohick community — his death was mentioned in The Washington Post, and in one of the other Washington, D.C. papers, The Evening Star.

Great details on the headstone. "Gentleman, Solider, Man of God."

Great details on the headstone. “Gentleman, Solider, Man of God.”

It would be logical that his nephew the congressman was in attendance at that funeral.

Here are some of the things Emmett probably saw during his visit to this cemetery:

The old church building.

The old church building.

You can read about the history of this building here, and see early drawings from the mid-19th century.

To the right of this building is a set of post-Revolutionary War-era graves.

2014-10-28 10.01.49


Elizabeth Massey’s stone is on the left; she died in 1805.

Elizabeth Massey, age 66, died in 1805.

Elizabeth Massey, age 66, died in 1805.

You can read about the other significant markers here; there are several interesting graves, many of which were very hard to read without the help of the information provided by the church. The grounds are in beautiful condition, by the way.

Speaking of the grounds, a very old oak tree located near the Meade family plot got my attention. It is at least 300 years old. It is majestic and beautiful, my photos do not do it justice.

A majestic oak, about 50 feet from the Meade family plot.

A majestic oak, about 50 feet from the Meade family plot.

In this photograph, you can’t see it, but the tree has been struck by lightning. There’s a thin diagonal seam across the surface of this tree on this side. The tree appears to have healed itself.

And the, if that wasn’t enough, there is evidence of a second strike.

There's the scar of the other strike.

There’s the second scar; the tree allegedly was struck by lighting twice.

The second time was the charm, because there is a lightning rod affixed to the tree now.

The lightning rod's wire runs down the side of this magnificent tree.

The lightning rod’s wire runs down the side of this magnificent tree. It is hard to see, but it is there.

When Emmett was here last, it was mid-December, so this tree was not as lush as it is in the photos. Still, the tree was there; so was Emmett. If only the tree could talk, you know?