Henry Lee Bell Photograph Collection

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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, when they separated into their own businesses. Bell’s studio operated until around 1949. Both considered excellent photographers, ability to capture the real person on film.

And, surprise, I found these photographs:

Francis C. Wilson Jr. Source: Bell Photograph Collection, University of West Florida Archives

Francis C. Wilson Jr. Source: Bell Photograph Collection, University of West Florida Archives

May McKinnon Wilson. Source: Bell Photograph Collection, University of West Florida Archives

Two separate poses of Emmett’s older brother, Frank Jr., and one of his wife, May McKinnon Wilson, of Pensacola. There’s a strong resemblance between Frank Jr. and Emmett, if you compare their photos.

I have a few photographs of Emmett’s father, as well as Emmett’s twin brother Julian in his later years. There’s strong resemblance among the Wilson menfolk, and so we get a hint of what Emmett might have looked like as an older man.

So, in five years of compiling research and artifacts to tell Emmett’s story, the only family member I don’t have a photograph of is Emmett’s older brother Percy Brockenbrough Wilson. Percy was a physician who lived in Sneads, Jackson County, Florida. I have reached out to a few of Percy’s descendants, but unfortunately, they do not have any photographs of him. Perhaps one may turn up as the search (and the writing) continues!

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Brotherly Confirmation

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This is a deposition signed by Frank C. Wilson, Jr., witnessed by his wife, Mae, in 1945. This document is in in the possession of Katie Wilson Meade's granddaughter, Elizabeth, in Charlottesville. There is a lot of useful detail about Emmett's family in it.

This is a deposition signed by Frank C. Wilson, Jr., witnessed by his wife, May, in 1943. This document is in in the possession of Katie Wilson Meade’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, in Charlottesville. There is a lot of useful detail about Emmett’s family in it.

This is a document that was shared with me by Katie Wilson Meade’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, during my visit to Charlottesville in January.

The story behind this document is that Elizabeth’s father, Everard Wilson Meade, wanted to join the Navy during World War II, and the lack of an official birth certificate was an issue.

This document was notarized in Florida, probably in Marianna, as that is where Frank and May Wilson were living in 1943. There is a lot of great family background information in this one, concise document.