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A Guide to the Records of the Wilson Cypress Company

Finding aid created by Katie Kashmiry

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
April 2008


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wilson Cypress Company (Palatka, Fla.)
Title: Records of the Wilson Cypress Company
Dates: 1882-1971
Bulk dates: 1910-1940
Abstract: Correspondence, legal documents, and financial records concerning the Wilson Cypress Company's operations, as well as the personal papers of owner H.S Wilson.
Extent: 18.5 Linear feet. 7 boxes and 42 volumes.
Identification: MS 240
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Around 1889, Henry S. Wilson and A. E. Wilson, brothers from Saginaw, Michigan, visited the Tilghman Cypress Company mill in Palatka, Florida, while touring the Ocklawaha River. The Wilson brothers subsequently purchased the Tilghman Cypress Company in 1891 from Noah J. Tilghman and Sons. The Wilson Cypress Company began operations in the Palatka area in 1893. In 1898, the Wilson Cypress Company mill was built in Palatka. By the turn of the century, the company became the second largest cypress mill in the world. In 1926, the company's employees numbered over 600 and the company had extensive land holdings in North Florida. The company ceased mill operations on December 5, 1944. The company was formally dissolved in 1983.

The founders of the Wilson Cypress Company included several men from Saginaw, Michigan: C. A. Rust, H.S. and A.E. Wilson, J.G. McPherson, and P. Corcoran, as well as John F. Rust of Cleveland, Ohio, and D.W. Rust of Detroit, Michigan. On October 19, 1891, Henry S. Wilson, Wm. G. Tilghman and John Q. Tilghman were elected the first directors of the Wilson Cypress Company. Henry S. Wilson was elected the President, Noah J. Tilghman the Vice President, and John Q. Tilghman the Secretary-Treasurer.

The collection also includes the records of Seldon's Cypress Door and Sash Company, a subsidiary company of Wilson Cypress Company. Howard Lane Gardner, Fount H. Rion, Charles M. Tanner, Jr., and George B. Seldon, of Rome, New York, organized the company in 1895 in Palatka. In the 1890s, the company manufactured moldings, doorframes, and building components. At the time, the company was the largest sash and door plant in the South. Seldon Cypress Door Company was operated in 1928 by Fred Herbert Wilson, president and treasurer; George E. Welch, vice-president; and Howard L. Gardner, secretary.

Source: The Putnam County Archives holds biographical and historical information on the Wilson Cypress Company, the Wilson family, and other individuals related to the company. Also see: The River Flows North: A History of Putnam County, by Brian Michaels (Palatka: Putnam County Archives and History Commission, 1967).


Scope and Content

The Records of the Wilson Cypress Company date from 1882 to 1971, with the majority of the records dating from 1910 to 1940. The records contain correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and personal papers. The majority of the financial and legal documents contain information regarding the ownership of lands, as well as deeds, balance sheets, checks, dividend orders, land estimates, and monthly reports. The H. S. Wilson personal papers include: certificates for stocks and bonds, deeds, insurance documents, trial balances from the Estate of H.S. Wilson, documents relating to the genealogy of the Wilson family, and historical information about the Wilson Cypress Company.

The collection also includes 42 ledgers and other books of the Wilson Cypress Company and the Seldon Cypress Door and Sash Company. The majority of the ledgers are journals and general ledgers that contain financial information regarding daily activities from 1892 to the mid 1940s. There are several miscellaneous volumes, including certificates of land, records of expenses of lands, lists of employees, retail records and customer orders. The ledgers are dated 1912 to 1924 and include a general ledger, journals, cashbooks, a vouchers payable register and a check register.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Records of the Wilson Cypress Company, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by the Putnam County Archives in Florida.

Processing Notes

The collection was partially processed by staff of the Putnam County Archives prior to transfer to the University of Florida. Materials were rearranged according to content and date. Various maps (Related to Field Notes/Land Surveys) were unfolded and rehoused in an oversized folder.


Contents List

Correspondence, 1898-1952


Box
1 Miscellaneous Envelope to Wilson Cypress Company. 1898
1 Everglade Cypress Lumber Company. 1906
1 Tilgham Cypress Co. and W.J. Station Company. 1906
1 RL Farrell and Company. 1907, 1910
1 St. Johns County Abstract and Title Guaranty Company. 1908, 1912
1 Con. W. Lloyd (Ashland, Wisconsin). 1909-1912
1 Upchurch Lumber Company (George L. Drew). 1910-1913
1 Henry A. Hodges. 1910-1916
1 A.E. Wilson. 1911
1 Jasper Walker. 1911
1 Regarding Hoban-Hunter-Feitner Company. 1911
1 Seaboard Lumber Company. 1911
1 Sapp Hill. 1911
1 C.L. Judd, contains legal and financial content. 1911-1913
1 Florida Real Estate and Brokerage Company. 1911-1913
1 Harry Cornell Wilson. 1911-1914
1 Misc. regarding land. 1911-1914
1 Mrs. Henry S. Wilson (Mrs. Marion Quick). 1911-1914
1 Raymond C. Wilson. 1911-1914
1 Weadock and Weadock (attorneys). 1911-1914
1 Albert Juhl (Ashland, Wisconsin). 1912
1 Frank Sasso and M.E. Dillion, includes legal document. 1912
1 Putnam National Bank. 1912
1 W.R. Gallagher. 1912
1 Campbell and Foster, attorneys. 1912-1913
1 Hasting Development Company, Hasting Banking Co. 1912-1913
1 Ned Withers of Ashland, Wisconsin. 1912-1913
1 Misc. Tax/Courthouse. 1912-1914
1 Wilson Estate. 1912-1914
1 E.W. Lane. 1913
1 Guy F. Shields of Florida Farms Company. 1913
1 Leonard Hillis. 1913
1 John C. Townsend, attorney for Mrs. Henry S. Wilson. 1913-1914
1 Receivership of Upchurch Lumber Company. 1913-1914
1 W.O. McGowin. 1913-1914
1 Isaac Bearinger Estate, includes legal documents. 1913, 1915
1 Correspondence found with Ledgers. 1933
1 A.M. Rust and American Security and Trust Company. 1936
1 D.K. Clippinger, Ernst W. Mitchell, A.M. Rust, G.R. Harper. 1937
1 D.K. Clippinger. 1939
1 Mail Receipts of Wilson Cypress Company. 1939-1940
1 D.K. Clippinger, C. Rust Macpherson, T.W. Alder. 1943
1 D.K. Clippinger, C. Rust Macpherson, A.M. Rust, Wm. A. Hiles, Townsend and Lewis. 1944
1 Arthur A. Corcoran and C. Rust Macpherson. 1945
1 D.K. Clippinger, C.R. Macpherson, John W. Donahoo, A.M. Rust, P.F. Arnold, T.W. Alder. 1945
1 Miscellaneous. 1946
1 C. Rust Macpherson and D.K. Clippinger. 1948
1 C. Rust Macpherson and D.K. Clippinger. 1949
1 C. Rust Macpherson and D.K. Clippinger. 1950
1 C. Rust Macpherson and D.K. Clippinger. 1951
1 C. Rust Macpherson and D.K. Clippinger. 1952


Legal Documents, 1882-1931


Box
2 Abstracts of Title regarding Ashland County, Wisconsin. 1886-1907
2 B.A. Carter. 1906?
2 By Laws of Tilghman Company. 1906
2 Correspondence and Lease regarding the Estate of H.S. Wilson and Goss Mattox, T.M. Sutherland and W.N. Mattox. 1914, 1919
2 Correspondence from Attorneys regarding E.P. Rentz. c. 1912-1914
2 Cypress and Swamp deed conveying property of the Estate of Henry S. Wilson to A.E. Wilson and Marion D. Wilson. 1908
2 Deeds and mortgages of H.S. Wilson estate in St. Johns County. c. 1902-1915
2 Deeds regarding land in Minnesota (Folder 1/2). 1882-1908
2 Deeds regarding land in Minnesota (Folder 2/2). 1913-1915
2 Deeds regarding land in Putnam County, Florida. 1898-1907
2 Deeds regarding land in St. Johns County, Florida (Folder 1/2). 1900-1906
2 Deeds regarding land in St. Johns County, Florida (Folder 2/2). 1907-1915
2 Deeds regarding land in Wisconsin. 1887-1910
2 Documents regarding Carter-Wilson Company. c. 1905-1906
2 Hasting Operating Company and H.S. Wilson. 1913, 1915
2 Henry S. Wilson contract. 1904
2 Hudnall Lawsuit. C. 1921
2 Lands owned by the Bearinger and Wilson Estates in the townships of Lybster, O'Conner and Paipoonge, Ontario. 1907
2 Lists of Lands owned by the Estate of H.S. Wilson in Flagler County, Florida and St. Johns County, Florida. 1912 and Not dated
2 Lukens Gulf Cypress Co. and Wilson Cypress Co. c. 1905-1906
2 S.L. Warren of Tomasello, Florida. c. 1924
2 Upchurch Lumber Co. litigation, Union Trust Company vs. Upchurch Lumber Company. 1915
2 Wilson Cypress Co. East Coast holdings (Folder 1/2). c. 1931
2 Wilson Cypress Co. East Coast holdings (Folder 2/2). c. 1931


Financial Records, 1888-1947


Box
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1913
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1914
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1915
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1916
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1917
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1918
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1919
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1920
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1921
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1922
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1923
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1924
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1925
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1926
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1927
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1928
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1929
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1930
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1931
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1932
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1934
3 Balance Sheet: Wilson Cypress Co. 1935
3 Blank order forms regarding Wilson Cypress Company. Not dated
3 Check: The First National Bank of Portland, Maine. 1923
3 Checkbooks (3). 1906-1916
3 Checks: First National Bank of East Saginaw, Michigan. 1893-1896
3 Checks: National Bank of Jacksonville, Florida. 1907-1909
3 Checks: Putnam National Bank of Palatka. 1897, 1908-1924
3 Cummer Lumber Co. and H.S. Wilson. 1922-1924
3 Estimate of Wilson Estate Lands by Wm. R. Gallagher. 1909-1916
3 Estimates of Timber (Oleson, Simms, Stacey). c. 1900-1905
3 Estimates of Cypress (J.B. Johnson-Espanola, Florida). 1901-1906
3 Hand written notes related to Upchurch Lumber Co. Receivership. c. 1913-1914
3 Hodges Lumber Company. 1905-1925
3 H.S. Wilson and Herbert W. Pearson land transactions. 1888-1907
3 General Company Receipts. 1912
4 Land Estimates by Wm. R. Gallagher. C. 1915
4 List of dividends paid after March 1, 1913. 1913-1936
4 List of Stockholders and Dividend Orders. 1936, 1943
4 Lists of Lands Owned by Estate of H.S. Wilson in St. Johns County, Florida includes Legal Documents. 1904-1914
4 Maps of Putnam County and other townships from the early 1900s [Oversize: stored in map case].
4 Material Supplementing Annual Report. 1939
4 Monthly Statements from Jacksonville Naval Stores Company to Carter Wilson Company. 1906
4 Notes by W.B. Forrester Log Scales for Estate of H.S. Wilson. 1917
4 Operating Profit and Loss Statement. 1939-1941
4 Plat for North Albert Posey tract in Duluth, MN [Oversize: stored in map case]. 1890
4 Promissory notes (5), Tilgham and H.S. Wilson. 1906
4 Putnam National Bank of Palatka Statements of the account of the Estate of H.S. Wilson. 1923-1925
4 Ridge Turpentine Company. 1922-1925
4 Statements: Tilghman Cypress Company. 1906
4 Stock information: Memorandum between Ralph B. Wilson and Wilson Cypress Co. 1947
4 Surplus Accounts. c. 1913-1936
4 Taxable and Taxable Distributions Schedules of Distribution and Dividends from Earnings. 1900-1936
4 Tax receipts regarding St. Johns County, Florida. 1904-1911
4 Tax receipts regarding Putnam County, Florida. 1904-1923
4 Tax receipts regarding Ashland County, Wisconsin and Douglas County, Wisconsin. 1888
4 Tax receipts regarding St. Louis County, Minnesota. 1904-1923
4 Timber Cruise of L.J. Owens, sections 18, 19, 30, 31, 32, in Township 11. 1913
4 Whitehouse Barrel Company (Hastings, Florida). 1923-1924
4 Wilson Cypress. 1903-1917
4 Wilson Cypress Company Coupon Book for Wilson Cypress Co. Store. Not dated
4 Wilson Cypress Company: Schedule of distributions. 1900-1936
5 Tilghman Sons Journal 1/2. 1889-1892
5 Tilghman Sons Journal 2/2. 1889-1892
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Annual Report. December 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Report of Examination. December 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. January 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. February 28, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. March 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. April 30, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. May 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. June 30, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. July 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. August 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. September 30, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. October 31, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. November 30, 1939
5 Wilson Cypress Co. Monthly Report. December 31, 1939
6 Wilson Cypress Co. Income Tax Returns. 1927-1939


Personal Papers of H.S. Wilson and Miscellaneous Papers, 1884-1918 and Not dated


Box
7 Biographical/Historical Records of Wilson Cypress Company.
7 Deeds. 1887, 1890-1891
7 Estate of Henry S. Wilson: Bank Statements. 1906-1907
7 Estate of Henry S. Wilson: Trial Balance. 1907-1918
7 Estate of H.S. Wilson. 1896, 1907-1913
7 Estate of Isaac Bearinger and the Port Arthur Lands.
7 Henry S. Wilson Organizational Membership. 1884
7 Insurance. 1905-1908
7 Plan of the Township of O'Connor (Canada) [Oversize: stored in map case]. 1885
7 Receipts and miscellaneous material. 1884-1888
7 Stocks and Bonds. 1884, 1893
7 Wilson Cypress Company: Receipts. 1894, 1906
7 Wilson Genealogy. Not dated


Wilson Cypress Journals


Volume
A March 1, 1892-April 14, 1895.
B April 14, 1894-April 29, 1895.
C April 30, 1895-Feb 27, 1897.
D. March 6, 1897-March 3, 1899.
E March 4, 1899-Oct 31, 1901.
F. Nov 1, 1901-July 31, 1907.
G August 3, 1907-Sept 10, 1913.
H Sept 11, 1913-August 24, 1920.
I August 27, 1920-Sept 29, 1923.
J Oct 1, 1923-July 31, 1925.
K August 1, 1925-Nov 30, 1927.
L Dec 1, 1927-Dec 31, 1929.
M Dec 31, 1929-Dec 31, 1931.
N Jan 4, 1932-Dec 31, 1933.
O Jan 2, 1934-April 30, 1936.
P May 4, 1936-August 31,1942.
Q Sept 22, 1942-April 3, 1971.


Wilson Cypress General Ledgers


Volume
A Ledger, 1893-1894.
B Ledger, 1895-Feb 1, 1898.
C Ledger, Feb 1, 1898-Feb 1, 1902.
D. Ledger, 1902-1914.
E Ledger, c. 1922-c. 1931.


Miscellaneous Ledgers

Certificates of Land (Includes auditor's report). c. 1897-1926
Index to Conveyances 49 (regarding conveyances of property; lists granter and granites and numerical listing).
Records of Expenses of Lands. 1925-1926
Customer Orders (from Wilson Cypress Co.; includes type of purchase). 1906-c. 1919
Lists of employees (dates, punch times, wages and taxes of employees; information includes name, address, occupation, age, race, date of birth, number of children, and marriage status). c. 1943-1947
Lists of employees (dates, punch times, wages and taxes of employees; information includes name, address, occupation, age, race, date of birth, number of children, and marriage status). c. 1946-1956
Retail Ledger (lists names and addresses, name of items, folio numbers, debits, and credits ). c. 1904-1917
Cash Journal of T.J. Barnett (according to Putnam County Archives he was probably the head of Wilson Cypress Company's machine shop). 1918-1920


Records of Thomas Nelson Smith, 1898-1952

According to Putnam County Archives Smith was probably the principal logging contractor for Wilson Cypress Company from 1894 to early 1901.


Volume
A Ledger, Oct 1894-Oct 1896.
B Ledger, Oct 1896-Sept 1900.
B Journal, Oct 1896-Oct 31, 1899.
C Journal, Oct 31, 1899-Jan 31, 1901.


Seldon Cypress Door Company Ledgers

General Ledger. c. 1912-Jan. 31, 1924
Journal. Feb 1919-May 1920
Journal. July 1, 1922-Jan 31, 1924
Cashbook. May 1, 1918-May 31, 1920
Cashbook. June 1, 1920-Dec 31, 1922
Cashbook. Jan 1, 1923-Jan 31, 1924
Vouchers payable Register. May 24, 1921-Jan 31, 1924
Check Register, Putnam National Bank. Oct 1, 1920-Jan 31, 1924


Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Cypress.
Lumbering -- Florida.
Putnam County (Fla.) -- History.
Seldon Cypress Door and Sash Company.
Wilson Cypress Company.



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