John Walton Wilhelm

President of the Wilhelm Funeral home, has been in the undertaking business in Florida for the last 20 years. He began the business in Bradentown in connection with a mercantile establishment and moved and moved to St. Petersburg October 1, 1917, to establish his business here. Together with his father, the late J. L. Wilhelm, he was one of the first person to make caskets in South Florida, when such commodities were made by hand as they were required. It was work that young Wilhelm took a great interest in, and he wanted to have the “best undertaking establishment that could be devised.”   

Mr. Wilhelm has had a wide experience in his activities in Florida. When a mere stripling he was deputy sheriff under his father in Sumter county, when that section of the state was regarded as ”rather wild.” When he lived in Bradentown he assisted in building the first ice plant in that section.

He was born in Dyersburg, Tenn., April 8, 1868, and for a while later lived in Missouri. In 1878 the family moved to Sumter county, Florida. A year later they went to Sumterville, traveling on the first train that went over the tracks from Ocala to Wildwood.

Mr. Wilhelm was married to Susie Turner in Bradentown, in 1903. His children are: Susanne, 17; John L., 15; Elizabeth, 13; Wilma, 12; Dorothy, 8; Eugenia, 3. His mother, Anna C. Wilhelm, lives in St. Petersburg.
He is a member of the Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows, Woodmen, K. P., Moose, Eastern Star, Rebekahs, K. of L. of S. He is a Baptist in religion, being a member of the First Baptist church. His favorite sport is baseball and he enjoys reading history.

“More harmony in public affairs” is his recipe for better things for St. Petersburg. He attributes his success in life to the motto: “Trust in God and do the right.” 

Source: Evening Independent: 12-8-1923

Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers 


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