Who We Are : Our Story

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1880-1956 photo

John Stephen Wilson moved to Panama City from Florala, Alabama, around 1910, and began to operate the Wilson Furniture, Hardware and Undertaking business. The business had been purchased from Mr. Wilson's employer, a Mr. Shepherd, also of Florala. The story is told that when the two were agreeing upon a price for the business Mr. Shepherd asked Mr. Wilson how much he had and he replied, "Not much". Mr. Shepherd thereupon replied, "That's enough". Mr. Wilson was about thirty years old at that time, married, and the father of a year old son, Wilbur Preston Wilson. Mr. Wilson graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tennessee. The founder of the funeral home became an active member of the community and served as mayor of the City of Panama City from 1923 to 1925. Mr. Wilson was generous and was known for being philanthropic to individuals in the community as well as assisting struggling churches. He was a member of the First Baptist Church. At the time of Mr. Wilson's death, he was married to Grace West, granddaughter of George Mortimer West, one of the pioneers of the county. Mr. Wilson is interred in a marble mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery.