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Escambia Co. Biographies

CARTER, Jerry Williams

Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. III p.238 1923

Jerry William Carter Photo CARTER, JERRY WILLIAMS, State Hotel Commissioner at Tallahassee, has been
active in Florida politics for a number of years, though essentially he is a
business man and salesman and long ago won a successful position for himself
in business affairs.
Mr. CARTER was born near Eufaula, Barber County, Alabama, on a farm,
August 1, 1887. His grandfather was DANIEL B. CARTER, widely known as “The
Flint and Steel Preacher of the Holston Conference in Tennessee”. He was a
pioneer circuit rider and for many years held the post of presiding elder.
The Holston Conference was perhaps the principal battle ground between the
North and South branches of the Methodist Episcopal Church. DANIEL CARTER
himself was strongly opposed to the secession and he stumped his conference in
the endeavor to keep it in the Union. He also owned a farm in Greene County.
Dr. WILBUR WESLEY CARTER, father of the Florida official, was born on a
farm in Greene County, East Tennessee, and died at Del Rio, Tennessee, in 1895
at the age of fifty-five. He was educated in the public schools of Tennessee,
and left the Louisville Medical College at the time of the Civil War, to serve
in the cavalry under General Morgan. After being wounded he was discharged, but subsequently
was commissioned captain and was on duty as a scout with General Longstreet in the armies of
Tennessee and Virginia. After the war he returned to school, graduated in medicine and
practiced that profession until his death. He also owned several farms. Doctor CARTER married
MARY BLANCHE WILLIAMS, a native of Barber County, Alabama, and member of a pioneer family
there. She is now living at Wabasso, Florida.
JERRY WILLIAMS CARTER, youngest in a family of five children, attended the public
schools of Del Rio, Alabama, until he was about ten years of age. Then a barefooted
and bareheaded boy he started peddling notions and other wares with a pack on his back,
and his experiences as a useful salesman carried him all over the country of Western
North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and Alabama.
At the age of sixteen he left business to enter Weaverville College, a Methodist
Preparatory School, and remained with his studies there for two years. With his natural
qualifications the better equipped for this schooling he resumed his career as a
salesman, at this time with the Singer Sewing Machine Company. He was at Morristown and
Knoxville, Tennessee, and in 1908 moved to Pensacola, representing the Singer Company.
Mr. CARTER all his life has been an ardent prohibitionist, and almost by nature has
been drawn into politics. He acted as manager of the two campaigns of Congressman
Wilson outside of Escambia County. In 1910 still representing the Singer Sewer Machine
Company, he established his headquarters at Marianna. In 1912 he was made Florida
representative of the Buckley Dry Goods Company of New York City, and in 1916 became West
Florida manager in SIDNEY J. CATTS’ campaign for governor, and three years later acted
as manager for Governor Catts’ campaign for the United States Senate. In 1917 Governor
Catts appointed him Hotel Commissioner, but he resigned in 1919 to resume business as an
implement and machinery salesman in Florida and Cuba. In 1921 Governor Catts again
appointed his as Hotel Commissioner, that bringing him again into the official circles at
Tallahassee.
Mr. CARTER was one of the organizers and president of the Florida Paint & Cement
Company at Jacksonville. He is a Baptist, in Masonry is affiliated with the Lodge, Chapter,
Council, Knight Templar Commandery, and the Morocco Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is
affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the
World and United Commercial Travelers and in the way of out door sports his favorite
recreations are hunting and fishing.
At Asheville, North Carolina, in 1907, Mr. CARTER married Miss MARY FRANCES HOLIFIELD,
a native of Pensacola, and daughter of WILLIAM and MINA (DAUSBY) HOLIFIELD. Her mother is
still living at Pensacola. Her father, deceased, began business in Pensacola with a small
meat market and eventually owned several finely appointed establishments of that kind and
was one of the city’s prominent men. Mr. and Mrs. CARTER have seven sons: JERRY WILLIAMS,
Jr., BURNETT DAUSBY, ROBERT GORDON, FRANCIS HUNTER, SIDNEY CATTS, WILLIAM HOLIFIELD and
DAVID HENTON.






Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn

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©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010