Fred L. Williamson Papers
Scope and Content
Diaries, correspondence, newspaper clippings, congressional hearings and engineering reports. The papers document the efforts of business and individuals to control water in South Florida in the late 1920s. The collection contains the records of the New River, Lake Okeechobee and Caloosahatchee Navigation Association. Mr. Williamson was the President of the Association whose goal was to obtain government support for flood control, navigation, land reclamation, drainage and irrigation. Some of the issues discussed in the materials include levees on Lake Okeechobee after the 1928 hurricane, the Cross State Waterway between Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers and improvements to Port Everglades and Hollywood Harbor. Other organizations mentioned in the records include the Florida Navigation and Flood Control Association, Florida Everglades Drainage District and the Florida Flood Control Association.
The Williamson diaries cover a significant period in the history of Clewiston and Lake Okeechobee. Williamson was closely involved in the development and sale of mucklands for agriculture, especially for the planting of sugar cane. He lived through and described many major events affecting South Florida, including the 1926 and 1928 hurricanes and their aftermaths, the effects of the stock market crash of 1929, and the impact of World War II. Entries frequently mention business partners and early residents of the Clewiston area. In addition to the diaries, there is one desk calendar from 1926 and a pocket notebook from 1927.
The collection contains three folders contributed by Dr. R.V. Allison, which include materials created or collected by Williamson pertaining to flood control in Florida. This collection also has been known as the Robert V. Allison Papers.
- Williamson, Fred L. (Person)
The collection is open for research, but the diaries have been placed under restricted access due to the fragile nature of the materials. In order to examine the diaries, contact the Curator of Florida History for permission.
Fred L. Williamson was a director and vice president of the Southern Sugar Company in Clewiston, Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, he was a director of the Fidelity National Bank and Trust Company, Kansas City, Missouri. The Southern Sugar Company was organized in 1925 as part of the B. G. Dahlberg Sugar Cane Industries, which also owned the Celotex Company. Southern Sugar owned 125,000 acres of reclaimed land on the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee, built extensive canals and levees in the Everglades areas, and operated sugar mills in Clewiston and Canal Point.
1 Linear feet (3 Boxes)
Language of Materials
Diaries, correspondence, news clippings, hearings, engineering reports and other material related to South Florida, particularly in the Clewiston area. The collection also contains the records of the New River, Lake Okeechobee and Caloosahatchee Navigation Association.
University of Florida Smathers Library Building
The Williamson Papers and the Williamson Diaries were processed separately and housed as part of the Florida History Miscellaneous Manuscripts and Diaries collections. In 2005, the materials were combined to form the current collection.
- Allison, R.V., Robert Verrill, 1896
- Flood control.
- Florida -- Caloosahatchee River.
- Florida -- Clewiston.
- Florida -- Everglades Drainage District.
- Florida -- Everglades.
- Florida -- Fort Lauderdale -- Port Everglades.
- Florida -- Fort Lauderdale.
- Florida -- Fort Myers.
- Florida -- Lake Okeechobee.
- Florida -- Okeechobee Waterway.
- Florida Flood Control Association.
- Florida Navigation and Flood Control Association.
- New River, Lake Okeechobee and Caloosahatchee Navigation Association.
- Reclamation of land.
- Stock Market Crash (1929).
- Sugarcane industry.
- World War (1939-1945).
- electronic records (digital records)
- A Guide to the Fred L. Williamson Papers
- Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers
- March 2005
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America