Skip to main content

Edythe Stuart Floyd Collection

Identifier: MS 326

Scope and Content

Although the collection was accumulated by Edythe Stuart Floyd during her life, the majority of the collection does not pertain to her but rather to her extended family and friends of the family. The main components of this collection are: correspondence from Albert W. Gilchrist to Jesse A. Owens, a relative of the Floyd family; letters and documents of the Floyd family; photos and photo albums of the Whitsett family of southern California and their travels; and miscellaneous photos, daguerreotypes, and other materials pertaining to family history. Most items are from the first half of the 20th century, although land records, Bibles, and some early images are 19th century.

Of particular interest is Governor Albert Gilchrist's letters, holiday cards, and postcards to Jessie Owens. His correspondence spans 1912-1926, comprising about 33 letters and 5 postcards. Topics range from the health and well-being of family members, to World War I, his election campaigns, and thanks for Owens' support of him throughout that time period. The collection also includes newspaper clippings about Gilchrist, and editorials written by him.

Family correspondence consists of post cards, newspaper clippings, and letters from Ida Lewis Floyd Whitsett, of California, to her sister Edythe Stuart Floyd Pillars, dating between 1916 and 1962. Other correspondence is addressed to Edythe and Ida's mother concerning land patents, tax records, and legal papers. Much of this is specifically related to land in Marion County.

A fairly extensive photo collection documents the lives of the Whitsett family in California and their travels around the United States and Canada. Besides their home in southern California, photos show visits and fishing trips to northern California and the North West, and to Cocoa and Rockledge, Florida, among other places. Photos seems to span the years 1910 to about 1950.

Additional photos, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes are mostly unidentified, but apparently of family. There are also family Bibles and prayer books along with assorted memorabilia such as coupon books and cards.


  • Creation: 1850-2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1900-1950



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Edythe Stuart Floyd (b. November 26, 1896 - d. February 22, 1989) was born in Fort Drane, Florida and grew up in Jacksonville. She was married to Horace A. Pillars (b. 1899 - d. 1953). The Pillars family owned the City Gates filling station in St. Augustine, Florida. Her parents, John Buchanan Floyd (b. November 4, 1864 - d. 1937) and Mary Owens Lewis Floyd (b. August 19, 1869 - d. 1943) owned and managed property in Marion County, and were active in Jacksonville and St. Augustine society.

Edythe's older sister, Ida Lewis Floyd (b. October 16, 1893 - d. 1969), married W. Paul Whitsett in 1935, and lived in Sherwood and Pasadena, California. They were married for over 25 years. Whitsett was influential in the Los Angeles area and founded the town of Van Nuys. He served as the head of the Metropolitan Water District in Southern California for seven terms, over 13 years.

Albert Waller Gilchrist (b. January 15, 1858 – d. May 15, 1926) was the 20th Governor of Florida. Born in South Carolina, he moved to Punta Gorda, Florida, and worked as an orange grower. He served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1893-1905. He was elected Governor in 1908, and served from 1909 to 1913.


4 Linear feet (7 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Papers and personal correspondence between Edythe Stuart Floyd and family members and friends of the Floyd family of Marion County, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine, who were intermarried with the Whitsett family of southern California. Letters from Albert W. Gilchrist form part of correspondence.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Donated in 2014 by Betsy and Gunnar Miller, Jacksonville, Florida.

Related Material

Florida State University Special Collections has the Albert Waller Gilchrist Papers, 1876-1929, Box 148.

Charlotte County, Florida Historical Collections Online has newspaper clippings, photos, and campaign images from Albert W. Gilchrist.

Associated family material can be found at the St. Augustine Historical Society and the Jacksonville Historical Society.

Separated Material

These items were removed and transferred to the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts: Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang Vol. IIII, January 1922, Hearst's International, February 1924, Heart's International, March 1922, Red Book Magazine, January 1925, Red Book Magazine Summer 1925, Red Book Magazine, September 1919, This Week, the Atlanta Journal, August 4, 1935, The Designer and Woman's Magazine, June 1923, The Designer and Woman's Magazine, May 1923, The Designer and Woman's Magazine, May 1923, The Christmas Ladies' Home Journal, December 1924, The Woman's Home Companion, November 1924, several pages of Sunday color comics, Sunday Times Union, August 4, 1935.

A Guide to the Edythe Stuart Floyd Collection
Finding aid created by Anna Armitage
December 2014
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

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