THE PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL
SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 1920
WIDLEY KNOWN DRUGGIST DIES
FUNERAL SERVICES OF W. A. D'ALEMBERTE WILL BE HELD FROM HOME OF HIS SON AT 4 P. M. TODAY
The funeral services of W. A. D'Alemberte will take place this afternoon at 3 o'clock from the residence of his son, J. H. D'Alemberte, 413 W. DeSoto st. Burial will be in St. Michael's cemetery. William Fisher, Chipley Jones, B. L. Barkley, Thornton Whiting, Dick Gulnot and George Wentworth will be pall-bearers.
W. A. D'Alemberte, for 53 years a highly respected citizen of Pensacola, died at 3 o'clock Saturday morning at the Pensacola Hospital after several weeks painful illness resulting from the amputation of his right leg.
He was born in Mt. Sterling, Ala., in 1854 and came to Pensacola at the age of 12. He started as the apprentice of Dr. H. C. Cushman and learned the drug business while in the Cushman Drug Store. He has been in business for himself for fifty years. Dr. D'Alemberte is survived by a sister, Mrs. Fred Favourite of New Orleans, two brothers Turner D'Alemberte of Pensacola, and Arthur H. D'Alemberte, of Biloxi, and four sons, Clinton, Herbert and Heron, of Pensacola and Eddie D'Alemberte of New Orleans. Arthur D'Alemberte arrived yesterday morning from Biloxi.
Out of respect to the late W. A. D'Alemberte all drug stores in the city will be closed today during the hours of the funeral of Mr. D'Alemberte.
Willoughby A. D'Alemberte wed Miss Ann D. Humphreys on 6 Jun 1878 W. A. Carter, Minister -- 1st Presbyterian in Escambia County, Florida; Book J-46.
W. A. D'Alemberte wed Maidee L. Humphreys on 31 May 1883; officiated by A. H. Todd -- Presbyterian in Escambia County, Florida; Book K-472
From the "Transcribed Marriage Records of Escambia County, Florida from 1821 through 1900". Published in 2009 by the West Florida Genealogical Society.
Following letter written by Willoughby's brother Arthur:
Mr. J. Herron D'Alemberte February 24, 1922
In further reference to your recent letter asking as the correct location of the birth place of your father, I trust the following will settle any doubt as the place and date. First, let me answer your question:
Willoughby Augustus D'Alemberte was born in the city of Mobile, Alabama, on the 26th day of August in 1854. Physician in attendance was Dr. Maston, father of the Dr. Maston now living in Mobile.
In this connection I will give you a little of the family history which will show the movements of the family from 1854 to 1870.
Our father and mother were married in Mobile, Alabama, on the 29th day of April 1853 according to the official records on file in the Probate Court of Mobile County, Ala. by the Rev. J. A. Massey, Rector of Trinity Church. They remained in Mobile until the latter part of 1858. Father having entered into a contract to build a rail road from Pensacola, Fla. to Whiting, Ala. (now Flomaton, Ala.) At this time there was no rail road from Pensacola running into or out of Pensacola. The first engine for Pensacola was under the supervision of our father, loaded on a barge at Mobile, and towed to Pensacola, father accompanying it. Mother, brother Willie, your father and the writer, then about 12 months old, was sent by rail to Whiting, Ala. in the care of Mr. William K. Hyer, Sr. and from Whiting, Ala. we came by stage to Pensacola, still in the care of Mr. Hyer. The first work on the rail road was to commence at Pensacola due to the fact that all materials for the construction of the road was shipped by water to Pensacola. You must keep in mind that the facilities of the rail roads at that time for handling freight and etc in the South especially were very limited and crude.
Up to the great fire in Pensacola--Dec. 8th, 1881 - there stood a cottage on the spot where Dr. Cushman's Drug Store is now situated, or was a few years ago in fact when I was last in Pensacola, about two years ago, the drug store was still there. On the east side of the north end of De Luna Street (which was not opened up as a street until after 1881). In this cottage we lived, and in which your aunt Minnie Favourite was born on Dec. 2nd, 1859.
At this time Pensacola was a very small place, this cottage being in the heart of the residence portion of the town. At this time the places now occupied by the Masonic Temple; San Carlos Hotel; Blount Bldg. and Isis Moving Picture building, and extending east to the rail road, and west for may blocks, completely closing what is now known as Garden Street was a dense, almost impenetrable Tie-Tie(?) (Ti-ti?) swamp, Palafox going through this swamp as a roadway only, which condition existed until the early '70s. The writer himself has seen foxes cross the road way between Garden St and Chase St to these swamps.
The work on the rail road had so far advanced that when the outbreak of the war (1861) came, found the family located at Pollard, Ala., this being the nearest point to father's work where we could secure a suitable home for the time being. And where your uncle Eddie was born. Immediately after the close of the war (1865), we moved to Greenville, Ala., where both brother Willie (your father) and the writer first attended school. At this time father was engaged by John T. Milner and others of Montgomery to take up the reconstruction of the rail roads near Montgomery, as a big portion of them had been destroyed by the Union Army. We continued to live in Greenville until the latter part of 1869. Mother's health at this time became alarming, and was such that it demanded the best medical skill, in order to save her sight and her life. There being no physicians in that section of the country competent to perform serious operations, and Uncle John Walker, who was living at that time in Pensacola, so he advised father, and in fact came to Greenville to assist in getting mother to Pensacola for treatment by an Army surgeon, (a friend of Uncle John's by the name of Dr. Wonderise) who was located at the U. S. Navy Yard. After a long fight he saved mother's sight, and then followed a very serious operation on the abdomen, and operation from which she lingered and suffered for a long time--wavering between life and death. During this time father had been placed in charge of the construction of a new rail road through the mountains of north Ala. from Montgomery to Decatur, Ala. and now known as the L. & N. Rail Road. It was while he was on this work during a business visit to Montgomery in consultation with officers of the road that he died suddenly, on the 6th day of October 1870. From this time on we remained in Pensacola.
From the brief foregoing you can gather, I hope, the data you require.
I do not recall that your father was ever in Butler, Choctaw County, Ala., I certainly was not. But we did live in Greenville, Butler County, Ala. for about four years and half, between 1865 and 1870.
We had an aunt--mother's sister Lojisa Walker, who married a Jessie Jackson, and they lived for a number of years at Butler, or near Butler in Choctaw County. In fact their children--our cousins, live there now, and it may have been that your father made reference to them which gave you the idea that he was born there.
The book or family record which I sent you long ago had all the information in it, and I thought you took a copy of such data as referred to your side of the family.
Yours very truly,
A. H. D'Alemberte
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