The Wilson House is significant as an example of early Sarasota architecture and as the home and medical office of C.B. Wilson.
In 1877, A.M. “Gus” Wilson settled in Miakka, then part of Manatee County. He served the community as postmaster, Indian agent, census enumerator, and state legistator. Gus was a vital participant in the campaign to create Sarasota County and became its first tax assessor. He and his wife Callie had six sons and four daughters. One son, Cullen Bryant (C.B.) became a prominent Sarasota doctor.
In 1907 Dr. Wilson purchased the home located on the southeast corner of Ringling Boulevard and South Orange Avenue from Edgar Ferdon, a local architect. The house was not only the Wilson home, but also Dr. Wilson’s medical office. He and his wife Fannie (the daughter of Sarasota pioneer C.L. Reaves) had two sons who were born in the home. When their first son Clyde H. was born in 1908, the house was a one-and-a-half story structure. Dr. Wilson enlarged the house by the time his second son, Reaves, was born in 1913.
The first addition to the house was a garage as Dr. Wilson was an avid motorist and the proud owner of Sarasota’s first automobile, a 20-horsepowered REO Roadster. Next he literally “raised the roof” by adding a framed second floor.
Active in the community, C.B. served as president of First Trust Company of Sarasota and as a board member of Sarasota Memorial Hospital from its founding until his death in 1941. Following in his father’s footsteps, Reaves became a doctor. After serving as a surgeon in World War II, he returned to Sarasota and practiced medicine in the Wilson house. Clyde Sr., a legal and civic leader, was part of the group who financially supported the Bayfront Park project that included the Municipal Auditorium. He was a founding member of the Sarasota Jaycees and was active in a variety of legal and historical associations.
Clyde H. Wilson, Jr. was instrumental in saving the Wilson house, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, from demolition. In 2004, he, along with his sister Paula C. Wilson and others, contributed to the relocation of the home to its current site on land formerly owned by the Wilson family.
Dedicated by the Sarasota County Historical Commission in 2010.
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