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    Pre-Inventory Sale Pre-Inventory Sale
It was time for the pre-inventory sale at Wilson's Department Store on the northern side of the Courthouse Square. The weather was cold and folks stood around in their coats and hats with their hands in their pockets, waiting for the store to open. Most of the sights of this picture have long since vanished-clothing styles have changed, the granite curbs and 5-globe lamp posts have been replaced, the metal awnings over the sidewalk are no longer seen in downtown Gainesville, and Wilson's is gone. But the building still stands on the northwest corner of the intersection of East University Avenue and 1st Street. This picture dates from the late 1920s and is from the collection of Norm LaCoe. Mr. William N. Wilson, proprietor of Wilson's, died on March 15, 1920, from appendicitis. Mr. Wilson's father, Lemuel, was registrar of the U.S. Land Office in Newnansville, Alachua County's first county seat, when William was born about 1864. According to William's obituary, he moved to Gainesville as a boy and went into business for himself at a very young age. He was praised for his sound business judgment and civic contributions, including helping to bring the University of Florida to Gainesville. Mr. Wilson is buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
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