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William Thomas Cash (W.T. Cash) was born in Lamont, Jefferson County, Florida, on July 21, 1878, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Susan C. Cash. Benjamin Franklin Cash died when W. T. Cash was thirteen years old. He left his mother's house when she remarried and began supporting himself by working as a farm hand. After five years, he was able to save money to attend school in Taylor County, where his mother lived. Cary A. Hardee (who later became Governor of Florida) was Cash's teacher in Taylor County. Hardee inspired Cash to study for the teaching certificate examination, which he passed when he was nineteen. Cash began teaching public school in Taylor County and became President of the Taylor County Teacher's Association. In 1917, he taught Florida History and Civic courses during Summer School at the Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee. W.T. Cash was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1909, 1915, and 1917, and to the Florida Senate in 1918. Cash served two years of his term in the Florida Senate and left to campaign for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for Taylor County. He was elected in 1921 and served one term. In 1925, Governor Martin helped pass legislation that created the State Library Board of Florida. The Board consisted of three members who were appointed by the Governor. On April1, 1927, the Board appointed W.T. Cash as the State Librarian to serve the Board as the Secretary of the Library.
His small office and Library was originally located in the House of Representatives side of the Florida Capitol and soon relocated to the basement of the Capitol, where he collected rare books and wrote several articles and books about Florida history. In 1949, the State Library moved from the Capitol to a basement office in the newly constructed Florida Supreme Court building. Cash often received research questions from reporters, legislators, and the public. Shortly after his retirement, Cash died in Tallahassee, Florida on July 8, 1951.
This collection contains personal correspondence, articles on Florida history, financial papers, and newsclippings created by William T. Cash while he served as Florida's first State Librarian. The collection consists of personal correspondence between Cash and United States House Representative Robert Sikes; correspondence between Cash and various political figures in Florida; business correspondence; and personal correspondence.
The bulk of the materials were created during the Great Depression and World War II and document ways that the Library Board and Cash dealt with financial difficulties during this time. Other correspondence includes discussion between Cash and Florida Senator Claude Pepper about the Rare Books Project (a New Deal program). Cash's correspondence also documents his discussions with other conservative Florida Democrats about their dissatisfaction with more social spending Democrats such as Claude Pepper and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Several handwritten and typed drafts of articles and books on Florida history are also included in this collection. A few of the drafts of articles were used in Allen Morris's The Florida Handbook as well as Cash's book, the History of the Democratic Party in Florida. Also included in this collection are typed histories of people, places, and events in Taylor County.
Folder listing available. 0
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Subject Access Fields:
Cash, William Thomas, 1878-1951. Pepper, Claude, 1900-
State Library of Florida.
Library administration Florida. Librarians Florida Libraries Florida New Deal, 1933-1939. World War, 1939-1945 Florida
Financial records. aat Clippings. aat Articles. aat
Tallahassee (Fla.) Perry (Fla.) Taylor County (Fla.)
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