Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Abstract Office - Marianna's Oldest Business Structure
This charming little frame building facing the west side of Courthouse Square in Marianna has been known to generations as the "Abstract Office."
It is actually the oldest commercial structure still standing in Marianna. Believed to have been built by Dr. W.S. Wilson as a medical office in the 1840s, it was originally located on nearby Market Street. The building was moved to its present location on South Jefferson in 1910.
Wilson was practicing in partnership with Dr. William H. Whitehead by 1858 and provided medical services to Marianna residents through the Civil War.
On September 27, 1864, he was among the citizens that turned out with the Marianna Home Guard to defend the city against Union attack. The doctor fought in the Battle of Marianna and treated wounded men after the fight. Some may have been brought to this structure for care.
Dr. Wilson died in 1868, but his office has continued to serve the community ever since. It was the home of Marianna's first telephone exchange and later served as an abstract office for Florida Land Title and Trust for over 90 years.