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Gainesville in Alachua County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Josiah T. Walls

 
 
Josiah T. Walls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 4, 2012
1. Josiah T. Walls Marker
Inscription. Born in 1842 to slave parents in Winchester, Va., little is known of Josiah T. Walls' early life. After a short term of Confederate service, he enlisted in the Third Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops in 1863. Transferred to Picolata on the St. Johns River in 1864, he married Helen Ferguson of Newnansville and in 1865 moved to Alachua County after he was mustered out. After passage of the U.S. Military Reconstruction Act of 1867, Walls entered into Florida politics; as a delegate to the 1868 State constitutional convention, followed by election as a State representative and later senator from Alachua County. The 1870 nominee of the Republican Party for Florida's only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Walls defeated Silas Niblack after a bitter contest, riddled with charges of fraud and intimidation. Josiah T. Walls thus became the State's first black congressman. Although unseated by the House near the end of his term, Walls was re-elected in 1872. In another contested election in 1874, Walls defeated J.J. Finley, a former Confederate General, but, in 1876, was again removed from office. Walls was elected to the Florida Senate that year. After 1879, Josiah Walls concentrated on his farming activities. He had first acquired land near Newnansville in 1868 but in 1870 had moved to Gainesville. In 1871 Walls bought for their home
Josiah T. Walls Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 4, 2012
2. Josiah T. Walls Marker, reverse side
the western half of the block now bounded by University Avenue on the south and N.W. 2nd Street on the west. In 1873 he purchased a 1175 acre plantation on the west edge of Paynes Prairie. In that year he acquired the weekly newspaper, THE NEW ERA, and was admitted to the Florida Bar. Remaining active in local politics, Walls served at various times as mayor of Gainesville, a member of the Board of Public Instruction, and County Commissioner. A highly successful and prosperous farmer through the 1880's, he suffered financial ruin as a result of the severe freeze of the winter of 1894-95. Walls moved to Tallahassee to become the farm director at the school that is now Florida A. and M. University. He died in Tallahassee in 1905.
 
Erected 1989 by The Alachua County Historical Commission in Cooperation with the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-321.)
 
Location. 29° 39.126′ N, 82° 19.558′ W. Marker is in Gainesville, Florida, in Alachua County. Marker is on W University Avenue (Florida Route 24/26), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Located between NW 1st Street and NW 2nd Street. Marker is in this post office area: Gainesville FL 32601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Soldier Memorial
Josiah T. Walls Marker along W University Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 4, 2012
3. Josiah T. Walls Marker along W University Avenue
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alachula County Courthouse (about 400 feet away); First Gainesville Skirmish / Battle of Gainesville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spanish Cattle Ranching (approx. 0.2 miles away); City of Gainesville (approx. 0.2 miles away); East Florida Seminary (approx. 0.2 miles away); "The Great Endurance Run" (approx. mile away); Roper Park / Old City Park (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gainesville.
 
Also see . . .  Josiah T. Walls, from Wikipedia. was a United States Congressman who served three separate terms in Congress between 1871 and 1876. (Submitted on May 16, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansPolitics
 
Josiah T. Walls Marker, right, stands next to a County Services building image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 4, 2012
4. Josiah T. Walls Marker, right, stands next to a County Services building
Josiah T. Walls image. Click for full size.
By Wilipedia
5. Josiah T. Walls
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 853 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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