Thursday, November 18, 2010

Of Walter P. Fuller and C. Perry Snell

Click on image of clipping to enlarge.
Developer Walter P. Fuller was a raconteur, politician, author, editor and historian. For a time, he worked closely with pioneer developer C. Perry Snell and they became good friends.

Fuller once worked as a reporter and then later as city editor for the St. Petersburg Times. He collected extensive files about St. Petersburg and wrote a definitive history of the city. He wrote another about Florida's real estate boom, an era that he knew first hand. He also was a real estate developer and built the Jungle Prada area. 

Fuller once wrote a laudatory profile of Snell. It was published in the campus newspaper at Ogden College in Bowling Green, KY, Snell's hometown.

In 1942, Snell and his wife, Carolyn, were visiting Bowling Green and a reporter got wind the former resident was in town. By then, Snell was well known as a real estate entrepreneur, though his fortunes had somewhat diminished at the time.

Still, the newspaper wanted to do an interview. Snell suggested that the editors secure the profile that had been published in the college paper a few years earlier. They did so and asked Snell if he thought it would be okay to republish it. Snell gave them permission to publish it without Fuller's name on it.

Snell sent Fuller a letter recounting the Bowling Green episode and saying the editor had suggested doing so because "the first thing some of the wise crackers here would say, 'Wonder how much Snell paid Fuller, etc.' I thought I knew you well enough to say, go ahead."

Fuller, the inveterate collector, had extensive files on St. Petersburg subjects. Snell's letter is part of the Fuller files collection at Lighthouse Books, ABAA, as is a clipping about Snell's death. From time to time, we'll discuss other items in the Walter Fuller files.

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