Countless widows served briefly as light keepers without recognition and perhaps compensation.
Women served heroically alongside their husbands and others served immediately after the deaths of their husbands. Some declined an appointment as light keeper after the death of their spouses.
Ann Taylor whose husband, William Taylor, died requested to be relieved as light keeper of Cape St. George. Anne’s spouse was the official light keeper July 11, 1849-November 1850.
A letter dated July 27, 1850 forwarded to me by Author and Historian, James Hargrove describes her plight. It was written from the HW Taylor, Customs House of Apalachicola:
Mrs Ann H. Taylor widow of the late WJ Taylor keeper of Cape St. George Light and who since the death of her husband has retained the situation as keeper has dignified her wish to be relieved by appointment of other person. At the suggestion of W Hawkey who is now absent and whose return is uncertain… I have sent down Edmond Austin to take charge and it is Mr. Hawkey request that he be accepted as keeper from 1st August when Mrs. Taylor proposes to leave.”