Special report: Who was 'Uncle Bill' Lundy? The man behind the debated Crestview monument

Uncle Bill Lundy

William "Uncle Bill" Lundy, inset, as shown on the cover of the August 1957 issue of "The Progressive Farmer," is buried in Almarante Cemetery in Laurel Hill.

BRIAN HUGHES/News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Few North Okaloosa historical figures inspire as much passion, discussion, dissension and questions as William Allen Lundy.

Descendants fondly consider "Uncle Bill" Lundy a loving ancestor and a simple farmer. Local residents widely accepted him as Florida's last Civil War veteran.

Lundy died Sept. 1, 1957. A year later, the Crestview Lions Club erected a monument in memory of Lundy and other Confederate veterans near the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and State Road 85. It was later moved to its present location on a small, city-owned triangle of land bounded by S.R. 85, Hickory Avenue and First Street.

While the monument itself is not controversial, the Confederate battle flag fluttering above it periodically stirs up debate. The City Council will discuss the topic at a specially called meeting tonight.

The man

Uncle Bill was born Jan. 18, 1848, on a farm in Pike County, Ala., according to family members quoted in "Crestview: The Forkland" by Claudia Patten and Betty Curenton.

Uncle Bill said he never saw Civil War battle, serving instead as a home guardsman protecting the Coffee County, Ala., courthouse, according to the book.

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