Born in Arkansas, John Frank Wilmeth grew to manhood in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Georgetown University Law School in 1912. He practiced briefly in Louisiana and then returned to Washington with a position in the United States Department of Agriculture. During World War I, he served as Secretary of the Agricultural Commission to Europe, of which David R. Coker was a member.
In 1920, at Mr. Coker’s invitation, he moved to Hartsville, where he practiced until his death. He was counsel for Sonoco Products Co., Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Co. and other corporations, but he also engaged in general practice. He served as Attorney for the Town of Hartsville, Trustee of Coker College and Byerly Hospital.
“Faithful to private trust and public duty as an honest man and a patriotic and loyal citizen — his worth was measured not in terms of titles of office, but in the sum total of countless deeds to his fellowman.” — The Hartsville Messenger.