William Wilson Papers, 1899-1993Add to your cart.

Collection Overview

Title: William Wilson Papers, 1899-1993Add to your cart.
Predominant Dates: 1988-1991
ID: 02/03/ U0354
Primary Creator: Wilson, William H.
Extent: 6.0 Boxes
Arrangement: This collection is arranged in 4 series: 1) Personal Notes, 2) Pulled Research, 3) Print Materials, and 4) Photos. Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject within each series.
Forms of Material: Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts (documents)
Negatives (photographs)
Research (documents)
Languages: English


This collection contains the papers of former UNT History professor, William Wilson, involving his research around the historic, planned African-American community of Hamilton Park in Dallas, TX.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers contain Wilson's research for his book of the same name on Hamilton Park (HP), the planned African-American community in Dallas, TX. Compiled in the early 1990s, the research includes his interviews of original residents and development planners--which were done in conjunction with the UNT Oral History program--journal and newspaper articles on social and racial issues at the time, the challenges of creating and maintaining such a development, obtaining financing for home owners, how the community thrived and evolved, and interracial cooperation. This is done in the context of challenges for African-American leaders in the nation at the time and the personal stories of residents and decision-makers in the community.

Collection Historical Note

William H. Wilson is an emeritus professor of History who worked at UNT from 1968-2001. He gathered the accompanying research in order to write his scholarly book, Hamilton Park (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), on the African-American community of the same name in Dallas, TX. It's located at the southeastern corner of the US 75/1-635 interchange.

After several homes belonging to African-Americans were bombed in 1950 and in response to the need for more Black housing, philanthropist Karl S. J. Hoblitzelle's foundation donated money to the Dallas Citizens' Interracial Association to purchase the 233 acres for Hamilton Park. It was so named for black civic leader Dr. Richard T. Hamilton and opened in May 1954. It was almost complete by 1961 and contained single-family homes, an apartment complex, shopping center, park, school, and multiple churches. The school was desegregated in 1975, though the neighborhood is still predominantly black.

[Source: Texas State Historical Association online handbook, Hamilton Park entry by William H. Wilson]

Biographical Note

William Wilson earned a Bachelor in Journalism in Journalism in 1957 from the University of Missouri. He earned a Master of Arts in History in 1958 and a Doctor of Philosophy in History in 1962 from the same university. He taught at the University of South Dakota in 1962 and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks from 1963 to 1967. He then joined the University of North Texas in 1968. He would remain at UNT until his retirement in 2001. He held the positions of associate professor, professor of history and regent’s professor of history. Upon his retirement he was named professor emeritus. Dr. Wilson was honored with the Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History in 1989. He also won the Outstanding Book of the Year in architecture and urban planning from the Association of American Publishers in 1989.

(Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators web site)

Subject/Index Terms

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted, however, some interviewees of Wilson's for the Oral History Program (see Related Materials below) have restricted interviews. They are noted accordingly on their respective pages. Please refer to them for more information.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to use.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Acquisition Source: William Wilson
Acquisition Method: Gift
Related Materials:

William Wilson Hamilton Park Oral History Interviews

Copies of any "open" interviews may be requested by contacting the UNT Special Collections department. Some may exist in digital form and can be accessed directly from the UNT Digital Library.

Preferred Citation: William Wilson Papers, University of North Texas Special Collections
Processing Information: The inclusive dates include the content of material that Wilson researched. As a matter of reference, based on his own notes and documents, the main portion of his research work was done in the early to mid-1990s.
Finding Aid Revision History: 4-9-2018 by Nicole Yatsonsky - processed and arranged the collection, wrote Abstract, Scope/Content, Historical Note, Access Restrictions, and Related Materials, as well as dates and series/folder descriptions - Box 4 removed due to condensing of materials


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