A Guide to the Walter B. Wilson Collection, 1895-1939
Walter B. Wilson (1869-1939), printer, publisher, and journalist, was the owner and editor of the McKinney, Collin County, Texas, newspaper for more than thirty years. Wilson was born in 1869 in Illinois, the son of a Methodist minister and a church and charity worker. He came to Texas at the age of 18 with two brothers, and started his business career in printing and publishing.
The weekly Democrat-Gazette, the oldest paper in Collin County, was founded in 1884, and ten years later Wilson became its editor. He held this position, as well as the position of editor of the daily Courier-Gazette, for twenty years before the two papers merged. Wilson then served as editor of the merged Courier-Gazette for another thirteen years until his death in 1939.
Along with his publishing and journalism feats, Wilson was well-known for his civic duties, including President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Collin County Confederate Veterans, Secretary of the county’s Red Cross chapter, and member of the school board for over thirty years. He was a member and former commander of the Henry A. Wiley Camp of Spanish-American War Veterans and a member of the Official Board of the First Methodist Church. Additionally, Wilson was one of the first contributors to Southern Methodist University at Dallas.
Source: Walter B. Wilson Collection, 1895-1939, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The Walter B. Wilson Papers, 1895-1939, include letters, diaries, and scrapbooks, and relate to daily occurrences in McKinney and the surrounding area. The Methodist Church, Rotary Club, and the Chamber of Commerce figure prominently in the papers. In addition, the papers document the Populist and Prohibition movements in Collin County during the early 20th century. Furthermore, the papers include morgue files of the Weekly Democrat and the Daily Courier, which were printed by Wilson. The scrapbooks contain original newspaper clippings and articles from the Standard, the McKinney Messenger, the Weekly Enquirer, the McKinney Gazette, and other papers.
A portion of this collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Due to the fragility of these manuscripts the microfilm should be used rather than the original manuscript.
Walter B. Wilson Collection, 1895-1939, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Microfilm of this collection is available for use.
Detailed Description of the Papers