A Guide to the Mrs. Walter Junius Hildebrand Papers, 1837, 1880-1930, 1952
Edith Fly Hildebrand (1877-1952) of Gonzales, Texas, a civic leader and expert horticulturist, was the daughter of W. S. Fly, Judge of the Fourth Court of Civil Appeals, and the granddaughter of Thomas J. Pilgrim, Baptist teacher and founder of the first Sunday school in Texas. She married Walter Junius Hildebrand, a Gonzales medical doctor, who died from pneumonia in 1919. Hildebrand, an ardent club member, organized women’s clubs in Gonzales including the Women’s Study Club, the Sesame Club, and the Garden Club. A well-known authority on Texas flowers, Hildebrand also helped develop Palmetto State Park near Gonzales during the 1930s. Upon her death in 1952, Hildebrand deeded her estate to the University of Texas and bequeathed $45,000 to the University for a scholarship fund. The fund, named for her late husband, awarded scholarships to medical students from Texas.
Correspondence, diaries, genealogical material, blueprints, postcards, photographs, scrapbooks, account books, ledgers, and legal papers comprise the Mrs. Walter Junius Hildebrand Papers, 1837, 1880-1930, 1952, and document Hildebrand’s activities as a horticulturalist, developer of Palmetto State Park, club organizer, and land owner. Her correspondence, genealogical material, and farm records compose the bulk of the papers. Besides general correspondence, the papers include correspondence regarding Palmetto State Park and the donation of W. S. Fly’s gavel to the Texas Memorial Museum. Additionally, the papers contain the correspondence and medical practice records of her late husband Walter Junius Hildebrand and the papers of her father Judge W. S. Fisher, such as his diary, last will and testament, and notary public records. Photographs in the collection depict W. S. Fly and family, the San Antonio Scottish Rite Cathedral, and farmland around Gonzales, Texas.
The collection is open for research use.
Mrs. Walter Junius Hildebrand Papers, 1837, 1880-1930, 1952, 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.
Detailed Description of the Papers