Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection
George Howard Wilson was born in Matoon, Illinois, on August 21, 1905. He and his family moved to Enid, Oklahoma, in 1910, where he attended public schools and graduated from high school in 1922. Following his graduation from Phillips University in Enid, he attended the University of Michigan Law School and later transferred to the University of Oklahoma Law School, where he received his L.L.B. degree in 1929. That same year, he married Myrna Kathryn Reams. The couple had four children.
Wilson joined the law practice established by his father in Enid. He served as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1934 to 1938 and as city attorney of Enid from 1939 to 1942. From 1942 to 1946 he served as a colonel in the Judge Advocate General's Department of the Army. A Democrat, he was elected to the Eighty-first Congress (1949-1951) as a representative of Oklahoma's Eighth Congressional District. Though he served only one term, Wilson was on the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. As a member of the Subcommittee on Public Health, Science, and Commerce, he and other congressmen were charged with considering legislation for a national health program. They toured western Europe to investigate such programs. Following his defeat in 1950, he resumed his law practice in Enid. In 1951, he was named director of the Division of Criminal Investigation of the State Department of Public Safety. The following year, he was appointed as a state judge and later served in various judgeships. Wilson died in Enid on July 16, 1985.
Scope and Content of the Collection
A moderate-sized collection of 35 cubic feet, the Wilson papers include materials from the years 1927-1983. While the bulk of the documents cover Wilson's congressional career (1949-1950), there are materials from his service in various judgeships as well. Wilson gave his congressional papers to the University of Oklahoma in 1950. The Wilson family donated additional materials from the former congressman's judicial career as well as some personal items to the university in 1987.
Topics and types of materials found in the Wilson papers are those which one would normally find in a congressional collection and include correspondence, press releases, legislation and reports, publications, speeches, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous. The collection is arranged in seven series-subject, committee, post office, miscellaneous, addition, oversize, and maps. There are also a small number of photographs in the collection.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following is a detailed listing of series, boxes, folders, and documents that can be found in this collection.
Series 1: Subject, 1927-1950
This series consists of 18.5 cubic feet of material arranged alphabetically. The major topics found in the subject files include agriculture and the Brannan Plan, communism and un-American activities, federal expenditures, flood control, Hoover Commission, Indian affairs, Executive Department reorganization, social security legislation, the Taft-Hartley Act, taxes, and war claims and the Trading-with-the-Enemy Subcommittee.
Series 2: Committee, 1942-1952
Comprised of 5.5 cubic feet of material, this series is concerned with the activities of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee and contains the same types of materials as in the subject files. Arranged alphabetically, some of the more significant items include documents pertaining to health insurance and public health. When Wilson traveled to Europe as a member of the Subcommittee on Public Health, Science, and Commerce, he visited clinics and attended seminars and meetings. The notes and publications gathered on the trip along with the correspondence, articles, statements, and reports presented to the subcommittee are an important source of information regarding American attitudes toward socialized medicine during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Also included in the committee files are correspondence, legislation, reports, speeches, statements, and publications concerning the passage of the National Science Foundation Act. Other topics addressed by the committee include fur and wool labeling, federal aid to medical education, Interstate Commerce Commission, television and radio matters, oil imports, and the Natural Gas Act.
Series 3: Post Office, 1949-1951
These files consist of 0.5 cubic feet of material and include correspondence concerned with route changes and construction of new buildings.
Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1943-1950
Comprised of 1 cubic foot of material, this series includes correspondence, campaign items, copies of a newspaper column authored by Wilson, and a list of the bills that the congressman introduced.
Series 5: Addition, 1929-1985
These files consist of 8.5 cubic feet of material arranged alphabetically and are concerned primarily with Wilson's years as a judge. Included are items related to cases over which he presided, papers related to court administration, material from his judicial campaigns, documents from his military career, and personal correspondence.
Series 6: Oversize, 1949-1951
This series consists of 1 cubic foot of material-predominantly two scrapbooks.
Series 7: Maps., 1945-1950
Fourteen maps make up the final series.
While not technically part of the collection, a transcript of an oral history interview conducted with Wilson in 1979 is also housed at the Carl Albert Center. In it, he discusses his family history as well as his own life and career.
For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.