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Paul Wilson papers

Call Number: RH MS 746


Paul Wilson was a Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas, who, prior to his University service, participated in the Brown vs. Board of Education case on behalf of the State of Kansas. This collection contains research and notes for a journal article on U.S. Civil War soldier and lawyer John A. Halderman, court cases involving the Cherokee Nation, and research and notes for Wilson's book, A Time to Lose: Representing Kansas in Brown v. Board of Education. The collection also contains personal papers of Paul Wilson from 1965 to 1995, topics covering legal assistance for prisoners through KU law students, correspondence, prisoners rights', and papers from his involvement with several Kansas-based organizations, both legal and historical, as well as the American Bar Association (ABA).


  • Creation: 1949 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Paul Wilson (1913-2001)

Paul Edwin Wilson was born near Quenemo, Osage County, Kansas in 1913. He graduated from the University of Kansas and Washburn University Law School and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Having been admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1940, he served as Osage County attorney in the late 1940s and was then appointed Assistant Attorney General of Kansas in 1951. It was in this latter capacity that he represented the state during the Brown v. Board of Education landmark case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that public education could no longer be segregated between white and African American children. In 1957, Wilson was appointed as a faculty member in the University of Kansas School of Law.

Wilson was also involved in the Legal Services for Prisoners project, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Kansas' Law School and Washburn University. This project gave graduate students the opportunity to work with prisoners and help them with problems. Wilson was also on the Kansas Judicial Council and was involved with revising the Kansas criminal code.

Paul E. Wilson married Harriet Stephens in 1941, with whom he had 4 children. Wilson died April 22, 2001 in Lawrence, KS.


10.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 218

Physical Location

RH MS 746

Physical Location

RH MS 1513

Physical Location

RH MS Q180

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Paul Wilson, 1992, 1995; transferred from University Archives, 2017.

Related Materials

Wilson, Paul E. "John Adams Halderman: Our Eldest Brother" in the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, volume 54, Summer 1985.

Wilson, Paul E. A time to lose: representing Kansas in Brown v. Board of Education, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

Records of the University of Kansas School of Law - Kansas Defender Project, RG 24/13, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Paul E. Wilson papers, Manuscripts Collection 120, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.

Guide to the Paul Wilson Collection
Paul Wilson papers
Finding aid prepared by mab, 2006. Finding aid encoded by mab, 2006. Finding aid revised by bnd, 2019; mah, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Paul Wilson papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 746, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States