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Paul E. Wilson Papers

Collection 120



The papers of Paul E. Wilson (1915-) Kansas lawyer and professor, first assistant Attorney General, were given to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Wilson himself. These were given on August 2, 1977. The collection deals with Kansas Penal Code, Legal Services for Prisoners and personal material. The collection is not restricted.


Paul E. Wilson was born in 1915 near Quenemo in Osage County, Kansas. He received his A. B. in 1937 and A. M. in 1938 from the University of Kansas. He received his L. L. B. degree in 1940 from Washburn University. He served in the U. S. Army from 1942 to 1946 and was a second lieutenant in the infantry.

In 1941 he married the former Harriet Stephens and had four children. In 1946 he was elected County Attorney for Osage County and was re-elected in 1948. He was appointed Assistant Attorney General in 1951 and promoted to 1st Assistant Attorney General. During this period, Wilson was the representative for the Kansas Attorney General's office in the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. In 1956 Wilson made an unsuccessful bid for the 6th District Supreme Court. In 1957 he joined the staff at the University of Kansas School of Law. While on the faculty, he also was a member of the Kansas Judicial Council. He retired to Taos, New Mexico.

Scope and Content

The Paul E. Wilson papers cover the years 1951-1975, with most of the material concerning the Kansas Judicial Council and the revising of the Kansas criminal code.

The collection consists mostly of files with various types of papers, including personal, correspondence, legal documents, vouchers, newspaper clippings and expenditure reports.

The collection begins with his work as first assistant Attorney General and ends with his work for Legal Services for Prisoners.

His personal papers include mostly correspondence, newspaper clippings and a Christmas card. Subjects included are a letter to the Attorney General of Alabama for information on the state for his daughter, invitations to speak to various clubs, as well as different meetings he attended. Requests for a few legal favors are included in the file.

Another project of Wilson's was the Legal Services for Prisoners. It is a non-profit organization in conjunction with the University of Kansas School of Law and Washburn University. It involved graduate students working with the prisoners on any problems they might have. The file contains information from other states with similar programs, a biography of the director of the program, travel expenditures for the various conferences and trips taken by Professor Wilson.

Wilson's work on the Kansas Judical Council dealt with the revising of the criminal code for the state of Kansas. Four drafts of the code are in the collection along with other aspects of the Council. Notes, memos, clippings, and other materials, such as codes of other states, are included as well as minutes of the agenda. A variety of material in this collection is on topics such as the Citizens Conference on Kansas Courts and the recommendation of the Judical Council for Kansas to have an Appellate Court.

There is very little on the celebrated Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education case where Wilson played a prominent role in defending the segregation policies of Kansas before the U. S. Supreme Court.

A number of booklets are included in the collection, including one in memory of a deceased judge, transcript of a trial and two Senate Bills.

The collection is in 10 boxes with 42 folders and 10 booklets. The files are arranged according to four series: his personal papers, the Kansas Judicial Council, Legal Aid to Prisoners and the miscellaneous booklets.

July, 1978 Cyndi Shively, Intern

Contents List

Series 1: Personal Papers

Box. 1

1.1 Acting Superintendent of State Training School-Winfield
1.2 Personal Papers
1.3 Personal - Miscellaneous
1.4 Supreme Court Attempt 1956
1.5 Supreme Court Attempt 1956

Series 2: Legal Aid to Prisoners

Box 2:

2.1 Legal Services for Prisoners
2.2 Legal Services to Inmates
2.3 Legal Services for Prisoners
2.4 Legal Services for Prisoners
2.5 Legal Services for Prisoners
2.6 Legal Services for Prisoners
2.7 Consortium of States to Furnish Council to Prisoners

Series 3: Kansas Judicial Council

Box 3

3.1 Loose papers on revised draft
3.2 Kansas Criminal Code - Tentative Final Draft

Box 4

4.1 Kansas Penal Code - Recommended Draft
4.2 Kansas Penal Code - Working Draft

Box 5

5.1 Bar Association - Committee on Criminal Law
5.2 Criminal Code Revision
5.3 Criminal Code Revision
5.4 Minutes of Criminal Law - Recodification Committee

Box 6

6.1 Committee on Criminal Law Revision
6.2 Criminal Code Revision - Procedure

Box 7

7.1 Judicial Council - Election Code
7.2 Judicial Council - Initial Employment
7.3 Judicial Council - Memos, Suggestions
7.4 Judicial Council - Minutes
7.5 Judicial Council - 1966
7.6 Judicial Council - 1967
7.7 Kansas Judicial Council - Standards Study

Box 8

8.1 Citizens Conference on Courts
8.2 Court Legislation
8.3 Judicial Council
8.4 Judicial Council - Clippings
8.5 Judicial Council - Codes of Other States
8.6 Judicial Council - Judge White
8.7 Judicial Council - Notes

Box 9

9.1 Judicial Council - Committee and Council Cores
9.2 Kansas Judicial Council - Criminal Code Committee
9.3 Judicial Council - Memorandums
9.4 Judicial Council - Vouchers
9.5 Institute of Judicial Administration
9.6 Correspondence - Appellate Courts Series 4

Box 10

10.1 Kansas Judicial Council Bulletin April 1968
10.2 Kansas Judicial Council Bulletin October 1969

Series 4: Miscellaneous booklets

Box 10

10.3 Senate Bill No. 9
10.4 Senate Bill No. 9
10.5 Senate Bill No. 483
10.6 Senate Bill No. 483
10.7 Report of Kansas Judicial Study Advisory Committee
10.8 In Memorium of William Agnew Johnston
10.9 Transcript - September 12, 1969