From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Wilson, William Hansford Jr.

(born: 1918  -  died: 1999) William Hansford Wilson, Jr. was the third African American doctor in Joliet, IL [source: Penelope R. Norris, "Blacks in Will County," Illinois History, v.28-29, 1974, pp.189-190]. The first African American doctor in Joliet was James F. Williams who arrived sometime before 1920, and the second was M. William Withers. Dr. William Hansford Wilson, Jr. arrived in 1948 and he remained in Joliet until his death in 1999. He was born in Madisonville, KY, in 1918. He was the son of Dr. William H. Wilson, Sr. and Urena Mae Morton Wilson.

William H. Wilson, Jr. was a graduate of Danville High School in Danville, IL [source: Medly 1937 (Danville High School yearbook), p.235, Ancestry]. He was an athlete, having competed in football, basketball, track, and tennis.  He went on to college and was a 1941 graduate of Fisk University, where he earned his A.B. degree. He was a 1945 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine [sources: The Illio 1945, University of Illinois (yearbook), p.88; and 1945 graduating class, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago Collections web page]. William H. Wilson, Jr. was one of eight African American graduates from the Medical School in 1945 [source: "8 Graduate from U of Illinois Medical School," Chicago Bee, 09/23/1945, p.2].

In addition to being a medical doctor, William H. Wilson, Jr. composed music. In 1952, he and his stepmother, Beatrice Odell Wilson, were the authors of the unpublished music titled "Could I" (EU 283670) [source: Unpublished Music. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 3rd Series, January-June 1952, v.6, part 5B, No.1, p.465]. In 1936, the two had also received the copyright for the unpublished music "Ever Glowing" (E unp.119261) [source: Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3, Musical Compositions. New Series, v.31, part 1, First half of 1936, nos.1-8, p.174].

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“Wilson, William Hansford Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2019-11-13 18:47:15