“In remembrance of Wiley A. Hamilton, 1881-1964”

I would guess that almost no one remembers this, but almost two years ago I wrote a post about some of the bookplates in use at Fondren. I’ve never forgotten this particular post though, because I wanted so badly to find out something about the man who inspired this lovely plate:

Bookplate Wiley Hamilton

I looked all over for him and never could find anything at all, not even a trace.

Yesterday I was doing some research in the Andrew Forest Muir (’38, ’42) collection—I was way, way down in it too, in a box full of personal and family correspondence and photos, more obscure you could hardly get. There were a lot of photos and they were all labeled, but each was inside its own individual envelope. This makes them hard to get at, so I was perhaps less than scrupulous about opening every one. I did, though, notice the one labeled “Charles Hamilton” because even after all this time I’m still looking for Wiley A. Hamilton and well, you just never know. It can’t hurt to look.

So I opened it and found him:Wiley A Hamilton book plate

Retired from Schlumberger and worked at Fondren for three years before he died at age 83. He must have loved it in the library very much. No wonder someone made bookplates in his memory. Comparing the drawing and the photo from the obituary, I see that must be him checking out a book in the bookplate. (Those are Muir’s typical meticulous annotations on the side of the clipping, by the way. I don’t believe he ever left anything unidentified or failed to cite a source. I’m very grateful to him.)

Bonus: Here’s another Fondren bookplate. I don’t know who she is, but it should be easier to figure this one out.

Bookplate Dance

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2 Responses to “In remembrance of Wiley A. Hamilton, 1881-1964”

  1. David M. Bynog says:

    Yes, much easier. She worked at the “Studio of Dance” in Houston and taught classes to Rice students c. 1940 (see several references at UNT Portal website; not just in the Thresher). It’s a shame that we don’t produce such interesting bookplates anymore.

  2. MM Pack, '74 says:

    I can shed a little more light on Wiley Hamilton. His son, Charles W. Hamilton, a Rice grad from around 1930 (sounds like you have a file on him), was married to my late cousin Mary Alice Stevens Hamilton, also a Rice grad, who was a librarian at Fonden and at the Woodson for many years, So she was the connection to Mr. Hamilton’s retirement job at the library. I worked at the Woodson as an undergraduate, but the sweet bookplate and details in the obituary are new for me; thanks for the glimpse into some family history.

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