EDWARD HILLIARD, JR. PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
Much of the collection consists of correspondence, publications, minutes, and other materials from the numerous organizations for which Ed Hilliard served as an officer or founding member. Because of the grassroots nature of many, and the lack of a letterhead in some, many organizations blend together in a way that makes it hard to identify which created a specific document. The remainder of the collection is mostly devoted to subject files on Western history and travel, railroads, and environmental conservation including the passage of the Wilderness Act.
The collection also includes obituaries of Ed Hilliard, personal material, and materials related to the law school career of Hugh Kingery, the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Colorado. The items in the collection date from 1910 to 1991, with the majority between 1950 and 1970. The collection also contains undated material.
Beginning with a letter from the president of one railroad company to another asking permission for Ed Hilliard (aged 16) to travel in the "Empire Builder" locomotive, this series contains materials related to Hilliard's interest in railroad history. It includes information about the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club and other railroad organizations, correspondence, pictures, pamphlets and timetables.
Series two consists of materials from organizations devoted to Western history and travel, and subject files about Western history and the places that Ed and Joy Hilliard visited in Colorado and elsewhere. Organizational materials primarily generated from the Denver Posse of the Westerners include bylaws, correspondence, and notices of trips and events. The Westerners material also includes correspondence related to a project led by Hilliard in which members wrote book reviews about Western history. Subject files consist mainly of brochures and pamphlets about towns in Colorado including several inscribed to the Hilliards by Caroline Bancroft and other local historians.
Series three includes correspondence, minutes, publications, and other material from several of the conservation organizations in which Ed Hilliard played a leading role as well as the Colorado Game and Fish Commission, which worked closely with Hilliard on conservation issues. The Colorado Open Space Council, the Colorado Wilderness Committee (which later became the Wilderness Committee of Colorado), the Conservation Council of Colorado, the Colorado Game and Fish Commission, the Denver Chamber of Commerce Game and Fish Committee, and Operation Respect generated most of the material. This series also includes subject files on the Wilderness Act including grassroots letter writing campaigns and testimony at hearings held in Colorado and in Washington, D.C. The series also contains files on other conservation issues and events.
Series four consists mainly of obituaries and clippings related to Ed Hilliard's death and correspondence about awards, fellowships, and tributes to him. It also includes his living will, a catalog from his gun sight business with an article by him about conservation, and correspondence about his father's death.
Series five consists of a pyramid shaped award inscribed in Ed Hilliard's honor by the Colorado Outward Bound School.
Series six includes ¼ inch reel-to-reel recordings of the Colorado Open Space Conference held from August 30 through September 1, 1967.
Series seven includes maps, posters, brochures, and a reprint of a magazine article.
The collection is open for research.
The Edward Hilliard, Jr. Papers are the physical property of the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Edward Hobbs Hilliard, Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 16, 1922. As a boy, he developed an appreciation for the Western outdoors by spending summers with his family in Montana. During World War II, he served as an Infantry Lieutenant in Europe. He completed his college education at Yale University in 1948 with a B.S. in Applied Economics. He moved to Colorado in 1949 where he worked for J. J. B. Hilliard and Son, a Louisville brokerage firm. From 1950-1956 he worked for Westric Battery Company, and in 1956, became a general partner and principal of Redfield Gun Sight Company.
On October 20, 1951, Ed Hilliard married Joy Rushmore of Plainfield, New Jersey, a fellow Colorado Mountain Club Member. They had three children: Byron R. Hilliard, M. Hobbs Hilliard, and Helen J. Hilliard.
Ed Hilliard became a member of the Colorado Mountain Club in 1949, the year he moved to Colorado. During the 1950s he joined several organizations with an interest in Western history, including the Denver Posse of the Westerners and the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club. Gradually Hilliard's focus shifted from recreational travel and amateur history to a career as a grassroots activist for environmental conservation. He joined the Denver Chamber of Commerce Game and Fish Committee and proposed plans to integrate conservation and business interests. He also worked with the Colorado State Game, Fish and Parks Commission to create Operation Respect, a program to bring hunters and landowners together.
Hilliard served as president of the Conservation Council of Colorado and was instrumental in the creation of the Colorado Open Space Coalition (COSC) and the Rocky Mountain Center on Environment (ROMCOE). With the encouragement of Howard Zahniser, Stuart Brandborg, and Mardy Murie of the Wilderness Society, he helped to organize the Colorado Wilderness Committee, later known as the Wilderness Committee of Colorado, which solicited support from Colorado ranchers and others for the legislation that became the federal Wilderness Act of 1964.
Ed Hilliard received an American Motors Conservation Award in 1963. In 1964 he was elected a member of the governing council of the national Wilderness Society, becoming its vice-president in 1968, and joining the Council's executive committee in 1969. The Colorado Mountain Club named him 1969 Conservationist of the Year.
On August 15, 1970, Ed Hilliard died in a mountain climbing accident in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Western Colorado. Following his death, Edward H. Hilliard, Jr. Fellowship was established to support scholarly study in Environmental Conservation, and in 1975 a mountain pass in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass area was named Hilliard Pass. The Edward Hilliard room was established at the Denver Public Library to house the Conservation Library Collection.
4 boxes (4 linear feet)
1 oversize folders
1 audiovisual boxes
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
The materials in the collection were donated by Joy Hilliard over a number of years.
Number of boxes: 5
Number of oversize folders: 1
Number of audiovisual boxes: 1
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Conservation of natural resources. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Conservationists -- Colorado. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Railroads -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- West (U.S.) -- History. Subject Source: Lcnaf
- EDWARD HILLIARD, JR. PAPERS
- JUNE 2008
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