William A. Hightower papers
Scope and Contents note
Handmade volumes of philosophical writings and essays, poetry, scrapbooks, manuscripts of 16 novels, loose papers, correspondence with his niece and other, photographs of other inmates, legal papers, quotations, copyright information, and other materials.
- Hightower, William A., 1878-1974 (creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
Access restricted by donor until further notice.
Conditions Governing Use note
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the William A. Hightower papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
William A. Hightower (1878-1974) was a baker and convicted murderer in California.
William A. Hightower was born on September 28, 1878 in Texas. He trained as a baker, and was living in San Francisco in 1921 when he was convicted of the murder of Catholic priest Patrick Heslin. Hightower was sent to the California State Prison at San Quentin, where he worked in the kitchens and produced a newsletter. He was paroled in 1965 and died in Los Angeles in January 1974.
15 cartons (15 linear ft.)
1 artifact (1 linear ft.)
Language of Materials
Contains Hightower's writings including novels, essays, and poetry. Includes correspondence from prison personnel, Hightower, and Genelle Larson Pugmire. Contains copies of a manuscript in which Hightower discusses his conviction and declares his innocence. Includes political essays discussing many of the current events during his prison term, including the Great Depression, World War II and the atomic bomb, and communism. Also includes various novels, many with western American themes. Includes the typewriter Hightower used when composing in prison.
Other Finding Aids
Box-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2381.xml
Custodial History note
Donated by Genelle Larson Pugmire in 1989 installment.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Donated; Genelle Larson Pugmire; 1989.
Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).
Processing Information note
Processed; Corey Clement, Brad Westwood editor; 2007.
- Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
- Atomic bomb
- California State Prison at San Quentin
- Great Depression
- Hightower, William A., 1878-1974 -- Archives
- Prisoners -- California -- San Quentin -- History
- Prisoners as authors -- California -- San Quentin -- History
- Pugmire, Genelle -- Correspondence
- World War, 1939-1945
- Register of the William A. Hightower papers
- Corey Clement, Brad Westwood editor
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
- Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
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Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States