Claude Leonard Wilson was born on 30 Nov 1903, the son of John and Bertha (Washington) Wilson. Claude and his siblings, Leta, Freda, John, Lloyd, Nellie, and Colette, were born and raised in Ottawa, KS. He graduated from Ottawa High School in 1921.
On 17 Sep 1921, following in the footsteps of his brother, John Leod Wilson, Claude entered K-State, studying mechanical engineering. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He lived in the Phi Beta Sigma Chapter House, 1020 Colorado, through his entire undergraduate education.
Wilson graduated from K-State on 28 May 1925 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following his graduation he began teaching at Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College in Texas, an association that would last the rest of his life.
In 1927, he married Lucellustine Cornelia Walker. His daughter, Rosalind Joyce Wilson, was born on 08 Apr 1929 in Waller, TX. He received a professional degree in mechanical engineering from K-State on 29 May 1929, and returned to take classes during the summers of 1931 and 1932, and the spring of 1933. He earned his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering on 01 Jun 1933.
In 1947, he founded the College of Engineering at Prairie View and continued to serve there until his retirement in 1974. In 1962, he received a Distinguished Service Award for outstanding accomplishments in Engineering from K-State. He was also appointed to the advisory council of the College of Engineering at K-State in 1971 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Engineering by K-State in 1982. He was inducted into the K-State College of Engineering Hall of Fame in 1988. He was also a member of the KSU President's Club.
Claude Wilson died on 23 Jan 1994 in Prairie View, TX. He was survived by his widow, Lucellustine, and daughter, Rosalind James. Wilson was the first African-American to be a registered professional engineer in Texas. He was honored numerous times by professional organizations for this contributions to engineering and education.
K-State Directory, 1921-1924
Royal Purple, 1922-1925
1910 Census: Kansas - Franklin County - Ottawa Ward 1 - District 91
1920 Census: Kansas - Franklin County - Ottawa - District 92
1930 Census: Texas - Waller County - Precinct 6 - District 7
Texas Marriage Index
Texas Birth Index
Social Security Death Index