Hazel E. Wilson, 95, a prize-winning author of children's books on subjects ranging from her native state of Maine to George Washington, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 20 at the Fernwood Retirement Home in Bethesda.
A resident of the Washington area since 1930, Mrs. Wilson turned to writing after a career as a school and university librarian in Missouri, Massachusetts and Denver, where she was supervisor of the public schools' library system. From 1926 to 1928, she was head of the circulation department of the American Library in Paris.
Her first book, "The Red Dory," appeared in 1939 and was set in Maine. Others about Maine were "The Owen Boys," "Tall Ships" and "Island Summer." Her books on historical figures included "The Story of Lafayette," "Washington at Mount Vernon," "The Story of Anthony Wayne" and "The Last Queen of Hawaii." She was best-known, perhaps, for several volumes of stories about Herbert, a 10-year-old whose mischievous antics were based on the doings of her own son.
A native of Portland, Maine, Mrs. Wilson graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and she received a degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston. She was a resident of Bethesda at the time of her death.
She lectured frequently to children's and parents groups, and in 1956 and 1957 she was a lecturer at George Washington University. She also taught at Georgetown University, and she wrote monthly reviews for the old Washington Evening Star newspaper.
Mrs. Wilson was a founder and past president of the Children's Book Guild of Washington, and she was a member of the American Newspaper Women's Club and Women in Communication.
Her honors included the Ohioan Award for "Island Summer," which appeared in 1949; the Boys' Clubs of America Junior Book Award for "Thad Owen," which appeared in 1950; the Edison Award for "His Indian Brother," which appeared in 1955, and the 1955 New York Herald Tribune Spring Book Festival Honor Award for "Herbert." She also received an honorary master's degree from Bates College.
Her husband, Dr. Jerome William Wilson, died in 1963.
Survivors include a son, Jerome Linwood Wilson of New York City; and four granddaughters.