Fonds F 663 - Garrett Wilson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Garrett Wilson fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

F 663

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1880-2009, predominant 1980-1988 (Creation)
    Wilson, Garrett, 1932-2017

Physical description area

Physical description

1.98 m of textual records
104 prints
55 negatives

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Niall Garrett Ardri Wilson was born on May 19, 1932 in Limerick, Saskatchewan to Charles and Florence (Sproule) Wilson. He attended Luther College in Regina, and earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Saskatchewan in 1954. While attending university, Wilson wrote for its newspaper, The Sheaf, and in the 1953-54 school year was the newspaper's editor.

After graduation, Wilson articled under F.B. Bagshaw. In 1955, he was called to the bar, admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan, and became a partner in Bagshaw, Neville & Wilson, a private law firm in Regina. Along with his private practice, Wilson was a Regina City Prosecutor in 1958. During his career, Wilson was a partner in the following law firms: Neville & Wilson; Wilson & Rendek; Wilson, Drummond & Whitmore; Wilson & Drummond; Wilson, Drummond, Findlay & Neufeld; Wilson, Harmel, Drummond; Wilson & Company; and Wilson Rasmussen. In addition, Wilson served as counsel to the Regina Police Service and the Association of Professional Engineers of Saskatchewan for several years. Wilson was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1968. He was Chair of the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission (1964-1965) and of the Regina Rail Relocation Committee (1973-1982). In 2005, he was awarded an honourary life membership to the Law Society of Saskatchewan.

Wilson was active with the provincial and federal Liberal parties in the 1960s and 1970s. He was involved in the campaign of provincial Liberal leader Ross Thatcher in 1964, and served as the Liberal Party's campaign manager for the 1967 election. He served as president of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association (1971-1975) and as vice-president of the Liberal Party of Canada (1978-1980).

With his daughter Lesley, Wilson co-authored Deny, Deny, Deny: The Rise and Fall of Colin Thatcher, which detailed the murder of JoAnn Wilson and the resulting trial of her ex-husband, Colin Thatcher. This book was published in 1985, with a second edition published in 2000. The 2000 edition of the book was short-listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award in the Regina Book Award category. In 1988, Wilson co-authored Diefenbaker for the Defence with his son Kevin. This work examined the legal career of John G. Diefenbaker prior to his entry into politics. Other works authored by Wilson include: the crime mystery Guilty Addictions (1999) which was short-listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award and the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award; Frontier Farewell (2007) which won Wilson a Saskatchewan Book Award in the Scholarly Writing category; In the Temple of the Rain God: The Life and Times of Irish Charlie Wilson (2012); and his memoirs, Outlier: Life, Law and Politics in the West (2016). Wilson was a former director and president of the Saskatchewan Book Awards, a former director and member of the advisory council of The Writers' Trust of Canada, and held membership with The Writers' Union of Canada, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society.

Garrett Wilson died in Regina on August 15, 2017.

Custodial history

Garrett Wilson donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in three accessions in 1991 and 2010: R91-329 (October 1, 1991), 2010-312 (August 30, 2010) and 2010-353 (October 27, 2010). Garrett Wilson loaned some of these records for copying to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 2001: R2001-075 (April 30, 2001).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Garrett Wilson in the 1980s in researching and co-authoring the books Deny, Deny, Deny: The Rise and Fall of Colin Thatcher with his daughter Lesley Wilson (published in 1985, second edition published in 2000), and Diefenbaker for the Defence with his son Kevin Wilson (published in 1988). It also includes business records and correspondence of Wilson's working relationship with James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers.

The types of records included are photocopies of court records; original and photocopied newspaper clippings; photocopies and reprints of records from various archival collections; research materials; correspondence; research notes; interview notes; drafts; appointment books; land titles; wills; contracts; photographs and negatives; pamphlets; maps and an audio cassette.

The fonds has been arranged into two series: Deny, Deny, Deny: The Rise and Fall of Colin Thatcher, and Diefenbaker for the Defence.

The fonds also includes records collected by Wilson including political pamphlets from the 1950s issued by the Liberal, Conservative and Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) parties (R-E3549) and photographs that depict the staff, students, and facilities of Guy Hill Indian Residential School at Sturgeon Landing, and its fire of 2 September 1952 (GM-PH-1381 (1)-(4) to GM-PH-1384 (1)-(14). No series designation has been applied to these records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Order maintained by archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some of these records are subject to access restrictions according to terms of an agreement with the donor dated January 4, 2011. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication, and/or reproduction of records are subject to the terms of an agreement with the donor and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

SAFA 595 consists of a fonds description and item descriptions of photographs. The paper guide consists of a fonds description only.

Associated materials

Related material: Negatives taken during the Colin Thatcher murder trial, and of Garrett and Lesley Wilson, as well as photographs and negatives of John Diefenbaker are located in the StarPhoenix fonds in the Saskatoon office (BF 8).

Related materials


Further accruals are expected.

General note

15 maps; 1 audio cassette

Alpha-numeric designations

Other codes: Textual records: R-E3549; Photographs: GM-PH-1381 (1)-(4) to GM-PH 1384 (1)-(14)

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres