New park sign recognizes former Hamilton city manager

Steve Wilson, right, is the grandson of former Hamilton city manager Howard F. “Hack” Wilson, recently donated funds to the Hamilton Parks Conservancy for a new sign at the Howard F. “Hack” Wilson Park. At left is Steve Timmer, Hamilton Parks Conservancy director. The two-acre park located at North Eastview Parkway at Carter Terrace features a playground. ED RICHTER/STAFF
Caption
Steve Wilson, right, is the grandson of former Hamilton city manager Howard F. “Hack” Wilson, recently donated funds to the Hamilton Parks Conservancy for a new sign at the Howard F. “Hack” Wilson Park. At left is Steve Timmer, Hamilton Parks Conservancy director. The two-acre park located at North Eastview Parkway at Carter Terrace features a playground. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Steve Wilson, who is the grandson of Howard F. “Hack” Wilson, a former Hamilton city manager, recently donated funds to the Hamilton Parks Conservancy for a new sign at the park named in his honor.

Steve Wilson was born in Hamilton and is a graduate of Fairfield High School. He resides in Aventura, Fla., and donated the funds for a new sign in his grandfather’s memory. He wanted to honor the heritage of his grandfather and his contributions to the city.

Wilson said the park’s original bronze sign, which was attached to a large rock along North Eastview Parkway at Carter Terrace, had been stolen for scrap several years ago. He said he wanted to get a new sign erected and enlisted the support of Steve Timmer, director of the Hamilton Parks Conservancy and the Conservancy board to obtain a new sign. Timmer said the new sign cost about $3,000.

“Steve Timmer was very helpful and supportive in getting the new sign designed and installed,” Wilson said.

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Steve Wilson was in Hamilton last weekend visiting family and to see the sign the Conservancy had installed.

“Hamilton was always very special to my grandfather, it was the city he helped build, it was a city of which he was so proud,” Wilson said.

The two-acre park, which features a playground, was dedicated in Howard F. “Hack” Wilson’s honor in 1986.

“Hack” Wilson was a respected local businessman was the owner of Hack Wilson Auto Sales at Erie Boulevard and High Street in the 1940s and 1950s and also served on Hamilton City Council during that time. An accomplished amateur softball player in Hamilton, he was give the nickname “Hack” because of his prowess of hitting home runs like professional baseball player Hack Wilson who played for the Chicago White Sox at the time, according to Steve Wilson.

“Hack” Wilson later served as Hamilton’s parks director from the 1950s into the early 1960’s and during his tenure led in the design and and construction of Potters Park and Twin Run golf courses. He became the city manager and retired in 1972.

In the 1970s, “Hack” Wilson created the campaign, gained legislative support and designed signage to name Hamilton as the “Safe Capital of The World” whereby each entrance into the city of Hamilton had a signage denoting this moniker, according to Steve Wilson. The “Safe Capital of the World” positioning was because of the long-standing place that Hamilton Safe, Mosler Safe and Diebold had in the Hamilton business community.

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