Autobiography of James David Wood, circa 1964

Overview of the Collection

Wood, James David, 1841-1909
Autobiography of James David Wood
circa 1964
1 item (8 pp.)
Collection Number
Collection 0244, MtBC, us (collection)
The Autobiography of James David Wood was authored by Wood in 1902. Wood's story gives an outline of his trip to Montana in 1864, his early residence in Virginia City, his experiences in the Nez Perce and Bannock wars, and a brief outline of his business ventures.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Stanley Roland Davison was born May 6, 1911, in East Helena, Montana. He received a doctorate from the University of California and served in the Navy during World War II and Korea. Davison spent most of his academic career at Western Montana College in Dillon, Montana where he worked for thirty years. He wrote a number of articles on Montana history and received an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution for his contributions to Montana history, research, and study. He died on May 14, 1986.

James David Wood was born in 1841 at Mercer County, Missouri. In 1864 he traveled from Atchison, Kansas to Virginia City with a freight outfit, working his way as a mule herder. Once in Montana Territory, Wood tried his hand at mining and other jobs, eventually moving to Idaho to again engage in mining in the Leesburg area. During the Nez Perce war he was one of the first on the scene of the "Birch Creek Massacre," a freighting team that was killed by the Nez Perce in present day Clark County, Idaho. During the Bannock War of 1878 he was a participant in a fight involving a freight wagon team in the Lost River valley where a comrade, Jesse McCaleb, was killed. Wood became a successful businessman in Salt Lake City towards the end of his life, owning mining interests in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, along with a mercantile operation in Salt Lake City itself. He died on January 17, 1909.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

In 1902, James David Wood wrote a brief autobiographical sketch of his life. The document remained in the family and was eventually passed down to the D. V. Hagenbarth family of Dillon, Montana. In 1964 the manuscript was borrowed by Stanley Davison for transcription and editing, and then returned to the Hagenbarth family. Davison reviewed the sketch and found historical discrepancies which he noted. Wood's story gives an outline of his trip to Montana in 1864, his early residence in Virginia City, his experiences in the Nez Perce and Bannock wars, and a brief outline of his business ventures. Davison never published the manuscript, and the present location of the original is unknown.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

An edited typescript prepared by Stanley R. Davison, Dillon, Montana, from an original document was donated to Montana State University by Davison in 1964.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2010 May 6

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Bannock Indians-Wars, 1878
  • Freight and freightage-Idaho
  • Freight and freightage-Montana
  • Frontier and pioneer life-Idaho
  • Frontier and pioneer life-Montana-Virginia City
  • Nez PercĂ© Indians-Wars, 1877
  • Overland journeys to Montana-Personal narratives
  • Pioneers-Idaho-Biography
  • Pioneers-Montana-Biography

Personal Names

  • Wood, James David,-1841-1909

Geographical Names

  • Idaho-History-19th century
  • Montana-History-19th century
  • Virginia City (Mont.)-History

Form or Genre Terms

  • Autobiographies

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Davison, Stanley Roland (creator)