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Collection 343 - W.W. Wylie Autobiography, 1926

Creator: Wylie, W. W. (William Wallace)

Provenance Note: William Wallace Wylie's autobiography was donated to the Montana State University Library in 1966 by Paul R. Wylie, his nephew, for production of a grammatically edited transcription. Paul Wylie received the manuscript from W. W. Wylie's granddaughter Mary Lou Wardle of Los Angeles with the proviso that after transcription the original would join the W. W. Wylie collection at the Yellowstone National Park Museum In Mammoth, Wyoming. Several ancillary items donated by Paul R. Wylie have been included in the collection.

Historical Note: William Wallace Wylie (1848-1930) came to Bozeman, Montana from Iowa in 1878 as the principal of the city schools. In 1881 he became the principal of the Bozeman Academy. Several years later he was Montana Superintendent of schools. He made his first trip to Yellowstone National Park in 1880 and in 1881 he started a lecture tour on the park using H.B. Calfee's stereoptican views. In 1882, he published a guidebook to the park "Yellowstone national park; or, The great American wonderland : a complete description of all the wonders of the park". As he continued to visit the Park and took teachers on educational tours, he used tent camps to house them. In 1893 he got permission to establish fixed camps in the Park for tourist groups. This developed into the Wylie Way Stations which he ran until 1905 when he sold the business. W. W. Wylie wrote this autobiography in 1926 to write of his experiences during 25 years of service in Yellowstone National Park.

Content Description Note: This typescript of the autobiography by W. W. Wylie relates to the origin and development of his permanent tent camps in Yellowstone National Park known as Wylie Way Stations. It proceeds from his first knowledge of the Park, his first visits and lecture tours he presented into the development of his tourist business. This includes discussions of the first lecture tour, development of the permanent camps, early problems related to the camp business, problems with Park officials, legal problems and the sale of the business. Also included are anecdotes about interesting people, places, natural phenomena and animal behaviors he observed. Additional ancillary papers include photocopies of the obituaries of Paul Wylie and John McCartney Wylie ( W.W. Wylie's brother); photocopies of the rulings in a 1920 lawsuit between W. W. Wylie and the Wylie Permanent Camping Co.; and a photograph of Minnie, Charles and Lora Richter, circa 1985 ( Minnie Richter became John M. Wylie's wife).

Updated: 5/26/09