James W. Schultz (1859-1947)
J.W. Schultz was an author, explorer, hunting guide, trapper, trading post operator, and historian of Indian lore. He was born to a wealthy New York family. His future as a young adult was to include military school and then West Point. At the end of his junior year, Schultz set off a canyon during graduation and was asked not to return. His military “career” was done! He left home at 17 years of age to live with his uncle in St. Louis and learn the hotel business.
Schultz was fascinated by the people he met and stories of the wild west. He wrote a letter to his mother asking for $500 to go on a buffalo hunt and promised to return to New York at the end of summer. Shultz mother did indeed send him the $500 for his adventure, but he did not return. James boarded a steamboat and traveled 2,000 miles before arriving at Ft. Benton Montana Territory in 1877. It was there he began his love of trading with the Pikuni Blackfeet Indians. He visited their villages, hunted bison and other game with them, and learned their language. He was 19 years old when he married his first wife, a fifteen year old Blackfeet maiden, Nataki.
Schultz loved exploring the wilderness that eventually became Glacier National Park. George Bird Grinnell, the founder of Glacier National Park was a good friend of Schultz. They explored the entire area, naming many of the land marks known today. Years later, Schultz took his journals and wrote many articles and stories in magazines as well as authored 37 books, most were about his life with the Blackfeet Indians.
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