James Boyd – New York to Montana
James Boyd. – Coming to Montana in 1865 when a mere youth, Mr. Boyd may
well be designated as one of the pioneers of the state, and his
experiences in the early days were typical of life on the frontier. He
is now one of the representative citizens of Valley County and is
postmaster of Boyd post office, located on his ranch and named in his
honor. Mr. Boyd is a native of New York born in Steuben County, October
17, 1848, the son of Alexander Boyd, who followed his trade of
wheelwright for many years in Wisconsin and Colorado, and died near
Denver some years since. James Boyd was reared on the farm of Joseph
Spaulding near Janesville, Wisconsin having been brought by his parents
to that state when a mere child. He gave a desultory attendance to the
district schools, but in later years, through personal application and
active association with the practical affairs of life, he has acquired
the best of education.
Crossing the plains to Montana in 1865, when but sixteen years of age,
he made his way to Virginia City, Montana and remained in that vicinity
about three years. In 1867 he was detailed as a member of the Montana
militia to carry the mail between Virginia City and Twenty-five Yard Creek.
In 1868 he went to Fort Benton as an employee of the Northwest Fur
Company, and assisted in building Fort Browning and the post trader’s
store on Milk River. He returned to Fort Benton in the spring of 1869,
and remained near there for two years, when he was employed by Durfee &
Peck, post traders at Fort Peck until 1875.
In the fall of 1875 he was appointed deputy United States Marshall under
J.W. Buck, and held the appointment eighteen months. He joined General
Miles at Fort Keogh in 1877, acting as scout during the summer, and in
the fall went to Wolf Point, on the Missouri River, where he was
employed in the wood yards and in various other capacities until 1884.
From 1884 to 1887 Mr. Boyd acted as interpreter at Fort Buford, and was
engaged in various other occupations. He then went to Poplar, on the
Fort Peck Reservation, Montana and was engaged on a government mail and
messenger contract until 1895. In June 1895 he located his present ranch
of 160 acres seven miles from Culbertson, on Big Muddy Creek in Valley
County, where he is engaged in stock raising. In 1898 the post office of
Boyd was established at his ranch and he was made postmaster, an office
in which he has since been retained. He gives an active and zealous
support to the Republican Party, and supports all measures for the
advancement of his county and state.
On May 10 1891, Mr. Boyd was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Durand,
their marriage being solemnized at Poplar, Valley County. They have one
son William Allison Boyd who was born April 13, 1898.
Progressive Men of the State of Montana, Chicago, A.W. Bowen and Co., 1902.