Byron Thrailkill Interview, August 3, 1983


Byron Thrailkill


Robert Philip



Download Audio Interview (53.0 MB)

Download Transcript of Byron Thrailkill Interview (154 KB)


Byron Thrailkill, born in Bell Crossing, Montana, in 1895, discusses growing up in the Bitterroot Valley. He describes working on the railroads and in the Rocky Mountain Laboratories [RML], a Hamilton-based laboratory that focused on vaccine development. Thrailkill discusses his work during the 1920s researching tick-borne diseases, including tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and choriomeningitis, under the direction of Dr. Parker and Dr. Spencer. He details his daily duties in the laboratory, including collecting ticks in Missoula and the surrounding areas for research. Thrailkill also recalls anecdotes about his friends, such as Earl Malone, and provides a snapshot of life in 1920s Missoula.

Note: When this interview was conducted, the interviewee asked that the interview not be made public. Archives and Special Collections has chosen to make it public since the interviewee is deceased and says nothing harmful.


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Document Type

Oral History


Bitterroot Valley, Montana; Rocky Mountain Laboratories [RML]; Missoula, Montana; Vaccination development; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; Tick-borne diseases

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Bitterroot Historical Society Oral History Project, OH 120, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 120-007

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (12 pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:38:33 minutes

Local Filename

OH_120_007.mp3; OH_120_007.pdf

Byron Thrailkill Interview, August 3, 1983