Lavender, David, 1910-2003

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Lavender was a chronicler of the American West.

From the description of Colorado, a mini-history : the shape of the future / [David S. Lavender]. [197-?] (Denver Public Library). WorldCat record id: 52600690

David Sievert Lavender (1910-2003), a Western historian and novelist, was born in Telluride, Colorado. He received his bachelor's degree at Princeton and studied law at Stanford. He served on the faculty of Thacher School in Ojai, California, while writing the majority of his more than forty books, most of which center on the history of the American West.

From the description of David Sievert Lavender papers, circa 1930-1990. (Denver Public Library). WorldCat record id: 70784576

David Lavender, teacher, cowboy, and historian of the West, was born in Telluride, Colorado on February 4, 1910. He attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduated from Princeton University in 1931, and briefly attended Stanford law School. His grandfather was chief justice of Colorado and his stepffather ranched and ran a stagecoach line. After his stepfather died during the Depression, he took over the family ranch and, when it failed, worked in a gold mine for a while. He moved to Denver, became a copywriter for an advertising agency, and later moved to California, where he became a screenwriter, providing plots for Westerns, and writing stories for Western pulp magazines, juvenile publications such as "Boys' Life", and the "Saturday Evening Post.

In 1939, Lavender moved to Ojai, California. In his first book, a collection of autobiographical essays entitled "One Man's West", came out in 1943. The same year he began teaching at the Thacher School, a boarding school in Ojai, where he remained on the faculty until 1970.

In all, Lavender published more than 40 books on western themes ranging from fur trappers to railroad barons and early San Francisco bankers. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize twice and received many significant awards for his work, including two Guggenheim fellowships to study the fur trade and four medals from the Commonwealth Club of California for his histories of Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, early San Francisco, and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

For many years, David Lavender conducted research in and was a consultant to the William Wyles Collection (with extensive holdings in western history) at the UCSB Libraries Special Collections. He died in Ojai, California on April 19, 2003, at the age of 93.

From the description of The David Lavender - Fort Laramie Collection, [ca. 1970s - 1980s]. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 53083007

Biography

David Lavender, teacher, cowboy, and historian of the West, was born in Telluride, Colorado on Feb. 4, 1910. He attending Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduated from Princeton University in 1931, and briefly attended Stanford Law School. His grandfather was chief justice of Colorado and his stepfather ranched and ran a stagecoach line. After his stepfather died during the Depression, he took over the family ranch and, when it failed, worked in a gold mine for a while. He moved to Denver, became a copywriter for an advertising agency, and later moved to California, where he became a screenwriter, providing plots for Westerns, and writing stories for Western pulp magazines, juvenile publications such as Boys' Life, and the Saturday Evening Post .

In 1939, Lavender moved to Ojai, California. His first book, a collection of autobiographical essays entitled One Man's West, came out in 1943. The same year he began teaching at the Thacher School, a boarding school in Ojai, where he remained on the faculty until 1970. Some of his students most vivid memories of their school years were of the camping trips that Lavender took them on.

In all, Lavender published more than 40 books on western themes ranging from fur trappers to railroad barons and early San Francisco bankers. He was known and praised for his meticulous research and story-telling abilities. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize twice and received many significant awards for his work, including two Guggenheim fellowships to study the fur trade and four medals from the Commonwealth Club of California for his histories of Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, early San Francisco, and the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1997 the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado honored him with the its Wallace Stegner Award for sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the American West.

For many years David Lavender conducted research in and was a consultant to the William Wyles Collection (with extensive holdings in western history) at the UCSB Libraries Special Collections. He died in Ojai, California on April 19, 2003, at the age of 93.

*Information for this biography was drawn from Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times obituaries, Apr. 2003, as well as a UCSB Libraries Soundings article, 1982.

From the guide to the David Lavender - Fort Laramie Collection, ca. latter 1970s-early 1980s, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

Relation Name
associatedWith Hudson's Bay Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hutchinson, W. H. (William Henry), 1910-1990. person
associatedWith Lavender, David Sievert, 1910- person
associatedWith McLoughlin, John, 1784-1857. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. person
associatedWith Sprague, Marshall. person
associatedWith University of Colorado Libraries. Special Collections Dept. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pacific, Northwest
Fort Laramie (Wyo. : Fort)
Fort Laramie (Wyo.)
Fort Laramie National Historic Site (Wyo.)
Colorado
West (U.S.)
San Juan Mountains (Colo. and N.M.)
Subject
Water rights
Novelists, American
Mountaineering expeditions
Railroads
Historic preservation--United States
Indians of North America
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1910-02-04

Death 2003-04-26

Americans

English

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