The book was written by Clarence Dewey Mitchell with the help of Sam VanArsdale, who was Jim's life-long companion. It was first published in August of 1942 in hardback edition by Dorrance & Company of Philadelphia. It become a favorite book of school children in Missouri.
In 1953, the book was published by I. E. Simmerman of Slater, Missouri. In the 1970s the copyright was in the name of Harold J. Hausam and the School of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri. The book was published then in paperback for the first time.
In 1989 the book was published by Jim the Wonder Dog, Inc. of Sedalia, Missouri. The copyright is currently owned by Wiley Hausam, son of Harold Hausam.
From 1969 to 1999, Harold Hausam, a resident of Sedalia, Missouri, tirelessly promoted the story of Jim the Wonder Dog throughout the United States. With his own funds, he kept Clarence Dewey Mitchell's book in print for more than thirty years and personally approached bookstores throughout Missouri, urging them to keep the book on their shelves and Jim's legendary story alive.
In addition, from time to time, he would urge the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspapers to write and publish feature stories on the story of Jim, which they did every few years. He approached writers, Hollywood production companies, celebrities (such as singer/movie star Doris Day) with Jim's story, and even the United States Postal Service about issuing an official stamp with Jim's likeness. These efforts did not bear any fruit. He nevertheless maintained a lifelong passion for retelling Jim's remarkable story. And he never made any money from these efforts.
Harold was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1916. He was the son of Roy John Hausam, founder of Midwest Auto Stores, was raised in Sedalia and passed away there in July 2005. For most of his adult life he was the quintessential gregarious traveling salesman and enthusiastically sold various products (including the encyclopedia, The Book of Knowledge) throughout the Midwest and the Western U.S. From 1999-2010, Harold's wife Benigna kept the book in print with her own funds and distributed it to several regional bookstores.
The Hausam family is very pleased that Friends of Jim the Wonder Dog continues to keep Jim's amazing life story alive.