SOUTH CENTRAL ALASKA
MARRIAGE, BIRTH, DEATH,
MURDER, SUICIDE, RESCUE, COURT CASES
Misc. 1886 - 1968
The source of
the following information comes from a wide variety of places:
the Alaska State Recorders archives, newspaper archives, historical diaries, etc., (all arranged by
date). Everything on this page was copied exactly as I found
it. Some records have
obvious errors, some have politically incorrect words; PLEASE
know that these are not MY words, for the sake of accurate reporting, I am publishing the
records, exactly as I found them.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
MURDER 11/16/1886 DAILY ALTA
B.G. McIntyre, general agent for the Alaska Commercial Co., was
shot dead at Kodiak on the night of November 1st. He was at supper with
Ivan Petroff, Mr. Carr, Mr. Cope and Mr. Woche when someone outside fired
a charge of buckshot causing instant death to McIntyre and serious injuries
to Mr. Woche. The murderer succeeded in making his escape and had not been
arrested when the schooner Kodiak left. The body of the murdered
man was brought down, and Mr. Woche also came down for medical treatment.
It is supposed that the murder was committed by Peter Anderson, a Cossack,
who disappeared from the island about the time of the shooting.
MURDER 11/20/1886 DAILY ALTA
The remains of the late Benjamin G. McIntyre, formerly general
agent of the Alaska Commercial Company who was murdered at Kodiak, Alaska
on November 1st were sent east yesterday, by railroad, to his home at
Randolph, Vermont. The new agent, Mr. Washburn, was for several years,
2nd in command at Kodiak, will return from his wedding trip to the East
on 11/25, in time to leave for the north on the SS Dora on the 27th of
COMMON LAW WIFE 12/19/1894
According to Russian priest Aleksandr Iaroshevich's journals, George
W. Palmer, a miner at Knik, took Pelageia Chanilkhiga as "his concubine"
BUSINESS 12/4/1897 SPOKANE DAILY CHRONICLE
"Harry Mellish, who went to Copper River 20 years ago, married a squaw
and has been there ever since, has been secured by Copper River Transportation
and Mining Co. of Port Townsend, will run a boat from Port Townsend to Cook
Inlet every 15 days to furnish information for prospectors. Mellish will
be located at Valdez Landing, at the entrance to the Copper River Country."
DOUBLE MURDER AND LYNCHING 2/3/1898 THE SPOKESMAN
N.A. Call of Worthington, Minnesota and W.A.Lee of Salem Mass., were murdered
by M.F.Tanner, known as "Montana Cowboy". Tanner fell in with a group of
prospectors from Massachusetts that were headed to Copper River. He had no
provisions or supplies but offered his years of experience to the group of
rookie prospectors from Mass. In turn, they offered to outfit him if he shared
his knowledge and experience with them. Once at Copper River, Turner became
overbearing and arrogant, which didn't sit well with the Mass. men, so they
decided to divide the group and go their separate ways. Turner overheard
the men talking in their tent and shot N.A.Call and W.A.Lee to death. The
next morning (1/2/1898), all 38 nearby prospectors hung M.F.Tanner (at Valdez
DIED IN AVALANCHE 5/25/1898 Deseret News Utah
Two large snow slides on Valdez Glacier catching 100 people - 3 died: Joseph
Furner of Chicago, B. Antwerp of Minneapolis and A. Johnson of Eureka, California.
EIGHTEEN PROSPECTORS MURDERED AT MOUTH OF KUSKOKWIM
RIVER June 1898
In June of 1898, a group of 18, aboard the SS Jesse (which was pulling a
barge called the Minerva), were said to be lost after the vessels wrecked
just before entering the mouth of the Kuskokwim River. Among the passengers
were Captain Murphy, gold prospectors and a Moravian family (husband, wife
and child) named Webber who had come to the area to build a Moravian mission.
COPPER RIVER TALKING CHIEF 10/28/1898 ITHACA NEW YORK DAILY
Two tugs called Golden Gate (of San Francisco) and CC Cherry (of Seattle)
just returned from the mouth of the Copper River with 7 passengers. Among
them is M.J.Garretty of San Franacisco who spent over a year searching for
gold on the Copper River. He said Native float copper has been found on
Chitna River, 175 miles from the mouth of the Copper River. Nicholi Knast,
Talking Chief of the Copper River Indians, claims to know the exact location
of a copper deposit but refuses offers of several hundred dollars to guide
people to its location. Indians use copper for making bracelets and other
ornaments as well as cooking utencils and the Chief claims that the whites
will limit the supply and thereby deprive many Indians from a means of making
DEATH 10/31/1898 SAN FRANCISCO CALL SAN
ACC agent, Rudolph Newmann fell to his death while inspecting the Sitka
Mine at Unga. He fell 209' and was killed instantly. Remains taken to San
Francisco aboard the SS Portland.
DROWNING 7/17/1899 LOS ANGELES HAROLD
The schooner Siglin from Cooks Inlet, Alaska brings news of the
drowning of 7 men at Turnagain Arm in early June. The names of only 5
of them are known as follows: A.B.Johnson of Matron, Illinois, Louis Peterson
of Chicago, _____ Porter of California, ________ Hutchinson of
Rockford, Illinois. They were crossing the Arm in a small boat which
overturned by a big tidal wave.
MARRIAGE July 6, 1900
Arthur McConahay (born in Iowa) (also known as "Long
Shorty") the ACC Co. Agent at Susitna Station, married a Dena'ina
woman named Mapoy (later called Martha) in 1900. Father Ioann Bortnovskii
performed the marriage. The couple had 4 children: Mary, James,
Martha and Catherine. (Through Orthodox Eyes
by Andrei Znamenski)
DROWNED 9/7/1900 STANDARD
The bark MEROM of San Francisco, owned by Alaska Packers Association was
driven ashore during a gale and totally wrecked on Kodiak Island. One of
the crew members called "Dutch Bill" remained on the vessel and went down
DEATH 9/15/1904 THE ALASKA PROSPECTOR
Captain M. A. Healey, who recently retired from the revenue
cutter service, having reached the age limit, died at San Francisco
on 8/31 of heart disease after a few days illness. The Captain
has been, for many years, in the revenue cutter service along the coast
of Alaska and up to the Arctic Ocean. He was well known all along the
CHARGED WITH MURDER 9/15/1904 THE ALASKA PROSPECTOR
Deputy Marshal Bates of the Bristol Bay District, arrived
on the Dora this morning with two prisoners charged with murder committed
at Nushagak on August 15th. A fight occurred between three Japs, two
of whom attacked one and cut him to pieces. Two witnesses were brought
along and all are now in the jail.
MURDER 11/26/1904 THE VALDEZ NEWS
Among prisoners brought down on the Dora, was Fred Peterson,
charged with the murder of Peter Peterson at Uyak Bay, Kodiak Island,
early this month. There were 4 men in a cabin and the two Peterson's
were having a game of poker; a quarrel arose between Fred Peterson and
one of the other men and they left the cabin to settle the dispute on
the beach. When they returned, Peterson claimed to be short a $20 gold
piece which was in his pile of poker money; he accused the other Peterson
of taking it. The entire party was searched without success. A quarrel
resulted and Pete Peterson was shot and killed almost instantly. The
victim of the tragedy was a well known character and known as "Skysail
CHARGED WITH MURDER 11/26/1904 THE VALDEZ
Twenty Japanese were brought down on the Dora from Kodiak,
all of them charged with murder. A Jap was murdered at the Karluk Cannery
last summer, but it has been impossible to fix the guilt on any one
person, owing to the refusal of the witnesses to divulge the facts. All
those known to be implicated were arrested and charge.
ALASKA PROSPECTOR VALDEZ
Daisy DuVal, wife of Mike DuVal died in Valdez after long illness
ALASKA PROSPECTOR VALDEZ
Divorce granted for Martha Smith of Sunrise from husband Fred
DEATH 1/11/1906 Matt Miller age 50 died crossing
the tide flats at the Head of Resurrection Bay while going to
a logging camp. His body was found 1/29/1906 and he was buried north
of Seward township on 2/1/1906. He was survived by a wife.
MARRIAGE 5/5/1906 VALDEZ NEWS
Otto Kanitz and Miss Katie Cantwell were married this afternoon
in the apartment of Mr. and Mrs. John Walters of the Hotel Brooklyn;
Rev. Burnett officiated. Both parties were well and favorably known
in Valdez. Mr. Kanitz being one of the old timers who helped build the
glacier camp. Miss Cantwell is the sister of William Cantwell, chief
baker at For Liscum.
DEATH 8/9/1906 THE ALASKA PROSPECTOR VALDEZ,
Miss Georgie Ross died Monday afternoon at 4:00 from a stroke
of apoplexy. The deceased was apparently in best health Sunday and
news of her death was a great surprise to all. Miss Ross was the sister
of Mrs. Ray Larson and Miss P.M. Ross of Valdez, she has been a resident
for nearly a year. Miss Ross came here from Minneapolis, her body will be
shipped out on one of the next boats.
BIRTH 8/9/1906 ALASKA PROSPECTOR VALDEZ, ALASKA
John McCrary, proprietor of a road house at Copper Center,
has the distinction of being the father of the first white child born
in the Copper River Country. The child, a boy, was born July 27th. The
house in which the birth occurred, was the first frame building constructed
in that section.
DEATH Valdez News 10/13/1906 Five
men traveling, by boat, on the Kahiltna River, smashed their
boat against a large rock. One end of the boat was sucked down into
the river, emptying all of its contents. The men, Foster, Dennison,
Frye, Snyder and Barris, scrambled onto the large rock which was
2’ under the waters surface. They were able to save one blanket,
a rabbit skin robe, a saw, a hammer and a rope from the boat.The
river currant held their boat hard against the rock and the other end
of the boat was too deep for the men to pull it up. The men sawed off
the upper end of the boat and re-nailed the box end to make a shorter
boat. Foster and Snyder made it to shore in the small boat and intended
to throw a line back to the men stranded on the rock. They had a 50’ rope
which they unraveled to make a 150’ line which proved to be too short.
The two men decided to take the little boat back to the rock to try and
rescue the other men, one at a time. In approaching the rock, the little
boat smashed into the rock, just as the larger boat had. Three days
later, Synder, the youngest man, swam to shore safely. He said he was going
for help, but has never been seen again. The men were stranded for a total
of 6 days on the rock.They were eventually rescued by another boat owned
by a man named Jeter. The men were taken to Susitna Station where Dr. Cook
attended the men. He found that the skin on the men’s legs had putrefied
and large strips of skin were peeling off, surgery was required to save
the men’s legs.
SUICIDE Valdez News 10/13/1906 Mike
Haley committed suicide by hanging himself in the old railroad
commissary at Seward while in a fit of depression and perhaps
delirium incident to recovery from a long spree.
MARRIAGE 3/17/1907 Herning Diaries
John Hedburg married the Talkeetna slave woman
MARRIAGE Seward Weekly Gateway 3/27/1907
Mr.John Hedburg was married to Miss Dot-Na-Naw a Talkeetna belle a few
days ago. Judge Goodell officiated and Mayor Sam acted as best man. Mr.
and Mrs. Hedburg will reside on Graveyard Hill (Knik).
GRAND JURY CHARGES 8/8/1907 ALASKA PROSPECTOR
The Grand Jury, this morning, returned indictments against
Geo. W. Spicer, on the charge of assault with intent to commit rape,
and three counts against Joe Carboni; 1 for stabbing and cutting with
intent to kill Capt. J. C. O'Brien; 1 for the same offense committed against
Geo. Telefsen; 1 indictment for assaulting J. R. Austin, an officer. Geo
W. Spicer was convicted of the above charges on 8/15/1907
SUICIDE Seward Weekly Gateway 8/17/1907
Wasillie, the old Indian Chief of Knik ....committed suicide a
few hours after his youngest son died. He shot himself with a 22
revolver. His grown son, Ivan, heard the shot and ran in and found the
old man dead. Frank Watson brings the later and more accurate account
of the tragedy. He knew the Chief and all his family. The suicide was
executed with the deliberation of an operation in surgery. Wasillie
placed the muzzle of the revolver against his right side, pressing
between 2 ribs, thereby directing the bullet so that it passed straight
through his body, penetrating the heart on the left side. Death
must have been instantaneous. Suicide is rare among Indians and this
instance is regarded as the more remarkable because of the unusual strength
of mind and character of Chief Wasillie. An inquest was held by
Judge Goodell of Knik and a finding made by the jury in accordance with
the apparent facts.
(Note: another Seward Weekly Gateway story mentioned
that the Chief had been married 3 times and that the Chief killed
himself, in grief, after his youngest son (who had been ill for a
while) died of tuberculosis.
Marriages 1908-1909 information taken from "Through Orthodox
Eyes" by Andrei Znamesnki
The following marriages were performed by Russian priests:
William Mackeon, a Presbyterian American in Seldovia married a widowed
Dena'ina woman named Anna Nanitak.
Malcolm McNeil, of Knik, married Anna Chshidalusion a Dena'ina woman
William Hughes, a Roman Catholic of Knik married Maria Stepanova,
a Dena'ina from Susitna Village.
Andrei Tolchok, a Dena'ina from Seldovia married Marfa Tapani, a
resident of Aleksandrovsk (a Sugpiaq Village).
Posto Lavrenze, a Roman Catholic Filipino from Manila, married Olga
Nikanoroff, a Dena'ina woman from Kenai.
Hans Silversen, of Minnesota, lived in Iliamna and the Lake Clark
area, he married Yenlu Nudlash Brooks from Old Nondalton.
Jack Kinney, gold prospector in Mulchatna District married Elena
Baluata from Qeghnilen.
MARRIAGE 2/26/1908 (this record was found
in the State Recorders archives):
This is to certify that on this 26th day of
February 1908, at my office at Knik, Alaska, I united in marriage
Olga Ivan and Cheluits, with their mutual consent, in the presence
of T. L. Wilson and Otto Langel, father of Olga and Nakita.
MARRIAGE 11/15/1908 (this record
was found in the State Recorders Archive):
I the undersigned, a United States Commissioner,
for Cooks Inlet of Alaska, hereby certify that on the 15th day
of November 1908, I united in marriage James String (or Strong?)
of Susitna, Alaska and Maud Rose Mason, also of said Susitna in the
presence of Frank Ervin and Bert Hinckly.
LAND CLAIM 6/9/1909 (State Recorders
The Alaska Commercial Co. hereby claims land lying on the west
bank of the Susitna River, opposite the mouth of Gold Creek. Signed
ACC Agent C.P.Morgan
MARRIAGE 6/28/1909 (State Recorders Archive)
Stephan age 30 of Knik, Alaska and Anna age 26 of Knik Alaska
were married. Witnesses:
Al Stinson and K.A. Kyvig. Performed by U.S.Commissioner Cook
Inlet Precinct H.S.Farris
MARRIAGE 9/2/1909 (State Recorders
Jacko age 26 of Susitna and Anna age ?? of Susitna were
married. Witnesses: C.P.Morgan and K.A.Kyvig. Performed by U.S.Commission
Cook Inlet Precinct H.S.Farris
COURT CASE 11/13/1909 LOS ANGELES HERALD
Ralph Williams, a prominent mining man of Alaska was acquitted
today of the murder of Frank Dunn, formerly a roadhouse keeper at Susitna
Station. Williams pleaded self defense. The tragedy took place last
winter. Williams had just arrived at Susitna from his mining property,
up river, and became involved in trouble with Dunn and after a struggle,
Williams shot and killed Dunn. At the time of his death,
Dunn was under indictment for participating in what is known as the Lake
DROWNED 6/26/1910 SAN FRANCISCO
No trace found of men who tired to cross Cook Inlet in a dory.
Seven men are believed to have been lost in a storm which swept Cook
Inlet wednesday night, according to a report received here today from
U.S.Commissioner Hildreth of Knik Precinct, Cook Inlet. The men, among
them, Joseph Laubner, a prominent citizen of Seward City; F.R.Stewart,
founder of Stewart City, B.C., William Perkins and John Winter, set
out in a dory from Kern Creek to cross the Inlet. They had not been out
long before a terrific storm came up. It was thought that they might have
taken refuge on Fire Island, half way across the Inlet, but searchers
have been unable to find any trace of them. The names of the 3 other men
are not known.
DEATH: Oakland Tribune Oakland, California 9/11/1910
Three men were shot in Frank's Roadhouse at
Knik on the Arm of Cook Inlet yesterday. Sam Reinhart was killed,
Ira Isaacs seriously wounded and Bert Stewart shot in both legs.
U.S. Commissioner Hildreth recommends holding Thomas Babcock and
R. L. Miller, eye witnesses and Edward Reinhart, brother of the man
who was killed.
DEATH 10/15/1910 San
B. Smith, a wealthy druggist of Norwich Connecticut, who came
to Alaska to hung big game and Alfred Lowell, eldest son of one of the
founders of Seward were drowned in Lake Kenai, Kenai Peninsula October
11 while returning from a moose hunt. With William Walker, a guide,
they were crossing the lake in a dory and encountered a storm. Waves
swamped the boat. The men were only 150' from shore but Smith and Lowell
could not swim and were helpless. The guide managed to reach the shore.
The bodies of the drowned men were recovered.
Frederick Sargent died in Kodiak. He was among the first
party of Americans in the employ of Alaska Commercial Company. He
raised the first American flag over Sitka in 1867.
MARRIAGE 2/11/1912 (this record was found in the
State Recorders archives)
Little Evan married Katalena, both Susitna
Natives, married at 10 AM 2/11/1912. Marriage performed by Lee
Van Slyke the U. S. Commissioner.
MARRIAGE 7/13/1912 (this record
was found in the State Recorders archives):
This is to certify that on this 13th day of
July in t he year of our Lord 1912, Jack, called Hanson, a Native
and Inga, a Native girl, were united in marriage at Susitna, Cook
Inlet, Alaska. Witnesses, Mrs. H. W. Nagley, and Jacko, a Native.
signed Lee Van Flyke U. S. commissioner
Herning Diaries June 25, 1914
SUICIDE: Report came that John Young committed
suicide by tying an Evinrude engine to his neck and jumping
overboard at point above Goose Bay. Evening tide Traveler brought
body to Knik found same 10 ft. above deep channel.
Herning Diaries June 28, 1914
MURDER: Dwyer, James E. (born 1878) once
US Marshal at Susitna Station murdered Jack Wilson for "monkeying
around" with his wife. Taken to Valdez for trial, sentenced 3
years at McNeil Island, discharged 1917.
DEATH 12/7/1914 Herning Diary
"Indian Jim came to town and reported he shot and
killed Old Tom Stephan some 20 days ago near Nelchina District.Jim
hauled the body to Chickaloon Coal Camp and buried him no details.
Reported to have had a quarrel."
DEATH December 13, 1914
"Indians arrived with Old Tom Stephans body who
Indian Jim shot. They rang the bell 15 minutes in his honor."
Indian Jim was taken to jail in Valdez, where he was
sentenced to three years for manslaughter; sentence to be served
at McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington.
I found this 1915 photo of "Indian Jim" in the McNeil
Island Record of Prisoners. The photo says he was 44 years old
and 5' 7/8" tall, weighing 137¼ pounds; he is listed as
a widower (they do not mention a last name for him)but they give
his date of birth as 10/1/1870. He was in the penitentiary from
8/5/1915 to 11/25/1917 (got out early for good behavior).The Shem Pete
book says that this man's name was Indian Jim Nikita.
(see additional article dated
Seward Gateway Seward, Alaska 5/17/1915
SUICIDE: Commissioner Thomas W. Hanmore
of Iliamna committed suicide on January 30th. He left a letter
telling that he was losing his sight and not wishing to become a
burden on others, he decided to take his own life
DEATH Alaska Citizen Newspaper Fairbanks 7/12/1915
In a lonely cabin 2 miles from Chatanika, the
body of James Robinson, a wood chopper, was found, it had been
about a month since he died, probably of ptomaine poisoning. He
was buried next to his cabin.
DEATH New York Times 9/13/1915
In November, with the first snow-fall, Chief Stephan
of the Nickolie tribe started with his wife and daughter on a trapping
expedition to the remote and lonely widerness 140 miles north of
Knik. They found Indian Jim and his son on the ground, their
traps out. Inevitably a quarrel flamed up as to the right of territory.
In his own camp, Chief Stephan was shot dead, in a squabble,by Indian
Jim. The latters son was in his fathers camp. The only witness
of the melee were the womenfolk of the slain man. Indian Jim
might have made out a plausible case of self defense and he would hardly
have been troubled by the law. All he had to do was to bury the corpus
delecti. Revenge from the relatives, or clan, of the dead man might
or might not be expected. If it is to come, he has not avoided it by his
strange, macabre journey to give himself up to white justice.
Directly after the killing, the traps and scanty furnishings
of the party were packed. The body was lashed to a sled. For ten
days, through the snow on the road to Knik, the slayer drove the slain,
the widow and the daughter, his helpers on the way. That little group,
faring through that desolate country, the mourners, the dead, the killer.
Indian Jim is at McNeil Island, in Eastern Washington,
serving a three year sentence. His punishment was light on account
of h is previous good character and his voluntary surrender to justice.
Moral reflections on his case are obvious enough, but shall here be
spared. His humble romantic drama, his running toward and not away from
justice, that somber journey from the wildernes...these entitle Indian
Jim to at least a moments sympathetic attention.
DEATH OF CHIEF NICHOLAI Anchorage Times 7/27/1916
The Daily Times has received authentic information
that Chief Nicholai died several days ago at Point Possession
from consumption and that this dreaded disease was working havoc
with the natives of that section. It is reported that Chief Nicholi's
wife and several others of the village were in the last stages of
the disease and that the ailing family of Chief Nicholai was destitute
and without medical aid. Proper authorities should be notified
and immediate assistance given to his people. Chief Nicholai has been
the head of his tribe for many years and was looked up to by his tribesman
as a man of good judgment; he was authority in all matters pertaining
to their fishing and hunting rights and he was a picturesque character,
well known to the old-timers in the inlet
DEATH "Skookum Jim" Dies in Poverty
Anchorage Times 9/1/1916
"Skookum Jim", a native, the real discoverer
of gold in the Klondike district, died here last night following
a prolonged illness. He was practically penniless when death called
him. At one time he was worth a hundred thousand dollars,
gained from his mine in the Klondike and was the richest native
in the northland. Dissipation was the cause of the loss of
Dawson, Yukon Territory
DEATH: Affidavit as to the death
of John F. Soderstrom dated 9/8/1916. John F. Soderstrom,
assistant engineer of the B & B Boat #3, owned and operated the
Alaska Engineering Commission, met his death by drowning after
having accidentally fallen overboard, on 9/6/1918 at 8:55 AM on the
Little Susitna River, at a point 5 miles below Indian Creek. As nearly
as can be ascertained, the deceased fell overboard while attempting
to draw a bucket of water while the boat was underway. The accident was
not observed until the deceased was seen in the water a short distance
astern of the boat. A boat was immediately lowered and pulled to
his rescue, but after proceeding for a very short distance, he was seen
to sink and he never reappeared. A life boat, with its 3 occupants,
drifted downstream for about 20 minutes, in an effort to locate him,
without satisfactory results. The search was continued later,
in an effort to locate the body, which has, however, not yet been done.
Captain R.B. Holbrook Master
H.G. Barrington Pilot
Chas M. Binkley Chief Engineer
Al Stinson Deck Hand
Webster Paul Viles
Frank E. Lee
George R. Vanse Superintendent Transportation
James H. Delany Freight Clerk
Story of Indian Tragedy Told In Court by
Knik Nikolai, alleged murder of Talkeetna Stepan,
a native at Talkeetna Lake in the latter part of June, was bound
over to the grand jury without bail. He will be taken to
Valdez by Deputy Marshal Kassier. Inga Stepan, 16 year old
daughter of Stepan’s wife and Bob Stepan, 11 year old son of Stepan,
will be witnesses. The murder of Talkeetna Stepan resulted
from a fight that happened when he and Nikolai had been drinking home
brew. In court, Inga Stepan, a 16 year old native girl unhesitatingly
told the story the murder. She said the two men started fighting.
Their party of five was camped in a tent at Talkeetna Lake.
Inga said Stepan had pulled the ridge pole of the tent down and the
pole struck Nikolai in the face. As the canvas fell, covering
Stepan and Negolia, his wife, the children ran out of the tent.
Nikolai got out of the tent and picked up a club and began beating Stepan
and Negolia (for hitting him with the pole). The blows crushed Stepan’s
skull and broke Negolia’s arm, according to the young girl. When
Nikolai pulled the canvas off of the couple he had been beating, Talkeetna
Stepan was dead and Negolia was bent over his body, crying. The murderer
went and laid down. In the morning, Nikolai took a shovel and dug
a grave for his victim and while doing that, the widow shot and killed
herself with a .22 rifle by tying a string to the trigger. Talkeetna
and Negolia Stepan were buried side by side in a grave lined with canvas
and their faces were covered with canvas. After the burial, Nikolai
burned the tent, the bloody clothes and a few other articles.
He then took the children and headed towards the town of Talkeetna. After
reaching Foster’s, Nikolai departed and was later captured at Susitna.
Deputy Marshal M. H. Healey of Talkeetna went to Talkeetna Lake with
Little Bob, G. L. Kennedy and Indian guide named Pedro.
They examined the surroundings at the camp and also dug up the graves
so that they could look at the bodies. Neither Little Bob nor the guide
would go near the graves. Little Bob went on the witness stand to
corroborate the evidence of his step-sister, but unlike her, he was unable
to speak English and the services of an interpreter, Augus Topan,
were required. Several times the boy was almost too frightened
to talk and became confused after being questioned. Inga, the young
native girl, quiet pretty, said she did not know what an oath meant when
she was sworn as a witness but she said she knew what the truth was .
She has never been to school but she answered the questions of the judge
and attorneys straight forwardly. Inga’s own father, Tom Stepan
was murdered only a few years ago by Indian Jim.
* SEE NOTE UNDER 1924
KNIK NICOLAI STORY
Mrs. Stepan, elderly wife of Montana Creek Indian
Chief died at the hospital on C Street Friday 11/22/1918
Twenty Seven Nome Residents Die of Spanish
Anchorage Times 12/30/1918
The following people died of Spanish Influenza
recently in Nome, Alaska: Walter Shields (B.I.A.); Anderson (life
saving station); Captain Erickson (Flyer); Mrs. Harry Clark,
Neva Brown (Billie Brown's daughter); Fred Larson, John Milne (Humane
Officer); Fred Segar (Lives near Hastings Creek); Gus Nordstrom;
Fin Rosvold and wife (Jeweler, worked for S & H); Sam Boich
(a Serbian called "Sport"); Ida Mascha (Worked for Jim Swartzei);
John Lutschinger; Chris Anderson; George Prosser; Mrs. Clarence Riggs;
Mat Lawson, George Watson; Mrs. Seedler; Frank Mielke (Barber); Pascoff
(Soldier); Maheras (Soldier); Oscar Hendrickson (Soldier); Headley (Soldier);
Andy Thompson (Soldier); Ed Bridesen; and Nick Scovich.
MURDER San Francisco Chronicle
7/10/1920 Extracted by Sandra Davis
The body of Ben Agnew, pioneer rancher of the
Matanuska river valley, was found by a searching party Wednesday
in a creek on his farm. Officers believe Agnew was murdered.
DEATH Anchorage Times: 3/1/1921 CHICKALOON
Dr. J.B. Beeson reports the death this morning
of a native woman known as "Chickaloon Mary". The deceased
has been an inmate of the government hospital for two months.
Death was due to consumption.
United States Commissioner, Talkeetna, Alaska
October 13, 1921
We, the undersigned, appointed by the U. S.
Commissioner, at Talkeetna, October 11, 1921 to make a search
for Matanuska Stephan and his wife and children. We proceeded
to the Talkeetna River by following an old Indian trail and we found
the Stephan family marooned under a tree on an island, much in distress
and in need of food, which we supplied. Old Matanuska Stephan
was flat on his back with a carbuncle on his neck and one of the little
girls was sick with the flu. We cut some wood and assisted them
in getting a fire. Everything was flooded and mostly under water.
The second day, we loaded them into a skin boat and brought them
to their home on the Susitna River, having a very narrow escape on
account of raging waters caused by flood which was at that time subsiding.
(Signed by M. J. Rose and C. Brannon)
Anchorage Daily Times 6/18/1923
LAST REMAINS OF PIONEER FRANK CANNON LAID TO REST
Followed by a large concourse of sorrowing friends, the
last remains of the late Frank B. Cannon were laid to rest in the Odd
Fellows plot in Anchorage Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. The
following acted as pall-bearers: P.O. Sundberg, E.L. Bedell, Capt.
N. J. Gaikema, Judge Lindley Green, P. McManaman and Thomas Merideth.
The funeral services were conducted at Pioneer Hall by
D.H. Williams, where Mrs. Mabel Clayton sang a sacred solo, accompanied
on the piano by Mrs. H.U.M.Higgins. Leopold David, on behalf of the
Anchorage Igloo, Pioneers of Alaska, delivering a touching eulogy at
the grave, interment being in the Anchorage Cemetery.
In the passing of “Uncle Frank” Cannon, Alaska loses one
of its most beloved men, one who was actuated in his many noble acts
by spirit of altruism that has built monuments in the hearts of all
who knew him. Volumes might be written on his philanthropies, his aid
to stranded prospectors and his hospitality while conducting a stopping
place at Knik; where the wayfarer was never turned away and where the
men who search the hills could always gather and sit around the big box
stove and partake of frugal fare and depart to await the time when they
were able to pay, and if not, never to be troubled to square the account.
In departing, Mr. Cannon left behind him something more
precious than gold—true traditions of the land he loved and served
in minor and exalted positions of trust. Mr. Cannon was past noble
grand of the I.O.O.F. at Sturgis, South Dakota and the members of the
local fraternal order and Pioneers conducted the services jointly.
DEATH Suspect Foul Play in Death at Kenai
Anchorage Times 11/3/1923
John Nikolai, an Aleut, was found dead on the
beach at Kenai, Wednesday morning. Nikolai and two other
Indians, including Knik Pete, were reported to have partied the
night before and it is said that Nikolai’s companions reported
that Nikolai had drowned. The body, however, is said to show
evidence of foul play. An investigation is under way.
Knik Nicholai, Native, Shoots City Officer
Anchorage Times 1/2/1924
Harry Kavanaugh, city police officer, was shot
and probably fatally wounded by Knik Nicholai, a native. Nicholai
was later shot and instantly killed by police officer Charlie
Watson. The attempted murder and killing happened at a log
cabin at 8th & B Street. Knik Nicholai, who killed another
native a year or so ago* had been on a rampage for several weeks, terrorizing
his girlfriend, Polly Rufe and her brother Jack Rufe. Harry Kavanaugh
and Charlie Watson went to Nicholai’s cabin to arrest him.
They went to the rear of the cabin and up a ladder to the loft where Nicholai’s
girlfriend, Polly, said he slept. The officers called for him
to come out of the cabin, which he said he would do. The officers
then heard a shot and Kavanaugh yelled “look out Charlie he’s got
a gun” and Kavanaugh started to run, heading for the road on 8th Street.
Watson ran to the front of the cabin and as he did, the native, who
had come down the ladder from the loft, fired two shots at Kavanaugh with
a .30-.30 Winchester, one bullet penetrating his back and emerging
from his stomach. Watson stepped in the front door of the cabin
and waited for the native to pass a window on the east side. Upon
his failure to appear, Watson said he opened the front door and Nicholai
was standing directly in front of him, Watson then fired two shots with
is revolver, killing the native instantly.
* Knik Nicholai is the same man that shot Talkeetna
Stepan in 1917.
Knik Nicholai was the step-son of George
W. Palmer, a Knik merchant.
DEATH Local Indian Chief Died Here Yesterday
Anchorage Times 4/28/1924
Chief Naketa of the local tribe of natives,
died at the government hospital yesterday. Chief Naketa
was about 78 years of age and had been a patient at the hospital
for some time suffering from tuberculosis. He is survived
by his wife who is confined in the Morningside sanitarium and
several children. Two of he children are at the Tyonic orphanage
and the others are in Anchorage. The body is at the Williams
Mortuary and services will be held there at 2:00 o'clock tomorrow
afternoon. Rev. C. G. Denton will officiate.
Anchorage Daily Times August 18, 1924
"Native Wife Shoots in Self-Defense When White
Husband Attacks Her"
An article in the 8/18/1924 issue of the Anchorage
Times relates the death of Jess Wickersham who was killed by
his common-law native wife on 8/16/1924 at a cabin about two miles
above Chickaloon on the Chickaloon River.
The article says that the native woman reported that she had
been originally attacked by Mr. Wickersham on July 4th. She told him at
that time she would not allow him to beat her again. On August 16, Mr. Wickersham,
who was drunk, started to attack the native woman with a sheaf
knife. After being cut on her hands, she shot her husband
with a .32 Savage automatic three times. One shot grazed
the left side of his head, the second shot entered the neck and lodged
in his spine and the third shot entered his hip. Lee Harrison
contacted the Deputy Marshal Frank Hoffman and told him of the shooting.
A coroners jury produced a verdict saying that Jess Wickersham
had been killed by gunshot wounds at the hands of his common-law
wife. The body was taken to Chickaloon and placed on the
railroad speeder car and sent to Anchorage. The Marshall
found a still at the cabin, that was not in use, as well as four
gallons of moonshine, both were destroyed immediately.
The newspaper article gives a brief description of Jess Wickersham.
He was reportedly well known in Anchorage and the surrounding
territory and was about 48 years old. He was a veteran of the
Spanish American war. The newspaper reported that he had
wealthy relatives in Arkansas. Mr. Wickersham was survived by his
native wife and their three children, the oldest one being 2 and
the youngest being 6 months.
The native woman was arrested and brought to Anchorage and lodged
in the federal jail, along with her youngest child. She was
to face a grand jury for the shooting.
Jesse C. Wickersham was buried at the Anchorage Cemetery.
NOTE: The article does not say who the native woman is.
I feel fairly certain that the woman was Anne (Nicolai) Wickersham
(who later married Lee Harrison). I searched the Anchorage criminal
files for 1924 and found no mention of a trial, so I'm assuming
that she was not charged with anything.
5/1/1925 FRANK FLECKENSTEIN beaten to
death by a Dillingham Native man (in Dillingham)
Mysterious Attack Follows Departure of Victim
from Party Anchorage Times 6/12/1925
Deputy U.S. Marshal Hurlburt and Commissioner
Ralph V. Anderson of Seldovia arrived in Kenai to investigate
the death of Mrs. Sergy Pete, an Indian woman, 50 years of age, who
was killed last Saturday night during a party which was located between
Kenai and the McNeil & Libby cannery. Two daughters and a son
of the victim were present and their testimony indicated that the woman
left the tent and was attacked. The woman was strangled
and severely cut on the back of her neck with a knife. The daughters
of the murdered woman told authorities they knew who committed the
murder. The husband of the woman is Sergy Pete, who was in
Anchorage (in jail for fishing violations) at the time.
DEATH Alaska Weekly 1/25/1929
John Loken, pioneer rancher of the Matanuska Valley, killed when
fast moving belt attached to a wood saw caught his clothes and hurled
him violently to the ground. Mr. Loken had been operating the saw while
his wife removed the wood as it was sawed. The engine was not working
properly and Mr. Loken stepped around to the side to make an adjustment.
The next thing Mrs. Loken knew, her husband was being whirled around;
apparently having been caught by the belt, and he had made two revolutions
before the tearing of his clothing released him. Neighbors were summoned,
but there seemed to be little that could be done but await the return of
the train from the coal mines. The injured man was carried to Palmer Station
on an improvised stretcher and the journey to town was made in the caboose
attached to the train. Owing to the swollen condition of his jaws, Mr. Loken
could not talk and during most of the journey to Anchorage, he appeared to
be in a semi-conscious condition. Mr. Loken was one of the most widely known
farmers of Matanuska Valley and his farm is one of the best in the North,
being situated just east of Palmer Station, between the branch line and
Matanuska River. The homestead was take up in 1914. In recent years, the
oldtimer has had the assistance of a very helpful wife, able and willing
to work with him in the field as well as in their fine two-story home.
DEATH Daily News Miner 11/8/1930
(extracted by Sandra Davis)
Nicholas Brake, well known
mining man of the Willow creek district, tsuccumbedo a
stroke of apoplexy at Wasilla. R. C. Loudermilch, of the Anchorage
Funeral Parlors, was summoned to Wasilla Thursday afternoon and
returned to Anchorage yesterday with the body. Funeral arrangements
are being held in abeyance pending the receipt of instructions from
a brother residing in Wisconsin.
Brake, who made his headquarters at Wasilla when
not engaged in mining, was conversing with a group of friends
shortly before the fatal stroke, and was apparently in normal health.
They were standing in front of one of the Wasilla hotels on the
main street of the town and Brake toppled over without warning.
His lifeless body was carried into the hotel and U.S. Commissioner
Howard Wilmuth summoned from his office. It was so apparent that death
had resulted from natural causes that an inquest was not deemed necessary.
Autopsy Held Sunday Fails to Reveal Crime
Anchorage Times 2/9/1931
An autopsy was held yesterday afternoon in Anchorage
to determine the cause of the death of Alfred Danieloff and
Billie Stephan who were burned in a cabin in Kenai on 12/23/1931
which will result in clearing Steve Ephim of charges of manslaughter.
At the time of the finding of the bodies in the ruins of the cabin,
the evidence showed that the door had been locked from the outside
before the fire. Steve Ephim, the owner of the cabin, told
different stories upon being taken into custody and questioned.
X -ray pictures of the supposed wounds failed to show any depth to
the holes. There was no evidence of the passage of a bullet through
the body and the heart and lungs were normal and intact. A woman
also died in the fire, but she hasn't been identified yet. Ephim,
now held in Kenai on charges of manslaughter will soon be released.
DEATH Death Summons Valley Farmer
Anchorage Times 4/6/1931
Matanuska Valley lost one of it's pioneer farmers
last night in the passing of W. J. (Jesse) Bogard who died
at his farm a few miles from Matanuska. His illness assumed
a serious aspect yesterday and a call was sent to Anchorage for
a speeder to
take him to the hospital. He died before the
speeder arrived. George S. Moshier, who owns the homestead
next to Bogard and Gerrit Snider of Wasilla were in charge of the
body on it's way to Anchorage. Bogard had a sister in Boise,
NOTE: The next three newspaper articles just
baffled me. The unfairness of it all!!
MURDER OF CHIEF GOODLATAW
Native Slain; White Jailed Anchorage
After being missing for five days, the bullet
riddled body of CHIEF GOODLATAW, a native and resident of nearby
Chitina, was found Saturday, buried in the turnip patch of R.L.
Reed, about two miles from Chitina. Reed has been taken into
custody and is being questioned by the authorities. It is
known that Reed has had trouble lately with the natives and it is
thought that there may be some connection. Reed is reported
to have had several encounters with the law in the past due to liquor
violations and only recently it is stated that his home was the
scene of a drunken brawl in which Reed was severely beaten by some
of the other natives.
MURDER OF CHIEF GOODLATAW CONTINUED
Chitna Paper Tells of Native's Murder: Clue
Found in Ashes Anchorage Times 6/6/1932
Details of the finding of the body of Joe Goodlataw,
widely known native of the Chitina District, are related in
the 5/29/1932 issue of the Chitina Herald as follows: Joe
Goodlataw who is the son of the late Chief of the native tribe,
went out on Monday at 11:00 at Eight Mile. He told his wife
he would be back soon. He took no gun with him so it is certain he
did not go hunting. Captain Goodlataw, as he is known, has been
missing for the last six days. Natives hunted all over for
him but couldn't find a trace. Some people thought he was at
Mr. Reed's, where he frequently goes, so they got a search warrant and
some of the officials went out and made a careful inspection of the place.
While hunting they found the ashes of a recent fire and in the ashes
found some shoe eyelets, buttons and buckles from Goodlataw's clothing.
While they were hunting, Frank Billum found a pair of stockings and
a belt behind some moss and under a stump. So they sent into town
and got 15 shovels and set 15 men to work digging for his body in a turnip
patch which is about 1/4 acre in size. When they were about half
done with it they found Goodlataw's body about 1 ½ feet in the
ground on solid frost, so it was in good condition except for a bullet
hole in the neck and the back. They brought him into town and packed
his body in ice so it would keep until a doctor could come to town to perform
an autopsy. They are trying to get an attorney from Anchorage. Mr.
Reed has been charged with murder and is in the custody of the Marshal
SHOCKING CONCLUSION OF MURDER OF CHIEF GOODLATAW
Evidence Lacking in Slaying Trial
Anchorage Times 12/20/1932
Inability of the government sufficiently to
connect the defendant R.L. Reed with the death of Captain Goodlataw,
native of Chitina, resulted in a verdict of not guilty. The jury
deliberated for 7 hours. The murder trial was held in Valdez
court and took 4 days. The jury consisted of: Mrs. A. S. Day, E.
C. Edgerton, Mrs. M. Gravelle, Mrs. Ted Johnson, Owen E. Meals,
W. H. Palmer, Isabelle Streeter, Todd Winter of Valdez; W.
W. Jones, Robert Manthey, Roy Neville and Mrs. Hilma Urie of Seward.
According to testimony, Captain Goodlataw left his home in Chitina
on 5/23/32 to visit relatives residing 8 miles out of Chitina on the
Richardson Highway. He left his home about 11:00 in the morning, promising
to return about 9:00 in the evening the same day. So far as
known he was not seen on the road to 8 Mile that day nor did he return
home that night nor the following day. A messenger sent to 8
Mile reported that he had not arrived at that place. A search instituted
by the Natives between Chitina and 4 Mile revealed no trace of the missing
man. A later search by the Natives between 8 Mile and 4 Mile did
not yield any results. It was alleged that there was a deep enmity
between Reed and Goodlataw and actions of the former during the search
by the Natives excited their suspicion that he might have had a part
in the mysterious disappearance of Goodlataw. On 5/29/32, armed
with a search warrant, Deputy Marshal Nels Sobby and U. S. Commissioner
Q.A. Nelson visited the Reed homestead to search the place for intoxicating
liquor. They searched the property with the aid of several Natives
from Chitina and found several kegs of moonshine. In the ashes of
a fire (near the turnip patch) the also found some buttons, shoe nails
and other articles and under a stump they found a belt and a pair of heavy
German socks that belonged to Goodlataw. Commissioner Nelson gave
the natives permission to dig in the turnip patch and after three or four
hours of work the body of Goodlataw was found buried in the patch, minus
shoes socks and trousers. An examination of the body revealed three bullets
had entered the body from behind, any one of which would have been fatal
according to Dr. W.H. Chase of Cordova.A loaded .30 government rifle, an
auto loading shotgun, loaded and a revolver, also loaded were found in the
cabin of Reed. At the conclusion of the government's case, Attorney's
Donohoe and Taylor, for the defense, made a motion for a directed verdict
of not guilty on the grounds of insufficient evidence to connect the defendant
with the commission of the crime charged. The defendant did not take
the stand or speak on his own behalf. Argument to the jury was opened by
Attorney Taylor for the defense. He was followed by Assistant U.S. Attorney
J. L. Reed, and he in turn was followed by Attorney Donohoe. Closing argument
was made by U.S. Attorney W. N. Cuddy.
DEATH Anchoage Daily Times 9/27/1932
Frank Dougherty, a resident of Matanuska Valley
for 15 years and a pioneer of the northland, died at his cabin
near Wasilla Sunday night. He was found yesterday by Sam
Kelly, who visited the old-timer daily to assist him in getting in
his wood and preparing his meals. Death came quietly while the
old-timer was dozing in his chair. The cabin known as the Dougherty
cabin, is about half a mile out the Knik Road from Wasilla. The funeral
was to have been held at Wasilla this afternoon. The deceased who was
72 years old, went to Fortymile District from Wasilla two years ago,
intending to try his hand at mining again after a residence of more than
a dozen years in the farming belt. But he returned to Wasilla last
spring, unsuccessful in his quest for paystreaks and with the years bearing
down rather heavily upon him.
Daily Times 2/3/1933 (extracted by Sandra Davis)
Samuel King, an old-time trapper, took his life
by shooting himself at Wasilla Wednesday, coroner's deputies reported
yesterday. His body was brought here by airplane.
DEATH Anchorage Times 2/14/1934
A fire about 6:00 Friday morning completely
destroyed the home of Mrs. Nick Sablatking, native, and burned
to death George Nicolai and Alexie Gregorieff, both natives according
to the Valdez Miner newspaper on January 20th. The bodies were
taken to Tatitlek on the gas launch "Pansy" for burial.
DEATH Anchorage Times 1/30/1935
Mrs. Barcillia Stephan from Montana Station
on the Alaska Railroad died in an Anchorage hospital 1/30/1935
Chief Ezi of the Once Powerful Eklutnas Is
Given Colorful Adieu Anchorage Times2/24/1935
Covered in a beautiful fringed and highly colored
blanket, and with another warm blanket beside him, and wearing
a strikingly designed, new, pair of mukluks, and attired in a new
suit of clothes and other garnishments, Chief Ezi, for many years
the respected idol of the once powerful tribe of Eklutna's, was
laid to rest in the Anchorage Cemetery. Mourned by scores of
his people who were present, and also honored by a number of white
friends, the old Chieftain was lowered into the grave as men,
women and children of his tribe chanted in Russian and as the burial
ritual was recited in Russian by Mrs. Billy Austin. The old Chief
rests beneath a “TOP” house, largest of the kind seen in this region,
made by his own sons and placed above the grave yesterday immediately after
the service and burial. The house stands 5 feet above the grave,
is 6½ feet long and 3½ feet wide. Over the house rises
a large wooden cross, cut out of a log in one solid piece. The
services continued for 2 hours and were characterized with numerous songs,
chants and readings, all in Russian, according to the ritual of the Orthodox
Greek Catholic Church in who’s faith they had been reared and trained from
John Goodlataw Drops Dead While Working Jonesville
Anchorage Daily times 2/22/1935
John Goodlataw, employee for the Alaska Railroad
dropped dead while shoveling coal at Jonesville.He is survived
by a widow and little daughters, who are at Jonesville.
Before coming here, it is believed the family lived in Cordova
DEATH Anchorage Times 2/20/1935
Mrs. Lugila Nickolai, native, passed away at
an Anchorage hospital after an illness of several days. Her
son Tommy Nickolai is now in Anchorage.
DEATH Anchorage Times 3/28/1935
Funeral for the late Chief Nicholai is at 3:00
tomorrow. All friends are welcome
MURDER 1/11/1937 & 1/12/1937
Palmer School teacher Zelda King murdered by
her former husband ____ Pinkerton 11/12/1936. He tried to
kill himself by jumping into a river, but was rescued.
SEARCH PARTY-DEATH ASSUMED 7/4/1937
On 7/4/1937, Shem Pete went to the U.S. Commissioner in Talkeetna and
requested a search party to find Kroto Chelatna (that is the spelling on
the actual record, but it should be spelled Chijuk). Shem told authorities
that Chijuk had disappeared from his home during the latter part of May,
after he went on a bear hunt and failed to return. Two men were sent to
investigate and found nothing except some spots of blood on a mattress and
pillow at Chijuk's cabin. Assumed dead.
The Alaska Miner Fairbanks 8/23/1938
Eklutna, a ghost town north of Anchorage, was brought
back to life by death. The Native Village, which was abandoned 20
years ago, was the scene of activity Sunday when the remains of Indian
Jim, a former resident of Eklutna were brought back to this place for
The Alaska Miner Fairbanks 9/6/1938
The deserted Eklutna Indian Village was alive last week
as Natives from the section held a potlatch and buried Indian Jim,
old-timer of the Matanuska Valley. Until his death, this village
had been deserted by Natives came from Knik, fish camps along Cook
Inlet and other points to conduct the funeral. Every house was filled.
The body of Al Mousseau,
operator of Edlund's Roadhouse, was discovered in the shallow
waters of Wasilla Lake by Pilot Rudy Wadle of Anchorage, following
Mousseau's death by drowning there, reports the Anchorage Times.
FOUR MURDERS Department of Natural
Resources Recorders Office Archives 9/13/1939
While investigating the murder (shot in
the head) of Richard A. Francis in the Willow and Ruby Creek
area (45 miles from Talkeetna), it was discovered that the cabin
of Frank W. and Helena Z. Jenkins (who also had a cabin in that
vicinity) was locked and no one was home. Knowing that the Jenkins
were supposed to be at their cabin, and knowing that there were ill
feelings between the Jenkins and the dead man, an investigation began.
A search party was authorized to find Mr. & Mrs. Jenkins
and Joy Brittell who was working for the Jenkins. The search party
found Mr. & Mrs. Jenkins murdered on the trail, covered with weeds,
grass and snow, with only one boot visible. There was no sign of Joy
Brittell. Several days later, Frank Lee, a ferry boat operator
at Talkeetna, found the body of Joy Brittell which was about 20'
off the trail and 150 yards from the Jenkins cabin. All bodies were
taken to Talkeetna and then Anchorage for autopsies.
DEATH Fairbanks Daily News Miner
5/31/1940 (extracted by Sandra Davis)
Mousseau, who leased the resort from Swan Edlund
last summer, was drowned when he went fishing in a small canvas
boat. His fishing creel was still attached to him when the body
Searchers combed the lake nearly all night, later
telephoned Jack O'Connor, wild life agent, requesting him to dispatch
an airplane to continue the search from the air. O'Connor relayed
the request to the Larson Alaska Distributing Company and Pilot
Wadle was sent to the scene.
Wadle said he flew over the are 20 to 30 minutes
and when circling at low altitude, saw the body lying face upward
in shallow water not far from where some boats were moored.
Mousseau, who was known as "Frenchy," was a miner
and prospector for many years in this part of Alaska. He worked
at the Independence and Lucky Shot Mines and more than a year ago
went to Edlunds where he was employed. When Edlund removed to the
states last summer, Mousseau leased the resort and continued its
DEATH Anchorage Times 12/22/1942
A report reaching Anchorage today reveals the
death of Capt. "Slivers" McNeil, a native who lived in the Wasilla
district for many years. "Slivers", as he was known to
all who knew him, is said to have frozen to death last Friday night
on the trail between Wasilla and the point where he had killed a
moose. He had been in to Wasilla after downing the animal
and it was on his return trip that he died. He was about 40 years
old. It is reported here, that he was buried by his native friends
in their own burial ground.
DEATH Herning Diaries 2/9/1943
George Grennan, age 84 died in the Palmer Hospital,
he had been a Matanuska Valley farmer for 28 years
DEATH Herning Diaries 6/7/1943
Major Kermit Roosevelt, son of Theodore Roosevelt,
committed suicide 6/4/1943 and was buried in the Fort Richardson
DEATH Herning Diaries 8/5/1943
Gus Geller died.
DEATH Herning Diaries 1/3/1944
Jacob Metz, old time rancher, died today at
DEATH Herning Diaries 6/21/1944
Adam Werner, old time rancher, died today at
SUICIDE Anchorage Times 2/7/1944
Thomas McNeil, 37, died of a self inflicted
gunshot wound last Friday near Palmer. According to evidence
brought before a coroner's jury, the man shot himself with a
30.30 hunting rifle. McNeil, a trapper, is survived by a
sister, Myrtle, a brother Victor and his father, Malcolm McNeil.
Haines funeral Parlors have the body in charge.
DEATH Herning Diaries 1/23/1945
George Nylen died in the Sitka Pioneer Home
DEATH Herning Diaries 2/19/1945
E. B. "Buck" Sparling, old time prospector,
died at Willow Creek
DEATH Herning Diaries 3/13/1945
Mrs. Pearl Horning died at Seattle, she worked
for years at quartz mining in the Willow Creek District.
DEATH Herning Diaries 3/13/1945
Old Chris Gustafson of Nelchuk Mine died in
DEATH Herning Diaries 3/23/1945
Reported that M. J. McNeil, ex-squawman
from Sunny Knik died with a stroke in Fairview farming District.
DEATH Herning Diaries 3/24/1945
A. J. Swanson, old time stock man, died at Palmer
after 30 years of ranching and horse raising at Matanuska.
DEATH Anchorage Times 3/28/1945
The lives of four women and two sailors were
claimed by the icy waters of Kupreanoff Straits on Sunday night
when their boat capsized in rough waters on their way home from
a movie. The party of six was returning home to Afognak,
north of Kodiak. On their return trip the motor of the small boat
failed and the two sailors left in a small dory to return to Latnik
to get help. While they were gone, the craft capsized in rough water.
The women were Mrs. Sophie Nelson, mother of 5 and her sister-in-law
Jessie Nelson, mother of 2, Jean Mitchell, mother of 1 and her cousin,
Augusta Gregorieff all of Afognak. The names of the Navy serviceman
were being withheld. The only body recovered as of press time was
DEATH Anchorage Times 4/28/1945
Margaret Longcarp, 17, student at Eklutna
school, died 4/27/1945 in a Palmer hospital. She had been sick
for a long time with Hodgkins disease.
DEATH Herning Diaries 10/19/1946
Mrs. J. B. Fleckenstein died.
DEATH Herning Diaries 1/4/1947
Mrs. Neil Browne Sr. died.
Orville George Herning died 4/18/1947 - Came
to Alaska in 1898, had a general store at Knik from 1906-1917
and a general store at Wasilla from 1917-1947. Charter member of
the Willow Creek Mining District. Buried in Anchorage with wife and
DEATH 9/25/1947 (information found in the Talkeetna Recorders
John Cuculich found dead 9/25/1947, 400' from his cabin, close
to Clear Creek. Body had fallen forward and still had his hat on and
was holding his gun; apparent heart attack; no other injuries. Body
found by Reino Koivu, a friend; buried by Reino Koivu, Harold B. Coleman
and John Zulich.
Blind Man Steps Off Road To Miss Death
Anchorage Times 5/4/1950
Two law enforcement agencies are carrying on
a joint search today for a hit-and-run driver who fatally injured
Annie Stephan, 64 year old native woman, early Wednesday on the
Willow Creek road near Wasilla. Mrs. Stephan, member of a
large and widely known clan, was killed when a speeding vehicle
bore down on her blind companion, Nick McNeil. Mrs. Stephan's
neck was broken by the impact. Her skull was fractured and
she was badly cut. McNeil, known in the area as "Blind Nick"
heard the car or truck approaching and stepped off the road.
However, he was injured when Mrs. Stephan's body was hurled across
the road with such force as to knock him down. McNeil's shouts
for help aroused the dead woman's children who were asleep in the Stephan
cabin about 100 yards away. The driver of the death vehicle,
meanwhile left the scene. McNeil was unable to tell whether the
vehicle was a car or truck but told investigators that it was running
without a muffler. On that slender clue, Deputy Marshal Bill Bouwens
of Palmer and Patrolman Stanley Laird of the Highway patrol have been
trying to find the driver. The spot where the accident happened is about
a mile north of Wasilla on a road known both as Willow Creek Road and
as Fishhook Road. Funeral services were held for Mrs. Stephan at Knik.
NOTE: This tragedy took place at
mile 1 on Wasilla Fishhook Road which is where Blind Nick's cabin was. Also
at mile one was the Stephan cabin (Rufe and Annie Stephan and children Irene,
Doris and James). This information was found in a personal notebook of Thomas
"Pat" Carter of Wasilla (mid-to late 1940's). Is Rufe Stephan's wife
Annie the same Annie that was killed in 1950? Additional side note from Mr.
Carter's notebook said that Victor McNeil owned the land that Blind Nick's
cabin sat on.
DEATH Eugene Register-Guard 2/18/1954
(extracted by Sandra Davis)
Trapped by a fire which blocked exits, a 26-year-old
mother of three boys died with two of them in a cabin blaze
at Knik, 30 miles southwest of here early Wednesday.
The woman was Mrs. Clyde Hornell. The boys who
perished with her were Tommy DePriest, 7, and his 11-month-old
brother, Danny. Both were sons by a previous marriage. The third
son, Robert DePriest, 3, received serious burns.
Mrs. Hornell's husband of less than a week escaped
through the flames with Richard Barnes, 18, who was staying
with the couple. Hornell carried little Robert to safety with
him but was unable to return. Barnes also required hospitalization
Officials said the fire apparently broke out
when Barnes attempted to start a fire with liquid gas about 7
MURDER 7 Year
old Murdered, Dillingham Man Held
Anchorage Times 8/18/1956
A Dillingham cannery worker is in Federal Jail
here charged with the murder of a 7 year old boy. He is
Robert Henry, 40, of Momokutuk, Chief Deputy U. S. Marshal, James
Chenoweth said Henry is charged with second degree murder in the
fatal shooting of young Billy Nikiti, May 10th. The child's
body was reported to have been buried shortly after he was shot in
the back of the head with a .22 caliber rifle. Details of the shooting
are not known. Henry is a native of Togiak, also near Dillingham.
He was arrested August 11th.
DEATH Family of Five Found Dead
Near Iliamna Anchorage Times 1/6/1956
The frozen bodies of a Newhalen family of five
were found buried in drifting snow 14 miles north of Igiugig
near Lake Iliamna. Forty year old Simeon Wassela and his wife
Catherine, 35, a daughter, Xanie 17, a 7 year old son and an infant
were found frozen to death. Lt. Dick Jensen and scanner, Murphy
Nickolai said the family apparently died of exposure as their
dog team was nearing it's destination in the 50 mile trip from Newhalen
to Iguigig. Only 2 of the 9 dogs the family took on the trip were
found alive. Wassela left with three other families
on the journey December 27th, but lagged behind soon after their
departure. Nothing was thought of their absence at first because
it was thought they were taking a different trail. However,
when they didn't arrive in Igiugig, several days later, Wassela's
brother, Ira, reported them missing to CAA.
Copper Center Man Is Slain; Suspect Held
Anchorage Times 4/4/1956 page 1
A Copper Center man was found shot to death
in the yard in front of his cabin last night, Territorial Police
said here today. The police said five bullet wounds were found
in the body of JOHNNY JOE, about 30. They said the owner of
the cabin, identified as Austin P. Davis 30, has been taken into custody.
Joe's body was discovered about 8:00. the cabin is located
on the Richardson Highway near the Klutina River bridge. Preliminary
investigation indicates Joe was shot to death in the Davis cabin.
As Joe lay on the floor, four more bullets were pumped into his body.
Austin P. Davis has been arraigned on a manslaughter charge and his
bail set at $1000 at Copper Center. Davis and Joe were reported to be
unemployed. Joe lived with his father near the Tazlina River.
Davis, formerly lived in Homer and California. Copper Center is about
200 miles northwest of Anchorage and is the site of an Indian village.
DEATH Sophie R. Joe, 23, Dies Here
Anchorage Times 5/27/1958 page 13
Sophie r. Joe, 23, of Scammon Bay, died at the
Alaska Native Hospital after a five month confinement. She was
born at Scammon Bay 8/6/1934 and is survived by her husband, Mike
Joe, and a brother, Ralph Johnson of Anchorage. Funeral services
will be tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Evergreen Memorial Chapel.
Eric Tetpon, assistant pastor to Rev. Job Kokochuruk of the Evangelical
Covenant Mission of Anchorage will officiate. Interment will be at
Evergreen Memorial Park.
DEATH Anchorage Times 8/31/1962
Ponto Eugene Goozmer, age 10 months, of Tyonek
died at A.N.S. Born 10/6/1961 at Tyonek, he leaves his
mother Barbara Goozmer and grandfather, Pedro Goozmer both of
DEATH Knik Arm Courier March 1963
Nick Theodore of Eklutna suffered a broken neck after he fell from
an upper bunk bed. He was born 10/15/1907 and was the brother of Mike
DEATH Knik Arm Courier 8/31/1966
Everett Theodore, 25, drowned when he fell into the water of Knik
Arm. He and his father, Bailey Theodore Sr. and Oscar Munson were going
to go fishing at Fire Island.
But when the 14' dory was just 300' from the Birchwood shore, Everett
stood up and fell into the water. The other men tried to find him, but
couldn't. Everett is the brother of Bailey Theodore Jr. and a cousin of
Harry Theodore who were killed recently in an automobile accident. Harry
Theodore's wife was also killed in that accident.
DEATH Knik Arm Courier 12/14/1966
Joseph G. Chilligan of Eklutna died of a heart attack. Survived by
wife Pauline and 5 children in Eklutna: David, Irene, Lora, Norman and
Herman. Also survived by son George and daughter Doris of Ft. Graham, AK.
Also survived by sister Anne Toughluck of Talkeetna. Buried at Eklutna.
DEATH Knik Arm Courier 1967
Ruth (Stephan) Ezi, age 59, died in a cabin fire at Eklutna. She
was born 6/10/1908 at Knik. Her husband was Peter Ezi Sr., her son was
Peter Ezi Jr., her daughter was Mrs. Alberta Stephan.
DEATH Knik Arm Courier 1968
Peter Ezi Sr. died in a cabin (built in 1923) fire at Eklutna. He was
born 12/18/1903 at Knik. Worked for the railroad and commercial fishing.
Husband of Ruth Ezi who also died in a cabin fire a year earlier. Children:
Peter Ezi Jr. and Alberta Stephan. Also survived by a brother Bill Ezi.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARIES OF
O.G. HERNING WHO CAME TO KNIK IN 1898. HE OPERATED A TRADING POST
AT KNIK FROM 1906 UNTIL 1917 AND A GENERAL STORE AT WASILLA FROM 1917 UNTIL
HIS DEATH IN 1947. THE DATES YOU SEE HERE ARE DIARY ENTRY DATES NOT NECESSARILY
EVENT DATES. MR. HERNING WAS NOT A GOOD SPELLER,
SO SOME OF THESE NAMES ARE PHONETIC SPELLINGS. KEEP IN MIND
THAT THE NAMES AND INFORMATION PERTAIN TO PEOPLE WHO LIVED/WORKED
(PRIMARILY) IN SOUTH CENTRAL ALASKA...AND MORE SPECIFICALLY, KNIK,
WASILLA, MATANUSKA JUNCTION, SUSITNA STATION, ANCHORAGE AND SEWARD.
1/29/1906 Matt Miller body found at head of Bay buried
8/13/1906 Elmer R. Herning age 10 buried at
Knik/grave moved to Anchorage 1947
3/17/1907 John Headburg of Knik married the
Talkeetna slave woman*
*Census records show that her name was Nastasa
(it also says she was
Aleut born 1886).
6/10/1908 Evan Orloff died at Knik (assumed
buried at Knik).
11/15/1908 James String and Maud Rose Mason
both of Susitna married
6/27/1911 Dr. Cowen of Knik married
12/20/1911 Harry St. Clair died at Glacier Creek
1/6/1912 D. C. Wisner died at Knik buried at
6/27/1912 Capt. Ward’s baby died at the Station
(probably Susitna Station?)
7/13/1912 Jack (also called Hanson) and Inga
(both Native) married at
Susitna, witnessed by Mrs. Nagley and a Native named Jacko.
4/27/1913 Larson’s son Jacko died
(assumed buried at Knik)
10/21/1913 John Travers killed by slide at Gold
Bullion Mine Willow Creek Mining District
6/25/1914 John Young committed suicide by tying
Evinrude motor around neck and jumping
into Goose Bay buried at Knik.
3/17/1914 Sherman of Knik married Mrs. Dalton
5/19/1914 Old man Hunter died lived at Old Knik
2/11/1915 Mrs. Carrie buried at Knik
2/14/1915 R. E. Romano funeral with Masonic
honors (assumed buried at Knik)
3/20/1915 Adam Block of Seldovia died at Sitka
4/16/1915 Tom Hanmore died at Iliamna
7/22/1915 P. J. McDonald married Miss Longmire
10/26/1915 Una Pettit Mansfield (underworld
woman) died at Knik hospital of pneumonia
1/15/1916 Unnamed man died-buried at Knik (cook
at Cannon’s Knik Roadhouse)
2/1/1916 Mr. Styles of Hope died in Anchorage
(brother of Dr. Dugan)
1/15/1917 H. C. Emery and Bert Steward killed
in snow slide at Martins
Mine Willow Creek Mining District.
11/28/1917 Meehan baby (1st death at Wasilla)
(assumed baby buried on homestead)
3/5/1918 Agent Jackson at Matanuska died
11/25/1918 Six Natives died of the flu at the
Station (assumed Susitna Station?)
3/27/1919 Getchell (old-timer) married Frank
6/10/1919 Unnamed man died at mile 32 mining
4/29/1920 W. A. Black died at mile 174 of railroad
2/4/1921 Mrs. Sparks married soldier from Matanuska
Junction named Monroe
3/28/1921 Mrs. W. A. Black died at Anchorage
8/22/1921 Byron Bartholf Jr. died in Willow
Creek mining accident buried Anchorage
9/10/1921 Mr. Kimball, Anchorage storekeeper,
died in Anchorage.
9/13/1921 Joe Laubner was killed in Talkeetna
Mine Willow Creek Mining District
12/13/1921 George Small got married in Anchorage
12/1/1922 Railroad conductor Sessions died
1/16/1922 William “Bill” Hughes of Knik died
5/27/1922 Lander and Niemann married in Anchorage
7/22/1922 Unnamed RR man killed mile 277½
when railroad bridge collapsed killing
6/15/1923 F. B. Cannon died at Wasilla buried
Anchorage (Postmaster-Commissioner of
7/26/1923 Mrs. Capt. Ward died at Anchorage
9/12/1923 Mrs. Al Davis died
1/21/1924 Dave McGinnis killed in snow plow
5/17/1924 Frank E. Young died at Anchorage
11/10/1923 August Carlson died at Anchorage
11/21/1923 Dr. Leopold David died US Commissioner
at Knik 1910, 1st Mayor of Anchorage,
buried at Anchorage.
11/28/1923 Dan McArdle died at Anchorage.
8/5/1924 Zink and Springstein married at Fairbanks
3/26/1925 C. A. Gooding died at Anchorage.
3/26/1925 Jerry Murphy died at Anchorage.
4/20/1925 Dave England died at Anchorage.
5/22/1925 Frank Fleckenstein murdered in Dillingham
buried in Anchorage.
2/1/1926 Dave Reedy died on his trap line
3/14/1926 Stanley Herning married Eva Fleckenstein
6/21/1926 Mrs. W. A. Johnson died in Anchorage
Susitna Roadhouse keeper
8/6/1926 George Haslett died in Cordova
8/13/1926 J. J. O’Brian of Knik died in Anchorage
8/24/1926 Clo King married John Chamberlin in
11/5/1926 Mrs. Gust Haller died in Anchorage
(skull fracture by train in Wasilla)
10/15/1927 Chief Nakela died (assumed buried
10/19/1927 Clarence Marsh married at Nenana
11/9/1927 Chris Sterns (old timer) died in Portland
12/28/1927 Mary Vail married _____ Phelps (4th
3/17/1928 James Girdwood died in New York (Crow
Creek prospector 1896)
3/1928 Mrs. W. E. Bartholf died stateside age
7/27/1928 Baldwin (railroad man) died
10/6/1928 Al Harper died
10/6/1928 Fred Simmons died
10/10/1928 Mrs. Murray of Knik (moved to Palmer
11/22/1928 Tuck (old agent) married 6’ tall
Texan girl Wasilla
1/28/1929 Charles Magaha died at Anchorage
6/10/1929 Henry Fischer died
2/8/1929 Charles Magaha funeral buried at Anchorage
4/11/1930 George W. Palmer died (suicide) Kenai
buried Anchorage (to Alaska 1893 merchant)
7/6/1930 Harry Lander of Wasilla died in Michigan
11/28/1930 J. W. Kempf died at Anchorage (old
time Willow Creek prospector)
2/10/1936 Fern, a Native girl died
(not sure where, or where buried)
3/28/1936 George Sexton died at Seward (in Alaska
4/22/1936 Mr. Machell died at Anchorage
7/8/1936 Mrs. Oscar Tryck died buried
8/2/1936 Edward Fries died at Palmer hospital
(old time rancher) buried at Palmer
8/28/1936 Harry Vail died age 49
12/11/1936 H. H. Healy died at Susitna Station
12/11/1936 Leckwold died
1/22/1927 Eckman died at Anchorage (furniture
5/28/1937 Jim Murray’s son died at Cache Creek
Willow Creek Mining District
8/19/1937 Frank Churchill died buried at Knik
in McGuire Cemetery to Alaska 1898
11/28/1937 Tom Cavanaugh died at Knik beer hall
4/17/1937 Frank Hoffman died in Anchorage US
5/25/1937 Dorothy Hill and Peter Nelson married
5/28/1937 Miss Pryer Wasilla schoolmarm married
8/5/1937 Dr. Romig married again
8/8/1937 Wanda Soper married
9/2/1937 Pat Snider married in Anchorage
2/1/1938 Mrs. Oscar Bergman died in Anchorage
4/28/1938 Oscar Bergman died in Anchorage
railroad section man
9/17/1939 Sharon Fleckenstein married Florence
Strigga Edlund at Wasilla
10/8/1938 Mrs. McNeil of Knik died
2/24/1939 Harvey J. Bartholf died age 70
7/27/1939 Wasilla agent Browne’s oldest daughter
married Arlo the Caterpillar man
12/2/1939 Mr. Redwood died in Palmer hospital
2/22/1940 Word arrived in Wasilla that Pete
Snider died on Navy boat in Honolulu
2/6/1940 George Zink died at Portland
2/9/1940 Harry Staycer died at his Crow Creek
Mine (ex-marshal of Anchorage)
8/27/1940 John Thomas died at Willow Station
9/3/1940 Trusty Kelly died of pneumonia
5/11/1940 Kenneth Soper married Monte Edlunds
5/14/1940 Elizabeth Bergman married at Anchorage
7/4/1940 Jack Slumberger married
4/3/1941 Mattie Vail died in auto accident buried
Palmer (came to valley 1915)
2/7/1941 Mrs. Fred Simmons of Knik died (old
2/8/1941 Mr. Wilson of Knik died at Sitka Pioneer
Home (Knik old timer)
4/11/1941 Vic Blodgett died
7/8/1941 Mrs. Dan Donovan died
7/9/1941 Bill Taylor died at Sitka Pioneer Home
9/16/1941 Anna Simmons died
6/26/1942 Hi Gill died
2/21/1942 Nels Larsen died at Palmer hospital
6/4/1943 Major Kermit Roosevelt died at Ft.
Richardson (suicide) son of Teddy Roosevelt
8/5/1943 Gus Geller died
1/3/1944 Jacob Metz died at Palmer (old time
6/21/1944 Adam Werner died at Palmer (old time
12/2/1944 McAllen died at Fairbanks (ex-Willow
Creek Mining District supervisor)
1/23/1945 George Nylen died at Sitka Pioneer
Home (old time Matanuska farmer)
2/19/1944 E. B. Buck Sparling died (old time
Willow Creek prospector)
3/13/1944 Pearl Horning died in Seattle (old
time Willow Creek quartz miner)
3/13/1944 Chris Gustafson of Nelchuck Mine died
3/23/1945 M. J. McNeil of Fairview Farm District
died (old timer)
3/24/1945 A. J. Swanson died at Palmer (ranched
in valley 30 years)
4/14/1945 Mrs. W. S. Horning died (old time
4/11/1944 A. O. Wells died (old time miner)
6/8/1944 Mrs. Sexton died (Colonist)
11/23/1944 Ernie Pyles wife died age 44
6/2/1946 O. O. Krogh died in California (old
time Matanuska store keeper)
1/20/1946 L. V. Rae died at Seward (lawyer,
partner of Leopold David)
3/2/1946 Chas J. Tecklenberg died stateside
buried in Seward (old timer)
4/6/1946 T. W. Hawkins died age 78
5/15/1946 Red Jack Bartell age 86 died (old
Cook Inlet boat captain)
10.20/1946 Mrs. J. B. Fleckenstein died in Anchorage
9/30/1946 Ray Morrison married Virginia Browne
4/18/1947 Orville G. Herning died at Anchorage
(to Alaska 1898, merchant 1906-1947)
1948 N. J. Gaikema died buried Anchorage
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