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MISC. NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
THAT GIVE US A LOOK AT EARLY ALASKA
1882-1953


Extracted by Coleen Mielke
coleen@mtaonline.net


I will be adding to this page as I find more information

(Last added to on 8/21/2014)

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3/30/1882  Idaho Statesman        Boise City, Idaho
Portland, Oregon 3/28/1882  the execution of Katata, the Alaska Indian convicted of the murder of two miners on the Stikine River, took place promptly at 11 o'clock this morning, in a frame building in the rear of the court house.

9/2/1882 Reno Evening Gazette   Reno, Nevada
Dr. Sheldon Jackson states that an Indian girl in one of the Alaska villages, accused of witchcraft, was bound to a stake on the beach at low tide and would have been drowned had not a white man rescued her.

11/9/1882 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada
The SS Corwin arrived at British Columbia from Sitka today. She reports that the Hoochinoo Indians in Alaska are troublesome and aggressive. They seized boats and whaling gear and took two white prisoners and threatened to kill them.  Sixty six Sailors and Marines from the US Steamer Adams, under Lt. Barrett, were dispatched to the scene of trouble. The prisoners were released and a fine of 400 blankets was imposed as a penalty. The Indians refused to pay and remained defiant, rendering it necessary for the vessel to shell and destroy a portion of their village.

12/29/1883 San Antonio Light   San Antonio, Texas

Professor Davidson received from Alaska, today, the particulars of a volcano disturbance near the entrance to Cook's Inlet on the morning of October 6th. The settlement of fisherman on English Bay heard a heavy report and looking in the direction of the sound, saw immense volumes of smoke and flame suddenly burst forth from the summit of Mount Augustine. The sky became obscured and a few hours after, great quantities of pumice dust began to fall, some fine and smooth and some gritty.

At 3 o'clock the same day, an earthquake wave 30' high came rushing over the  hamlet, sweeping away all the boats and deluging houses. The tide, at the time being low, saved the town. This was followed by two other waves 18' high.

Pumice ashes fell 5" deep, making the day so dark that lamps had to be lighted. At  night, the surrounding country was illuminated by flames from the crater.

Simultaneously, with the eruption, was the creation of a new island in the passage between Chernaboura Island [St. Augustine] and the mainland 75' high and 1½ miles long.

A hunting party at Kamishak Bay reported a column of white vapor rising from the sea and the water was boiling, making it impossible for boats to leave.

The violence of the volcano action was so great that two extinct volcanoes on the peninsula of Alaska, lying to the west of the active volcano of Iliamna, 1,200' high, burst into activity, emitting immense volumes of smoke and dust and flames, all visible at night.

7/9/1885 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada

Lt. Commander Nichols, commanding the Pinta, has reported to the Navy Department the arrival of that vessel in Sitka on June 1st. He says that the Indian Kiey, who murdered his wife, has been tried by District Court and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, having been found guilty of manslaughter.  This being the 1st trial of an Indian, it created much interest.  Chilicato expressed dissatisfaction at the result of the trial and threatened to take the life of a woman. It was not thought, however, that the threat would be executed.

9/17/1886  Daily Alta  California
Alaska's first white child was born at Douglas Island on  9/4/1886. The father is a miner  named Meade.

11/15/1886 Reno Evening Gazette   Reno, Nevada
A schooner which arrived from Kodiak, Alaska yesterday, brought the body of Alaska Commercial Co. agent B. G. McIntyre who, while seated at supper with several other gentleman in the companies house, on the evening of November 1st, was instantly killed by a charge of slugs or buckshot fired through an open window behind him. It is unknown who fired the shot.

11/20/1886  Daily Alta  California
The remains of the late Benjamin G. McIntyre, formerly general agent of the Alaska Commercial Co. who was murdered at Kodiak, Alaska 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 in time to leave for the North on Steamer Dora on the 27th of this month.

8/29/1890  San Francisco Call          San Francisco, California

Steamer ARAGO from Oonalaska brings news of the killing of George Hemmingway, agent of the Alaska Commercial Company at Unga Island.  The SS DORA was at Unga at the time and she brought J.E.F.Clark to Oonalaska before the ARAGO left, charged with the murder of the agent. Account of the murder was furnished by Captain hague of the DORA.  Clark was a former Alaska Commercial Company employee at Unga, when he came to be paid, a dispute broke out between Clark and Hemmingway. Hemmingway said that the Alaska Commercial Company had shorted him $400; an inspection of the books said otherwise. An arguement broke out and Clark shot Hemmingway but said it was self defense after Hemmingway pulled a gun on him. He will be tried for murder at Oonalaska.

5/20/1893    The Alaskan       Sitka, Alaska
Stepan Naplugnack killed his wife Nastasia at Alachtalik, in the Kodiak District. Nastasia's brother, Joseph In-kak testified as a witness and said that Stepan beat Nastasia to death with the butt of a gun. Testimony had to be translated from Aleut to Russian, and then to English. Husband said he did not do it.

7/21/1894   Deseret News  Salt Lake, Utah
Alaska authorities reported that an Alaska Indian doctor is in jail, charged with condeming a Native woman with witchcraft and ordering his villagers to beat her severel. After being tied up for 7 days, without food, she died.

8/6/1895 Oakland Tribune   Oakland, California
Six survivors of the lost sealing schooner, White, which was lost last spring in Alaska, arrived today. All of the survivors were horribly mutilated, having lost their toes, fingers, arms and feet. They are on their way to San Francisco.

11/29/1896  Fort Wayne Gazette   Fort Wayne, Indiana
Professor L.L.Dycke of the University of Kansas, explored Alaska in the summer of 1896. One of the people he met we described as: Princess Tom, a famous Yakutat princess, wealthy beyond all other Alaska Indians. On her right arm she wore five bracelets, each hammered out of a gold $20 piece and on her left arm she wears ten bracelets, each made from a $10 piece. She has 100's of blankets, sea otter skins, etc., and owns a schooner and two sloops. She is 65 years old and just married for the fifth time; a 20 year old man for whom she paid 500 blankets.

7/11/1897  San Francisco Call           San Francisco, California

The Alaska Commercial Company steamer ARCTIC has been crushed by ice.

7/17/1897 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada
The steamer Portland arrived from Alaska this morning, only to confirm the marvelous rich strikes made in the Klondike District recently.  Joe Goldsmith of Seattle, a reliable man, reported that three men on Skookum Gulch, shoveled out 85 pounds of gold dust in 7 hours.

3/4/1898 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada
Two train loads of reindeer and laplanders which have been brought from Norway by the U.S. Government to be used in the expeditions to Alaska have arrived at Chicago. There are 22 cars of reindeers, one car of sledges, eleven cars of moss, two cooking cars and two tourist cars. There are 547 reindeer and 118 people.

9/8/1898 New York Times    New York
News comes from Port Valdez, that the Copper River Indians are reaping a harvest by gathering up outfits left by prospectors. It costs the latter ten to twenty cents a pound to get their food and clothing over the Valdez Glacier and up the Copper River Valley.  From one hundred to three hundred Klondikers, becoming discouraged with their luckless attempts to find gold, finally dropped their outfits anywhere and hurried back to Valdez.

News of this situation spread among the Indians, who hastened forward from both sea coast and interior to enrich themselves with a winter supply of provisions. Never before have they enjoyed such luxury.

9/25/1898  San Francisco Call   San Francisco, California

News has been received here from Juneau, Alaska of the drowning of W. Nutling of Michigan and W.H. Lockwood of California.

10/23/1898 and 10/24/1898  San Francisco Call  San Francisco, California
W.E.Bondy who has just returned from Sunrise City on Cooks Inlet, tells a story of the wreck of a sloop about 4 weeks ago in which it is probable that 9 persons lost their lives. A man named Chris Johnson was the owner of the sloop. Frank Robinson and Johnson sailed to Knik Arm where they took aboard 7 prospectors bound for Sunrise, the party was never heard of again. A few days later, Johnson's dog appeared at Sunrise, half dead with exhaustion and later part of the sloop and another wreckage were picked up at Turnagain Arm. Names of the men drowned: M. Walcott and Oliver Walcott of New York, Frank L. Robinson of Santa Cruz, California, Kit Carson Payne of Portland, Oregon, A.M.Adams of Bellvue, Pennsylvania, Louis F. Zimmer of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, J.M. Bonner of Hope Church Pennsylvania, Mr. Scott of Scottsburg, Illinois and Chris Johnson, owner of the sloop.

10/31/1898 San Francisco Call           San Francisco, California

Rudolph Neumann, general agent of the Alaska Commercial Company, while inspecting the Sitka Mine at Unga, fell 209' to the bottom of the mine and was instantly killed. His remains were brought to San Francisco on the steamer PORTLAND.

11/3/1898 Naugatuck Daily News        Naugatuck, Connecticut
Article written by Orville G. Herning says when he first encountered the gold mines at Craigie Creek in the Willow Creek Mining District,
they encountered two Mexicans who had been mining "on the quiet" for three years;
the other's that they encountered were Capt. Andrews, J.N.Johnston and E.Brainard.

11/12/1898 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada

A missionary, from south east Alaska, describes a strange custom among the Indians of that region: when there is a difference between two of them and a friendly settlement seems impossible, one of them threatens the other with dishonor by tearing up a certain number of blankets. The only way his antagonist can get even with him is by tearing up a greater number of his own blankets. If the contest is prolonged, it results in the destruction of all the blankets they have. The one who destroys the greater number of blankets is regarded to have won the fight.



3/1/1899 Reno Evening Gazette   Reno, Nevada
A letter written by a hunter-trader on Nunivak Island, 100 miles from the mouth of the Kuskokwim describes the fate of 18 people aboard the SS Jesse and the barge Minerva. According to the hunter (Marsten), his wife, who is an Indian woman, visited her family located at the mouth of the Kuskokwim shortly after the wreck of the SS Jesse.  While there, she attended a feast given by the Indians who got drunk on home made liquor. The drunken Indians started quarreling over the items they had taken from the shipwrecked crew. She became suspicious when she saw valuable possessions such as articles of clothing, watches, breech loading rifles and an abundance of provisions.

The woman asked her grandmother, an aged squaw, about the items in question and she was told that when the SS Jesse and the barge Minerva wrecked near the shore, the Indians assisted in saving the whites and the cargo aboard the barge. Once safely on shore, the white men set up camp and the Indians demanded pay for their assistance.  The whites offered a reasonable amount which did not satisfy the Indians.

The old woman told her granddaughter that the Indians had a meeting and decided to kill the white men and take their possessions. The next night, while the white men were asleep, the Indians came to their camp and killed all 18 of them. They took the bodies out to see in their canoes and threw them overboard.

Nothing was known about the fate of the 18 prospectors for nearly a month after the wreck until several of the bodies washed back on shore, badly decomposed. When that happened, the Indians reported that the SS Jesse and the Minerva had wrecked and all hands were lost.

Report was made to the agent of the Alaska Commercial Co. who visited the scene and identified the bodies of Capt. Murphy and Rev. Webber, a Moravian missionary who, with his wife and children, joined the expedition at Dutch Harbor (they were going to establish a mission among the savages who murdered them). The Kuskokwim Indians threaten to stop the whites from prospecting in the Kuskokwim country as they claim it is their hunting and fishing reserve.

5/19/1899  San Francisco Call    San Francisco, California
The steamer BERTHA grew too small for the Alaska Commercial Company, so it has been enlarged and remodeled. She was cut in two and lengthened over 50' and now she can carry 1,000 tons of freight and has accomodations for 96 cabin passengers and 100 in steerage.

7/7/1899 Reno Gazette   Reno, Nevada
Word comes from Dawson that parties arriving there over the Edmonton route, report a sad state of affairs on the Wind River, a branch of the Peel. About 75 prospectors, who are wintering there, are invaded by scurvy. Fifteen or twenty are re ported to have died from the effects of the disease.

7/15/1899 Sandusky Star   Sandusky, Ohio
J. Homer Bird of New Orleans is now a prisoner in the military barracks at St. Michaels, Alaska, charged with the murder of J. H. Herning and R. H. Patterson. Charles Sheffler and a woman named Noma Strong are held under $5,000 bonds as witnesses.  The entire party came from New Orleans. They were wintering at a coal mine about 185 miles this side of Anvik. They quarreled over supplies and it is claimed that Bird shot and killed Herning and Patterson.

7/17/1899  Los Angeles Herald   California
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 Illinois, Louis Peterson of Chicago, _____ Porter of California,  _______ Huthenson of Illinois. They were crossing the arm in a small boat which overturned by a big tidal wave.

8/9/1900  San Francisco Call             San Francisco, California
William Rufus "Brick" Wheaton, died of pneumonia at Nome. He was the Nome Alaska Commercial Company agent. He was the son of George H. Weaton and was age 28. He had also worked for the Alaska Commercial Company at St. Michael, Circle City and Dawson. His body was sent back to California.

1/30/1901 Nome Gold Digger               Nome, Alaska

Dr. Pelton, one of the best reknown, most esteemed young pioneers of Alaska was found frozen on the trail in a terrible blizzard on the trail between Spruce Creek and Soloman. His body was brought back to Nome. His family was from Oakland, California and he came to Alaska when he was 32 years old. Also missing in that same storm is Dan Anderson who left Dexter for Nome 4 weeks ago and has not been heard of since.

Dr. W. F. Baum also froze to death while carrying medical assistance to a sick man on Quick River. The doctor was prospecting on the Tibulatuq River when he was asked to help the sick man. On his way, he was caught in a storm. After 2-3 days, 2 of his dogs returned to camp which alarmed his friends. A team of Indians were sent to find the doctor. They followed his trail for 10 miles out on the ice, then 40 miles along the coast. They found his remains 50 miles below Chinik. The doctor was from Mobile, Alabama and saw service in the Cuban war.  U.S. Marshal McLean confirmed that R.C. White, R. Redman and Alexander Stowe froze to death as well as Dr. Tam and 2 unknown men who froze to death near Mary's Igloo.

4/22/1901 Reno Gazette   Reno, Nevada
According to reports from the north by the SS Cottage City, 80 cases of smallpox have been reported in the Sitka Indian Village.  Indians are stampeding in all directions, in canoes, and it is feared they will carry the disease to other villages.  Sitka has been placed under quarantine and guards have been placed at all places of entrance and exit.

7/27/1901 Reno Gazette   Reno, Nevada
The chief census gent for Alaska, McKenzie, describes taking the census in the Fairbanks District. He assures that the Indians do measure time by the "snows" and "suns" and distance by "sleeps".  They have no other standards of time or measurement, said McKenzie. All births, marriages, separations and deaths are based on such calculations.

An Indian buck told McKenzie he had lived for 200 snows. After much talk and use of sign language, it was determined that he was about 80 years old.  He told McKenzie he was "20 snows when he got his first woman and keep her for 4 snows when she got away; then got more woman and keep her 5 snows and she die; got no more woman for 28 snows more; got young chicken and keep her all time, even now, 25-30 snows."

Many of the Indians know a sufficient number of English words to do business with the white man but when it was determined that they were to be counted by the government, they closed their mouths.

As a class, they are indolent, lazy and dirty, although in recent years, the teachers have taught the younger ones that dirt has been the cause of much illness and the present generation is keeping themselves healthier by bathing.

They spend their winters in hunting and their summers in fishing.  Moose and caribou hides are brought to traders and exchanged for food and clothing but seldom money. Out of these hides, they make moccasins, gloves, mittens and curious which they also trade.

12/4/1901  The Newark Advocate    (Newark, Ohio)
On the coast of Alaska, near Cook Inlet, is a large island which has had trouble with its spelling, trouble with its pronunciation.

The spelling now adopted by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, is Kodiak (pronounced Ko-di-ak), this being a reversal of the decision Kadiak made by the same Board about ten years ago. The universal local usage, as to this name, is Kodiak. Such, also, is this widely extended and firmly established usage, which has led the Board to discard an alleged "correct" form and adopt an alleged "corrupt" form which local usage has firmly established.

1/5/1903  Los Angeles Harold         Los Angeles, California

U.S.Marshal Shoup arrived from Juneau with three Hoonah, Alaska Indians, each sentenced to 4 years at McNeil Island for causing the death of Isaac, an Indian.  They kept Isaac tied to a tree for 8 days; the exposure and hunger resulted in his death.

11/3/1903 The Newark Advocate     (Newark, Ohio)
A gruesome case of cannibalism, growing out of superstition has come to light and has been authenticated by authorities.

Indians on the Koyukuk River, attacked John N. Coy, a prospector and his partner, whose name is unknown. The latter was killed and Coy was wounded but escaped. One of the Indians stripped the body of the murdered man and cut off the arms and legs. He then built a fire, cooked the limbs and devoured part of the flesh.

The Indian went down river to Nulato where he was arrested by Marshal Robert Warren and taken before Commissioner Busch. He made a full confession and said: "White man spirit no can catch me now." Later, he committed suicide in jail.  Marshal Warren is investigating the matter further and expects to arrest the other Indians implicated.

8/11/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
L. L. Bales confirms the report that a new volcanic island has appeared in the Bering Sea since last March. He sailed close to the island in a fishing schooner. He describes it as about 3 miles long and 900' high, with a crater in the center that is still discharging lava into the sea. Thousands of dead fish float in the sea around the island which lies about 50 miles west of Dutch Harbor.

8/19/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
Oscar Tackstrom hopes to improve the winter mail service between Fairbanks and Valdez. "With fresh horses every 20 miles, the best ribbon handlers, stock and equipment, we expect to make the distance in six days by next year" said Tackstrom. His equipment, sleighs, coaches, harness' and stock will arrive on the SS Tanana. The whole system will be similar to the White Pass and Yukon Service in Yukon and will make two trips a week.

8/19/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times

Deputy Marshal Dillow, in charge of a  number of prisoners who had been held in various district jails pending trial, arrived on the Tanana yesterday. The prisoners were: Charles Teague, held for gold robbery; Chris Hansen charged with assault; M. E. Bondixon held for perjury; Adam Aren held for larceny; "Moose Mary" Salinger held for arson and James Kelly held for attempted adultery.

8/22/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
H. C. Henry, C. J. Smith, Frederick Brunbridge and Miles C. Moore of Washington have incorporated a new railroad company to operate in Alaska. It will be called the Bering Sea and Copper River Railway. Catella will be the coast terminus and base of operations.

8/22/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
Alaska Indians, who since the strike of the Sailors Union and the subsequent lockout of all union sailors by the United Shipping and Transportation Association of San Francisco, have been employed on passenger and freight vessels of the Pacific Coast Co., have made the best kind of sailors according to company officials.

Ever since the strike began the company has been troubled in its efforts to secure good, sober, industrious sailors. The Alaska natives have supplied that need.  The first Indians to be employed on vessels for the company, were on the Alaska steamers. They were a success and now they are manning its Seattle -- San Francisco steamers.  The company plans to man all their vessels with the Alaska Indians if the strike and lockout does not end.

One of the most attractive features of the Alaska Indians, as a sailor, is that he is not addicted to liquor and he looks upon being employed with great pride. The Alaska Indian is no ignoramus. He knows the tricks of the sea, having traveled in small canoes where large steamers fear to navigate.

8/22/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
The Pioneer Hotel in Fairbanks was built in 1903 with 22 rooms full of sourdough furniture, but recently enlarged. The hotel is now two stories tall with an 18' x 120 foot addition, allowing 54 rooms furnished with modern furniture.

8/27/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
Mrs. Condon of Dome Creek has the honor of picking up the largest nugget yet found on that stream. She was standing near the dump box, yesterday, when the man forking out the tailings threw out something that hit with such a thud that it attracted her attention.

Mrs. Condon, who would rather, by far, pick up a nugget than attend a pink tea, hiked around the dump until she picked up the big gold piece. When weighed it was found to be worth $180.06*. It is somewhat flat in shape and is as large as the palm of ones hand and very rough. (*price of gold in 1906 was $18.90 an ounce)

8/27/1906 Fairbanks Daily  Times
Winter road from Fairbanks to Valdez being rushed to completion. Major Richardson has returned from a a trip over the roads to Cleary Creek. He says that while the commission cannot build a road everywhere one is wanted, he is doing his best to get them to places needing them the most. He is well pleased with Mr. Zug and Mr. McClure's work.


8/31/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times

It was Native day at St. Matthew's Church yesterday and Rev. Betticher was a very proud minister. "Big John" and "Annie" and "Titus" and "Sabie" had come from their hunting grounds, far up the Big Chena to have their children baptized. There was much Chena spoken.  The Indians looked upon the affair with as much solemnity as the white christian.

"Susie" was the name given to heir apparent to "Big John's" house and "Robert" will be the first name of the coming heir to the "Titus" estate.  Rev. Betticher christened the boy after a classmate at college, named Rev. Robert McFedridge of Philadelphia.  Rev. Betticher says that the Indians are very strict in their observance of the baptismal ceremony and every child is brought to him when of the proper age.

8/31/1906 Fairbanks Daily Times
Judson E. Lathrop who made a fortune in the Klondike and is well known in Alaska, returned to his home yesterday afternoon. He had been away 14 years and his wife, supposing him dead, had remarried 11 years ago.  lathrop found that his parents were dead.  His two daughters, now grown, welcomed him home. His wife prefers to live with her present husband. When Lathrop left home 14 years ago, he was drunk and didn't tell anyone what his plans were.

11/13/1909  Los Angeles Harold    California
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 Creek hanging.

2/10/1910  Spokane Daily Chronical
Three Nome merchants, traveling from Nome to Fairbanks and Valdez on snowshoes and by stage, report that the winter in the north is the severest ever known. They left Nome 12/7 and encountered continuous bad weather and temperatures of 70 degrees below zero.

On the Valdez trail, they reached Miller's Roadhouse just before the climax of the storm, where they found 4 dead people laid out: Joe King, and old miner, frozen to death; Mrs. H. A. Rockefeller, a middle aged woman well known in Nevada who died of a heart condition on the stage due to the cold; an old man named Taylor, frozen to death and Mrs. Miller, proprietress of the Roadhouse, who had succumbed to pneumonia.  Also found frozen to death was a man named Franz Giebel who froze to death while driving toward Valdez with a one horse outfit. Also reported that August Anderson froze to death on the trail between Chitina and Copper Center.

6/26/1910 San Francisco Call   San Francisco, California

Seven men are believed to have been lost in a storm that swept Cook Inlet wednesday night, according to a report received here today from U.S.Commissioner Hildreth of the Knik Precinct in Cook Inlet. The men, among them, were Joseph Laubner, a prominent citizen of Seward City; F.R. Stewart, founder of Stewart City, B.C.; William Perkins and John Winter,  names of the other three men are not known. They had set out in a dory from Kern Creek to cross the Inlet and had not been out long before a terrific storm came up. It was thought that the men might have taken refuge on Fire Island, half way across the Inlet, but searchers have been unable to find any trace of them.

9/11/1910  Oakland Tribune    Oakland, California
Three men were shot in Franks Roadhouse at Knik on an arm of Cook Inlet yesterday.  Sam Reinhart was killed, Ira Isaacs seriously wounded and Bert Stewar shot in both legs.  A letter from a Knik resident to U.S. Commissioner Hildreth of the Knik Recording District, now in Seward, recommends the holding of Thomas babcock and R.L. Miller, eye witnesses, and Edward Reinhard, brother of the man who was killed.

10/15/1910  San Francisco Call   California
B. Smith, a wealthy druggist of Norwich Connecticut, who came to Alaska to hunt big game, and Alfred Lowell, eldest son of one of the founders of Seward were drowned in Lake Kenai, Kenai Peninsula on October 11th 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.

12/3/1910 Reno Evening Gazette   Reno, Nevada
John Borbridge, 10 year old half-breed son of "Cordwood Jim" Borbridge, killed his grandmother with a hatchet at Douglas today. The boy had been severely scolded by his mother and flew into a passion. The grandmother tried to quiet him, whereupon the enraged boy seized the hatchet and attacked her, striking her three times on the head and killing her instantly. The boy was arrested.

12/8/1910 Reno Evening Gazette  Reno, Nevada
Men just arrived from Alaska and said that prices of food in the Iditarod country would be prohibitive but for the big wages paid to miners. Sugar is 20 cents a pound. Horses are in great demand and $5 per hour is the price of a team. Any first class sledge dog will bring $100. There is a constant stream of travel between Iditarod and the Kuskokwim. Half a ton of gold is on the way to Seattle, shipped on dog sledges by Iditarod bankers.

4/17/1911  San Francisco Call   San Francisco, California
Martin L. Washburn, vice president and general manager of the Northern Commercial Company and the Northern Navigation Company and superintendent of the Alaska Commercial Company, died last Thursday after 32 years working for the company (went to Alaska in 1885, moved out of Alaska 1905). Survived by Lettie C. Washburn

5/3/1911  San Fracisco Call    San Francisco, California
Selina Dowling, age 17, reputed to be the most beautiful half breed girl in Alaska, was acquitted today of the charge of murdering her mother, an Indian woman at Douglas. The mother died in agony after eating candlefish brought to her home by John Harris, an Indian suitor for Selina's hand, of whom the mother did not approve.

5/21/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times
Valdez schools closed due to measles epidemic.

5/21/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times
Josh Wilson, known to all old timers as "Whiskers" Wilson, who came to Alaska in 1886, died at the Sisters Hospital in Juneau recently.  Wilson had asthma for years, which was directly responsible for his death. The deceased was a member of the 1887 Pioneers and also a veteran of the Civil War.

8/8/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times

George W. Palmer, a well known Knik merchant, has returned from a trip to the States and brings with him the first hay reaper for this district.  he also ordered a large shipment of plows and other agricultural implements for the use of the farmers of the Knik country.  There are 40 homestead entries in this section, recognized as the most desirable for agricultural purposes in Alaska.

8/8/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times
Seward to Iditarod road work progress is in good shape under Supt. W. L. Goodwin.  The Moorehouse crew is working at a point on Eagle River, coming towards Seward.  The Kinney crew is in the region of Skwentna, working towards the Kuskokwim crew and the Giddings crew is working out from Iditarod to meet the Kinney crew.

Supt. Goodwin marked out the road from Old Knik to Crow Creek Summit.  The road will follow an entirely new course, free from the danger of snow slides.  The road is adapted to horse travel in summer or winter and is at least 6' wide.  The road will follow Eagle River to Raven Creek and follow that stream, which leads to the Crow Creek Pass Summit.

8/8/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times
Gus Norton mistook a bottle of carbolic acid for Jamaica Ginger and died in terrible agony on 6/19/1911.  He was the boss fisherman for the Columbia River Packers Association at Chignik.


9/14/1911 Fairbanks Daily Times
There are now 65 Indians quarantined in the detention camp on the Porcupine River, according to reports brought yesterday by passengers arriving from the Yukon River. Thomas Riggs Jr. is in charge of the situation and says he has all of the cases of small pox corralled and there is no danger of epidemic in that region.

2/23/1913 Fairbanks Daily Times
Judge Lyons sent a man to jail in Valdez for living with a native woman without going through the formality of marriage. He says that such actions must and will not be tolerated under his jurisdiction.

4/27/1913 Fairbanks Sunday Times

When Percy Reid, the Yukon recorder was called upon to record Skookum Jim's claims near Teslin Lake, he asked Jim about the country and received the reply: "The water tastes like gold, the gravel looks like gold and the whole country looks good to me".

4/27/1913 Fairbanks Sunday Times
A considerable quantity of reindeer meat which had been stored in an old shaft near Nome, by natives, was rendered unfit for consumption during the early spring by warm weather, despite the fact that the meat was cached more than 50' below the surface of the ground.

10/30/1913    Reno Evening Gazette       Reno, Nevada
The steamer General Hubbard, chartered from a lumber company, is on the from San Francisco to Seattle to take 300 head of horses and nearly 300 tons of supplies to be landed at Knik, Cook Inlet, Alaska. The horses will be used to haul 800,000 tons of coal mined last year by the government, to Knik  It is understood the whole winter will be occupied with hauling the coal out. Partial tests of the coal already made, give little doubt of its high quality.

11/11/1913  Fairbanks Daily Times        Fairbanks, Alaska

Captain Neilson of the schooner T.C.Hill, says there is a large deposit of coal on Cooks Inlet. The Captain believes that the coal from Knik Ledge can be made available with very little effort. A San Francisco newspaper reported that Neilson, who had just arrived in San Francisco from Alaska, claims that there is a large deposit of high grade anthracite coal in the Cook Inlet country which is better quality and more aaccessible than either the Bering River or the Matanuska coal. Capt. Neilson says that the coal is located oan the Knik River within easy reach of deep water, the location being ideal both for mining and shipping.  He has visited the coal himself and sampled some of the coal which he found to be of excellent quality.

11/12/1913 Fairbanks Daily Times

Word arrived that the SS Dora reports an epidemic of measles spreading rapidly among coastal natives and it is feared many will die unless medical attendance is provided immediately.  The SS Dora reports 110 cases of measles in Afognak, 110 cases in Kenai and 25 at Seldovia.  The Government has made arrangements to take care of the sick natives, but thus far the majority of the cases are unattended.

11/27/1913 Fairbanks Daily Times
Deputy Marshal Carl Armstrong has wired Marshal Brenneman that 10 more deaths have occurred recently at Afognak from the measles and that every family (but his own and one other) reports one or more cases.  A total of 20 have died from the measles in Afognak and over 100 others in other villages in the southwest.  The Revenue Cutter Manning has not yet arrived with doctors and medical supplies.

1/11/1914 Fairbanks Daily Times
For the quarter ending 12/31/1913, the Board of Health shows 65 cases of mumps, one case of erysipelas and one case of typhoid fever at Fairbanks.

2/1/1914 Fairbanks Sunday Times

The trial marriages among the natives of Alaska, under the ancient tribal customs, works out better than the modern system, is the opinion of Commander Ballinger of the Revenue Cutter Bear. In his annual report to the department, he recommends that either proper facilities for obtaining divorces in Alaska should be provided, or greater precaution should be taken in marrying the native under the Alaska code.

2/8/1914 Alaska Sunday Times
Since New Years, Sitka, Alaska's former capitol has taken on a metropolitan air, as the town is now lighted by electricity.

3/1/1914 Fairbanks Daily Times
A stone carving, representing a man in a sitting posture, was found by Charles Ulanky, a homesteader, while plowing on his land in the vicinity of Fish River on Knik Arm.  The carving appears in a rounded boulder, flattened on the bottom and shows a fine piece of handwork of the medieval age.

3/1/1914 Fairbanks Daily Times
The quarantine at Seldovia has been raised, the epidemic of measles having run its course.  There were 146 cases of measles, six of which proved fatal.  Mrs. I Gilman, the Government teacher, took charge and did all she could to aid the unfortunate victims.

6/16/1914 Fairbanks Daily Times
Seward has a new weekly paper, the Seward Tribune, owned by T. R. Needham, a pioneer Alaskan newspaperman.  The Tribune made its initial appearance May 9th, having been delayed somewhat, awaiting the arrival of the plant from the States.

6/16/1914 Fairbanks Daily Times
Schwatka, the Indian guide who found fame for piloting Lieutenant Schwatka over the Chilkoot Pass and down the Yukon in the early 1880's, died at Haines recently.  Schwatka claimed the name of Lieutenant Schwatka ever since the memorable trip as he was not paid for his services.

4/11/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Nome is the northern metropolis of Alaska and the distributing point for all of Seward Peninsula and sends many supplies to Siberia and the Arctic.  It's population is about 2,000 in the winter and about 5,000 in the summers. The Federal court house in Nome is one of the finest Government buildings in Alaska and cost approximately $30,000.

4/11/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Home grown potatoes, the best in the world, are selling at Knik for $3.50 per 100 pounds.  Early Ohio's, Gold Coin and Matanuska's are among the the varieties offered.

4/23/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
The prominence given Ship Creek by the decision of the President to begin railroad construction at that point has disclosed the fact that the place is known by three names.  Alaskan's know it as Ship Creek; the coast survey bulletin calls it Woodrow Creek and the Post Office Department insists that the right  name is Anchorage.

5/2/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Kenai has 90 children and no school in prospect until September.

5/3/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
T. R. Needham has completed negotiations for founding a newspaper at Knik, to be known as the Cook Inlet Pioneer.  Mr. Needham is a sourdough editor.  He went into Alaska in 1894 as an associate editor of the Juneau Searchlight.

5/9/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
The Cook Inlet Pioneer is the name of a newspaper to be launched, at Knik, by T. R. Needham.

5/9/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

The Whitehorse health officer has notified the people that they are not to throw out dish water, as it makes places for flies.

5/9/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

The body of Louis Schonborn, the Chisana storekeeper who was murdered last January, was recently laid to rest in the cemetery at Puyallup, Washington.

5/9/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Now that Seward is about to sell its railroad to the government, dog teams are now offered at any price.

5/11/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

The city of Seward was threatened with destruction by fire, the flames originated in the timber north of the city. Driven by high wind, the fire spread to the tent settlement at the head of the bay and in short time, had reduced a number of residences north of Monroe Street, together with an Alaska Northern warehouse containing one of the big engines.  The fire became so serious, shortly before noon, that the saloons were closed so everybody could fight the fire.

5/17/1915 The Alaska Citizen (Fairbanks)
Commissioner Thomas W. Hanmore of Iliamna committed suicide. He left a letter saying he was losing his sight and, wishing not to become a burden on others, had decided to take his life.  He also stated in the letter that he left  his position and personal effects to a party to who he owed something.  He took stock of all the governments property.

The body was found in a chair at 10 o'clock on the morning of the 30th by Alexander Flynn who went to the Commissioners house to have a tooth pulled by that official.  Hanmore was well known all over Alaska, of which he had been a resident for many years.

6/20/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

Nome will have six more automobiles this summer.

6/20/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Rough lumber, very much in demand, sells for $60 per thousand at Ship Creek.

6/20/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
A canvas city of over 450 tents now stands at Ship Creek, where the first mile of rails has already been laid by Lieutenant Mears of the engineering commission.  In addition to the tents, there are some 70 log and frame buildings.  Included in the business houses are 6 restaurants, a billiard hall, 2 laundries, 3 barber shops and one jewelry store.

6/27/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
A post office will be established at Ship Creek as soon as possible and as the place is without either telegraph or telephone communication, it is probable that a wireless set will be installed by the Marconi Wireless Co.

6/27/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Dan Walker, inventor of the Yukon Stove and a resident of Juneau since 1885, has been taken to Morningside Asylum in Portland. He was found insane by a commissioners jury at Sitka after he terrorized inmates of the Pioneer Home for several nights prior to his arrest.

6/27/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
B. M. Stone has purchased the entire interests of Charles E. Herron in the Seward Gateway Publishing Co. and is now sole owner of the Gateway and the Knik News as all stock held in the company by anyone at any time has been taken over by him.

6/27/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

Bert Howen, cannery man, met death at mile 55 on the Copper River railway, as the outcome of a quarrel over hot cakes. Howen threw a can of milk and a brick to emphasize his remarks and Ed Lee Thinnus came back with a sugar bowl which knocked Howen against the table inflicting wounds from which he died.  The coroners jury said it was self defense.

7/18/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
The gypsies who were recently run out of Juneau have arrived at Seward.

7/18/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
It is reported that there are many destitute at Anchorage.  Of the 1,500 people there, only 300 have work.

7/25/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
Jacob Samuelson of Richardson bout a new car yesterday. The car is the 4th one sold by the Northern Commercial Co., agents for the Dodge Bros. Automobile Co. H. H. Ross was the first to purchase one. He is an experienced automobile man and reports that the machine has proved entirely satisfactory.

8/8/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times

The town of Douglas has the only Lutheran Church in Alaska.

8/8/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
The first application for a pension under the Act passed by the last legislature, granting $12.50 per month to Alaska pioneers, has been received by the governors office. The application was from a woman in Seward, 77 years of age. She is a widow.

8/22/1915 Fairbanks Sunday Times
Yukon police report finding a body floating in the Thirty Mile River, some distance from Hootalinqua. The body is supposed to be that of Marion "Tennessee" Davis, a young man last seen alive December 24th at lower Lebarge.

8/22/1915 Fairbanks Sunday Times
In Alaska, there are maintained 77 schools with an enrollment of 3,568 and an average attendance of 1,797.  Some of these are in touch with the outside world only once or twice a year. All of the, with the exception of those on the southern coast, are reached only by trails, over snow covered land or frozen rivers.

8/22/1915 Fairbanks Sunday Times

The Department of Agriculture has sent an agent to Matanuska to locate an experiment Station which is soon to be established.

10/10/1915 Fairbanks Daily  Times
As an indication of the prosperity of Anchorage, three attorneys were recently admitted to practice there. They came direct from the Outside and all had practiced for some years.

10/24/1915 Fairbanks Daily Times
W. B. Van Valien, the school teacher at Wainwright, near Point Barrow, found a lake of oil. The color of the oil was dark and he reported, at Nome, that it burned well, throwing but little smoke.

1/9/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
William Elliott, better known all over Alaska as "Billy the Horse" is lying dangerously sick in a cabin near Knik and is expected to die, and yet he refuses to accept aid as he would rather die alone than suffer what he thinks would be the humiliation of accepting charity.

3/19/1916 Fairbanks Sunday Times
R. Thompson, who is said to be the man who first discovered gold on the Nome beach and who first came to Alaska in 1865, recently left Unga on a prospecting trip. He is 80 years old but still hearty enough to fry his own bacon and carry a pack.

3/26/1916 Fairbanks Sunday Times
The new hospital at Seward opened February 10th.

5/14/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
Twenty two miles of rail have already been laid on the Alaska railroad and they hope to have 1/3 finished by November 1st. The building of the road will employ over 4,000 men.

5/14/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times

Reports have been sent out that the natives of Kuskokwim are in a deplorable condition. In a village of 80, they had nothing to eat but salmon and dogs.  There is no government teacher in that district.

5/21/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times

The Bank of Alaska has completed arrangements with the Territorial Banking Board, enabling them to open a bank at the new city of Anchorage.

5/21/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
When the news was received in Alaska that the SS Admiral Farragut, the first boat of the season to make the trip into Cook Inlet, was spotted off Fire Island, Anchorage declared a holiday and flocked to the waterway to welcome the incoming vessel.  Horns were blown, whistles blew and a big demonstration was held by the delighted citizens.

5/21/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
Capt. A. E. Lathrop returned to Cordova recently from a business trip to Seattle. While there he let the contract for the erection of a two story concrete building at Anchorage, to be used as a theater.  It will have a seating capacity of 800 and the cement and furnishings for the new show shop are coming north very soon.

6/18/1916 Fairbanks Sunday Times (previously printed by Cook Inlet Pioneer)
Z. J. Jewel, a farmer from the Matanuska Valley, is in Anchorage for a few days. With potatoes selling for $60 a ton and with a ready market, an average crop of 10 tons to the acre isn't so worse. Mr. Jewel, like the rest of the Matanuska farmers, has great faith in this country and will put 10 acres in potatoes this spring and is clearing the balance of his homestead for diversified crops indigenous to this soil.

6/18/1916 Fairbanks Sunday Times
Juneau is planning to build a new public school this year. The plans embrace a reinforced concrete structure that will cost approximately $40,000.

7/13/1916 Fairbanks Sunday Times
The Alaska Packers Association has been granted a patent to 10 acres of land at Ladd Station near Tyonek for a canning factory site.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
Z. J. Loussac, who owns the Juneau Drug Co., and is well known in Interior Alaska, is erecting a large building in Anchorage where he will open a drug store.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
Ten tons of Beluga (white whale) skins have been shipped from the Bering Sea to Eastern shoe factories to be made into white shoes, now so popular with the young ladies.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
Fourteen students graduated from Juneau High School, the largest class to ever graduate from that school.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
"Diamond Tooth Lil", one of Juneau's denizens of the underworld was fined $25 by the municipal magistrate for using obscene language.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times

Three to four hundred farmers are reported to have located in the Matanuska Valley and are now engaged in cultivating crops.

7/16/1916 Fairbanks Daily Times
W. H. Allenbaugh, who resides at 7th and L Street has the first apple "tree" grown in Anchorage. It is a seedling, now 3" high, from a seed planted in a hotbed last February.

8/31/1917  Spokesman Review    Spokane, Washington
Alexander McLean, a government teacher at the village of Nushagak, killed his wife, Alexandria, on 1/2/1916. McLean told authorities that his wife received burns when a lighted lamp exploded and then she died a few days later in a sled accident. However, McLean's sons, Donald age 12 and Hector age 10 told authorities that their father beat their mother into unconsciousness then threw a lighted lamp at her, then put out the resulting fire with a blanket, after which she died.

5/30/1920 Ogden Standard Examiner    Ogden, Utah
As a result of the Mt. Katmai volcano eruption of 1912, hitherto barren land has been made fertile. The volcano showered the country, including Kodiak Island, with several inches of volcanic ash, which for a time threatened all vegetation. Now the grass has grown through the ash and places that were barren are covered with luxuriant growth.

7/10/1920 San Francisco Chronicle    California

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.
Extracted by Sandra Davis

7/28/1920 Ogden Standard Examiner   Ogden, Utah
Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer arrived in Nome tonight from the Arctic Ocean. He arrived here on a tug and said he left his vessel, the Maud, at Sledge Island, not far from here, where, for the last 10 days he has been storm bound. On his arrival, he was taken to a hotel where he said it was the first time in 2 years he could "clean up".

Amundsen told of an encounter with a polar bear last winter in which his clothing was torn from his body, one of his arms broken and his back and legs severely lacerated. He is still suffering from the effects of the encounter.



4/23/1926 The Alaska Weekly   Seattle, Washington
It was like unto an annual meeting of the Alaska Pioneers at Pier 2 Saturday forenoon, when the SS Yukon of the Alaska Steamship Company line, laden with passengers, cast off her lines and sailed for Alaska ports. Among the well known Alaskan taking passage were Geo. C. Hazelet, who has been restored to health, and A. Judson Adams and Mrs. Adams, who have been on a vacation trip for the winter, who are returning to their home in Cordova. S. A. Hemple, who pioneered in Valdez, reaching that port in the days of '99 and who later became the merchant prince of the town and Mrs. Hemple, and A.G. Larson, oldtimer of the town, took passage for Valdez. U.S. Marshal Geo. H. Beaumont departed for his headquarters in Juneau. Thomas Larson, well known mining man of the Northland for 30 years, too passage in route to the Kotsina Valley where he is concerned in a big copper proposition. O.G. Herning, the big merchant of Wasilla, Matanuska Valley and Mrs. Herning. Dr. J.H. McAuley, pioneer dental surgeon of the Cook Inlet country now located in Anchorage. Al Davis, of Hoben and Davis who has been wintering in the states, took passage for Seward.

4/25/1926 Alaska Weekly       Seattle, Washington
Miss Eva Fleckenstein, a charming young lady of Wasilla was married to Mr. Stanley Herning, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. G. Herning, who own the big mercantile house at that point. The marriage ceremony was performed in Anchorage on 3/14/1926 by U.S. Commissioner A.G. Thompson, but the wedding was kept quiet, only a few personal friends being in on the secret. The formal announcement was made upon the arrival of the groom's parents, who had wintered in Seattle.

2/3/1933 Seattle Daily Times        Seattle, Washington

Samuel King, an old time trapper, took his life by shooting himself at Wasilla, coroners deputies reported yesterday. His body was brought here by airplane.
Extracted by Sandra Davis

3/25/1935 Ironwood Daily Globe   Ironwood, Michigan

The first step in the migration of 200 drought stricken farm families from northern Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin into Alaska will be taken April 5 when the Federal Relief Administration makes final selection of those to make the trek.

The families are to be set up on a 40 acre tract in the Matanuska Valley near Anchorage.  Four hundred unmarried men, accustomed to similar conditions from life in wooded areas on the west coast, are to be selected from relief transient camps, to aid the families in building homes and clearing land.  They will receive conservation corps wages and will remain until October.  The first group of bachelors will sail from Seattle April 20 and the remainder will accompany the families which are scheduled to depart May 1st and May 15th.

4/13/1935 Ironwood Daily Globe   Ironwood, Michigan

A lean and bronzed Wyoming rancher is in Washington preparing to lead a new-style pioneering expedition into an Alaskan valley late this month.

He is D. L. Irwin and his title is "Director of Colonization for Alaska for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration". The fertile Matanuska Valley, 125 miles north of Seward, has been selected as the site for the first FERA rehabilitation colony in Alaska.

Under consideration for several months, the project has attracted attention of the American Red Cross. Chairman Cary T. Grayson announced today that first aid training would be given to the 480 relief workers who will spend the summer helping build the colony.  They will receive the training before the first contingent sails from California April 20.  Admiral Grayson added that a Red Cross public health nurse will be assigned to the colony for a year, to serve as a visiting nurse and to teach home hygiene, while the Junior Red Cross is assembling a library for both children and adults.

Two hundred families, including 1,000 persons, have been selected from farms in northern Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, to form the colony. Each family will be lent $3,000 and will be furnished a 40 acre homestead. Thirty years will be allowed for repayment of the money.

The 480 relief workers who help launch the project will return to the states in the fall, leaving the farmers to carry on.

Irwin is tall, slightly stooped. His face is weather-beaten. Crows feet at the corners of his eyes bear out his statement that he has spent most of his life outdoors.  Early in 1934, he explained, efforts were begun to get him to leave his ranch to assume charge of the government experiment station in the Matanuska Valley. He took his wife, two daughters and young son and went there in June 1934. In January of this year, he was summoned to Washington and told he was to take charge of the colonization project.

Of pioneering stock, Irwin's eyes glow as he talks about the venture. He likes Alaska, America's "last frontier".  "I think Alaska is one of the few spots in the world where there is a future", he said, simply. The colonists should succeed, he said. They will be located within a seven mile radius of the community center. They must build their own homes and they must clear their own ground.  They will be able to kill some small game and they will have excellent fishing.  It is truly a pioneering expedition, he said, but the government will help take the raw edge off the venture. There will be portable saw mills, tractors and thousands of pounds of equipment.

"It's a great country", Irwin said, "my family is still up there, you know, and we'll have to build our home like the rest of them, I'll be glad to get back".

5/23/1935 The Oshkosh Northwestern     Oshkosh, Wisconsin
A barnyard symphony of discord sailed today for the federal colony in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska, 70 cows and 70 horses all bellowing in protest. One mare, Fanny by name, sat down on the dock and flatly refused to board the federal ship North Star, which had been outfitted as a stable.  They had to carry her to a crate that was hoisted aboard the North Star by a steam winch.

The colonists sent to till the fertile Matanuska and made a living for themselves, have many luxuries the early American pioneers didn't have, among them, diesel tractors, but they need horses too.  The cows are to start the dairy project for the colonists who will depend largely on butter, cheese and milk and will have their own diary. Several fine animals were included for breeding.

6/25/1935 Sheboygan Press    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Lloyd Bell, a Matanuska colonist says it would take a squad of soldiers to him out of the valley. Gilford Lemon of Koochaching  County, Minnesota says he intends to stay "until hell freezes over". Many other colonists express similar opinions.

Mrs. Lloyd Bell wrote: Most colonists still live in their tents,  but they are fixed very comfortable with board floors, doors and screen windows. A library has been opened in the Community Hall, with a few books and lots of magazines.

A bus line makes two complete tours of the different camp centers, twice daily and baseball games played almost every Sunday. The children are having a glorious time with a large playground, swings, teeter-totters and games of kitten ball, horse shoes and marbles. Church and Sunday school are held every Sunday.

There is much sickness, but it is mostly measles, mumps, chickenpox and pink eye and no serious diseases.  Many should have never come here because of poor health.  There are two doctors and one Red Cross nurse with the transient workers and they are aiding the colonists too.  There are at least five regular nurses among the colonists. A big complaint is that the doctor has no car of his own and the colonists are scattered all over the valley.

Provisions are being made for about 15 teachers to come here for approximately 375-380 pupils in the fall.  The school land is being cleared and more materials are arriving daily.

Several agitators in the colony are keeping things continually boiling. We would like to have them deported.  There is cause for complaint here, but report of conditions have been exagerated.

The construction work is slow, as wrong equipment and materials have been shipped.  Mr. Irwin ordered wagons and received school furniture and gasoline tanks.

The colonists want U.S. Control continued with Mr. Irwin in complete charge. He is well liked by all the colonists.

7/3/1935 Sheboygan Press     Sheboygan, Wisconsin
A new Matanuska project "trouble shooter", Capt. Charles E. Parsons of the U.S. Navy, was here today, buying materials, employing expert workman and getting ready to sail for Alaska late this week.  Parsons, who arrived last night from Mare Island Navy Yard, California, faced a strenuous program of official conferences, interviews with prospective foreman and buying of portable sawmills, electric generators, lumber, well diggers and tools for the government land settlement in the mountain walled valley beneath the midnight sun.

A special mission, led by S. R. Fuller, New York manufacturer, as assistant to Relief Administrator Harry L. Hopkins, left Chicago last night for Seattle. While Capt. Parsons declined to comment, other sources in close touch with the project indicated he was to "cut a lot of red tape and smooth things out up there".

7/18/1935 Ironwood Daily Globe    Ironwood, Michigan
Mr. and Mrs. Eino Nutilla, former Erwin Township residents, are satisfied with the conditions in Alaska, according to a letter received here this week. The Nutilla's have a 60 acre tract of land on the banks of the Matanuska River.  Mr. and Mrs. Russell Pakonen, of Ironwood, are 10 miles from the Nutilla's.

Parts of the letter, written by Mrs. Nutilla, follow:  "Well, we are in Alaska and we like it very much, only we're waiting for the time when we will have our home built and everything straightened out and living on our own land.  The men are busy clearing land for the house.  Eino is driving a team.  He is skidding logs from the woods near to the places where the rooms will be built.  They have started on some of the homes but they haven't started on any at our camp, we are at camp eight. There are about 30 families here.

Our forty comes right to the Matanuska River, so it will be nice for the cattle during the summer months with plenty of water near.  We have a cow and a pig. They only had 30 pigs and Eino happened to draw a lucky number and got a pig.  It is going to farrow after a month or two.  Our cow is going to freshen in three months too, so if things go right, we'll have enough milk for ourselves for the winter and also little pigs to sell.  I think they get $10 apiece for young pigs.  You have to sell them to the colonists, so I don't know if you can get any cash or just count that as payment for ones loan.  The price of a cow is $65.  All those are added towards that $3,000 loan.

They got five house plans for you to choose your home from. We're taking plan number one, it's got 5 rooms to it.  Everyone was supposed to bring their heating stoves along. They weren't planning on having any special heating system. There weren't many that took their heaters along, so I suppose they will have to order them heaters and take it off their loans.

Eino plans on drawing for a team too.  They only have 50 teams, so I don't know if he will have any luck in drawing for them.  For this winter, they plan on having only one barn for every four families and one well.  One draws for those too, to know whose land the barns and wells will be on.  They have  no land cleared on any of the forties yet, but they say that, in the fall, everyone will have 12 cleared acres. Our 40 is a half mile from this camp."

7/24/1935 Oshkosh Northwestern   Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Mr. and Mrs. John Church have written an interesting letter from Alaska to their uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Krablean in Minasha. "We are all fine up here", they wrote, "the children all had the measles but are all over that now. We are all working, putting up our houses and have a small sawmill where we saw the logs on three sides. It surely makes a nice looking and warm house."

"Men are building our house now. The cellar has been dug and the first floor is in. There are 14 men working on our job.  They just finished drilling a 75' well on our property today. The water is 30' below the surface and the workmen told me it is the best well they have struck in Alaska."

"We have a nice 40 acre tract of land, without a stone on it. It is heavily timbered, largely with spruce and birch trees 50' to 60' tall and as straight as an arrow. The country here is rolling, pretty much the same as at our former home near Mountain, Wisconsin."

"We are 12 miles from Palmer and have 21 tents in our colony. We have good roads and we are only three miles from the town of Matanuska, six miles from Wasilla and 30 miles from Anchorage which is about the size of Oconto."

"The railroad runs through the valley with daily train service and our land lies between the railroad track and the highway. We have little time to go hunting. Game is scarce in the valley but there is plenty of big game in the foothills."

"There are four busses and 22 Ford cars at our disposal and we get around in them very well. We also have a number of trucks and tractors.  This is sure a good sized project and we are wondering if the government is big enough to 'put it over'."

"We have a nice cow and will have a team of horses.  I am driving a team now, skidding logs to the mill for some of the houses."


12/16/1935 News-Palladium    Benton Harbor, Michigan
A letter received here from Mrs. Harold Zook, a member of the Michigan colony in Alaska, says the Matanuska Valley community is flourishing despite its brief history. The letter came to Naomi Carney and says that Palmer, the shopping center, now has a drug store selling clothing, hardware and groceries and two restaurants and a gasoline station. There is also an electric plant.

Mrs. Zook wrote that prices were high. Permanent waves were $18 and haircuts and shaves were $1. A hospital is nearing completion when the letter was written.

12/24/1935 Sheboygan Press         Sheboygan, Wisconsin
A Matanuska colonist Christmas festival was staged last Saturday when the SS Victoria of the Alaska Steamship Co., brought Santa Claus and loads of toys to Seward from where the remainder of the trip here was by rail. The Chicago mail order house (Sears Roebuck) sent toys to all up to the age of 14 and the American Red Cross to those up to 19.

The test of cutting the community tree went to Walter Huntley, formerly of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. William Bouwens, formerly of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, with thirteen children, had the largest family present.

Community religious services were conducted Sunday by the Rev. B. J. Bingle and Father Sulzman will red mass at midnight tonight.

2/14/1936  Lima News     Lima, Ohio
Ada Blackjack, lone survivor of an expedition which set out to claim Wrangell Island for Canada in 1920, was found today, living in obscurity with her two sons on a homestead near the Matanuska Colony. Three of her male companions on the ill-fated expedition, including Frederick Maurer of New Philadelphia, Ohio, died in an attempt to cross the ice to Siberia. A fourth succumbed later to illness.  A Seattle explorer rescued the woman in 1923.

2/28/1936 Oshkosh Northwestern    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Palmer, Alaska, the village center of the Matanuska Colony, now has 24 hour police patrol, with a U.S. Commissioner in charge and two deputies.

10/1/1936 Sheboygan Press       Sheboygan, Wisconsin
More than two months before the official celebration of Thanksgiving Day, Alaska's Matanuska Valley has already celebrated its first bountiful harvest by staging what was proudly called the First Annual Matanuska Valley Fair.

For four days, the Matanuska colonists gloated over the fat livestock housed in special barns, the bundles of vegetables, the golden sheaves of wheat, the bunches of clover that were the answer to those who said they couldn't grow anything in Alaska.

The new Fair buildings added to the notable growth of Palmer, which was little more than a post office and a general store before Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp. took hold there.

The Fair exhibits did much to reassure the colonists as far as the farm possibilities of the region go, but there are complaints about the financial end of the colonization scheme. "We can't find where we stand as to what we owe the government" said a colonist with a splendid record, "we got statements on what we owe the commissary for food and clothing, but we can't find out what our houses, land and improvements are going to stand us. We now find out our farms are going to cost us more than we were told. Even my debt will be more than $5,000 and I have done all my own labor in building my house and improving the land. Others, who have labor bills will have debts higher than mine."

Another colonist, more extreme view was, "There won't be any farmers on these farms when they find out what they're going to cost. No one is going to pay ten to fifteen thousand dollars for a 40 acre farm in Alaska."

Manager Sheeley says he has made vain efforts to get the appraisals made and report sent. He thinks the average debt will be around $5,000.

It is now two months since any colonists have left to go back to the states. Fourteen or fifteen families who were residents of Alaska have been accepted to replace some of the 55 families who left and others who are paying their own way up from the states will also be accepted to fill the vacancies on the 171 farms which now have houses on them.

Three colonists, Virgil Eckhard, Joseph Puhl and Walter Pippel have already declared their independence of further government credit and have started paying back their loans.

New barns are rising now, to supplement the houses built last winter and the colonists have cleaned an average of 8 acres apiece. The first creamery in the region, which will market cooperatively for the whole valley, will soon be in operation. Poultry will also be handled. These facilities will serve old settlers as well as the new colonists.

10/30/1936 Centralia Chronicle Advertiser       Centralia, Washington
J. R. Ummel of the U.S. Department of Interior states 1,400 white leghorn chickens would be shipped soon to the Matanuska colony in Alaska. The chickens, 600 cockerels and 800 hens are pedigreed and will be used to further poultry development at the colony which was begun last spring with a shipment of 16,000 pullets from Seattle. The latest consignment is from the ranch of Dr. A.L. Harnett and sons, Everett.

4/2/1937 Centralia Chronicle Advertiser         Centralia, Washington
As new reports of dissension in Matanuska arrive, Washington officials pondered the whereabouts of a settler, Charles Ruddell, who arrived in Seattle last month and was believed capital bound to ask for a federal investigation of the Alaska project.  Ruddell said that he was charged $12,000 in 18 months at the colony, though told his bill would be $3,500.


12/6/1940 Sheboygan Press   Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Nearly 100 of the 140 colonists at Matanuska Valley in Alaska, left their farms to work at the U.S. Army base in Anchorage this summer, turning their land over to the supervision of neighbors or permitting it to "grow up to weeds", W. A. Rockie, Northwest Soil Conservation  research chief said today.

Rockie, back from his third year as director of soil studies and conservation in Alaska, declared that only a small percentage of the colonists were making good.  "A small undetermined number of radicals are working to belittle the governments efforts in the Matanuska Valley and to make relief a permanent racket", Rockie charged.

He said the colonists had "one write-off" two years ago with the adjustments ranging from a low of a few percent to around 75% cancellation of debt". What they want is another big write off, another slice of something for nothing", he declared, adding it was "time someone besides the agitators gave a little publicity to what's going on up there".

The small group that is making good in the colony is averaging a cash net income of $1,200 to $3,000 a year" the research chief said. "For the past two years, the radicals have been publishing an anonymous mimeographed paper under the nom de plume of "The Ice Worms". The publication has made the tearing down of the government management its principal aim", he asserted.

Rockie divided the colony population into roughly three classifications: 1. Those paying their bills.  2. "A bunch of weak willed men" being led along  by the radicals in the hopes of getting something for nothing.  3. The radicals who have defied efforts of authorities, for two years, to learn their individual identities.

Wages on the Anchorage air base, Rockie said, run from $216 a month for common labor, on up, with rough carpenters drawing $360.

Every one of the colonists could have had enough money to pay the relatively small amounts due on the first of December, Rockie said, "but the point is they don't want to pay it. If they pay anything, it will be tacitly admitting they owe the debt."

Almer Peterson, an Anchorage attorney, said he had authorizations from 63 colonists to challenge the validity of land contracts under which a number of them face eviction from their farms for failure to make payments on their debts by the December first deadline.

4/25/1941 Sheboygan Press   Sheboygan, Wisconsin
The Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp. filed ouster suits against six Matanuska colonists in Federal District Court yesterday.  The actions asked removal from the land of Carl R. Rasmussen, E. J. Leduc and Frank Clark, all directors of Matanuska Cooperative Marketing Association and C. F. Sullivan, Joseph Dragseth and George Venna.  The corp. declared the six had refused to make payments on their debt or to make arrangements for payments.


1/24/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel
Max W. Penrod, is the 1st principal of the new Mt. Edgecombe boarding school, opening late January 1947. The first students will be from Eklutna Vocational School. Penrod is from Oklahoma, the former principal of Riverside Indian School.

2/24/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel
Arriving Saturday were 130 teachers and students from the Eklutna School on the SS Denali. They have been transferred to the Mt. Edgecombe School on Japonski Island.

3/7/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel
The SS Denali picked up 130 native students and 10 teachers from the Eklutna Vocational School, at Seward, to complete the transfer of the institution to its new site on Sitka's Japonski Island.

4/23/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel

Funding cuts might require closing the Eklutna boarding school at Seward.

9/5/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel
Mr. and Mrs. J. Russell Hart and daughter Kathleen arrived at Japonski from Seward. They are former teachers at Eklutna School at Seward and will join the staff at Mt. Edgecombe School.

10/29/1947 Daily Sitka Sentinel
Louis S. Gaston born 1867 in Black River Falls, Wisconsin died 10/27/1947 at the Pioneers Home in Sitka. He came to Alaska in 1916 and lived in Wasilla for 15 years, then Palmer and he's been at the Pioneer home since 1945. He was a gold miner. Children: Louis N. Gaston and Charles Wesley Gaston.

2/23/1950 Daily Sitka Sentinel
Victor McNeil of Wasilla was fined $200 and sentenced to 90 days in jail for killing two moose cows, two moose bulls and a moose calf and selling the meat to Pascal Pete Lucy of the Frontier Restaurant in Palmer and Olaf L. Erickson.  Lucy and Erickson were fined $100 each.

7/27/1950 Daily Sitka Sentinel

Captain Austin Eugene "Cap" Lathrop, Alaska's foremost industrialist and wealthiest man, died beneath the wheels of a loaded coal car yesterday, he was 84.

The fatal accident occurred as Lathrop inspected a load of coal gondolas at his Healy River Coal Company holdings at Suntrana, 112 miles south of Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks News Miner, owned by Captain Lathrop, said the body was being returned to Fairbanks in an Alaska Railroad ambulance car. After several days it will be shipped to Seattle to be buried next to his parents.

In addition to controlling interest in the Healy river Coal Co. and the Fairbanks New Miner, Lathrop also owned five theaters, two radio stations, a large apartment building and a bowling alley.

Lathrop acquired the title of Captain in 1896 when he bought half interest in the 110' schooner the L.J. Perry and piloted it, carrying gold seekers, from port to port in Alaska.  He set up a draying business at Valdez and hauled supplies over rugged trails to Interior copper mines. With the start of the construction of the Copper River Northwest Railroad, Lathrop moved to Cordova, the railroad terminus and contracted to haul all supplies from the dock to the railroad working areas.

He subsequently became a director and president of the Bank of Cordova and bought the Cordova Commercial Co. and his first theater.  When construction of the Alaska Railroad began in 1914, Lathrop  moved to Anchorage and set up a transfer business there.  He also built a theater and an apartment house.

Survivors include a step daughter, Mrs. Cleo Boyce; 2 nephews, Austin G. Cooley and Frank E. Richardson; 2 nieces, Mrs. Ward Green and Mrs. Fred L. Smith. Memorial services for the millionaire businessman will be held in the Empress Theater.

12/27/1950 Daily Sitka Sentinel
A Seattle brokerage firm advertised for sale today, about $330,000 worth of Olympic Brewing Co. premium stock from the estate of A. E. Lathrop of Fairbanks. Lathrop was a long time director of the Olympia Co.


7/12/1951  Daily Sitka Sentinel
C. C. Brix has donated to the city of Palmer, a site for a public park. It is at the end of the Matanuska bridge and has on it what is reported to be one of the first buildings carved out of logs by a white man in that area.


8/19/1953 Fairbanks Daily News Miner
A parade celebrating the opening of the new $330,000 Chena Bridge at Fairbanks will be held. Miss Alaska, Muriel Hagberg will be in the parade in a decorated car with Miss Matanuska Valley, Tiny DePriest from Wasilla.



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