Posts made in November, 2010

Louis Scott Keller

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 in Medical, Merchants, Reporters and Photographers, Skagway families | 0 comments


Dr. Keller was a dentist in Skagway from 1899 to about 1922. He also published the Daily Alaskan from about 1905 to 1915 according to the directories.
He was born in St. Paul Minnesota in 1860. The 1880 census in St. Paul Minnesota shows Mrs Aunice Keller with eight children that ran a lumber business. Her husband must have died in 1879 because the youngest child was still a baby.
Louis married Martha in 1891 and moved to Skagway in the Gold Rush. He was President of the Fraternal Order of Elks in 1900 and was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood in 1907. He was also president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1903. He was elected Mayor of Skagway in 1922 but became ill with throat cancer and died on this day, November 30, 1922 in Seattle. He and Martha had no children.
Louis’ brother, John Michael also moved to Skagway and started a drug store, “Keller’s” which is still run, but as a jewelery store today. John also helped to run the newspaper with Louis and Martha.
Seen above, in hard times before restoration efforts in the 1980’s is the store.

1900;1902;1905, 1915 directories; Skagway Museum Record

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George Dickinson

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Alaska Natives, Dyea, Merchants | 0 comments


George Dickinson ran the Northwest Trading Post with his wife, Sarah, a Tongass Tlingit as early as 1880. In 1886 he partnered with J.J. Healy at the trading post in Dyea. He became ill and died in San Francisco on this day, November 29, 1888.
His obituary in the Juneau City Mining Record of November 29,1888 gave his age at death as 45. Sometime later, the Healy and Wilson trading post is seen above in this Anton Vogee picture.

Neufeld:Juneau City Mining Record Nov 29 article; Daniel Lee Henry book online excerpt; San Francisco Call.

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Bishop Charles John Seghers

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 in Alaska Natives, Faith and Religion, Murders | 2 comments


Seghers was born on December 26 1839 in Ghent, Belgium. Left an orphan at a very early date, he was brought up by his uncles. After having studied in local institutions and in the American Seminary at Louvain, he was ordained priest on 31 May, 1863. He then left for Vancouver Island, where he was engaged missionary work among the pioneer whites and the natives. After several years of hard work establishing missions in the Northwest, the Pope appointed him Archbishop of areas in the Northwest including Alaska.

When Bishop Seghers arrived at Dyea in 1886 he was slapped in the face by the Klanot chief of the Chilkoot tribe. Undeterred, he decided to climb the Chilkoot Pass with four other men, Father Pascal Tosi, Father Aloysius Louis Robaut, the cook Antoine Provost, and a man named Frank Fuller.

When the men reached the confluence of the Yukon River and the Stewart River, Seghers decided the other two priests should spend the winter there, while he and Fuller would press on to Nulato. Father Tosi expressed concerns about this proposal, noting that Fuller had displayed signs of emotional instability. Seghers acknowledged the concern, and how the lateness of the season would likely impact his work. He gave as his reasons for going ahead anyway as his wish to fulfill a promise made to the people of Nulato to return eight years earlier. As they continued down the river, Seghers came to realize that, as traveling conditions and the boat deteriorated, Fuller’s mind did as well. On October 16, he wrote in his diary:
“Peculiar conversation with (Fuller) in which, for the third time, he gives evidence of insanity.”
On November 27, Seghers and Fuller, with two native guides they had acquired at Nuklukayet, decided to spend the night at the fish camp at what is today known as “Bishop’s Rock”. Seghers was in high spirits, laughing frequently, thinking that he would finally reach Nulato the following day. Fuller, however, remained sullen, looking suspiciously at his companions and remaining agitated throughout the night.

Between six and seven the next morning, the party arose and prepared for the final leg of their journey. As Seghers bent over to pick up his mittens, Fuller fired a single shot which killed Seghers instantly. Seghers died on this day November 28, 1886 at the age of 47.

Fuller was then arrested, taken to Sitka for trial and sent to prison for eight and a half years. When let out, in Portland, Oregon, he got into a violent quarrel with a neighbor and was himself murdered.

The remains of the bishop were ultimately transferred to Victoria and he is remembered as “the founder of the Alaska missions.”

-from AK Tribunal Papers, 1904; newadvent.org ; Gates, 1994; “Mgr Seghers,l’apotre de l’Alaska” by Maurice de Baets;

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Harry Schofield

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 in Alaska Natives, Tragedy | 0 comments


Harry, or Henry Schofield was born in 1857 in Germany and came to America in 1892. He came to Skagway from San Francisco and worked variously as a longshoreman, a seaman, and a fisherman. He got into trouble in 1900 when he sold liquor to the local Natives, and was found guilty by Judge Sehlbrede. He apparently had a liking for alcohol and on this day, November 26, 1903 died at the age of 46 here in Skagway from heart failure due to alcoholism. He is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery.
In 2008 almost 12% of the deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives are alcohol-related, more than three times the percentage in the general population, a federal report said. In our small community we know of one young local Alaska Native person who died from a drug and alcohol overdose a few years ago. She is buried in the Skagway “New” Cemetery on Dyea road. She is seen above at her graduation from Skagway high school in 2003.

1900 census; Thornton; Skagway death record;Newspirates.com 30 August 2008 by Jim Walrod.

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John Albert Baughman

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 in Children, Goldrushers, Medical, Skagway families | 2 comments


Dr. John Baughman was a Physican and assayer. He was born in Barberton, Ohio on March 10, 1856. I read somewhere that his family was Jewish which would add to my growing list of Jewish families in Skagway in the gold rush, but I cannot find that source again, so just a possibility there.
After graduating from college as a doctor, John Baughman married Mina Barber in Manistique, Michigan on February 25, 1897. Struck with gold fever Dr. Baughman joined the stampede to Dawson in 1897. Expecting to practice medicine there, he found the profession barred from him because he was not a Canadian citizen, so he joined in the search for gold.

Later her returned to Michigan where he brought his wife to Skagway in 1899. Dr. Baughman practiced medicine in Skagway until 1905. Their first son, Paul was born here in 1899 but died in 1904. Their second son born in 1903 also died in 1903 and both are buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery. Their daughter Dorothy, born around 1905 lived a long life and is buried in Juneau.
After leaving Skagway in 1905, the family moved to Seward where Dr. Baughman was a doctor for many years and established the Pioneer Hospital, ministering to a large section of Alaska. While in Seward, he was Game Warden of the Third Division for eight years. He also operated a drug store. The Daily Alaska Empire obituary said he was Alaska’s oldest physician when he died on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937 in Juneau. He was a life member of the Masonic Order, affiliated with the organization for 45 years. He is buried in the Juneau Evergreen Cemetery.

1902 directory; Juneau Evergreen records; family search; The Daily Alaska Empire–Friday, 26 November 1937-Page 1 & Page 8.

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