Posts made in February, 2011

John Henry McIllree

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 in Animals, RCMP | 0 comments


Assistant Commissioner McIllree of the NWMP arrived in Skagway on the Steamer Queen on August 14, 1897.
He was born on this day, February 28, 1849 in Kingston, Jamaica and died on May 17, 1925 in Victoria. He served in the NWMP from 1873 to 1911 when he retired.
While in Skagway he was laid up with a bad ankle and diarrhea and wrote this:
“The trail is a terror, there is no doubt of that, and no one can form an idea of it unless he goes over it himself. One of our horses got his foot in a crevce and broke the leg clean off and went on three legs until stopped and shot. Another horse died and the balance are in bad shape: sore backs, cut legs & c., and I am afraid we cannot work them much longer… Would you let my wife know I am getting on all right. You can imagine how awful it is to lay on your back all day in this little dark shack, thinking, nothing but thinking.” Seen above with his horse is Asst. Commissioner McIllree

Mission Klondike, Sinclair; civil servants online;Dobrowolsky p. 26; http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/nwmp-pcno/025003-1201-e.html.
POLICING THE PLAINS Being the real life record of the famous ROYAL NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE By R. G. MACBETH, M.A.http://www.mcilree.co.uk/john_henry_mcilree.html

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Patrick Michael McFadden

Posted on Feb 27, 2011 in Bars and Hotels, Tragedy | 0 comments


Patrick McFadden had a few too many drinks and on his way home down Broadway, he fell into the creek, face down and drowned. Since poor Mr. McFadden was a stranger, no one knew him so it was assumed he was about 42 years old. He died on August 22, 1902 and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery.

Now you might think this was an unusual case and that it could not happen again – but no fellow sleuthers! Two years ago, a fellow in town did exactly the same thing! Fortunately for him, his friends found him and dragged him out before he drowned too! If you are in Skagway this summer, look for a young fellow with a wicked scar on his forehead. Above is a picture of this wicked creek.

Skagway Death Record.

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I love chickens

Posted on Feb 25, 2011 in Animals | 0 comments


Every girl should have a few chickens.

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James G. Hornbaker

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 in Goldrushers, Tragedy | 0 comments


Mr. Hornbaker was born in 1875 on his family’s farm in Bonaparte, Iowa. The farm must have been a dangerous place since at least two of his brothers died young – in their teens/20’s before he left.
James was another young man who came to Alaska to seek his fortune; he worked in Skagway as the manager for the Foard & Stokes Company store.
He died on this day, February 24, 1898 of meningitis but his body was shipped back to Iowa. The cemetery there also has this amazing gravestone of another Hornbaker who died in the first World War.

His name was misspelled or mis-transcribed on the Skagway Death Record as Hamlaken.

The Foard and Stokes store was owned by Martin Foard and J.J. Stokes who ran it in Astoria since 1882 and apparently wanted to expand to Skagway.
Foard’s beautiful Victorian house built in 1892, in Astoria is on the walking tour there and is still owned by a descendant.

Ancestry posting under Skaguay; Skagway death record as Hamlaken.

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William Cornell Ostrander

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 in Goldrushers, Tragedy | 0 comments


William Ostrander was born in 1868 in Orange, New York. His family moved to Portland Oregon in the 1890’s. By 1895 he was living with his parents in Portland, but he decided to travel to the north in search of his fortune. Unfortunately he succumbed to meningitis on this day, February 23, 1898 in Skagway. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World in Portland and so, his body was shipped back to Portland, that being the main reason that men signed up to these organizations back then.
Ostrander may have been an artist as there was a painting by William Ostrander that was auctioned off in 2006.

Portland Death Records; Skagway Death Records; familysearch.

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