Jerry Quinlan – First White Pass Conductor

Jerry Quinlan

 

Jeremiah G. “Jerry” Quinlan was born in 1861 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He and his sister Rachel came to Skagway around 1900. Rachel married Martin Conway and Jerry married Agnes Alice. Jerry was the first conductor of the White Pass Rotary Engine as he is seen in the photo above which was generously given by his descendent Quinlan Steiner today. What a dashing uniform too! ¬†Unfortunately Agnes Alice died in Skagway and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery and Jerry died in 1917 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery (he was 56). They lived at 607 Main Street and in 1910 had an adopted son, John , who was born in Washington in 1894. John later worked for White Pass as a wiper (whatever that means). ¬†I have seen this often in Skagway where children were adopted.

This month the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad is gearing up for the upcoming season, I have always thought that the black snappy conductor uniforms look very smart. Let us all hope and pray for a safe season.

Clifford; Graves; 1910 census, Skagway Death Record; 1909 AB book; personal communication

Rotary accident


On February 28, 1902 there were two German men pushing a sled north of White Pass along the rail line. The snow was about 3 feet high on each side and apparently one of the men became confused when the train approached and fell in front of the snowplow. The Yukon paper reported his name was Hauser and that he had a wife and kids in Coulee Washington but the Skagway paper reported his name was O. Hauseman and that he had relatives in Oregon. He apparently stayed at the Portland Mizpah Hotel in Skagway before his fateful trip. I could find no record for either name in either Washington or Oregon, so presumably it is screwed up somehow.
Makes you look at that rotary with a little more caution…

Skaguay News March 2, 1902 on microfiche.