Lucy Pitclaire Itjen

Happy Birthday to Mrs. Martin Itjen, Lucy Pitclaire, born on this day, January 18 1864. Although any story about Lucy involves her husband, here is a bit about her. Martin emigrated from Germany to South Carolina in 1890 and then settled in Jacksonville, Florida to set up and operate a grocery store. In 1898 he decided to follow the tracks of perhaps 100,000 others that year—north to the Klondike gold fields. He was engaged to Lucy at the time, and the idea, as he saw it, was to earn a sizeable nest-egg before returning home. But like the majority of the Klondike tide, he never made it to Dawson; instead, he lingered in Skagway awhile, then joined the Atlin stampede.

He failed in any attempts he made to get rich quick, but the longer he remained in the north country, the more he loved it. He therefore journeyed to Chicago, where he and Lucy were married in 1901, and soon afterwards they returned to Skagway. He worked for the railroad for awhile, but when news broke of the Alsek-Kluane gold strikes, he took Lucy north to seek fortune again. ….Over the years, Itjen engaged in a host of jobs, most of which had nothing to do with tourism including undertaking.

According to letters posted on Martin’s nephew’s website, Lucy “is doing the cooking and maintains the household. She, herself, has several small properties which she leases, and so their life is quite comfortable; not working too hard, even making a little money and getting ahead. She pleaded with him(Martin) to give it up(digging for gold) when he came to visit here during Christmas.”
Another letter stated: “Martin’s wife … is tired now of that lonely life (gold-digging) and plans to remain in town for a while. She has a good home here, and even owns a small hotel and many small properties that she leases, and is thus able to make a good living here.”
Lucy died in Skagway in 1946 and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery.;1915 directory,1920 and 1929 census;Skagway death record

Fenton Blakemore Whiting

Dr. Whiting is not to be confused with Superintendent Whiting of White Pass. Dr. Whiting worked for White Pass also, and was assistant to Mike Heney. He had a Saloon also, on the side.
He helped to quell the workers strike in 1898 by hitting White on the head with a shovel (see blog on John Robert White from October 13, 2009) and he helped in the autopsy of Soapy Smith (see blog on Sept 16, 2010 on Dr. Cornelius).
Fenton was born in 1866 in Quincy, Plumas County, California. He attended Stanford University and graduated in 1891. He died on this day, January 16, 1936 in Richmond Beach, Seattle, Washington. A descendent pointed out that the line drawing above is not Dr. Whiting, but his father, also named Fenton Whiting.

In 1933 he wrote: Grit, Grief and Gold: A true narrative of an Alaska Pathfinder. (Peacock Pub. Seattle); 1900 census; familysearch; Plumas County history online.

Father Pascal Tosi

Pascal Tosi was born on April 25, 1837 in Santarcangelo di Romagna, Italy. He was one of the first two Jesuits missionaries to set foot in Alaska. As the first Superior of Jesuits in Alaska (from 1886 to 1897) he is regarded as the founder and organizer of the Church in North-Alaska.

Ordained a (diocesan) priest in 1861, Tosi entered the Jesuits the following year in order to be sent to the ‘American mission’. In 1865 he arrived in the United States to serve on the Rocky Mountain Mission. For two decades he proved to be an able missionary to the Indigenous Peoples of the American Northwest.

When in 1886 Archbishop Charles John Seghers set out for northern Alaska on what was meant to be a reconnaissance expedition, he had with him as travelling companions Pascal Tosi and French Jesuit, Louis Robaut. The two were supposed to stay with the archbishop only on a temporary basis. The Jesuits had no intentions at the time of opening a new field of missionary activity in Alaska. However, the murder of Archbishop Seghers (November 1886) changed the situation, and their thinking on the matter. (see my earlier blog on Bishop Seghers)

Tosi and Robaut spent the winter of 1886-87 in Canada at the confluence of the Yukon and Stewart Rivers. When in early 1887, upon entering Alaska, they learned of the death of Archbishop Seghers, Tosi considered himself to be in charge, at least for the time being, of ecclesiastical affairs in Alaska. The following summer he made a trip to the Pacific Northwest to consult with the Superior of the Rocky Mountain Mission, Joseph M. Cataldo, who formally appointed him Superior of the Alaska Mission and entrusted him with the task of developing that mission.

In 1892, he made a trip to Rome. There Pope Leo XIII, moved by Fr. Tosi’s account of the state of the mission in Alaska, told him in their native Italian, Andate, fate voi da papa in quelle regione! (“Go and make yourself the Pope in those regions!”).

On July 27, 1894, the Holy See separated Alaska from the Diocese of Vancouver Island and made it a Prefecture Apostolic with Tosi as its Apostolic Prefect.

By 1897, Tosi was physically worn out by a tough daily life and strenuous labors in an extreme climate. He was succeeded both as Superior of the Alaska Mission and as Prefect Apostolic in March of that year by French Jesuit Jean-Baptiste René (1841-1916). From St. Michael, on September 13, 1897, Tosi sailed, reluctantly, for he hoped to stay on in northern Alaska, for what turned out to be a brief retirement in Juneau. As the ship left the harbor, a salute of four guns was ordered as a manifestation of the universal esteem in which he was held.

Tosi died in Juneau on this day, January 14, 1898 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery under the false name of Father Tozier.

Wikipedia; LLORENTE, S. Jesuits in Alaska, Portland, 1969;TESTORE, C.Nella terra del sole a mezzanotte. La fondazione delle missione di Alaska. P. Pasquale Tosi S.J., Venice, 1935; ZAVATTI, S., Missionario ed esploratore nell’Alaska: Padre Pasquale Tosi, S.I., Milan, 1950.;

William Gardner Gabie

Happy Birthday to Dr. William Gabie, born on this day, January 12, 1878 in Kazabazua, Ontario, Canada. He attended McGill University in Montreal and graduated in 1907. In 1909 he received his medical certificate from Alaska and by 1915 was the Superintendent of the White Pass Hospital.

He and his wife Luella moved to Washington in 1920 where he applied for a certificate there. Luella was from North Dakota and I found a reference to a Dr. Gabie delivering lots of babies in New Salem, ND in the 1930’s, but not sure about whether it is the same doctor. In any event, he passed away in 1936 in Seattle at the age of 57. Seen above is the old White Pass Hospital.
Happy New Decade!

1910 census, 1915 directory; family website; WW1 Registration; WA death record; medical license at WA records.