On this day, April 10, 1898 two men in Dyea died of tuberculosis. John McCafferty was from Montgomery County, Missouri and was described by his friend, William Thomas Painter in a letter: “John McCaferty was a big strong man. Went to Alaska in the Gold Rush 1898, most likely died on the Chillcoot Pass (where many failed to get over the terriable mountain) never heard from.”
The other man who died, Thomas E. See was also from Montgomery County Missouri and they traveled together from Missouri. From Mr. See’s obiturary: “…It seems that they died of an influenza peculiar to that climate. Mr. See was a brother to R. E. See, Marshal of the Missouri Supreme Court.” Everett Barton was a County Clerk and he traveled with both See and McCafferty. Seen above is the photo of that party. (Mr. See was 32 years old, McCafferty was 37. So See is probably the fellow on the lower left.)
Here is part of Barton’s journal:
“Our party, four in number, Lee Gregory, Thomas See, Frank White and myself left Montgomery City, August 9th, 1897, to embark on a journey of thousands of miles fraught with many hardships and dangers, passing through and making changes at Kansas City, Mo., Billings, Montana, on to Seattle, Washington, where we purchased our outfit and boarded the steamer City of Kingston, which plied the waters known as the Inside Channel extending north.”
Barton later mentioned McCafferty being part of the party:
“The toll from our county alone, being Thomas See, John McCafferty, Charlie Nebal, Mr. Frank Purcell who met his death at Seattle, also a Mr. Watson who died soon after reaching his home in Callaway county. As one Writer has said in writing of the many deaths in the early gold mining in Colorado. “Many with folded arms and rigid faces were consigned by strangers to hill-side graves with no child’s voice to prattle its simple sorrow, no woman’s tears to be-dew their memory”. Charlie Nebal or Nebel was 24 and died on the Chilkoot Pass also, but there is no record of his burial.
The Dyea Trail said that both See and McCafferty were buried in the Dyea Cemetery.
Dyea Trail: March 12, 1898: website: http://www.spiddyskids.com/
Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma, 23 March 1898