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



2 Replies to “Jerry Quinlan – First White Pass Conductor”

  1. I have evidence that John Quinlan, son of Jeremiah Quinlan is my real Grandfather. John lived in the greater Seattle around High School days. He married my Grandmother Helen Boyd. They owned a towing company and eventually divorced. John life after that became sketchy but he seemed to mostly be on Cargo ships. He died on ship in the port in Seattle and was buried in Seattle. I have some pictures and know he enrolled in service during WWI listing that he was adopted and born in Port Townsend. Helen, his wife, had parents both born in Sweden and met in Seattle. She had 2 sisters and 1 brother. Together John and Helen had a boy named Daniel who died early from polio. Their daughter Mary, was my mother who had 7 children, all boys. All the boys had 3 or more children and now they have children. The family is very large and continues to grow. I have a LOT of details because the Ryan boys were in the middle of it all.This is a brief of the continuation of the Quinlan family. My wife and I are tryng to go back and discover our roots as well. I hope this brief begins to solve the mystery of where John Quinlan went. ~ D. Ryan; Arizona

    1. Hello I am so overjoyed to have come across this page, but wish I had found it sooner. I am a Seattle Historian currently writing about John Quinlan and his towing company for my blog. I have a lot of information about him, his life, and his business and it seems like you know some things I don’t. So I would love to trade notes with you at some point. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you!

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