Lepha Mae Mary Bennett Edgren

Lepha was the daughter of Captain James Bennett. In October of 1897 she threatened to shoot a man in Skagway who was abusing his dogs.

She married Jesse L. Edgren and moved to Dawson where she had a baby, Mae Eldorado Edgren in December 1898. Unfortunately Lepha died of typhoid January 6, 1899, leaving Jessie with newborn Mae. Jessie took the baby back to Wisconsin to the grandparents. He then died there in Hennepin, Wisconsin in 1915. There is a record in the Fairbanks newspaper that Mae Eldorado Edgren died in 1921 perhaps in Alaska, so it would seem the family suffered another Alaska tragedy.
This photo of Lepha’s funeral procession led by her faithful dog team was probably taken by Larss.

from: Mills p. 14; Larss photo at AK State Library; Andromeda Romano-Lax “Mothers of Gold” 1997.

Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell

Happy Birthday to “Klondike Kate” born on October 4, 1876 in Junction City, Kansas. She came to Skagway about 1899 and worked here and in Bennett before going to Dawson.

When Kate first came to Alaska she was not well known. She was just another actress. What made Kate famous was her flame dance. For this dance she would come on stage wearing an elaborate dress covered in red sequins and an enormous cape. She took off the cape revealing a cane that was attached to more than 200 yards of red chiffon. She began leaping and twirling with the chiffon until she looked like fire dancing around. At the end she would dramatically drop to the floor. The miners loved it. She was a hit and was named “The Flame of the Yukon.”

Klondike Kate traveled all over, doing her dancing routines. She boasted later of wearing $1500 Paris gowns and bracelets of purest gold. It was said she mesmerized the men she entertained.

Many books have been written about her including Klondike Kate The Queen of the Yukon and the Last and Mightiest Frontier Gold Rush by Ellis Lucia.
She died in her sleep in 1957 in Sweet Home Oregon.

Lois Hudson Allen

Happy Birthday to Lois Hudson Allen born September 28, 1878 in Fredonia Kansas and came to Alaska in 1922 (the picture above is the women’s curling club in 1922 in Skagway).
In Colorado she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and to not be a burden on her sons she moved to Alaska. She was an editor in Colorado and so when she moved to Skagway published a newspaper here in 1936-38 called the Skagway Cheechako. She later moved on to Moose Pass Alaska where she died in 1948.

for more on her read: More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Alaska Women
By Cherry Lyon Jones

Margaret Keenan Harrais

Happy Birthday today to Margaret Keenan born in 1872 in Batesville, Ohio.
She came to Alaska about 1902 and was the Principal at the Skagway School from 1914-1916. Skagway had a school from the earliest days until today. One large photo in the visitor center from 1906 shows about 100 children from kindergarten through highschool, which is about the same number as we have today in 2009. She later became Mrs. Harrais and was politically active supporting the statehood of Alaska. She died in Glenallen in 1964. The picture above is from 1901.

From Remarkable Alaskan Women by Jones