Mary Wheeler Bagg Clemenger

Mary Wheeler Bagg was born in October 1857 in Ohio. She and her husband came to Skagway in 1898 from St. Paul Minnesota. Mary was a music teacher.
Her husband Matthew B. Clemenger owned the Arctic Brotherhood Hall, was the President of the Home Power Company, managed the Dewey Hotel and was an assistant Postmaster in 1900.
Their names in the online 1900 census are incorrectly transcribed as Clemens.
She died on this day, October 15, 1902 of heart failure at the age of 45 and was buried in the gold Rush Cemetery. Oddly her headstone says she was 40. Perhaps her husband did not know how old she really was.

1900 census;1902 directory; Skagway Death record

Capt. Charles E. Peabody

Love that snappy beard!

Born in Brooklyn New on December 4, 1857, Charles Peabody was from a famous old family that launched the Black Ball Line in 1818 out of a New York pier. He was a stockbroker on Wall Street, temporarily leaving the family’s profession on the sea.
Through family connections he was appointed special agent for the West Coast, where he managed the U.S. Revenue Cutter service. Leaving for the West at age 25 in 1882, he met a Miss Lilly Macaulay on the train.
Lilly’s father was William J. Macaulay, an early day lumber king on Vancouver island. As Charles pursued Lilly over the next few years, his father-in-law liked the cut of his jib and the two, along with Robert Dunsmuir, formed the Victoria Lumber & Manufacturing Co. at Chemainus, British Columbia.
Peabody became business manager and soon married Lilly on May 27, 1891. They made their home in Port Townsend, where Peabody had become prominent in the coal industry, logging operations and the Merchants Bank. Peabody and Oakes became partners in the Pacific Wharf Company there in 1891 and steered it through the financial shoals of the 1893 panic. On January 21, 1895, the partners, along with others, formed the Alaska Steamship Company. They bought the 140-foot steamer Willapa and placed her on the route to Southeastern Alaska in direct competition with the established Pacific Steamship Company. Back at the end of 1897, Charles E. Peabody reorganized the Alaska Steamship Company and his fleet expanded rapidly as the Klondike gold stampede mounted. In 1898 the stockholders formed the Puget Sound Navigation Company [PSN] as an inland water subsidiary.
Captain Peabody came to Alaska and joined the Arctic Brotherhood here in Skagway in 1900.
He also urged Bracket to build the road. He died on this day, August 12, 1926 of appendicitis in Seattle.;

Patrick Comer and John Stanley

On this day, August 2, 1903 two men went out fishing and never returned. They both drowned when they ran into trouble out in Lynn Canal. Patrick Comer was buried in the Skagway Gold Rush Cemetery but Mr. Stanley or Standley was shipped down to Seattle to be buried.
Stanley was the first Mayor of Skagway and joined the Arctic Brotherhood in 1899, he was 50 years old when he died. Comer was a fisherman and was 45 years old when he died.

Also died on this day was Herman Meyer, famous in this town for his building “Meyer’s Meat Market” which is now under reconstruction by the National Park Service on the corner of 5th and State Streets.
Meyer was a butcher, owned the Arctic Meat Company, and also managed the Arctic Telephone Company. He moved to Valdez in 1903 and died in Alaska on August 2, 1923.

Skagway death records; 1900 census; 1902 directory.

William Howard Case

Famous for the photographs that he and his partner Draper took of the gold rush, Case was born on this day, April 19, 1868 in Marshalltown, Iowa. He came to Skagway in February 1898 and stayed until September 1907.Case and Draper photography studios opened in 1898, in a small tent in Skagway, Alaska. The partners later moved their business to a two-story building on Broadway near 4th Avenue, where they also sold curios, photographic supplies, Alaska Native handicrafts and game specimens. By 1907, the partnership between Case and Draper had been mutually dissolved; Draper kept the Skagway shop while Case opened a new store in Juneau.

Case and Draper were best known for their portraits and photographs of the Tlingit Indians, early Skagway and the Gold Rush of 1898. Their views were reproduced in a variety of Alaskan books, including THE SOAPY SMITH TRAGEDY, and on postcards and White Pass & Yukon Railway souvenir playing cards.

Case was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood, the Masons and later a Shriner. He married Alice J. Lindahl in 1898 in Skagway and had three children here. They all moved to Juneau in 1907 where Mr. Case passed away suddenly in 1920 at the age of 52.

Seen above is a typical staged photo taken in the gallery.

Margaret Elizabeth King

Happy Birthday to Margaret Elizabeth King, born on this day, April 13, 1902 in Skagway. Her mother, May Farrington King and her father, William B. King both worked in the head office of White Pass. William was the chief auditor in 1902. William was also in the Arctic Brotherhood in 1900, City Council in 1903-4, Mayor in 1905, and the President of the Elks. The family stayed in Skagway until 1921.

Pictured above is the White Pass Administration Building that Mr. King worked in. Today it is the administration building for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

San Diego Historical site; censuses.

Henry Belfield LeFevre

Henry was one of the town’s leading men. He came to Skagway from Milwaukee Wisconsin where he was born in 1857. He was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood, a deputy clerk for the court in Skagway from 1908 and a U.S. Commissioner from 1905-1909 and published the Daily Morning Alaskan from 1899-1904. He was also a poet. He died on this day, April 2, 1942 in Juneau and is buried there in the Evergreen Cemetery. In the photo above, of the U.S. Commissioners, of those sitting on the steps, he is the third from the left with moustache and light hat.

1902,1905, and 1909 directories; Skagway Museum Record; Report of Secretary of the Interior 1908.

Wilford Bacon Hoggatt

Governor Hoggatt was born in 1865 in Paoli Indiana. Maybe his parents thought that giving him a name that brings up visions of a pig would make people smile. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1884 and remained in the Navy for 18 years, including service during the Spanish-American War.
Hoggatt was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood and became Governor of Alaska from 1906 to 1909. During his term Hoggatt was responsible for relocating Alaska’s government from Sitka to Juneau, where it has remained ever since. In 1925 he moved to New York City, where he lived in retirement.

He died on this day, November 26, 1938 in the Bronx, New York. I am tempted to say he choked on a ham sandwich, but no, just complications of old age.

Explore North Chief Exec of AK; 1909 AB book; Wikipedia

Captain John Irving

Happy Birthday to John Irving born November 24, 1854 in Portland Oregon. He was an early member of the Arctic Brotherhood in Skagway in 1900 and also a member of the Provincial Government. His navigation business was in the building that is now Richters on Broadway near 2nd.

His wife was Jane Munro daughter of Alexander Munro the Chief Factor of Hudson Bay Company, she probably lived in Victoria. His shipping business was the early main competitor to Capt William Moore on same routes around 1860; in 1882 after Capt Moore lost boats and his Victoria home, Irving hired Moore’s three sons: Billie, Henry and John to be captain, mate & purser on Western Slope sternwheeler.

His boat the “Willie Irving” was said to be the first boat through the Whitehorse Rapids under her own steam. It was built on Lake Bennett 1900, by Alex Watson.

The Captain was also a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. In his later years Captain Irving lived in a small converted store on West Pender Street in Vancouver. With his tall spruce figure and his white goatee beard he was a very handsome gentleman. His favorite remark when meeting an old friend on the street was “How about a smile?” He died in 1936, poor in everything but friends.

Judge Wilcoxen and Judge Wickersham

Judge Isaac Newton Wilcoxen and Judge James Wickersham, both judges in Skagway in the early years, both died on this day.
Judge Wilcoxen died at the age of 73 on October 23, 1910 in Seattle and since he was a Civil War vet is buried in the GAR cemetery there.
I.N. Wilcoxen was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood in 1900, a Judge in 1902, and member of the school board. He was also a lawyer and notary public in 1901.

Judge Wickersham died in 1939 in Juneau. He was elected as Alaska’s first delegate to Congress, serving until 1917 and then being re-elected in 1930. He was instrumental in the passage of the Organic Act of 1912, which granted Alaska territorial status, introduced the Alaska Railroad Bill, legislation to establish McKinley Park, and the first Alaska Statehood Bill in 1916. Wickersham made the first climbing attempt on Mount McKinley in 1903. In 1927 he wrote: A Bibliography of Alaska Literature 1724-1924 published by the University of Alaska press. In 1938 he wrote Old Yukon: Tales & Trails and Trials.
In Fairbanks, Judge Wickersham’s house is open to the public and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The picture above is of he and his wife Debbie in 1915 on the porch of that house.

Prosper Henry Ganty

Happy birthday to Mr. Ganty born in England in 1875 and came to Skagway in 1901.

In the early years Mr Ganty was a prosperous businessman, he was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood, a Councilman in 1912, and Mayor in 1913.

He was a grocer for White Pass and then a bookkeeper for Ross Higgins in 1905. His Grocery store was known as Ganty and Frandson.

He registered for the draft in WW 1. He signed a letter in 1915 to the Governor of Alaska along with other city leaders, asking for a road to be built to Skagway. Unfortunately the road would not be completed for another 67 years.

His son “Pross” born here in 1906 graduated from the University of Washington and was still living in Skagway in 1929 with his mother Jennie. The building pictured above was the original Boss Bakery where he had his grocery store. It is now owned by the National Park Service and rented to a local business.