Constable Christiansen of the Northwest Mounted Police worked at Tagish in 1898 where he and Special Constable Loucks and Corporal Spreadbury took off on a little adventure on December 4th 1898. They left Tagish for Bennett to deliver the mail and pickup supplies for the division mess:
“After an arduous four-day trip, Spreadbury and Christiansen collapsed on the lake ice within sight of the lights of Bennett. Loucks pushed on to get help for his exhausted comrades. Fortunately, they soon revived under the medical care of police surgeon, Dr. Louis Pare.”
Christiansen later worked at the Customs Station at White Pass Summit in 1902.
Report of the RCMP 1898 and 1902; Helene Dobrowolsky “Law of the Yukon”;
There was an ad for Dr. Boetzkes in a Skagway Newspaper in 1898 so we know he was here. The funny thing is that a few months earlier, on June 20, 1897, he had taken a rifle and tried to kill his wife, Helen, and his 4 kids(Clara, Anna, Harry, Walter) in the delightful community of Bensonhurst-by-the-sea.
This was reported by the New York Times on June 21,1897: “TRIED TO SHOOT HIS WIFE; Dr. Boetzkes of Bensonhurst, Seized by Strange Frenzy, Aims a Rifle at His Family. RESISTS POLICE WITH PISTOLS Mrs. Boetzkes in Her Night Clothes Ran to the Station House for Help — The Doctor Was Arrested and Paroled for Examination.”
If you read the entire article online, it seems that he was sick with a cold and had been taking stimulants [???!!!] anyway, his lawyer, one Felix McCloskey (hopefully no relation) said he was ill and not responsible for his actions.
On July 10, 1897 he failed to show for trial and so his friends forfeited the $500 bail but apparently were happy to see him go. In 1898 he was also being sued for negligence. So, he went to Seattle where he got into a fight with Mayor Woods “his pugnacious spirit had effervesced” and so, then he set out for the Klondike.
Skagway would be like a great place for a gun-happy, incompetent doctor, I wonder where he went from here? Perhaps he got together with his wife in Washington, the Washington records show a Dr. Boetzkes dying in 1902 but the age is wrong. The 1910 census in Seattle definitely shows Helen his wife as a widow, and in 1926 she dies at the age of 73, also in Seattle.
Ny times articles of June 21 and August 26, 1897. Report of Cases Vol 26, New York Supreme Court. Washington census and death records.
Louis Alphonse Pare was one of the doctors assigned to treat the members of the NWMP in the Yukon. He was born in Lachine, Quebec in 1848 and was appointed assistant surgeon for the NWMP in 1887. In November 1898 he was sent to Tagish Post where he arrived on December 20, 1898. The post had been without a doctor for a year. Several men were laid up with or recovering from typhoid. Some were sent to Bennett or Skagway to be sent to Victoria.
During his first year at Tagish, he treated 274 cases ranging from typhoid to scurvy and frozen-amputated limbs. Dr. Pare stayed on in the Yukon until his retirement in 1911, being promoted to full surgeon in 1904.
Seen above in Whitehorse in the first electric car. Hmmm, way ahead of his time!
Dobrowolsky, Law of the Yukon; Quebec Heritage News Vol 3:1,2 2004-5 online; 1911 Whitehorse c; online civil servants
During this time in 1898 there were many deaths due to meningitis. Here is a Barley photograph of the interior of the White Pass Hospital tent. The beds are made of sticks and the supplies look rather bare. Dr Fenton Whiting, Dr. Isaac Moore, Dr. John Hornsby were all WP physicians at that time.
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.