Harry Phillips came to Skagway in 1898 and opened the Peerless Saloon on 4th Avenue mid block, south side, between Broadway and State which is now a small residence off of the alley. The Peerless only was in business for about a year and then Harry moved to Dawson and opened the Office Bar and Saloon with his wife Annie. By 1901 he was 34 and she was 27 but they had no kids. Perhaps he met her in Skagway or Dawson. After that, I can find no trace of them, perhaps they moved back down south (they were both born in the U.S.) In the photo above he would be the proud owner, but which one is he? any guesses?
1901 Dawson census; Catherine Spude, The Mascot Saloon, NPS; Alaska Digital Archives;
Born on this day, March 8, 1839 in Benton County Tennessee, Joseph grew up in a large farming family in Tennessee and Missouri. The family crossed the country in an ox-driven covered wagon in 1853 on the Oregon Trail and they settled in Pendleton, Oregon. His brothers all had ranches and became involved in politics.
He joined the gold rush in January, 1898, going first to Skagway, after which he engaged in business at Lake Bennett, British Columbia, for two years. He sold out there with the intention of moving his stock to Dawson and proceeded down the Yukon river, taking his goods with him on flatboats. While en route he lost about two thousand dollars through the sinking of a boat in a storm, for, although he succeeded in raising the boat, the stock was almost worthless. In Dawson he again embarked in general merchandising but after eighteen months closed out his store there and returned to Eugene, making the trip down the Yukon river to St. Michael and thence to Nome.
His brother William stayed in Skagway a little longer establishing the Idaho Saloon, the Midway Saloon, and was president of the Skagway Brewing Co. Saloon but he also left for the Yukon in 1899 and later returned to Pendleton, Oregon.
Joseph died in 1921 in Lane County, Oregon at the age of 82 surrounded by his 12 children. William also died there in 1914.
Seen above is the corner of 3rd and Broadway, the building on the corner, across the street from the Golden North and next to the Sweet Tooth Cafe is the building which once housed the Idaho Saloon.
Gaston, Joseph. “The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912.” Vol. 4. Chicago, Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 355; Oregon death index.
Happy Birthday to John Cassius Hoff born on this day, March 5, 1875 on the family farm in Dallas County, Iowa. He was one of 8 children and in 1897 he and his older brother, Oscar or “Shorty” decided to come up to Alaska for the gold rush. They apparently traveled with Jack London for 6 months and they operated a freight and transportation company bringing fresh fruit, eggs and other staples up to the gold country from the coast, rather than mining. He returned in 1898 to Des Moines, IA with $2,000 in gold and some great stories. His older brother, “Shorty” remained in Skagway long enough to start the “Hoff & Gem Saloon” and then left for Canada in 1898. John returned to Iowa, ran the family farm and died there in 1960.
I don’t know if the Hoff & Gem ever produced tokens (they were a lot easier than measuring gold dust for drinks) but here is one example of a Skagway token, for the Idaho Saloon.
John Scott Hoff family information on genealogy.com
Smith p. 461 of “Alias Soapy Smith”
John Weise emigrated to St Paul Minnesota from Brightling, Sussex England where he was born on September 29, 1872. At the time he emigrated his name was Jesse Funnell. When he moved to Skagway in 1898 he changed his name to John Weise. He may have gone to Atlin to mine but later worked in Skagway as a bartender for the Board of Trade Saloon.
He also worked as a section foreman for White Pass. He married Theresa, a cook for White Pass and they lived in Skagway when their son, John was born in 1915. In 1916-17 they moved to Whitehorse when Prohibition closed the bars in Skagway.
John’s grandson, also John Weise, forwarded the photo above which he believes is his grandfather – a dapper fellow! I will post some more of his photos in upcoming blogs – some great ones of Engine 67, Engine 61 and some workers on White Pass using work carts/Casey cars which I have never seen before.
John Weiss; 1920 census.