Marion D. K. Weimer

Mr. Weimer was born in August 1853 in Ohio. He married Ella J. Tribby in 1879 in Trenton, Iowa and had a son named Howard L.

M.D. K. as he preferred to be called, and Ella were both teachers. In 1897 with so many other goldrushers, M.D.K. came to Alaska and settled in Eagle where he was the editor of the Eagle Reporter in 1898. He returned to Ohio by 1900 and then the family moved to Nebraska and then on to Los Angeles. Their son worked as a linotype printer in Alhambra and married there.

In 1903 he wrote a book called “The True Story of the Alaska Gold Fields” which can be found online for sale.  He died on February 2, 1931 in Los Angeles.

In May 2009 ice and floodwaters swept away more than 100 years of history with the destruction of Eagle Village. The small log cabins that had once populated the long-established community known as Ninak’ay to the Han people lay strewn along the banks of the Yukon River. The homes, which had been handed down from one generation to the next, were demolished. But now, three years later, a new village stands three miles away on higher ground, safe from floods. Seen above was one of the destroyed cabins from the gold rush.

familysearch; Yukon the Last Frontier by Melody Webb p. 137; 1900-1940 censuses; Rootsweb database of Iowa cemeteries; Alaska Gold Rush History of Alaska Newspapers; Fairbanks Daily News.

Cy Warman

Besides Robert Service and Jack London, there were other writers about the Gold Rush.
Cy Warman was born in 1855 in Illinois. He grew up on a homestead given to his father by the U.S. government for gallant service in the Mexican War. He had a meagre education, and got his first job, at the age of five, as water boy for a railroad construction crew. When he was older he thought about being a wheat buyer, but lost all but 50 cents when the market crashed on his $1,000 investment. He failed at several other business, and went to Colorado in 1880, first helping to plant an orchard in Canon City, then moving on to work a 12-hour night shift in a smelter and reduction plant.

Colorado was in the midst of a railroad binge, and Warman was attracted to it. He decided to be a locomotive engineer. The Denver & Rio Grande hired him as a general labourer. His second day on the job, doing a particularly hot and dirty task, he impressed the foreman who recommended that he be promoted to fireman. Three years later he was an engineer on what he called “The Perpendicular Run” from Salida to Leadville. One run was enough. But his experiences during this period gave him a future livelihood recounting the noises, smells, humour and romance of railroading. He began developing his flowing writing style. The railroad poems, read to fellow railroaders, had the cadence of locomotive wheels clicking on the rails. Never particularly strong physically, Warman had to give up the railroad work in body, but never in mind or spirit.

He began writing verses and short stories about railroad life. Railroad friends backed him in publishing a magazine called The Frog in Denver but it failed financially. In 1888 he became editor of the Western Railway Magazine, a semi-monthly; it also failed. The Rocky Mountain News hired him to cover railroads, crimes and politics, but he wanted to edit his own paper, and Creede beckoned. It is said he was a friend of Soapy.
He moved to Ontario Canada in 1892 where he became well connected in Liberal party circles, and was regarded particularly highly by Frank Oliver who became the Minister of the Interior in 1905.
On April 11, 1914, in Chicago, Cy Warman died of paralysis[?]. Shortly before his death he wrote “Will The Lights Be White”:


Oft, when I feel my engine swerve,
As o’er strange rails we fare,
I strain my eyes around the curve
For what awaits us there.
When swift and free she carries me
Through yards unknown at night,
I look along the line to see
That all the lamps are white

The blue light marks the crippled car,
The green light signals slow;
The red light is a danger light,
The white light, “Let her go.”
Again the open fields we roam,
And, when the night is fair,
I look up in the starry dome
And wonder what’s up there.

For who can speak for those who dwell
Behind the curving sky?
No man has ever lived to tell
Just what it means to die.
Swift toward life’s terminal I trend,
The run seems short to-night;
God only knows what’s at the end —
I hope the lamps are white.

He wrote The Last Spike and other RR stories in 1906, and “1899 Building a Railroad into the Klondike” published in 1906 by Charles Scribner’s sons; McClure’s 14:March

Roy Minter

“Once you have breathed its early morning air after a light rain… Once you have listened to the silent hiss of the slowly flowing Yukon River… Once you have basked in a Yukon sun-tinged midnight dawn… And once you have seen the ice come in and the ice go out, you are beguiled and enchanted and you are never quite the same again.”

These words by Roy Minter to the Vancouver Yukoners annual dinner capture the spirit of Roy’s life long love of the Yukon.
Roy Minter was born in England in 1917, but came to Canada as a child. He later served as an officer in the Canadian Army.
In 1955, he began his long association with the Yukon while serving in the Whitehorse headquarters of the Northwest Highway System.
He later worked for White Pass & Yukon Route as marketing director. The picture above pictures him in the center – third from the right. This was a publicity shot to promote the Yukon. He started the Dawson Music Festival, the Klondike Defense Fund, and the Yukon Foundation to help researchers and historians.
He produced internationally acclaimed films, TV and radio programs, but the most memorable to me is his book “The White Pass: Gateway to the Klondike” which he worked on for twenty years. Anyone interested in the history of Skagway should definately read this book. It is much more factual that Pierre Berton’s somewhat romantic “Klondike Fever”.
A recipient of the Order of Canada, Roy Minter died on this day, February 8, 1996.

Hougen website.

Edwin Tappan Adney

Tappan Adney was born in 1868 in Athens, Ohio. He came to Skagway in 1897 as a correspondent, photographer and did sketches for Harpers Weekly. He used a 5X7 long-lens Premo camera.
He was one of the first photojournalists to pass safely through British Columbia. As a writer for Harper’s Weekly, he was sent with his camera to the Yukon from 1897 to 1898. His classic illustrated book concerns his experiences in the Yukon, of which numerous editions have been printed. He returned to Alaska to briefly report on the Nome Gold Rush in 1900.

He retired first to Montreal, then to New Brunswick, the place where his wife was born.
His famous book, the “Klondike Stampede” was published in 1899, by Harpers. It was dedicated to “The Noble Hardy Pioneers of the Yukon, this little account of some trouble they have caused”.

He died on October 10, 1950 in Woodstock, New Brunswick at the age of 82.

Klondike Stampede online; Wikipedia, Yukon-news.

Elmer John White

“Stroller” White was perhaps the most famous of the reporters that Skagway has had. He was here in the goldrush and was called the “Mark Twain of the North”.

He was born in 1859 in Cambridge Ohio and died in Juneau on October 3, 1930. Mr. DeArmond wrote a book about Stroller some years ago called “Klondike Newsman: Stroller White”.