Anchorage Parks and Recreation

​Honored Alaskans

​The following are but a few of the many Pioneer Alaskans who reside forever in this their last and final resting-place. Unfortunately, time and space will not permit the naming of all of those adventurous men and women who did the "trail blazing" to settle and build Alaska and Anchorage.


Toivo A. Aho, 1918-1949  Tract 14, Row 6, Lot 26.  One of the first locally born and raised "bush pilots" in Anchorage. He was well known for his many rescue missions saving the lives of the flying public and fellow pilots. A native son of Anchorage, his entire career was dedicated to developing flying in the area. He always had time, however, to take on another rescue mission. 

 Oscar F. Anderson, 1883-1974 Pioneers Tract 11, Row 9, Lot 10.  Arrived in Anchorage in 1915, and first founded the Ship Creek Meat Company, the first wholesale/retail service of its kind in Anchorage. He was a real estate developer and one of the four founders of the Evan Jones Coal Company. He was known as the man who supplied the two things Anchorage needed most, "fuel and food". One of 18 men who lived in the first tent pitched on the beach of Cook Inlet, he carried lumber from the beach to his home site at 4th Avenue and M Street. His original home was restored and now sits at a site adjacent to the original Elderberry Park.                                                               

John Bagoy, 1869-1940  Catholic Tract, Row 19, Lot 4.  First arrived in Alaska in 1897 via the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1906 he left Alaska and found and married his wife Marie. He later stampeded to Fairbanks in 1908, Iditarod in 1910, and Otter Creek (near Flat) in 1913. Together with Marie, they established the first commercial nursery and greenhouse in Alaska near Flat in 1915 and in Anchorage in 1921.

Marie A. Bagoy, 1886-1982  Catholic Tract, Row 19, Lot 3.  Arrived in Fairbanks with her husband John in 1908, and together they pursued their destiny in Iditarod, Flat and Anchorage. Along with John, they established the first commercial Florist Shop in Anchorage in 1921, along with a greenhouse and nursery business. 

William A. "Lucky" Baldwin, 1863-1942  Pioneers Tract 10, Row 14, Lot 3.  Arrived in Anchorage in the late twenties from Whitehorse YT, where he served for many years with the R.C.M.P. A colorful character who was crippled by polio, he ran about Anchorage in an electric three-wheel cart. He established the first self-service "cash" grocery store in Anchorage, and constantly worked to reduce the cost of food in the City. His motto: "In God we trust, all others pay cash" saved the local residents many grocery dollars. He was brash, irascible and sarcastic, however his customers loved it. He kept his tombstone,"Here Lies Lucky and Always Will Lie",  beneath his bed for many years prior to his demise. 

John Beaton 1875-1945  Catholic Tract, Row 19, Lot 15.   Arrived in Alaska in 1900, prospecting in the Fairbanks area and along the Kuskokwim River. He made the first gold discovery on Otter Creek in Flat on Christmas Day in 1908. This resulted in the Iditarod stampede, which became one of the greatest mining camps in Alaska history. John Beaton and his longtime friend and partner, Art Shonbeck were killed simultaneously in an automobile accident on Gaines Creek in June 1945. 
Tomas S. Bevers, 1889-1944  Masonic Tract 9.  Arrived in Anchorage in 1921 and immediately became interested in the development of the community. He served as Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department and held that post for 20 years. As a real estate developer, he was instrumental in developing what is now known as Fairview Subdivision in Anchorage. He served on the City Council for six years and was the driving force in the development of Merrill Field, our first municipal airport. 

Benjamin "Ben" W. Boeke, 1900-1972  Elks Tract 2, Row 11, Lot 4.   A latter day pioneer who arrived in Anchorage in 1947, he was appointed City Clerk and served in that capacity until 1967. He served under eleven Mayors and eight City Managers, making his mark as the most dedicated City Employee. Honored by several Mayors as one of the stalwarts of city government, Ben Boeke Ice Arena is named in his honor. 

Ulysses G. Crocker, 1864-1937  Tract 3, Row 9 Lot 29.  Arrived in Alaska via the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. Later established himself as a bakery owner in Nome, Valdez and Cordova. An entrepreneur of some note, he established a furniture store in Anchorage, which later evolved into Crockers Department Store. This was the first independent store of its kind in Anchorage. He was totally dedicated to the development and promotion of Anchorage as a trade center. Prominent in the Chamber of Commerce and extremely interested and active in civic affairs, he helped make Anchorage the trade center of the Territory.   

Lucy H. Cuddy,1889-1982  Masonic Tract 9, Row 2, Lot 15. The "Grand Lady" of Anchorage, arrived in Valdez in 1916 to be Principal of Schools. She married Warren Cuddy and moved to Anchorage with her family in 1933. She was loved by all who knew her, and her life was dedicated to community service. When her husband passed away she took over his works as Chief Executive Officer of the First National Bank. Her dedication to community effort and education led her to an appointment to the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska. In 1972 the College Campus Center was named in her honor, and in 1980 she was honored for a quarter century of work on the United Fund Campaigns. 
Warren N. Cuddy, 1886-1951  Masonic Tract 9, Row 2, Lot 14.  Lawyer, banker, businessman and confident of hundreds, he arrived in Valdez in 1914 and worked as a grocery clerk until he established his law practice. Moving to Anchorage with his family in 1933, he established his law practice and became president of the First National Bank. He demonstrated the opportunities of Alaska in his rise to prominence and success and was one of the men who were instrumental in the building of Anchorage. Always promoting the best interests of his City and its people, he guided the sound development of his State and Community.   

Leopold David, 1878-1924  Masonic Tract 9, Row 5, Lot 13.  Arrived in Alaska in 1904, and was first employed by the Alaska Central Railroad in Seward. He later took up the law partnership with L.V. Ray of Seward. Judge David as he was known, was elected first Mayor of Anchorage in 1921 and was reelected in 1922. Known and respected by all, he was the first honorary member of the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo #15. Anchorage got its start from his diligent and faithful service to the community. He was asked many times to run for Territorial office, but declined on all occasions, preferring to serve the local community instead. 

James J. Delaney Sr., 1896-1970  Catholic Tract, Row 32, Lot 32.   Arrived in Anchorage in 1911, with the Anchorage Engineering Commission, predecessor of the Alaska Railroad. He retired from the Railroad as the employee with the greatest seniority. Serving as Mayor from 1929 to 1932, he devoted a great deal of time and effort to the development of recreational parks and playgrounds. The Delaney Park Strip on 9th Avenue is named in his honor. 
Anthony J. Dimond, 1881-1953   Catholic Tract, Row 20, Lot 2.   "Judge Tony Dimond', as he was affectionately known throughout Alaska, arrived in 1904, following the gold trails out of Valdez until 1913 when he began practicing law. His public career encompassed the offices of U.S. Commissioner, U.S. Attorney, Territorial Senator, Mayor of Valdez, and Federal Judge until his appointment as Alaska's Delegate to Congress. He gave unselfishly of his time to the cause of Statehood and the building of a better Alaska. Tony Dimond knew Alaska as well as any man living and was part of the driving force giving life to Alaska. He bridged the gap between Pioneer and modern Alaskan as a prospector, miner, lawyer, statesman and judge. The tributes of naming Dimond High School and Dimond Boulevard in his honor are evidence of his popularity. 
Frank Dorbandt,1890-1935 Tract 6, Row, Lot 10.  One of the best known of Alaska's aviators, a man of daring and enterprise was an important factor in introducing aviation to Alaska in its early years. He made many long and daring rescue missions, saving the lives of fellow pilots and medical emergency patients, all without recompense. He brought the first tri-motored aircraft to Alaska, the famed Ford Tin-Goose. A daring mission made by him was the nationally recognized Jochinson rescue in Siberia. 

Chief Ezi,  1865 -1935  Tract 8, Row 9, Lot 15.  The once powerful chief of the Eklutnas, (Tanaina Indians) he was a highly regarded and respected leader of his people. He was honored among his many White friends as being a man of his word and his dedication to the unity of all people. A chieftain who held kind and gentle sway over his people, and whose leadership was unquestioned. He strived to bring both races together in mutual understanding.  

Oscar S. Gill, 1880-1947 Elks Tract 2, Row 17, Lot 5.  First arrived in Seward in 1907, and later into Iditarod and then Susitna Station. In 1923 he moved to Anchorage and opened a garage at 4th Avenue and I Street. His keen sense of public duty led him to two terms in the Territorial Legislature, serving as Speaker of the House. He served three terms as City Councilman of Anchorage, and Mayor in 1929, 1931, 1934 and 1935. He had a long career as an Anchorage businessman, dedicating himself to the betterment and the development of the community and the Territory. 
J. Lindley Green, 1858-1941 Pioneers Tract 10, Row 16, Lot 3.  Judge Green, as he was known to all of his many friends, arrived in Alaska in 1898. He first practiced law in Fairbanks and Seward, where he became Assistant District Attorney of the 3rd Division. In 1924, he was appointed Registrar of the Anchorage Land Office, where his good judgement and expertise in land matters were an asset to the growing community. Well known for his many accomplishments in the legal profession. His many stories entertained local residents. His prowess as a storyteller brought him recognition as a "posthumous character" in a book of sketches of Pioneer characters published by Dr. J. H. Romig. 
A. Frank Hoffman, 1871-1937  Elks Tract 2, Row 12, Lot 24.  Arrived in Alaska via the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. He served as a law officer for thirty-six years, and was the personal bodyguard for President Harding when he visited Alaska in 1923. He was a prospector and miner, however, his lifetime was spent preserving the peace. From Police Chief in Valdez to U.S. Marshal in Anchorage and Chisana, his reputation for fairness was known far and wide. He attained universal respect from all those he came in contact with. The high esteem with which people held him was evidenced by the fact that year after year, with changing administrations, he was retained as the U.S. Marshal, reputedly the finest Alaska has ever seen. 
Norma Jordet Hoyt, 1901-1989  Pioneers Tract 11, Row 13, Lot 7.  Long time Alaskan and collector of Alaska history and Alaskana, arrived in Fairbanks in 1931 as a teacher. She had a great interest in McKinley Park, and traveled extensively throughout Alaska and the world collecting books on Alaska History and artifacts as well. It was her firm belief that Alaska History should be preserved and kept in Alaska. Her prime interest was in books, and she donated over 2000 volumes on Alaska to the Loussac Library. She was an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the original members of the Fine Arts Commission. 

 Algernon "Al" S. Jones, 1900-1947, Elks Tract 2 , Row 15, Lot 13.   Arrived in Anchorage in 1923. A typical Alaskan entrepreneur, he operated fish canneries, grocery stores, logging operations, hunting lodges and other diverse businesses. He was successful in all he attempted, however, his first and last love was flying. As one of Alaska's early bush pilots, he pioneered interior flying in both the passenger and freight business. 

Evan Jones, 1880-1950 Tract 14, Row 11, Lot 23.  Arrived in Alaska in 1915 and was associated with the coal mining industry until his death. He developed coal mining in the Matanuska Valley, Homer and was one of the four founders of the Evan Jones Coal Company in 1925; in its time the largest coal development in the Territory.   

Harry Y. Kimura, 1880-1957 Tract 13, Row 13, Lot 12.  Arrived in Alaska in 1918, and established himself in Anchorage. From humble beginnings he established the H & K Laundry on 5th Avenue and C Street, and later established the first oriental restaurant in Anchorage. Well known for his service and for his dedication to his customers, his efforts led to the establishment of the Snow White Laundry and the Nikko Gardens Café, both being recognized as the largest and finest in Alaska. 
Isaac Koslosky, 1872-1940  Tract 14, Row 4, Lot 29.  First arrived in Alaska via the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. He became the most prominent fur buyer and trader in the Territory in his day. His expertise in the business brought fur buyers from all over the United States to purchase furs; making Anchorage the fur trading hub of Alaska. 
Sydney M. Laurence, 1865-1940  Pioneers Tract 10, Row 16, Lot 6.  An internationally famed artist, it is not known exactly when he arrived in the Territory but it was sometime before 1915. He painted Mt. McKinley in its every mood, and the various scenes of McKinley command the highest prices of any Alaskan artist. His paintings of seascapes as well as McKinley hang in the National Art Gallery.  King Edward the VII twice offered him a title and twice he declined.  His profession took him to almost every country in the world, but his greatest love was Alaska and his mountains. 
Herbert H. McCutcheon, 1876-1945  Elks Tract 2, Row 15, Lot 23.  Arrived in Alaska in 1899, and eventually to Anchorage in 1915. He was one of the most colorful and well-liked residents of the Territory. He was the first Democrat elected to the Republican House in the 1931 Legislature. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member in point of service, having served 14 . years in the House and Senate. He was a contractor during the construction of the Alaska Railroad, and built sections between Whitney and Birchwood. He was one of the first members of the Elks lodge in 1919, and served as exalted ruler in 1920, as well as president of the Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo #15 in 1944 - 45. He crowned his political career by being Speaker of the House in 1941. His guidance and political know-how served the citizens of Alaska well during his tenure in the Territorial Legislature.  
Robert C. Reeve, 1902-1980 Pioneers Tract 11, Row 11, Lot 5.  Pioneer bush pilot and founder of Reeve Aleutian Airways, arrived in Valdez in 1932 after pioneering air routes in South America. He was well known for making daring mail runs through the Andes. In Alaska he earned the name "Glacier Pilot" from carrying men and supplies to remote mines and using glaciers as his landing field. After WW II, he pioneered the first direct commercial route between Seattle and Anchorage. Showered with many honors by the community and the State, the book Glacier Pilot depicts his history and the naming of Reeve Boulevard in his honor speaks for itself. 
Victor C. Rivers, 1905-1959 Tract 11, Row 8, Lot 27.   First came to Alaska with his parents in 1906. Educated and raised in Fairbanks he became a Civil Engineer and entered political life early in his career. His public life was replete with high points that have fixed his name permanently in the history of Alaska. As a politician and engineer he helped build the Territory and developed its industrial beginnings. He served in the Legislature for 15 years in both the House and Senate, and was known as the father of the Alaska Tax Law. He was the first lawmaker to do something concrete about providing authority for outlying and unorganized communities to finance their improvements. As a private citizen, a longtime member of the Senate and delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention, he contributed immensely to the progressive development of Alaska.
Dr. Joseph H. Romig, 1872-1951, Masonic Tract 9, Row 8, Lot 17 Pioneer medical missionary arrived in Bethel, Alaska in 1894 as a Moravian Missionary. He had an adventurous career in medicine that spanned thousands of miles of dog team travel to minister to the sick and ailing in Northern Alaska. His dedication brought him close to death many times while traveling with his team. He moved to Anchorage to become Chief of the Alaska Railroad Hospital in the early twenties. His life and story are written in the book Dog Team Doctor. His dedication to people was proven by turning a deaf ear to the urgings from friends to "cut himself in" for a slice of the golden treasure during the gold strikes. His dedication to youth and education resulted in Romig Junior High School being named in his honor.
Arthur A. Shonbeck, 1878-1945, Elks Tract 2, Row 14, Lot 33. Arrived in Nome in 1900; he prospected and mined in the Nome, Fairbanks and Iditarod areas for several years prior to moving to Anchorage in 1915. He figured prominently in the establishment of the City of Anchorage, as a businessman and politician. He was prominent in the Democratic Party as a National Chairman. He was a longstanding member of the City Council and various organizations including the Chamber of Commerce. He was instrumental in the development and a prominent factor in the movement to colonize the Matanuska Valley.
Marie N. Silverman, 1878-1967, Masonic Tract 9, Row 14, Lot 18.  Arrived in Anchorage in 1912, and with her husband established themselves with the newspaper of the day, and later with the Anchorage Times. Both were extremely active with the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star, and with these organizations, she was one of the driving forces behind many worthwhile community projects and assistance programs.
Dave Strandberg, 1875-1949, Pioneers Tract 11, Row 3, Lot 15.   Arrived in Alaska via the Klondike Gold Rush in 1895. He prospected and mined in the gold fields of Fairbanks, Folger and Iditarod. His family was known for being one of the oldest gold mining families of Alaska. He strove for excellence in gold mining and reclamation of the land, and was known in his day as one of the largest operations in Alaska.

John J. Sturgus, 1861-1921, Elks Tract 2, Row 2, Lot 20.  Chief Sturgus began as Chief of Police of Anchorage’s one-man police department on January 1, 1921. He was shot and killed just six weeks later with his own gun on February 20, 1921 and his murderer was never apprehended. John “Jack” Sturgus was born December 24, 1861 in Mansfield, Ohio.  He was a peace officer in Montana and Everett, Washington before coming to Alaska in 1913, when he joined the stampede to the Shushanna place strike. He relocated to Anchorage in 1916 and was employed as special U.S. Deputy until his appointment as Anchorage’s first chief of police.

Charles Watson, 1867-1940, Elks Tract 2, Row 13, Lot 14.  He arrived in Anchorage in 1915 after stampeding to the Klondike in 1897. Prospector, miner, stage driver and owner, he established the first passenger and freight  stage line on the Dawson Whitehorse trail, and later between Valdez and Fairbanks. He owned and operated freight and stage lines until the early thirties, when he retired to become a U.S. Deputy Marshal under Frank Hoffman. During this same time, he was the assistant to the Anchorage Chief of Police for a monthly pay of $50.  Charley was known to all as an authority on drayage and freighting in Alaska, and his knowledge of such served the community well in the developing years.
Lillian G. Watson, 1883-1967, Pioneers Tract 11, Row 7, Lot 20.  Arrived in Alaska in 1907, landing in Fairbanks and later Iditarod, where she became one of the first telephone operators in Alaska. She was employed by the CAA for many years and retired from government service in 1955. Well known throughout Alaska as a Civil employee, and her dedication to public service, she was known and honored by all who knew her. She and her husband, Harry, dedicated their life long collections to the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo #15, and a monument to their devotion presently stands in the Pioneer tract in the Cemetery.
Harry G. Watson, 1884-1964, Pioneers Tract 11, Row 7, Lot 21.   Arrived in Alaska in 1915 with the Steamship lines operating between Seattle and Nome. He spent later years on the riverboats of the Yukon with the Alaska Railroad and the Government. Elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1924, he served one year and was appointed Secretary to the Governor, George Parks. He served in this capacity with Governors Troy and Gruening as well. Very well known throughout the Territory and State, the cause of many an individual came to him personally, and the requests were passed on to the various Governors at the time resulting in positive action on their behalves.
Anton J. Wendler, 1868-1935, Elks Tract 2, Row 8, Lot 30.  One of the first residents of the City, arriving in Alaska in 1909 and Anchorage in 1915. He was one of the most public-spirited citizens of his time and as one of the fathers of the Community. He was on the original Townsite Selection Commission, the first School Board, and a charter member of the Elks Lodge. He served as the first president of the Chamber of Commerce and dedicated his efforts to the development of Anchorage. His prime interests were the development of schools and education. Wendler Junior High School is named in his honor.


The foregoing are but a few of the many distinguished residents in the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. There are many more like:

EMIL PFEIL, a land developer, contractor and civic leader;  OSCAR TRYCK, one of the first homesteaders in the Matanuska Susitna Valley; GEORGE MARSH, who established trading posts in the Bethel area; CLIFFORD.H. PHILLIPS, whose life story in Alaska would be a saga in its own; ALONZO COPE, bush pilot and mechanic who shared in many rescues; ANNA E. ASHTON, early store owner and apartment owner; JEANNE LAURENCE, a fine artist in her own right; CHARLEY STANFORD, who carried the mail form Seward to Nome over the Iditarod Trail; HARRY I. STASER, hardrock miner and U.S. Marshal; JOSEPH G. RENO, pioneer merchant at Girdwood on the trail; MILDRED HAMILL, local renowned artist in her own right; JOHN E. "JACK" KINALLEY, pioneer prospector who walked from Fairbanks to the Brooks Range; HARRY LEE LANE, hotel operator and proprietor; WILLIS EPPERSON, whose heroic rescue of his sister on the Susitna River was publicized nationally; DELLA KIMBALL, pioneer merchant whose building still stands at 5th and E Streets; FRED AND MARIE SCHODDE, whose green front stone was the sweet tooth of the Anchorage kids plus many more. These are just a few of the true Anchorage and Alaska Pioneers.

There are, of course, many other historically significant and important people but certainly too many to list in this format.

These pages compiled by John Bagoy, Don Warden and Rob Jones with help from many others.  Chief Ezi's picture provided by his granddaughter Alberta Stephan.  The picture and bio of Chief Sturgus and Charles Watson provided by Catherine Diehl-Robbins, Anchorage Police Department, Community Service Officer.  Thank you to all who added to these pages.