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Frank H. Whiting Photograph Collection, ca. 1898-1902

Identifier: PCA 219

Content Description

Skagway, White Pass and Yukon Railroad construction and trains, ca. 1898-1902.


  • 1898-1902



Biographical / Historical

Frank Herbert Whiting was born on 8-20-1857 at Mt. Pleasant Iowa. (Was the last of 10 children of Timothy Whiting) Was educated at Ames College of Ames Iowa in Civil Eng. (Died on visit to (son) Robert Timothy's Home in Seattle Washington on 1-3-1936). Was married to Millah Cherrie on 5-15-1879 at Knoxville Iowa. Had 8 Children: Agnes 1880 in Knoxville Iowa : Herbert C. 1883 in Des Moines Iowa : George A. 1885 in-Des Moines Iowa : Robert T. 1887 in Cedar Rapids Iowa : Martin Bates 1891 in Denver Colo : Millah M. 1892 in Denver Colo : Helen L. 1894 in Haris Colo (My Father) : James David 1896 in Knoxville Iowa (Had 6 Children -Elizabeth D., J.D. Jr., Frank H. George R., John A., and myself (the last) Robert T.)

Occupation or Activities

Engineer for Michigan Central Railroad in 1876 to 1877.

Foreman of Iowa Div. for Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1878 to 1880.

Constructed the (Denver, Colo.) Colfax Ave. Electric R.R. (Which replaced horse drawn cars between York St. (Denver) and Aurora Colo ) in 1889.

Planned the Denver-Lakewood-Golden (Colo) Railroad in 1892.

Projected the Denver-Boulder Interurban Line in 1893 (But its construction was stoped by the panic of 1931.

Went to Alaska in 1898 to work on the White Pass Railroad (See WP&Y Involvement) .

In charge of construction on the Dawson Railway, between French and Dawson New Mex. and El Paso Tex in 1902.

Was asked to help in building the Copper River Railroad in 1906, but was busy with other projects.

In latter years (He) was a Consulting Engr. involved in Western Development (Mining, Irrigation, Power Diversion and Generation) Projects.

In his last years he was a Manufacturers Representative of Irrigation Equipment.

(His greatest engineering achievement was the construction of the Big Horn Basin Irrigation System in Wyoming.)

White Pass & Yukon RR Involvement

Brought his family with him from Denver to reside in Skagway, while he was Div Sup't from 1898 to 1902 (They were twice burned out of lodging quarters (above Bars) during there stay).

Was on Sylvester's Wharf with White Pass Presdent S.H. Graves checking on the unloading of 1500 tons of rails and equipment which were urgently needed -for construction on July 7, 1898 at about 8 P.M..

Then about 9 P.M. they were about 50 yards from Juneau Wharf .the scene for the 11 PM mass meeting that was guarded by Reid and Murphy. -My Grandfather Said 'By the Lord, Here comes ‘Soapy’ -- now look out! -Samuel Graves Said 'Nonsense, he's only bluffing? While Mr. Graves was speaking 'Soapy' passed within inches of him and .my grandfather.

Within minutes Soapys life and domination of Skagway was brought-to an End.

Made 10 round trips from Juneau to Seattle on a Steamer Flyer of the Columbia River and Puget Sound Navigation . Co. from Jan 14, 1899 and on.

In charge of clearing of down and :Live timber on tract of . land under solders script near the 2nd crossing of the Skagway River on Feb 3, 1899.

In charge of Train Runs, Line Operations, Bonds and Custom Papers from Feb 6, 1899 untill Nov 1, 1899 with the Operating Department.

Inquire to E.C. Hawkins General Manager on the course to pursue in regards to parties wishing to build along the track east of what was called "Clam Flat" on Apr 4, 1899.

Inquire to E.C. Hawkins on the Shiping of Bonded Liquors that had been held for some time on Apr 24, 1899.

Inquire to E.C. Hawkins on the use of Ordinary Tickets for Excursion Business that must have a attachment in longhand on the back of each one of "Special Letter of Advice, L.H.G. May 6, 1899, $5.00 rate".

Loading of Merchandise Cars for shipment:Cars loaded between Midnight and Noon will be held untill No. 5 or No. 1 the following day; Cars loaded between Noon and 6 o'clock PM will go forward on No. 3 in the afternoon or upon extra run for that purpose from July 11, 1899 and on.

Reduction of Force at Way Stations at Summit and Log Cabin with only Day and Night Operators From July 20 and 25, 1899 and on.

Dead-heading of Shipments for Department of Public Works on Aug 1, 1899.

Moved (Granite) Stone from (Right-of-Way Work at).Heney Station to Skagway for use in the building of Bishop McCabe College on Oct 26, 1899.

Helped Surgeon F.B. Whiting (when needed) with the treatment of Frostbite to returning Prospectors and Railroad workers (With the high number of people that had to be amputated, He vowed; that he would go no farther north than the top of the pass). [Source: Robert T. Whiting, grandson.]


23 Photographic Prints

Language of Materials



Prints in the collection may be cropped images from the negatives on file.

Finding aid for the Frank H. Whiting Photograph Collection, ca. 1898-1902
In Progress
ArchivesSpace finding aid by: Sandy Johnston 2019 May
2020 March
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Repository Details

Part of the Alaska State Library - Historical Collections Finding Aids Repository

PO Box 110571
Juneau AK 99811-0571 US
907-465-2151 (Fax)