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Asa Columbus Baldwin papers, 1907-1941

Identifier: MS 36

Scope and Contents

The Asa C. Baldwin manuscript collection includes writings, maps, and information about work done on the Alaska Canada boundary survey from Demarcation Bay on the Arctic Ocean to Mount St. Elias from 1910 to 1913. The collection also includes papers documenting Baldwin’s activities on prospecting, surveying and work at the Yellow Band Gold Mine near Chitna-McCarthy in the Bremner Range. The addition to the collection contains more documents concerning the above activities from c. 1910-1942; it also includes correspondence to and from his children after his death. Photographs form a separate collection, PCA 71.


  • 1907-1941

Biographical / Historical

Asa Columbus Baldwin was born in Austinburg, Ohio in June 21, 1887, the son of Adelbert Mortimer and Florilla Williams Baldwin.

Education: June 1903 Graduate, Cleveland High, Cleveland, Ohio.

June 1908 B.A. in Civil and Mining Engineering, Case University, Cleveland, Ohio.

June 1913 B.S. in Law, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Licensed to Practice in Alaska and Washington, D.C.

Marriage: 12/8/1917 Lillian Louise Smith of Seattle, Washington (died: May 6, 1933) Children: Mortimer Wells B. March 1, 1919, Seattle Washington Frances Louise B. June 6, 1924, Seattle, Washington Sylvia Anne B. December 19, 1928, Seattle Washington

12/12/1935 Mrs. Marguerite Holliday of Cleveland, Ohio

Experience: 1907 Sworn in as United States Coast and Geodetic Survey employee--assigned to the International Boundary Commission, Canada-Alaska section

1907-1908 Surveyor-Field Officer, U.S.-Canada International Boundary Commission, Mount St. Elias to Arctic Ocean 141st meridian boundary demarcation survey.

1909-1911 Assistant to Chief of Party (U.S.) Mount St. Elias to Arctic Ocean 141st meridian boundary demarcation survey.

1909-1910 Assigned (temporary) as civil engineer on the U.S . Coast and Geodetic Survey Cutter "Surveyor" for Kodiak-Aleutian Islands marine survey.

1912-1913 Chief of Party (U.S.) Mount St. Elias to Arctic Ocean 141st meridian boundary demarcation survey. The epic ascent of Mount St. Elias by Mr. Baldwin and his joint U.S.-Canadian six-man survey team in June-July of 1913 to the 16,500 ft. level to establish the termination of the 141st meridian survey is a well-documented mountain climbing event in North America.

1913-1914 Civil Engineering Consultant, U.S.-Canada International Boundary Commission, Washington, D.C.

1914-1917 Private engineering practice with headquarters in Valdez, Alaska. Consultant for Kennicott Copper Co., McCarthy, Alaska. Field Engineer for Copper River Railroad from Cordova to McCarthy. Alaska-Juneau Mining Company. Other independent consultation.

1917 Enlisted in U.S. Army from Valdez, Alaska. Accepted for Officers' Training Corps at Presidio, San Francisco. August 27, 1917. Commissioned First Lieutenant, Infantry. November 27, 1917. Transferred to 29th Engineer Corps. Sent overseas, June 1918. Took part in Meuse-Argonne Battle as Engineer for General Headquarters. Discharged with Distinguished Service Cross, April 26, 1919. Gassed and injured in Meuse-Argonne Battle.

1920-1939 Private Engineering Practice in U.S. and Alaska. Headquarters in Seattle, Washington and Valdez, Alaska. Consultant for: Prince of Wales Mines, Alaska-Juneau, Kennicott Copper, Nebraska, Alaska Railroad. Other interest in fishing and legal practice.

1926-1927 Lecturer on Alaska at colleges and universities throughout U.S. and Canada. Completed two transcontinental tours.

1928-1939 Regional Consultant, Schlumberger Electrical Prospecting Methods of Paris, France. (First Reliable Seismic System for Locating Deposits). Located first petroleum deposits on Yakitaga Peninsula, using this method.

1928-1933 Managing Engineer and Vice President, Indianola Land Co. of Seattle, Washington. Surveyed and opened former Indian Reservation Land in Kitsap Country, Washington.

1933-1934 Chief Geodetic Engineer, International Boundary Survey: United States and Canada in charge of sector between Pacific Ocean and Montana.

1936-1942 President, Yellow Band Gold Mines, Inc. located in Bremner Range near Chitina, McCarthy, Alaska.

1937-1938 Consulting Engineer for Grand Coulee Dam, Washington

1940-1942 Consulting Engineer, U.S. Army Engineers in charge of surveying water and power reserves in Washington and Oregon (until his death).

Asa C. Baldwin died of a heart attack, September 18, 1942.

Biographical information was provided by Mortimer Baldwin of San Louis Obispo, California and Sylvia Baldwin of Kailua, Hawaii. Samuel E. Fry provided additional information 11/12/2004.


1 Linear Feet : 3 boxes

Language of Materials


Processing Information

The papers, which include writings, correspondence, notes, and publications, are arranged by subject or type of document. Fragile documents are housed in Mylar. Artifacts have been specially housed. A finding aid, described at item level, is available. Donor revisions and additions to the finding aid were made in July 2000.

Asa Columbus Baldwin papers, 1907-1941
In Progress
Processed by: Gladi Kulp June 1999 ; Revised by: Kay Shelton July 2000, Nov. 2002 and 2004 ; ArchivesSpace finding aid by: Sandy Johnston
2019 May
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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)