Guide to the Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe Collection, 1986  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Walter Poppe
Guide to the Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe Collection
1986 (inclusive)
1 File (1 folder)
Collection Number
The collection consists of two articles about the Norwegian immigrant, Frederick August William Poppe, and his experiences leading an expedition during the Alaska gold rush. Collection also contains photographs of the expedition and a portrait of Poppe.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe was born in Kragerø, Norway in 1851. He immigrated with his father, Arendt, to America at age 18 and settled in Prior, Minnesota in the late 1870s. In 1897, Frederick organized a group of thirty-three men bound for the gold mines in Alaska. They set sail in 1898 for Alaska on the steamer Valencia, which carried 590 passengers, 23 horses, and 28 dogs. As was the case for the vast majority of gold prospectors, the journey was dangerous, met with many adversities (including a near mutiny), and relatively unsuccessful. Arriving in Valdez, they had to move their goods over a glacier, which took about thirty days, to get to Copper River. They prospected along the Copper River and then on the Tunana River. Frederick returned from Alaska a year later in 1899 after a very rough experience and little gold. Six of those with Frederick died.

Prior to his Alaskan adventure days, Frederick was a self-declared druggist in South Dakota and owned the Milbank Drug Store and later another drug store in Aberdeen. He also went in to the insurance business in 1897. Frederick married Henrietta and they had four sons. After Henrietta’s unexpected death in 1887, Frederick remarried in 1890 to Martha Brockmann. They had a daughter, Eleanora Martha.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of photocopied articles from the Milbank Herald Advance and We Alaskans, includes eleven photographic reprints. The articles, written by Frederick's grandson, describe Frederick’s adventures in Alaska’s gold fields as well as biographical information. The photographs include a portrait of Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe and various scenes from his time in Alaska.

Article citation: Walter Poppe, “Journey to Alaska,” We Alaskans, June 15, 1986, 06-07.

Article citation: Walter H. Poppe, “Milbank men tried their luck in Alaskan gold fields,” Milbank Herald Advance, April 1, 1986.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from (the collection) must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

The Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe Collection, SIEmss_78, Archives and Special Collections, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Education
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Gold mines and mining--Alaska
  • Norwegian Americans
  • Petroleum
  • Scandinavian Americans
  • Personal Names :
  • Eleanora Martha Poppe
  • Frederick Wilhelm August Poppe
  • Henrietta Poppe
  • Martha Brockmann
  • Walter H. Poppe
  • Corporate Names :
  • Milbank Herald Advance
  • We Alaskans
  • Geographical Names :
  • Aberdeen (S.D.)
  • Alaska
  • Copper River (Alaska)
  • Milbank (S.D.)
  • Valdez (Alaska)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Photographs