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Guide to the Harry and Ruth Dobson papers
1906-1973

Collection number: HMC-0100.
Creator:
Dobson, Harry.
Dobson, Ruth E. Webster.
Title: Harry and Ruth Dobson papers.
Dates: 1906-1973.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a British gold miner in the Nome area.

Biographical note:
Harry Dobson was born in England in 1861. He came to Alaska in 1894 to prospect for gold on the Seward Peninsula around Nome and Teller. He was a successful miner and established and worked a number of claims in the Nome area, including several along Budd Creek. In 1907, he married Ruth E. Webster. Dobson died in 1953 at the age of 91.

Collection description:
The collection includes: letters from Harry Dobson to his wife concerning his mining activities; letters to Harry Dobson concerning business matters; letters to Harry and Ruth Dobson concerning family matters; the Dobson's marriage license; legal documents concerning Harry Dobson's mining claims; his death certificate; maps of Dobson Placer, the Seward Peninsula, and Alaska; a newspaper article on Harry Dobson; and other miscellaneous newspaper clippings. There are also 21 photographs of Alaska showing mining activities, people and scenery.

Arrangement: The collection is generally arranged by type of document.

Alternative formats: Negatives have been made from some of the photographs.

Digitized copies: Fourteen of the photographs from the collection have been digitized and placed online in the Alaska's Digital Archives (search Harry Dobson or follow the links in the inventory below). Digital copies of other collection material are not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Materials authored by individuals other than Harry and Ruth Dobson may be subject to copyright.

Preferred citation: Harry and Ruth Dobson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was initially placed on deposit with the Archives in 1985 by Gail Moses, niece of Marie Murphy, great-niece of Ruth Dobson. Gail Moses deeded the collection to the Archives in 1986.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described in 1985. The collection guide was updated to current standards by Arlene Schmuland in 2013.

Container list:

Folder/
item

Description

Dates

1/1

Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 4 pages

1913 August 4

1/2

Letter: W. W. Johnson, Union Construction Company, to Harry Dobson, 1 page

1917 April 18

1/3

Letter: W. W. Johnson to Harry Dobson, 1 page

1917 June 14-15

1/4

Letter: F. W. Hale to Harry Dobson, 2 pages

1918 October 21

1/5

Letter: A. F. Coats to Harry Dobson, 1 page

1920 June 3

1/6

Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 2 pages

1928 July 22

1/7

Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 6 pages

1940 July 23

2/1

Letter: Ruth Dobson to sister, Rose

1951 October 5

2/2

Letter: Matie Binns, the National Women's Relief Corps, to Ruth Dobson

1963 April 11

2/3

Envelope: Frank E. Webster to Oscar W. Petterson

1965 January 23

2/4

Letter: A. T. Peterson to Alaska State Land Office

1973 August 24

3/1

Poem: "Examined and Rejected"; author unidentified

undated

4/1

Marriage license: Harry Dobson to Ruth E. Webster

1906 January 14

5/1

Fragment of handwritten description of mining claim, 4 pages

undated

5/2

H. M. Bride to (unknown), pages 2 and 3 of a 3-page letter of legal advice, 2 pages

undated

5/3

Deed of Option to Purchase; from J. A. Welch to Harry Dobson, 2 pages

1917 January 27

5/4

Proof of Annual Assessment Work, 2 pages

1916 November 8

5/5

Affidavit of Intention; August 26, 1918 (copy of original) Deed of Sale, 3 pages

1919 March 6

5/6

Agreement for Lease of Mining Claims, 4 pages

1938 May 2

5/7

Agreement for Lease of Mining Claims, 4 pages

1938 May 23

6/1

Harry Dobson's visa

1921 April 15

6/2

Harry Dobson's visa

1923 May 11

6/3

S. S. Celtic customs declaration

1928 March 24

7/1

Harry Dobson's death certificate

1953 February 14

8/1

Insurance card-carrying envelope

1953

8/2

Plastic insurance card case

undated

8/3

Washington Mutual Savings Bank: "Information for Depositors"

1963 January 1

8/4

Aetna Insurance Brochure

circa 1949

8/5

Notes, postmark, canceled stamp

undated

9/1

Address and phone number of Mrs. Aurie Lee

undated

9/2

Bullion Voucher

1921 January 6

9/3

"Particulars of Oil and Fodder Offered"

undated

9/4

"Inventory of Things Put Away"

undated

10/1

(6)-D Le Roy Moyer starting out for a little panning along American River and Budd Creek on Dobson property

undated

10/2

(1)-D Starting from Nome, Alaska, for American River and Budd Creek about eighty-five miles north of Nome, to inspect Harry Dobson's ground-there; Hans-Mirow, aviator and Pastor Woods as fellow passenger, who was on his way to Shismaroff. The load consisted of also 250 lbs of baggage and provisions. The plane is a Stimson-Reliant.

1936 August 10

10/3

(8)-D Looking up-stream on Budd Creek. "Tailing" of the old "Cambell" Hydraulic-lift are in the background. This old operation was unsuited for this ground and was eventually drowned out by water breaking into the mining pit through the thawed ground.

1936 August 15

10/4

Mrs. Serena G. Dobson, Seattle, Washington

1918 June 8

10/5

Aerial view of unidentified mountains and river

undated

10/6-7

Unidentified river

undated

10/8

Unidentified road across tundra

undated

10/9

Harry Dobson

undated

10/10

Unidentified man and Harry Dobson in hip boots on river bank

undated

10/11

Harry Dobson beside Wien airplane

undated

10/12

Building on tundra

undated

10/13

Unidentified man [Harry Dobson?] gold-panning

undated

10/14

Unidentified man in boat

undated

10/15

Unidentified man [Harry Dobson?] with gold pan and shovels in river

undated

10/16

Unidentified man with pack near house on tundra

undated

10/17

Unidentified men [Harry Dobson?] working on sod house

undated

10/18

Unidentified man and Harry Dobson standing in front of wooden building

undated

10/19

(13)-D Mr. Harry Dobson panning on his ground on American River about eighty-five miles north of Nome, Alaska.

1936 August 18

10/20

Mr. Dobson approaching his cabin with a load from aeroplane cache on American River. Moyer.

undated

10/21

Post card picture of Norge "Landing at Teller." Back of card reads: "They landed the Norge right on the street in front of our house. Twenty-five yards from the back of the cabin. The thing is all taken to pieces and the main part of it is up against our house. They will ship it out on the first boat. Harry."

undated

11

Pennsylvania Register. "Where men are men and rivers run gold;" January 31, Vol. XIX, No. 26 (2 copies).

1924 January 31

OSF/1

Map: Dobson placer mine

undated

OSF/2

Reconnaissance map of Seward Peninsula, Alaska

undated

OSF/3

Alaska Steamship Company's map of Alaska

undated

12/1-18

Newspaper clippings

1907-1924

13/1-4

Postcards: 3 of London, England, 1 of Oregon-Washington interstate bridge over the Columbia River

undated