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Guide to the Oscar Samuelson papers
circa 1920-1940

Collection number: HMC-1085.
Creator: Samuelson, Oscar.
Title: Oscar Samuelson papers.
Dates: circa 1920-1940.
Volume of collection: 0.5 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Financial papers of the owner of several trading posts in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

Biographical note:
Oscar Samuelson emigrated from Norway in 1899 and found his way to Alaska, where he first tried his fortune as a commercial fisherman in Cook Inlet and Nushagak, eventually settling along the Kuskokwim River in a village he founded that came to be known as Oscarville.  He built a number of Trading Posts in nearby villages using the barter system to trade goods for furs with the local people.  His Trading Posts continued to be operated by his children and grandchildren in Nunapitchuk, Bethel, Akiachak and Oscarville until they eventually closed in the last half of the 1900s when the cash economy firmly took hold.  Oscar is remembered as a fair-minded person by the local people and those who travelled many miles to trade at his Trading Posts, which were known as Datu’s, Nerby’s, Marie’s and Mendola’s Stores.  Oscar died in Anchorage in 1953. [Biographical note courtesy of John Weise.]

Collection description:
The majority of the collection consists of Oscar Samuelson’s tax correspondence, including tax return documents. The collection also includes inventory, trade, and ordering records from the trading posts he ran. 

Arrangement: Records were maintained in the order in which they arrived at the Archives.

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Rights to this collection have been transferred to the Archives.

Preferred citation: Oscar Samuelson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was given to the Archives by John Weise on behalf of himself and Frank Jones, grandsons of Oscar Samuelson.

Processing information: This collection was described by Arlene Schmuland in 2011.