extracted by Coleen Mielke 2005-2012
is obvious that the census takers were
using phonetic spellings for the following census
records (use your imagination)
**Letter dated 1/29/1945 by
Dr. Hoehn, titled: Valley Native Families
1. Eli and Mrs. Howard live in Palmer and I believe they are Eskimo's. He is 29 years old and she is about 26. Mr. Howard works for the Alaska Road Commission. They are self supporting, keep a nice home and are very desirable people.
2.Mrs. Olga (Grandma) Ezi, the mother and grandmother of all of the Ezi's around here and Eklutna, lives at Matanuska. She is very old - probably about 70. I do not know very much about her.
3. Bobby Prince of Matanuska is about 28 years old and works for the railroad.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Charlie (her name is Gravia) Roussau live at Matanuska and he works for the railroad now and then. She had a baby on 4/5/1944 and has been in to see me several times.
5. Johnny Toughluck living at Caswell is married to a Native woman who already had several children. The seven year old child is not able to walk or talk.
6. Joe Chilligan of Houston has two children by his first wife who are not at Eklutna. He is married to a Stephan girl and they had a child born in the summer of 1943.
7. Mr. & Mrs. Ruf Stephan, the parents of a large family of children whom I shall refer to several times in this letter as the Stephans. He works for the railroad in the summer time. The only girl left at home is Doris age 14. The daughter Jessie age 6 is at the El Nathan Home in Valdez.
8. Theodore Wasilla, age 72, lives about four miles from Wasilla on the Knik Road. His wife Katie (Stephan) Theodore is 24. They have three children.
9. Nick Stephan (Ruf's brother) lives at Knik and has a large family of children. One of the girls, Madrona, age 12 is living with the Jack Larsen family. I think that the rest of the children are living at Knik. Nick is about 40 and his wife Dalia is about 35. Nick used to work on the railroad but has not been well for about 3-4 years.
10. Mr. & Mrs. Bailey Theodore also live at Knik. They have about six children. They seem to be quite nice people and I think they take care of themselves very well.
11.Mr. & Mrs. Shaginoff and their three children live at Chickaloon. The oldest boy, Paul Goodlataw is in the Palmer hospital. John works for the A.R.C. and keeps quite a good house.
12. The Jack Corey family live on the highway near Chickaloon. Jack is a white man and makes his living hunting and trapping as well as acting as a guide. He is sort of a foster father to all the abandoned Native children in the district. I don't know how many children they have but probably there are eight or ten. I don't know how many of these children are Jack's but I do know that the oldest two were her children before Jack married her, and I believe the next three are his own. However, I think the others are foster children - some of them Harrison or Wickersham children, the younger brothers and sisters of the Louis Harrison that you have at Eklutna.
13. Mrs. Wickersham married Mr. Harrison and she had a large number of children. She is now deceased and the little children were taken by the Corey family and I think they are still there. There are four Wickersham girls between the age of 25-30. Three of them as far as I know are very nice girls and have married and are keeping good homes. One is Mrs. Jack (Helen) Larson. They have four children and live at Buffalo Coal Mine where Jack works. Helen was in the hospital for several months. Jack is a full Native and they keep a good home.
14. Mrs. Jack Wade, a sister, is married to a white man who works at Buffalo Coal Mine. They have one child with another due in a few months. Their boys name is Lawrence. They keep a good home.
15. Another married Wickersham girl lives in Anchorage but I do not know her name. I have heard that they are nice people.
16. The fourth Wickersham girl is married to a man in the Marines. I do not recall her name at present time. She lives in Anchorage also.
17. At Sutton about 20 miles on the Glenn Highway from Palmer lives old Mr. Stickman. He is almost totally blind and is helped by his 14 year old dwarfed son.
18. Near Jack Corey lives an old Native, Frank Nicolai, who is about 70 years old.
19. Mr. and Mrs. Pete (Annie Stump) Stephan live at Montana Creek. He is 30 years old and she is 18. They have one child, a boy age 6 months. He works for the railroad and they paid their own hospital bill.
Bill and Lucy Ezi live at Montana Creek. She is 32 years old
and he is about 40. I believe they have 5 children.
Anchorage Times: 3/1/1921 page 5
Dr. J.B. Beeson reports the death this morning of a Native woman known as "Chickaloon Mary". The deceased has been an inmate of the government hospital for two months. Death was due to consumption.
born about 1882 in the Copper River area and his wife Mary
Balasculya Stickman, born about 1880 in the Chistochina area had three
daughters and two sons according to the 1920 U.S. Census for Chickaloon.
Shem Pete's Alaska book, Nickolai and Mary are described as very hard
workers, spending the summers in the Talkeetna Mountains, harvesting
(meat and hides) from caribou, moose, goat and berries which they dried
and stashed in various caches that they built on Boulder Creek. When
winter came, the Nickolai's would sled their cached food down to Chickaloon
the family lived. Nickolai died in 1945 in Seward, his wife Mary Balasculya died pre-1940 in Chickaloon.
Present day Chickaloon
Village Chief Gary Harrison is
the great grandson of Frank and Balasculya Nickolai.
1.MARY NICKOLAI(1902-1983) (oldest daughter of Nickolai and Mary on the 1920 US Census for Chickaloon)
Nickolai married:John Goodlataw (he died about 1936)
Children: Paul Joseph Goodlataw born about 1926
Nickolai married John Shaginoff born 1909 Hughes Creeks (son
of John Shaginoff and Mary Tyone)
Children: Burt Shaginoff, Don Shaginoff,Jim Shaginoff and Lloyd Shaginoff
2.ANNIE NICKOLAI(1905-1943)(born at Old Man Lake) (2nd daughter of Nickolai and Mary according to 1920 U.S. Census for Chickaloon )
Annie Nickolai married Jess Wickersham (1883-1924) (see story below)
* Helen Wickersham b.1921 d.1999 married Jack Eric Larson
Children of Helen and Jack: Robert and Ronald (twins), Alan, Alvin and Janet.
Jack Larson's 1st wife was Cecelia McKinley 1932-2001 (one son: Ricky
*Katherine Mae "Katy" Wickersham 1922-2009 Married Richard "Tiny" Wade
Belle Wickersham 1925-1966 married John Edward "Jack" Barr
Annie Nickolai's second Husband: Lee Harrison
* Six Harrison Children:
*Angeline Harrison born about 1927 (not listed on 1939 US Census for Sutton)
*Louis Raymond Harrison age 8 on 1939 US Census for Sutton (married Reta Ann Hubbard (age 17) in 1954)
*Shirley Harrison age 6 on 1939 US Census for Sutton
*Albert Harrison age 4 on 1939 US Census for Sutton
Harrison age 2 on 1939 US Census for Sutton
*Baby Girl Harrison age 5 months on 1939 US Census for Sutton
3.OLGA NICKOLAI (3rd child of Nickolai and Mary According to 1920 US Census, she was born in 1906)
Olga married Jack J. CoreyI've been told that Olga had 2 or 3 children (when she married Jack Corey) and then they had 7 more children together.
4.Niketa Pete Nickolai born about
1908 (4th child of Nickolai
and Mary Nickolai)
5.Hecky Nickolai born about 1915
(5th child of Nicklai
and Mary Nickolai)
The following is a summarization
of an Anchorage Times newspaper article, dated 8/18/1924. It describes
the death of 48 year old Jess C. Wickersham, first husband of Annie Nickolai.
It tells the story of how his common-law Native wife, killed him, in
self defense while at a cabin, two miles above Chickaloon, on the Chickaloon
The article says that the woman reported that she had been originally attacked by Mr. Wickersham on July 4th. She told him at that time she would not allow him to beat her again. On August 16, Mr. Wickersham, who was drunk, started to attack the woman with a sheaf knife. After being cut on her hands, she shot her husband with a .32 Savage automatic three times. One shot grazed the left side of his head, the second shot entered the neck and lodged in his spine and the third shot entered his hip. Lee Harrison contacted the Deputy Marshal, Frank Hoffman, and told him of the shooting.
A coroners jury produced a verdict saying that Jess Wickersham had been killed by gunshot wounds at the hands of his common-law wife. The body was taken to Chickaloon and placed on the railroad speeder car and sent to Anchorage. The Marshall found a still at the cabin that was not in use, as well as four gallons of moonshine, both were destroyed immediately.
The newspaper article gives a brief description of Jess Wickersham. He was reportedly well known in Anchorage and the surrounding territory and was a veteran of the Spanish American War and had wealthy relatives in Arkansas. He was survived by his common law wife and their three children, the oldest one being 2 and the youngest being 6 months.
Native woman was arrested and brought to Anchorage and lodged in
the federal jail, along with her youngest child; she was to face
a grand jury for the shooting. Jess C. Wickersham was buried
at the Anchorage Cemetery.
NOTE: I searched the Anchorage
criminal files for 1924 and found NO mention of a trial, so I'm
assuming that Annie Wickersham was never charged with a crime.
C. Wickersham's birth date (according to his WWI draft registration
papers) was 10/13/1883 and his next of kin is listed as: "relatives
in Yellville, Marion County, Arkansas".
The U.S. War Dept. paid for Jess
Wickersham's gravestone. The application papers said that he died 8/16/1924
and was buried in Anchorage, Alaska, however, his headstone wasn't approved
and shipped to Anchorage until 12/3/1931. That application said that Wickersham's
military rank was "ordinary seaman" on the U.S.S. Independence of the U.S.
Navy. His name is typed as: Jesse C. Wickersham, however, handwritten above
the letter "C" is the word "Cammie", other records say his middle name is
After Jess Wickersham's death, Annie Nickolai married Lee Harrison, born 2/14/1873. According to the 1880 US Census for Gallatin Territory, Montana, Lee was the son of W.A. Harrison (born about 1842 in Canada and came to America in 1864) and his wife Sary (born about 1854 in New York). Thirty years later, on the 1910 US Census for Sweet Grass County, Montana, Lee Harrison is still single (age 40) and living with his father Waborn Harrison (age 73) and his mother Sarah Harrison (age 62). The Harrisons were farmers in Montana. Lee Harrison had two younger brothers: Delbert D. Harrison born 1872 in Montana and Cecil Porter Harrison born 1879 in Montana.
Harrison registered for the WWI draft in 1918 in Anchorage. He gave
his birth date as February 14, 1873 and his occupation as miner for the
Alaska Engineering Commission. Those papers list Mr. Harrison's brother
Cecil as his next of kin living in Gray Cliff, Montana.
"Lee" T. Harrison is buried in the Anchorage Memorial Cemtery. His date
of death is listed as 8/18/1958 and the cemetery index says his fathers
name was John and his mothers name was Sary.I'm assuming John Harrison
must have been a step-father.
Children of Lee and Annie (Nicolai)(Wickersham)
*Angeline Harrison born about 1927 married _____ Stevig
*Louis Raymond Harrison (1931-1969) married Reta Hubbard
*Shirley Harrison born about 1934 married __________ Sorenson
*Albert Harrison born about 1936 married __________
*Annabell Harrison born about 1938 married _________
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