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George Dow Bunker

GEORGE D. BUNKER is a young man of San Francisco. He is associated with the early history of Northwestern Alaska, and has been identified with mining interests of the Council District since 1897. He is the son of a pioneer business man of San Francisco, and was born in that city June 6, 1870. He attended the San Francisco public schools and subsequently Brewer's Academy, San Mateo. Mr. Bunker's grandfather was Cromwell Bunker, one of the first whalers to sail in Alaskan waters. The date of his whaling cruises was near seventy years ago. The family at that time resided in Nantucket. R. F. Bunker, father of the subject of this sketch, came to San Francisco in the early days of the Western metropolis, and engaged in the butcher business. In 1897 when Captain Libby was outfitting to go to Alaska George D. Bunker grub-staked Louis F. Melsing to accompany him. Captain Libby and Louis Melsing are both brothers-in-law of Mr. Bunker. The other members of this expedition were Harry L. Blake and A. P. Mordaunt. They were the original discoverers of gold in the Fish River country, and were prospecting in this region at the time the strike was made on Anvil Creek.

Mr. Bunker has been interested in mining in the Council District ever since the historical trip of his brothers-in-law. At one time he owned 106 mining claims in Seward Peninsula, but realizing the unwisdom of such extensive holdings in the new country, he concentrated his interests on Ophir Creek. During the past few years he has disposed of his interests in ten claims on this stream. He is now operating No. 3, above Discovery.

He was one of the first arrivals in the Nome country in the spring of 1899, being a passenger on the steamship Garonne. Mrs. Bunker accompanied him on this trip, and she was one of the first white women in Council City. Mr. Bunker has had a varied and interesting experience in the Northland. He has been with the country since the earliest days. In 1899 he set up and operated the first gasoline engine on Ophir Creek, which was probably the first engine of this character brought into the country.

Mr. Bunker was married December 18, 1890. Mrs. Bunker was formerly Miss Dora Melsing. The issue of this union is one girl, Alfarretta, twelve years old. Mr. Bunker is an energetic business man, genial companion, and a loyal friend.  

Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.




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