When the members of the Common Council of
Nome, selected at the election in April, 1904,
took their seats, their first official act was to
unanimously elect Anthony McGettigan city clerk, a
position which he fills satisfactorily to the council and
acceptably to the community. Mr. McGettigan is a
native of County Donegal, Ireland, and was born in
the month of December, 1865. He went to America in 1889, and lived in Norristown and Phillips-
burg, Pa., until 1893, engaging in the bottling business
with the well known firm of J. & W. Shields, his
uncles. After brief residence in Philadelphia and Chicago he went to California in the latter part of 1894
on a visit to his uncle. Col. E. McGettigan. From
California he went to Butte, Montana, and worked in
the Anaconda Mine, subsequently conducting a real
estate business in Butte.
In April, 1897, Mr. McGettigan started for the
Klondike gold fields, and has lived in the Yukon
Territory and Alaska ever since then. He and his partner packed 1,500 pounds of
supplies over Chilkoot Pass, and joining a party of six men, helped to whipsaw the lumber and
make a scow, upon which the entire party journeyed from Lake Lindeman to Dawson.
They arrived in Dawson June 19, and as wages were $1.50 an hour, Mr. McGettigan immediately went to work. He spent two winters in Dawson, prospected on the head-waters
of Seventy-Mile River, and also made a trip to Forty-Mile River, Circle and Eagle. After
the return from this trip, in the fall of '98, he was stricken with typhoid fever, and came
near to mushing over the great divide. This illness resulted from the hardships and
exposure of the trip. He has seen many of the lights and shades of life in the early days of
the Klondike camp. In the winter of '97 when gold was more plentiful than food, he paid
sixty-two dollars for a sack of flour, and packed it on his back fourteen miles to camp.
In the fall of '99 he joined the stampede to Nome, arriving at the new mining camp
Sept. 21. In the spring of 1 900 he opened up an Anvil claim for one of the companies,
and later in the season carried a pack on his back to the Kougarok country. His uncle
came to Nome from San Francisco this season, and joined him in the search for gold. After
returning from the Kougarok, pack horses were secured to take in supplies to permit of
prospecting the ground Mr. McGettigan had staked, and considerable work was done this
year and the following season on Iron Creek, a tributary of the Kruzgamepa. In 1902
a large force of men was employed for two months to open up the Iron Creek property, but
the pay did not justify a continuation of operations. A claim on Twin Mountain, a tributary of Snake River, yielded better results, and during the season of 1903 he and his uncle
worked the claim by hydraulic methods, realizing a satisfactory profit.
During the past
two winters he studied pharmacy under Arthur Dibert, the druggist. Mr. McGettigan's
popularity is indicated by the responsible municipal position which he fills. He is a quiet
man, of studious habits, honest methods, and is loyal to principle and friends.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by
R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.