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Freeman B. Porter

F. B. PORTER was in Seattle in • the early part of 1898 when he decided to join the Kotzebue Sound expedition, and arranged for transportation on the schooner M. Merrill. He wrote his fiancee. Miss Stella H. Scofield, of New York, and she came to Seattle where they were married May 27, 1898. Never did bride start on a more remarkable wed- ding tour -- a trip to a bleak, inhospitable wilderness beyond the Arctic Circle -- a trip in quest of gold.

 Mr. and Mrs. Porter spent the winter of 1898-*99 in the Kotzebue Sound country. They built a habitation on the upper waters of the Inmachuk, not far from the hot springs, and as a section of this river near the hot springs never freezes in the winter, Mrs. Porter found divertisement in trout fishing. They were the first white people who ever wintered in this part of the Arctic slope. From New York to Kotzebue Sound represents the extremes of social life, and yet they look back upon this winter of loneliness and isolation with many pleasant memories.

When the news of the Nome strike reached the Kotzebue Sound prospectors a number of Mr. Porter's party made the trip across the peninsula during the winter, and located several claims in the Nome District. At the opening of navigation Mr. Porter and his wife abandoned their cabin and took passage on the steamship Towns- end for Nome. During his sojourn on the Arctic slope he found prospects on the Inmachuk River, and had an idea when he left for Nome that he was leaving a better country than the one for which he was bound. The "destiny which shapes our ends" sent him back to the Inmachuk during the latter part of the season of 1904. He went back with a lease upon property which had been developed to the extent that proved it to be among the best mines of the country.

Mr. Porter is a native of Freeport, Maine, and was born May 3, 1869. He is descended from the Pilgrim Fathers. Through his mother he is a descendant of Col. Ethan Allen. He received a public school and academic education, and at the age of sixteen went to Boston where he obtained a business course under a private tutor. He began the serious work of life as a stenographer, and was at one time stenographer for John Alexander, first vice-president of the Equitable Life Assurance Company. He filled the position of private secretary for Congressman Logan H. Roots. He has also filled positions in the offices of Kimball & Bryant, of New York, and the Mingo Smelting Company of Salt Lake. While employed by the latter company he acquired a knowledge of ores and an inclination for mining. At a later date he was connected with the Smith Premier Typewriter Company, and was in the employ of that company when he contracted the gold fever and joined the Kotzebue Sound stampeders.

When he came from Kotzebue Sound in the spring of 1899 he resided in Nome continuously until 1902. He then returned to Portland, Oregon, and took up his old line of work as manager of the typewriter company, but still retained his mining interests on the Inmachuk and Kugruk Rivers and Candle Creek. Mr. Porter leased the Polar Bear Group on Inmachuk River and in the fall of 1 904 took in thirty tons of fuel and supplies. Pie intended to work with two thawers and take out a large winter dump from the rich pay-streak that he knew to run through this group of mines. As this book goes to press, news comes from the Arctic region that the spring clean-up of dumps on Inmachuk this year will show a splendid profit for operators.

Mr. Porter is an educated gentleman, a man who has filled responsible and important positions, and has succeeded in doing well whatever he has undertaken to do.  

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




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