Rev. Charles Elliott Ryberg
The REV. C. E. RYBERG
is the pastor of the Congregational Church at Nome.
He is a native of Chicago, Illinois,
and was educated at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., and was
graduated with the degree of A.B. in
1 898. He began preaching when
he was a student at college, and
modestly claims to be nothing more
than a "lay preacher" now. Before
coming to Alaska he was pastor of
one of the oldest churches in Minnesota, at Cannon Falls, and was
engaged in pioneer religious work.
A chum of his boyhood days,
who had struck it rich at Nome,
wrote him and urged him to come to
Alaska. He accordingly left his
work in Minnesota and started for
Nome. Arriving here in the summer of 1900, he secured a situation
as foreman on No. 9 Anvil Creek.
After he had worked long enough
to secure a "grub-stake" and horse, he
went to the Kougarok District on a
prospecting trip. During this trip
he located a claim on Garfield Creek. After returning to Nome he had an offer of
$ 15,000 for this property. But the prospects he had obtained from the property
ide this offer look like a bagatelle. He went to the states that fall, and came back
the following spring with a big outfit to work the Garfield claim. But the prospects
he had obtained were deceptive and what had appeared to be a very rich claim
proved to be valueless.
Mr. Ryberg returned to Nome late in the season without a dollar. He walked
the streets of the town discouraged and hungry. He had seen the seductive glamour
of prospective wealth; now he fully realized the dejection caused by failure, intensified
by poverty. He was endeavoring to arrange to return to the states when Missionary
Karlson wrote him from Unalakleet asking him to come to the mission and help with
the work. This letter caused him to change his plans. He went to Unalakleet and
lent his services to the missionary work, assisting in many ways from postoffice clerk
to general chore boy.
Returning to Nome in the spring of 1902, the Rev. M. Fowler, who was pastor
of the Congregational Church, urged him to stay and assist in the church work. He
staid and thus became pastor of the Congregational Church, as Mr. Fowler returned
to the states during the summer season of 1902. Mr. Ryberg is an aggressive minister.
He believes in fighting sin. He is a man with a strong individuality and is an earnest
and effective worker. During his ministerial career in Nome he has been the agent
for the establishment of the Quartz Creek Mission for natives. This work was begun
under his supervision in the fall erf 1903, and at the close of last season 100 Eskimo
or more had been gathered at this mission. It is not generally known that N. O.
Hultberg, a layman, who was sent by the Swedish Missionary Society to establish
an industrial school among the natives at Golovin Bay, and who subsequently became
a mine operator in the Nome country, furnished the funds with which to establish trie
Quartz Creek Mission.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by
R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.