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Sylvanus Harlow Stevens

S. H. STEVENS, editor and publisher of the Nome Gold Digger, is one of the most widely known citizens of Se- ward Peninsula, having held the position of councilman of Nome ever since the organization of the town. He was born in Humboldt, Kansas, June 1, 1873, but his boyhood days were spent in Chicago, where he received a public school education. His father was one of the oldest members of the Chicago Board of Trade, and at the time of his death was flax inspector for that institution. Mr. Stevens began his newspaper career on the Chicago News, and during the World's Fair was reporter for the Graphic. At the close of the fair, he accepted a position with the Field Columbian Museum in the Art Building of the World's Fair, which was set aside for it.

He first came to Alaska in 1897, arriving in Skagway. In 1898 he started over the trail to Dawson, but stayed only a short time in the Klondike country, as his destination was Eagle. He spent two years mining in Eagle. He organized a longshoreman's union in Eagle, on account of an attempt to cut wages, and this was probably the first organization for the protection of labor in Alaska. He arrived in Nome in the fall of 1899, but returned to the states that winter, and in the spring of 1900 he went back to Eagle. From Eagle he came down the Yukon to Nome, intending to return to the states. Arriving in Nome he started out with a pack on his back to find a job, and succeeded in securing work as a miner on Hastings Creek. In September of that season he returned to Nome and obtained employment on the Gold Digger. The editor of this paper, Mr. Coe, was in ill-health ,and in the hospital. His first work on the Gold Digger was in both capacities of editor and printer. He worked at the case without copy. Mr. Coe's health compelled him to return to the states that fall, and Mr. Stevens remained with the paper with which he has been connected ever since. He is now the owner of this journal.

At the time of the incorporation of the city of Nome he was elected to the council, and was appointed to the position of chairman of the law and ordinance committee, and was also a member of the finance committee. Lively interest has been taken in every subsequent municipal election on account of the attempt by Mr. Stevens' opponents to defeat him, but he has always been successful, and is the only one of the councilmen who has been re-elected at every succeeding election.

He and Miss Alma Day were married October 22, 1903. Mr. Stevens is an aggressive man, and on account of the policy of his paper commands the general support of the laboring classes of the community.

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

 

 



 


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