Jacob A. Westby
J. A. WESTBY is a well known and highly respected citizen of Nome. He has been identified with the mining interests of the Nome
District since the fall of 1899. In the following year he was appointed by Judge Noyes to the position of United States Commissioner and Recorder of the Norton Sound Precinct, but this position being a cause of expense instead of a source of profit, he resigned. His mining interests are situated on Willow
Creek and Casadepago and Solomon Rivers.
Mr. Westby is a native of Norway and was born October 19, 1848. When fourteen years of age he left home and went to America. He received most of his education in the public schools of the United States. For several years he was a sailor on Lake Michigan, and for a period of five years was on the police force of Red Wing, Minn. Subsequently he received an appointment of Deputy United
States Surveyor, having learned the profession of surveying under the first Deputy United States Surveyor
in the state of Michigan. In 1885 he was deputy warden of the Michigan State Prison, and subsequently for a year and a half filled the office of warden. In 1892
he moved to Idaho and engaged in mining. He went to Dawson in 1898, and lived
in the Yukon Territory a little more than a year. While in the Yukon Territory he
mined on a fraction between 16 and 17 El Dorado Creek. Attracted by the Nome strike he came down the river, arriving in Nome November 28, 1899. Mr. Westby
has been a leading member of the Anvil Masonic Club, being No. 14 on the roll
of charter members of this organization, which has done much good work of a helpful
and charitable character.
In September, 1872, he and Miss Marie Summers were married in Red Wing, Minn. They have had ten children, eight of whom -- five girls and three boys -- are
living. Mr. Westby is a man of uncompromising honesty; a man of strong character
and the courage to do right.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by
R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.