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Harry and Ruth Dobson papers

Guide to the Harry and Ruth Dobson papers

Collection number: HMC-0100.
Dobson, Harry.
Dobson, Ruth E. Webster.
Title: Harry and Ruth Dobson papers.
Dates: 1906-1973.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a British gold miner in the Nome area.

Biographical note:
Harry Dobson was born in England in 1861. He came to Alaska in 1894 to prospect for gold on the Seward Peninsula around Nome and Teller. He was a successful miner and established and worked a number of claims in the Nome area, including several along Budd Creek. In 1907, he married Ruth E. Webster. Dobson died in 1953 at the age of 91.

Collection description:
The collection includes: letters from Harry Dobson to his wife concerning his mining activities; letters to Harry Dobson concerning business matters; letters to Harry and Ruth Dobson concerning family matters; the Dobson’s marriage license; legal documents concerning Harry Dobson’s mining claims; his death certificate; maps of Dobson Placer, the Seward Peninsula, and Alaska; a newspaper article on Harry Dobson; and other miscellaneous newspaper clippings. There are also 21 photographs of Alaska showing mining activities, people and scenery.

Arrangement: The collection is generally arranged by type of document.

Alternative formats: Negatives have been made from some of the photographs.

Digitized copies: Fourteen of the photographs from the collection have been digitized and placed online in the Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Materials authored by individuals other than Harry and Ruth Dobson may be subject to copyright.

Preferred citation: Harry and Ruth Dobson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was initially placed on deposit with the Archives in 1985 by Gail Moses, niece of Marie Murphy, great-niece of Ruth Dobson. Gail Moses deeded the collection to the Archives in 1986.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described in 1985. The collection guide was updated to current standards by Arlene Schmuland in 2013.

Container list:

Folder/item Description Dates
1/1 Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 4 pages 1913 August 4
1/2 Letter: W. W. Johnson, Union Construction Company, to Harry Dobson, 1 page 1917 April 18
1/3 Letter: W. W. Johnson to Harry Dobson, 1 page 1917 June 14-15
1/4 Letter: F. W. Hale to Harry Dobson, 2 pages 1918 October 21
1/5 Letter: A. F. Coats to Harry Dobson, 1 page 1920 June 3
1/6 Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 2 pages 1928 July 22
1/7 Letter: Harry Dobson to Ruth Dobson, 6 pages 1940 July 23
2/1 Letter: Ruth Dobson to sister, Rose 1951 October 5
2/2 Letter: Matie Binns, the National Women’s Relief Corps, to Ruth Dobson 1963 April 11
2/3 Envelope: Frank E. Webster to Oscar W. Petterson 1965 January 23
2/4 Letter: A. T. Peterson to Alaska State Land Office 1973 August 24
3/1 Poem: “Examined and Rejected”; author unidentified undated
4/1 Marriage license: Harry Dobson to Ruth E. Webster 1906 January 14
5/1 Fragment of handwritten description of mining claim, 4 pages undated
5/2 H. M. Bride to (unknown), pages 2 and 3 of a 3-page letter of legal advice, 2 pages undated
5/3 Deed of Option to Purchase; from J. A. Welch to Harry Dobson, 2 pages 1917 January 27
5/4 Proof of Annual Assessment Work, 2 pages 1916 November 8
5/5 Affidavit of Intention; August 26, 1918 (copy of original) Deed of Sale, 3 pages 1919 March 6
5/6 Agreement for Lease of Mining Claims, 4 pages 1938 May 2
5/7 Agreement for Lease of Mining Claims, 4 pages 1938 May 23
6/1 Harry Dobson’s visa 1921 April 15
6/2 Harry Dobson’s visa 1923 May 11
6/3 S. S. Celtic customs declaration 1928 March 24
7/1 Harry Dobson’s death certificate 1953 February 14
8/1 Insurance card-carrying envelope 1953
8/2 Plastic insurance card case undated
8/3 Washington Mutual Savings Bank: “Information for Depositors” 1963 January 1
8/4 Aetna Insurance Brochure circa 1949
8/5 Notes, postmark, canceled stamp undated
9/1 Address and phone number of Mrs. Aurie Lee undated
9/2 Bullion Voucher 1921 January 6
9/3 “Particulars of Oil and Fodder Offered” undated
9/4 “Inventory of Things Put Away” undated
10/1 (6)-D Le Roy Moyer starting out for a little panning along American River and Budd Creek on Dobson property undated
10/2 (1)-D Starting from Nome, Alaska, for American River and Budd Creek about eighty-five miles north of Nome, to inspect Harry Dobson’s ground-there; Hans-Mirow, aviator and Pastor Woods as fellow passenger, who was on his way to Shismaroff. The load consisted of also 250 lbs of baggage and provisions. The plane is a Stimson-Reliant. 1936 August 10
10/3 (8)-D Looking up-stream on Budd Creek. “Tailing” of the old “Cambell” Hydraulic-lift are in the background. This old operation was unsuited for this ground and was eventually drowned out by water breaking into the mining pit through the thawed ground. 1936 August 15
10/4 Mrs. Serena G. Dobson, Seattle, Washington 1918 June 8
10/5 Aerial view of unidentified mountains and river undated
10/6-7 Unidentified river undated
10/8 Unidentified road across tundra undated
10/9 Harry Dobson undated
10/10 Unidentified man and Harry Dobson in hip boots on river bank undated
10/11 Harry Dobson beside Wien airplane undated
10/12 Building on tundra undated
10/13 Unidentified man [Harry Dobson?] gold-panning undated
10/14 Unidentified man in boat undated
10/15 Unidentified man [Harry Dobson?] with gold pan and shovels in river undated
10/16 Unidentified man with pack near house on tundra undated
10/17 Unidentified men [Harry Dobson?] working on sod house undated
10/18 Unidentified man and Harry Dobson standing in front of wooden building undated
10/19 (13)-D Mr. Harry Dobson panning on his ground on American River about eighty-five miles north of Nome, Alaska. 1936 August 18
10/20 Mr. Dobson approaching his cabin with a load from aeroplane cache on American River. Moyer. undated
10/21 Post card picture of Norge “Landing at Teller.” Back of card reads: “They landed the Norge right on the street in front of our house. Twenty-five yards from the back of the cabin. The thing is all taken to pieces and the main part of it is up against our house. They will ship it out on the first boat. Harry.” undated
11 Pennsylvania Register. “Where men are men and rivers run gold;” January 31, Vol. XIX, No. 26 (2 copies). 1924 January 31
OSF/1 Map: Dobson placer mine undated
OSF/2 Reconnaissance map of Seward Peninsula, Alaska undated
OSF/3 Alaska Steamship Company’s map of Alaska undated
12/1-18 Newspaper clippings 1907-1924
13/1-4 Postcards: 3 of London, England, 1 of Oregon-Washington interstate bridge over the Columbia River undated

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