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Wiseman Trading Company records

Guide to the Wiseman Trading Company records
1925-1999, bulk 1940-1945

Collection number: HMC-0434.
Creator: Wiseman Trading Company.
Title: Wiseman Trading Company records.
Dates: 1925-1999, bulk 1940-1945.
Volume of collection: 10.3 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Business records of a general store on the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River.

Organizational history:
A general store was first opened in Wiseman, a mining town on the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River near the mouth of Wiseman Creek, around 1910. The original main store building burned in 1927, and the store was moved to a building which had served as a warehouse. From the mid-1920s until 1948, the store was operated by Sam Dubin, Cora Dubin, William English, Sr., and M. Walter Johnson. The store was operated under the names of Sam Dubin, General Merchandise (1927-1933); Mrs. Sam Dubin, General Merchandise (1933-1938); and Wiseman Trading Company (1938-1948). Sam Dubin also operated stores at Bettles and Alatna (1928-1930), and freighted materials up the Koyukuk River. The store was closed in August 1945 and reopened on a smaller scale in 1946. The Wiseman Trading Company ceased operation in 1950. Johnson and English Jr. sold the store and the property in the late 1980s or the early 1990s.

Collection description:
The collection consists of business records of the Wiseman Trading Company general store and its antecedents for the period from 1925 to 1948. The most complete records are dated from 1940 to 1945. Included are journals; cash books; sales ledgers; account ledgers; a price list for merchandise; cash sales tags; credit sales tags; cash vouchers; trial balances; merchandise summaries, merchandise inventories; correspondence; orders; bills, invoices, and statements; check and deposit registers; bank statements with canceled checks; and insurance policies and related correspondence.

Arrangement: The collection is divided into the following series:
Series 1: Financial journals; 1928-1945
Series 2: Cash books; 1929-1945
Series 3: Sales ledgers; 1938-1949
Series 4: Account ledgers; 1925-1946, 1950
Series 5: Price list; undated
Series 6: Sales tags; 1927-1948
Series 7: Cash vouchers; 1940-1945
Series 8: Monthly trial balances; 1934-1945
Series 9: Yearly merchandise summaries; 1934-1936
Series 10: Merchandise inventories; 1927-1949, 1986
Series 11: Correspondence; 1940-1948
Series 12: Orders; undated, 1942-1947
Series 13: Bills, invoices and statements; 1940-1948
Series 14: Banking records; 1933-1945
Series 15: Insurance policies and correspondence; 1938-1947
Series 16: Property records; undated, 1937-1999
Series 17: Blank forms and sale slips; undated

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: The Archives owns copyright to the collection materials created by the Wiseman Trading Company and antecedents. Materials created by others may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.

Preferred citation: Wiseman Trading Company records, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: Archives and Special Collections also has the papers of Walter Johnson, one of the owners of the Wiseman Trading Company: Walter Johnson papers, HMC-0932.

Separated materials: One volume, the Pioneer Public Library check out register was removed to a separate collection, HMC-1173.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the Archives by M. Walter Johnson and William D. English, Jr. in 1995. A deed of gift was signed in 1995. An addition to given to the Archives in 2018 by Judith James, Johnson’s wife.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 1997. Arlene Schmuland reformatted the finding aid in 2014 to current standards, rehoused the collection into new boxes, and moved the Pioneer Public Library register to its own collection at that time. Additional materials were added to the collection and described by Veronica Denison in 2018.

Container list:

Series 1: Financial journals; 1928-1945. 1.25 cubic feet.
Bound volumes, 12 X 17 inch.

Box/Volume Description Dates
1/1 Wiseman journal 1928 November-1931 October
1/1 Bettles journal 1928 November-1930 July
1/2 Wiseman journal 1928 July-1933 August
1/3 Wiseman journal 1933 September-1938 January
1/4 Wiseman journal 1938 January-1940 December
2/1 Wiseman journal 1940 December-1943 December
2/2 Alatna 1928 April-1929 December
2/2 Wiseman journal 1933 January-1934 June, 1944 January-1945 August

Series 2: Cash books; 1929-1945. 0.45 cubic feet.
Bound volumes, 12 X 17 inch.

Box/Volume Description Dates
2/3 Wiseman cash book 1929 August-1937 September
2/3 Bettles cash book 1929 October-1930 July
2/4 Wiseman cash book 1937 October-1945 August

Series 3: Sales ledgers; 1938-1949. 0.25 cubic feet.

Box/Volume Description Dates
3/1 Sales ledger 1938-1947
3/2 Sales ledger 1948 November-1949 July

 Series 4: Account ledgers; 1925-1946, 1950. 1.25 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
3/3-7 Ledgers 1925 June-1934 June
3/8 Ledger 1929-1932
4/1-11 Ledger sheets 1931 January-1944 December
4/12 Ledger sheets 1930-1946
4/13 Alatna Station Indian accounts ledger sheets 1931-1933
11/37 Customer’s account books: EJ Ulem, Sam Hope, Denny O’Keefe [O’Keefe’s book is blank] 1950

 Series 5: Price list; undated. 0.05 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
4/14 Price list undated

Series 6: Sales tags; 1927-1948. 4.35 cubic feet.
Listings of merchandise sold. Sales tag forms for company sales and tractor transport are also included in this series. Arranged by type, thereunder chronologically by month.

Description Dates
4/15-20 Cash sales tags 1940 February-1945 August
4/21 Cash sales tags, 28, 45 1947 July, August
4/22 Cash sales tag, 34 1948 August
4/23-5/48 Sam Dubin, General Merchandise credit sales tags 1927 January-1933 August
5/49-50 Mrs. Sam Dubin, General Merchandise credit sales tags 1933 September-October
5/51-6/44 Mrs. Sam Dubin, General Merchandise credit sales tags, company sales 1933 November-1938 July
6/45-8/41 Wiseman trading company credit sales tags 1938 August-1945 August 17
8/42 Sam Dubin, General Merchandise credit sales tags, John Herley account 1932 October-1933 November
8/43 Sam Dubin, General Merchandise credit sales tags, Frank Miller account 1932 March-1933 July
8/44-59 Bettles credit sales tags 1929 September-1930 December

 Series 7: Cash vouchers; 1940-1945. 0.1 cubic feet.
In chronological order.

Box/Folder Description Dates
8/60-62 Cash vouchers 1940 June-1945 August

Series 8: Monthly trial balances; 1934-1945. 0.1 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/1-6 Trial balances 1934 May-April
2/5 Trial balance with recapitulations 1942 January-1945 July

Series 9: Yearly merchandise summaries; 1934-1936. 0.05 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/7 Cash and credit sales summary 1934
9/7 Profit and loss, expense account, and sales statements 1935
9/7 Sales, expense account, and profit and loss statements. 1936

 Series 10: Merchandise inventories and licenses; 1927-1949, 1986. 0.1 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/8-12 Inventories 1943-1948
9/13 Warehouses 1 and 2 and oil house inventories 1943 September-1945 August
11/36 Personal property at Wiseman, in care Wiseman Trading Co. lists 1945 August 11
11/38 Firearm dealer licenses 1943-1945
11/39 Mercantile licenses 1927-1949
11/40 Merchandise forms, notes; Gold production information undated, 1927, 1948, 1986

Series 11: Correspondence; 1940-1948. 0.2 cubic feet.
This series consists of business correspondence and also includes records on territorial bounties on wolves and coyotes, bullion deposits, taxes, and fur consignments. Arranged chronologically by month.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/14-19 Correspondence 1940 October-1948 May
9/20 Bounty on wolves and coyotes (Territorial Treasurer, yellow carbon copies) 1943 January-1945 June
9/21 Bullion deposit memo reports (United States Assay Office at Seattle, Washington) 1942 February-1944 November
9/22 Retail dealer’s excise taxes (Internal Revenue Service form 728A, monthly) 1941 December-1945 July
9/23 Seattle Fur Exchange consignment forms 1942 June-December, 1943 March

Series 12: Orders; undated, 1942-1947. 0.1 cubic feet.
This series consists of orders for the shipment of merchandise. Arranged chronologically by month.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/24-28 Orders 1942 January-1947 September, undated

 Series 13: Bills, invoices and statements; 1941-1948. 0.7 cubic feet.
This series consists of bills, invoices, and statements for merchandise received and freight shipped and catalog material. Arranged alphabetically by business name.

Box/Folder Description Dates
9/29 Alaska Airlines (Fairbanks) 1945 January-February
9/3 Alaska Star Airlines (Fairbanks) 1944-1945
9/31 Black Manufacturing Co. (Seattle) 1940-1942, 1948
9/32 Breeden Corporation Wholesale Mail Order House (Los Angeles) 1947 July-September
9/33 C.W. Chamberlain and Co. Inc.: Wholesale Dealers in All Kinds, Fruits and Produce (Seattle) 1941-1942
9/34 Cooperative Drug Co., Inc. (Fairbanks) 1941-1945
9/35 Frye and Company (Seattle) 1947 August, 1948 July
9/36 Hills Bros. Coffee Inc. (Seattle) 1941-1945
9/37 Lavery’s “The House of Quality” (Fairbanks) 1942-1945
9/38 Lindy’s Groceries, Beverages and Delicatessen (Fairbanks) 1946, 1947
9/39 McKesson and Robbins, Incorporated: Stewart-Holmes and Blumauer-Frank Division (Seattle) 1941-1943
9/40 Nerland’s (Fairbanks) 1943, 1947
9/41 North Pole Bakery (Fairbanks) 1942, 1947-1948
9/42-48 Northern Commercial Company (Fairbanks) 1942-1948
9/49 Northern Commercial Company (Fairbanks): statements 1942-1945
9/50 Martin A. Pinska, Men’s Outfitters  (Fairbanks) Wien Alaska Airlines, Inc.: freight bills 1941-1944
9/51 Schwabacher Bros. and Co., Inc., Wholesale Grocers (Seattle) 1941-1948
9/52 Schwabacher Hardware Co., Wholesale Hardware (Seattle) 1941-1944, 1947
9/53 Standard Oil Company of California (Fairbanks) 1941-1948
9/54 Swift and Company (Seattle) 1941-1945
9/55 Trick and Murray, Stationers-Printers-Office Furniture (Seattle) 1941-1943
9/56 Waechter Bros. Co., Dealers in Fresh Meats, Poultry and Butter (Fairbanks) 1942-1948
9/57 Washington Creamery Co., Wholesale Poultry-Eggs-Cheese-Butter (Seattle) 1941-1945
9/58-59 West Coast Grocery Co. (Fairbanks): invoices 1941-1948
9/60 West Coast Grocery Co. (Fairbanks): bills of lading 1944, 1946-1948
10/1-5 Wien Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Fairbanks): freight bills, including correspondence 1943 December-1948 November
10/6 Wien Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Fairbanks): statements 1943 December-1948 October
10/7 Wien Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Fairbanks): freight and mail manifests 1946-1948
10/8 Other bills and invoices (in alphabetical order) 1941-1948
10/9 Alaska-Seattle Shopper, Seattle, Washington, 32 pages 1948

 Series 14: Banking records; 1933-1945. 0.8 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
10/10-13 First National Bank of Fairbanks check and deposit records 1933-1944
10/14-15 Seattle-First National Bank check and deposit records 1938-1945
10/16-24 First National Bank of Fairbanks bank statements and cancelled checks 1938-1945
10/25-30 Seattle-First National Bank statements and cancelled checks 1938-1945

 Series 15: Insurance policies and correspondence; 1938-1947. 0.2 cubic feet.
This series consists of fire and war damage insurance policies and related correspondence. Structures were insured against fire for the period of 1 year from February 1st. Merchandise was insured against fire for the period of one year from June 1st.

Box/Folder Description Dates
11/1-8, 35 Fire insurance policies 1938-1947
11/9-10 War damage insurance policies 1942-1944
11/11-13 Fire insurance correspondence 1943-1945
11/14 War damage insurance correspondence 1942

Series 16: Property records; undated, 1937-1999. 0.2 cubic feet.
This series consists of the bill of sale, leases, and information regarding the property surrounding the Wiseman Trading Company.

Description Dates
11/15 Wiseman land title 1946, 1982-1984
11/16 Wiseman cemetery undated, 1991
11/17 Wiseman airport 1985
11/18 Wiseman airport: State of Alaska v. Jones 1989
11/19 Notes: Lease store building – Wiseman 1981, 1990
11/20 Report from Wetzel: Correspondence regarding property 1982-1985
11/21 Wiseman Rental, Wetzel circa 1984-1985
11/22 Wiseman store lease correspondence – D. Wetzel 1982-1985
11/23 Wiseman-Person interested in lots 1987-1990
11/24 Papers and notes regarding Wiseman lots undated, 1990-1995
11/25 “For Bill”: Wiseman lease 1987-1988
11/26 Wiseman correspondence, Senator Stevens 7/82 1971-1982
11/27 Wiseman reports BLM 1981, 1989-1990
11/28 Wiseman correspondence BLM/Tenants/Etc. undated, 1968-1980
11/29 Wiseman lot information undated
11/30 Wiseman property 1995-1999
11/31 Wiseman: Deed of Trust note 1990
11/32 Wiseman: Letter from friend Chris, Mary English shopping information, N.C. Store construction information, Johnson’s North Road vehicle application/permit undated, 1967-1979
11/33 Bob M. Wiseman negatives undated
11/34 Petition for townsite: Includes resident list, notes, history, and building locations 1950-1979
Oversize folder 1 Maps of the Wiseman area: Sketch of Upper Koyukuk Region Alaska, Wiseman Historic Site and building maps 1937, 1972

Series 17: Blank forms and sale slips; undated. 0.15 cubic feet.

Box/Folder Description Dates
11/41 Wiseman Trading Co. voucher book; First National Bank-Fairbanks deposit slip; Invoices undated
11/42 Checkbook; Northern Commercial Co. sales slips undated
11/43 License application forms: Flat rate and mercantile undated
Oversize folder 1 Fur dealers’ report for Alaska Game Commission undated

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