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Glenn H. Bowersox papers

Guide to the Glenn H. Bowersox papers
1930-2004, bulk 1930-1941

Collection number: HMC-0731.
Creator: Bowersox, Glenn H.
Title: Glenn H. Bowersox papers.
Dates: 1930-2004, bulk 1930-1941.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers and photographs of a radio operator aboard the USMS Boxer and the USMS North Star in Alaska.

Biographical note:
Glenn H. Bowersox was born in Wenatchee, Washington in 1912. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in transportation in 1937. Between 1931 and 1939, Bowersox served as the radio operator and purser aboard the USMS Boxer and the USMS North Star, operated by the Seattle office of the Division of Territories and Possessions, U.S. Department of the Interior. This office bought and shipped supplies to government agencies in Alaska, including the Alaska Railroad, the Alaska Native Service, the Alaska Road Commission, and the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation (Matanuska Colony). Glenn Bowersox’s older brother Karl also served on the Boxer and the North Star. After leaving his post on the North Star in 1939, Bowersox married his fiancé Goldia, and after a brief attempt at wholesaling Alaskan handicraft goods, returned to Seattle to work for the Division of Territories and Possessions. He continued to work for the federal government until his retirement in 1973, at which time he was the Regional Director of the Transportation and Public Utilities Service, General Services Administration. Glenn Bowersox died in 2013.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the photographs and papers of Glenn H. Bowersox relating to his service on the motor ships Boxer and North Star in the 1930s. The papers include: Bowersox’s journal article on his experiences while an officer on the U.S. Government ships; a radio log book; Bowersox’s article in The Sea Chest: Journal of the Puget Sound Maritime History Association, entitled, “Alaska Memories: My Experiences Aboard North Star and Boxer in the 1930s”; Bowersox’s radio logbook from his voyage on the Boxer in 1935; two telegrams from the 1931 voyage of the Boxer; a North Star farewell dinner menu dated December 9, 1933; an illustrated envelope commemorating the 1938 cruise to establish a historical marker at Point Barrow for Wiley Post and Will Rogers; a North Star crew list for its voyage of June to August 1939; a certificate of membership in the Weird Order of Oosuk Wielders from St. Lawrence Island: and eight Alaska Steamship Company menu covers illustrated with pastels by artist Josephine Crumrine. Subjects of the photographs include: Glenn Bowersox and fellow officers and crew of theBoxer and North Star, the ships’ passengers and visitors, coastal Alaska Native peoples, villages and towns, the trading schooner C.S. Holmes, and a large snowmobile used on Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic Expedition of 1939 to 1941. Locations depicted in the photographs include: Kivalina (reindeer herd), Point Lay, Point Barrow, Haines, Anchorage, Tununak, Hooper Bay, King Island, Kotzebue, Akutan Whaling Station, Saint Michael, Mekoryuk, Sitka, Ugashik Bay, and Nome. The collection also includes  an introduction and photo captions from his album entltled, “Alaska Eskimos in the 1930s.”

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type of material.

Alternative formats: There are 142 copy negatives made from prints in the collection.

Digitized copies: Selected photographs from the collection have been digitized and can be found on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials created by Glenn Bowersox. Materials not created by Mr. Bowersox may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.

Preferred citation: Glenn H. Bowersox papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: Karl C. Bowersox papers, HMC-1248.

Separated materials: Selected publications were removed from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the archives by Glenn Bowersox in 2004 and 2005. A deed of gift was signed by Glenn Bowersox in 2005.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2005. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard and publications removed by Gwen Sieja in 2016.

Container list:

Folder Item Description Date
1 USMS North Star and USMS Boxer documents 1931-1939
2 USMS Boxer radio log book 1935
3 Alaska Steamship Company menu covers 1941
4 “Alaska memories: My experiences aboard North Star and Boxer in the 1930s.” The Sea Chest 2004 September
5 Photograph album captions and introduction undated
6 Photographs undated, 1930-1939
6 1 “Salenjus & Bowersox on Boxer 1931″ 1931
6 2 “Walrus being loaded aboard Boxer 1931″ 1931
6 3 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Women and children undated
6 4 Boxer against ice pack 1931.” Man in fur parka standing on ice next to bow of ship 1931
6 5 “Capt. Whitlam.” Captain in uniform smoking pipe undated
6 6 North Star officers (Bowersox third from left).” Nine officers in uniform at ship’s rail undated
6 7 North Star crew.” Group photo of eleven men on ship’s deck undated
6 8  “North Star galley crew.” Group photo of six men in work clothes. undated
6 9 “Native girls on North Star – Going to Wrangell Institute, an Alaska Native Service advanced school.” Group photo of eight girls undated
6 10 “Alaska Native Service official, probably Mr. Hawkesworth.” Man in suit and vest on ship’s deck undated
6 11 North Star scow and launch.” Men unloading supplies from scow to launch boats next to ship undated
6 12 “Fur trader Ollie Morris’ boat ‘Yabut’.” Shallow draft boat undated
6 13-14 “At Hydaburg.” Close-up of gulls on ship undated
6 15 “Ship’s launch with lifeboat filled with fresh water taken from creek near Teller.” undated
6 16-17 “Reindeer corralled at Kivalina” Large reindeer herd undated
6 18-19 “Butchering reindeer at Kivalina for shipment on North Star” undated
6 20 “Reindeer carcasses, Kivalina.” Carcasses hung on log racks and wrapped in cloth. undated
6 21 “‘Abandoned,’ Pt. Lay” Barabaras at Point Lay, one with frame exposed undated
6 22 “Pt. Lay.” Dog lot with dogs tied to stakes at Point Lay undated
6 23 “Pt. Barrow. One of two polar bear cubs Backland was going to bring to Seattle Woodland Park Zoo, 1931.” Bowersox petting bear cub at Point Barrow 1931
6 24 “Glenn Bowersox (Sparks of North Star) with polar bear cub at Pt. Barrow.” Bowersox standing petting bear cub undated
6 25 “Polar bear cub at Pt. Barrow” undated
6 26 “Lumber discharged at Pt. Barrow.” Lumber on beach with ship anchored off shore in distance undated
6 27 “Pt. Barrow.” Women and children in parkas walking on beach. undated
6 28 “Manse at Pt. Barrow.” Large wood frame house with barabara at right in foreground. undated
6 29 “Captain Whitlam, Chief Engineer Herman Sanwick & 1st Mate Isaac Lystad with passengers (teachers and families) on North Star undated
6 30 North Star nurse Miss Sheridan.” Group photo of nurse with two native men in parkas undated
6 31 “2nd Mate Isaac Lystad.” Officer with native women and children on ship’s deck undated
6 32 “Mrs. Wiley Post on North Star 3 weeks enroute to Pt. Barrow to dedicate Post-Rogers Memorial.” Mrs. Post in fur coat and beret on beach undated
6 33 “Mrs. Wiley Post & teachers.” Mrs. Post and two teachers on beach undated
6 34 “Father LaFortune.” Priest wearing sweater undated
6 35 North Star launch.” Launch boat next to ship with woman coming down ladder undated
6 36 “Towing a barge load of cargo from North Star to shore.” View from launch boat of barge and ship in background undated
6 37 “Haines Army barracks.” Barracks and grounds at Fort Seward in Haines undated
6 38 “Minnesota farmers sent by government to relocate in Matanuska Valley, 1935.” Families and sailor on top deck of ship 1935
6 39 “Matanuska settlers enroute to Alaska on North Star, 1934.” Men and equipment on ship’s deck 1934
6 40 “Alaska Railroad enroute Seward to Matanuska in 1937.” View of tracks and trestle on Kenai Peninsula 1937
6 41 “ARR Depot, Anchorage.” Matanuska Colony families and others at Alaska Railroad Depot in Anchorage undated
6 42 “Alaska Railroad near Matanuska.” Passengers taking break outside passenger cars undated
6 43 “Tununak, Nelson Island.” View of barabara in foreground and church in background undated
6 44 “Hooper Bay Eskimo boats waiting to load cargo.” Fishing boats at side of ship undated
6 45 “Capt. Whitlam handing out gum and candy at Hooper Bay.” Native women and children in foreground undated
6 46 “Unloading cargo at King Island.” Islanders and supplies amid the rocks undated
6 47  “King Island.” View of houses on stilts from boat undated
6 48 “King Island.” Close-up view of house on stilts with hilltop in background undated
6 49 “Statue of Christ on top of King Island.” Statue with rock base undated
6 50 “Bowersox on top of King Island.” Bowersox amid rock formations undated
6 51 “Kotzebue.” Captain Whitlam, three men and woman next to Ferguson Airways airplane on airstrip undated
6 52 “Kotzebue.” Ferguson Airways airplane tied down near airstrip undated
6 53 “Old Graveyard at Pt. Lay. Fence is whalebones.” Distant view of cemetery at Point Lay undated
6 54 “Boxer moving through ice off Wainright.” View of ice from ship’s deck undated
6 55 “Snowmobile taken aboard North Star from Boston to Antarctic on Byrd’s 1939-40 Expedition.” View of large snowmobile amid crowd at Boston undated
6 56 “Using sextants to ascertain ship’s position, North Star.” Ship’s officers using sextants on deck undated
6 57 “Blue whale at Akutan Whaling Station.” Whale laid out next to large station building undated
6 58 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Native older men and boys sitting next to barabara undated
6 59 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Native older man and woman and small child with barabara in background undated
6 60 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Group photo of native family in parkas undated
6 61 “Capt. Whitlam handing out gum and candy to children at Hooper Bay” undated
6 62 “Hooper Bay.” Crowd of people in village with log house and fish drying racks in background undated
6 63 “Tununak, Nelson Island.” Village scene with barabaras and natives in foreground undated
6 64 “Kayak under construction, Hooper Bay.” Kayak frame on log rack undated
6 65 “Dogs and racks of dried salmon, Hooper Bay” undated
6 66 “Kotzebue.” Street scene along line of wood frame houses with native family in foreground undated
6 67 “Pt. Barrow.” Group photo of six native women in parkas sitting on pile of lumber at Point Barrow undated
6 68 “Pt. Barrow longshorewomen at rest.” Group photo of eight native women in parkas sitting on pile of lumber undated
6 69 “‘Longshorewomen’ transporting lumber from beach to village, Pt. Barrow” undated
6 70 “7 of the North Star Officers (Bowersox second from right).” Group photo in uniform on ship’s deck, left to right: Sundt, Greenfield, Whitlam, Sanwick, Lystad, Bowersox, and Salenjus undated
6 71 North Star officers and passengers. Mildred Keaton, well known gov’t nurse in back with pipe and hat.” Group photo of men and women at costume party undated
6 72 North Star Officers having fun. Bowersox seated in front with white dress. Passengers also crossed dressed” undated
6 73 “M.S. North Star.” Full starboard side view of ship with masts undated
6 74 “Bowersox and whale harpoon at Akutan Whaling Station” undated
6 75 “Remnants of river boats used in transporting miners down Yukon River to St. Michael.” Two riverboat steamers at St. Michael undated
6 76 “One of ships which carried miners down the Yukon River to St. Michael.” Paddlewheel steamboat at dock in St. Michael undated
6 77 “Getting fresh water from creek near Teller.” Distant view of men at mouth of creek. undated
6 78 “Filling North Star fresh water tanks using life boat to bring water from creek near Teller.” Launch and lifeboat next to ship undated
6 79 North Star pulling schooner C.S. Holmes through shore ice at Wainright.” Full starboard view of four-masted schooner in ice from ship undated
6 80 “Johnny Backland’s schooner C.S. Holmes.” Full portside view of ship with sails set undated
6 81 “Unloading cargo from North Star scow at Pt. Barrow.” View from beach with natives and cargo in foreground and ship at anchor in background undated
6 82 “Unloading on beach at Point Barrow.” View of beach, supplies and village from boat undated
6 83 “Visitors coming aboard North Star.” Twenty natives in skin boat visit ship undated
6 84 “On North Star.” Two dogs chained on ship’s deck undated
6 85 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Four older native men seated on supplies undated
6 86 “Hooper Bay natives visiting North Star.” Twenty-five kayaks off side of ship undated
6 87 “Hooper Bay.” Village scenes with native women and children and dogs undated
6 88 “Mr. Lincoln, Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island.” Native man in parka, boots, and cap on deck of ship undated
6 89 “Pt. Hope.” Point Hope village scenes of native women and children and barabaras undated
6 90 “Passengers on North Star, Gov’t teachers and families.” Group photo on ship’s deck undated
6 91 North Star seaman Reuben Jacobson on right, later became captain of Alaska State Ferries.” Two men in work clothes at ship’s rail undated
6 92-93 “Kayaks at Hooper Bay.” View of eight men in kayaks from ship undated
6 94 North Star Crew.” Group photo on ship’s deck undated
6 95 “Dinner is served. Destitute farmers from Minnesota sent by Gov’t. to relocated in the undeveloped Matanuska Valley, 1934.” Men being served at chow line on ship’s deck 1934
6 96 “Bowersox standing by the snowmobile loaded on North Star at Boston (flagship on Byrd’s 1939 Antarctic Expedition). Former USCGC Bear was only other ship on this expedition.” Wheels of snowmobile approximately 10 feet in diameter undated
6 97 “Snowmobile on North Star in Boston, 1939.” Vehicle on deck of ship 1939
6 98 “Father Hubbard at King Island (He stayed here all winter).” Father Bernard R. Hubbard at left with two colleagues in parkas on ship’s deck undated
6 99 “Father Hubbard at King Island.” Father Hubbard and native at ship’s rail undated
6 100 “Sunrise from bridge, U.S.M.S. North Star nearing Ketchikan, Jan. 10, 1938.” View toward ship’s bow 1938 January 10
6 101 North Star officers, Christmas Day 1937. Metlakatla, Alaska.” Group photo of nine officers in uniform at ship’s rail, Bowersox third from left 1937
6 102 “Eskimo girls being taken from northern points to Wrangell Institute.” Large group of native girls at rail of the North Star undated
6 103 “Loading railroad ties in Seattle to take to Alaska Railroad [at] Seward” undated
6 104 “Radio Equipment on North Star.” Close-up view undated
6 105 Boxer in drydock in Seattle, 1930″ 1930
6 106 “Bowersox, Radio Op. in back, Emil Holland, 2nd Asst. Eng., Joe Bush, 1st Mate.” Three officers on ship’s deck undated
6 107  “Some of the 19 sled dogs carried from Bethel to the Antarctic, 1939.” Six dogs tied up on ship’s deck 1939
6 108 “Eskimo boats coming out to North Star to load cargo.” Five Bristol Bay sailed fishing boats undated
6 109 “Native boats filled with cargo being towed ashore by North Star‘s launch.” Line of boats, some with masts undated
6 110 “Mt. Edgecumbe near Sitka.” View from rocky beach undated
6 111 “Sitka.” Two men between totem poles at entrance to Lover’s lane undated
6 112-113 “Sitka.” Views of totems along Lover’s Lane. undated
6 114 North Star near Hoonah in 1935. Matanuska settlers lived on deck and between decks.” View of covered foredeck at bow from above 1935
6 115 “Blue whale at Akutan Whaling Station.” Whale dismembered into two parts undated
6 116 “Akutan Whaling Station.” Men dismembering whale undated
6 117 “Whaling ship at Akutan.” Harpoon gun at bow of ship undated
6 118 “Summer quarter, Mekoryuk.” Native family in front of tent undated
6 119 “Mekoryuk.” Older native man and woman and small child (same as Photo No. 59) undated
6 120 “Mekoryuk.” Native woman with small girl and baby at campsite undated
6 121 “Mekoryuk.” Dogs chained to stakes undated
6 122 “Hooper Bay.” Native family inside and in front of tent at campsite undated
6 123 “Hooper Bay.” Fish drying racks at fish camp undated
6 124 “Hooper Bay.” Native man carving bow for skinboat frame undated
6 125 “Hooper Bay.” Two natives in kayak near launch boat undated
6 126 “King Island.” View of steep hillside from hilltop on island undated
6 127 “Pt. Lay.” Dogs sitting on top of old barabara undated
6 128 Boxer.” Group photo of officers and crew on deck of the Motor Ship Boxer undated
6 129 “Glenn Bowersox and skate caught near Dutch Harbor.” Large ray hanging from mast undated
6 130 Boxer.” View of M.S. Boxer‘s deck from above undated
6 131 “Natives handling cargo off North Star at Point Barrow.” View on beach undated
6 132 “1st Mate Joe Bush & Glenn Bowersox, Radio Operator on Boxer at Pt. Barrow in 1931 getting water which will be used for Christening North Star in 1932.” Officers at ship’s rail with bucket 1931
6 133 “Bowersox on Arctic Ice Pack, 1931” 1931
6 134 “Arctic Ice Pack.” Three officers on ice pack with ship in background undated
6 135 “Natives pulling polar bear over ice pack to M.S. Boxer, 1931″ 1931
6 136 Boxer high & dry near Ugashik Bay in 1935. The sand spit we were on was the only visible land for 10 miles around.” Full portside view of ship aground 1935
6 137 Boxer aground at False Ugashik Bay, 1931.” View of front of ship 1931
6 138 “Beach scene, Hooper Bay.” Men unloading boat with fish drying racks in distance undated
6 139 Boxer taking fresh water from ice pack about 25 miles offshore from Wainright, 1931.” Front view of ship from ice pack 1931
6 140 Boxer at ice pack 25 miles off Wainright, 1931″ Front starboard view of ship from ice pack. 1931
6 141 Boxer against ice pack about 25 miles off Wainright in 1931. Note hose over bow getting fresh water” Men on ice pack with portside view of ship in background. 1931
6 142 Boxer at ice pack 25 miles off Wainright, 1931.” Full starboard view of ship from ice pack 1931
6 143 “King Island.” Distant view of houses from boat undated
6 144 “King Island.” View of houses on stilts from hillside undated
6 145 “Bowersox with polar bear shot by natives on ice pack about 25 miles off Wainright, 1931.” Bear being hoisted by rope onto ship 1931
6 146 “Dead polar bear being loaded aboard Boxer, 1931″ 1931
6 147 “Picture taken from Boxer. Natives got 4 walrus in hunt off Wainright, 1931.” Native men in parkas skin boat and dead walrus on ice pack 1931
6 148 Boxer in ice pack 30 miles off Wainright, 1931.” Distant view of ship from ice pack 1931
6 149 Boxer & Arctic Ice Pack, 1931.” View toward bow from above 1931
6 150 “Hooper Bay.” Crowd of natives at shoreline undated
6 151 “Bowersox on Boxer on winter’s day in Bering Straits, 1931.” Snow on deck of ship 1931
6 152 “Snow on Boxer in Bering Straits, 1931.” Boxersox on deck of ship 1931
6 153 Boxer, 1931.” Full starboard rear view of ship 1931
6 154 “Nome 1937 after the fire of 1935.” Main Street scene 1937
6 155 Unidentified two masted motor ship, front portside view undated
6 156 “Chenega, Prince William Sound.” View of village from bay undated
6 157 North Star officers at dining table.” Photo by Walt Geisman undated
6 158 “Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island.” Natives near entrance to barabara undated
6 159 “Ivory model of North Star in Alaska State Museum – about 1990.” Model and photograph of ship in window case, taken with museum lighting circa 1990
6 160 “Model of USMS North Star – made of walrus ivory – Juneau Museum, 1990.” Same model in case, illuminated by flash circa 1990


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