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P. Gordon Gould papers

Guide to the P. Gordon Gould papers
circa 1890-1993

Collection number: HMC-1328.
Creator: Gould, Peter Gordon.
Title: P. Gordon Gould papers.
Dates: circa 1890-1993.
Volume of collection: 0.6 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Most of the materials in this collection are in English, however one document is in Russian.
Collection summary: Papers of the founder of Alaska Methodist University.

Biographical note:
Peter Gordon Gould, born in 1900, was an Unangax from Unga, Alaska. When he was six years old, Gould moved to the Jesse Lee Home in Unalaska, where he stayed until 1913. He then traveled to Ohio, where he began work on an apple orchard with his sister, Anna. While in Ohio, Gould decided he would become a minister. In 1916, he and his sister moved to Claysville, PA. The following year, Gould enrolled in Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, graduating in June 1923. That fall, he enrolled at University of Syracuse, graduating in 1930, and was ordained an Elder in the Methodist Church. In 1925, Gould married Ethel Claire Guinter and the couple had four children, Ardell, Edward, Robert, and Mae Evelyn. In 1932, Gould was appointed to the Bellevue Heights Methodist Church, and in 1942, he was appointed to the Ontario Street Methodist Church of Buffalo. In 1948, Gould then accepted a position with the Division of Home Missions and Church taking on the responsibility of its Alaska Mission. By 1950, he was the Director of Methodist Works in Alaska.

While in Alaska, Gould helped build a parsonage in Nome, and was pivotal in fundraising for the establishment of Alaska Methodist University (renamed Alaska Pacific University in 1978), which was the first private liberal arts college in Alaska. Gould is known as the “Father of the Alaska Methodist University.” He was also the first Alaska Native minister in the United Methodist Church. P. Gordon Gould, who also went by Gordon Gould, died in 1988.

Collection description:
The collection contains papers and photographs relating to P. Gordon Gould and his family. The collection includes photographs of the Gould family and the building of a parsonage in Nome, information regarding a stained glass window that portrays Gould, and VHS tapes of an interview with Gould. The collection also includes a typescript draft of his unpublished memoir entitled An Alaskan fisherman’s son.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the order in which it arrived at Archives and Special Collections.

Digitized copies: Select images have been digitized and are available on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections holds copyright to materials created by P. Gordon Gould. There are materials in this collection not created by Gould, which may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Preferred citation: P. Gordon Gould papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:
“Rev. Peter Gordon Gould.” Find a Grave. Accessed June 20, 2019. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/59083829/peter-gordon-gould.

Separated materials: One item, a short pamphlet titled “The fisherman’s son: the story of the first native Alaskan to become a fully ordained minister in the Methodist Church” by P. Gordon Gould, was removed from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection.

Custodial history: The collection was donated to Alaska Pacific University by Robert Gould, P. Gordon Gould’s son, in 2019.

Acquisition note: The collection was transferred to Archives and Special Collections from Alaska Pacific University (APU) in 2019. A deed of gift was signed by the President of APU, Dr. Bob Onders, on behalf of APU, at the time of donation.

Processing information: This collection was described by Veronica Denison in 2019. The draft memoir was added to the collection and the guide updated by Arlene Schmuland in 2023.

Container list:


Folder Description Dates
1 Williamsport Dickinson Seminary pamphlet for 1922 February 22 graduation; Photograph of P. Gordon Gould and Samuel Maconaghey at Dickinson Seminary circa 1923-1924 circa 1922-1924
2 Wedding announcement: Ethel Claire and P. Gordon Gould 1925
3 Portrait photographs: P. Gordon Gould and Ethel Claire circa 1925
4 Photographs: Most of the photographs are of P. Gordon Gould, and one of his mother Irene Hubley Golovon circa 1890-1930
5 Mae Evelyn Gould: Birth announcement, photograph of Mae Evelyn and Ethel Gould; Two newspaper clippings regarding Mae Evelyn’s death and funeral 1927-1928
6 Scanned scrapbook pages of newspapers clippings and family photographs of the P. Gordon Gould and family 1936-1947
7 Photographs of Gould family at airport for P. Gordon Gould’s trip to Alaska 1948
8 Photographs: Gould family trip to Alaska, Anchorage, Moose Pass, and Seward, including the Jesse Lee Home 1951
9 Photographs: Building parsonage in Nome, blanket toss, and people on beach; Gould family’s Alaska trip; Nome parsonage builder’s reunion; Seattle, Washington 1953
10 Gould family history; Scans of family photographs undated, 1979
11 Photographic copies of Gould family photographs undated
12 P. Gordon Gould’s birth record [xerographic copy] in Russian undated, 1985
13 Syracuse University Kum-Bak 1982 Arents Awards Program, scans of photograph from event 1982 May
14 Dedication ceremony program for Gould, Oliver, and Benson cottages at the Jesse Lee Home 1983 September
15 Alaska Methodist University and Alaska’s Greater Tomorrows by P. Gordon Gould undated
16 A report on the promotion and development of Alaska Methodist University May 1965 meeting of the Board of Trustees by P. Gordon Gould 1965
17 Information and correspondence regarding Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary honoring Gould with a stained glass window; Photographs of window 1992-1993
18 The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Chapel pamphlet, which provides information about the Chapel and the stained glass windows undated
19 Aerial photograph of Alaska Methodist University; The Norseman news clipping regarding Gould received honorary doctorate from APU circa 1965-1969
20 Dr. Peter Gordon Gould Alaska Legislature’s In Memoriam 1989
21-24 Four VHS: Gordon Gould interviews and workshop 1986
25 Typescript memoir: An Alaskan fisherman’s son 1978?


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