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Fred Austin Delaplain papers

Guide to the Fred Austin Delaplain papers

1924-1945, bulk 1943-1944

Collection number: HMC-1404.

Creator: Delaplain, Fred Austin.

Title: Fred Austin Delaplain.

Dates: 1924-1945, bulk 1943-1944.

Volume of collection: 0.5 cubic feet. 

Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.

Collection summary: Papers and photographs of a driver who worked on the Alaska Highway during its construction.

Biographical note:

Fred Austin Delaplain was born in Missouri in 1909. He was employed as a truck driver, laborer, and trapper, mostly in Idaho and Utah. From 1943 to 1944, he worked for Bechtel-Price-Callahan as a truck driver on the Alaska Highway and Canol Pipeline projects in Canada and Alaska. Delaplain died in Reno, Nevada in 1964.

Collection description:

The collection consists of papers, photographs, and memorabilia that document Fred Austin Delaplain’s employment as a truck driver during the construction of the Alaska Highway and Canol Pipeline, as well as other documents and photographs from around the same time period. The papers related to Delaplain’s work on the Alaska Highway include his employment contract and correspondence from Bechtel-Price-Callahan; a log book of hours and pay; and an Alaska Highway commemorative booklet containing notes and signatures from other workers. Also included are a primary school diploma; selective service draft documents; personal and professional correspondence; tax returns; information on homesites in National Forests in Alaska; and materials related to fur sales. The photographic materials consist of  an album containing photographs of Alaska Highway Construction equipment and operation, scenery, buildings, and people taken at various locations along the highway. There are also some loose Alaska Highway postcards; panoramic photographs of Pioche, Nevada; and negatives of a woman and two children, possibly Delaplain’s wife and kids. There are also a commemorative pillow cover, handkerchief, and pocket knife from the Alaska Highway.

Delaplain went by both “Fred” and “Austin”, and both names appear on documents in the collection.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type of material.

Alternative formats:  The negatives in the collection have been scanned for preservation purposes. Please consult an archivist for access.

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Digital materials: The digital contents of this collection are not available online. Access may only be provided on-site in the Archives research room. For more information about potential distance access to digital records, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials in the collection created by Fred Austin Delaplain.

Preferred citation: Fred Austin Delaplain, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory: The majority of the biographical information about Delaplain was gathered from material in the collection. Additional information was taken from:

Ancestry.com. Nevada, U.S., Death Certificates, 1911-1965 [database on-line]. https://www.ancestrylibrary.com/discoveryui-content/view/72666:60974

Related materials: For additional materials related to construction of the Alaska Highway, see our Alaska Highway topic guide.

Acquisition note: The collection was donated to Archives & Special Collections by Thomas Delaplain, Fred Austin Delaplain’s grandson, who signed a deed of gift transferring ownership of the collection to the Archives.

Processing information: This collection was described by Gwen Higgins in 2022.

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