Nebraska to Alaska: Klondike Gold Rush of 1896

When gold was discovered in the Klondike, many Nebraskans joined in the mass journey to the gold fields. Even a pair of Omaha World-Herald reporters!

The gold rush to Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, beginning in the summer of 1897, was reflected in the pages of Nebraska’s newspapers. The fortune seekers usually traveled to a West Coast port such as Seattle, purchased an outfit of provisions and mining equipment, and then booked ship passage north. The February 6, 1898, issue of the Omaha World-Herald, on microfilm at History Nebraska, noted that even two of its employees had departed for the gold fields:

Hugh Murphy and J. W. Fisher of the World-Herald started for the Klondike yesterday afternoon and were escorted from the World-Herald office to the depot by between thirty and forty friends. They were pretty well loaded down, having purchased the greater part of their outfit in Omaha. They are prepared for an absence of two years but expect to return to Seattle at the end of the first. If they reach the coast in time they expect to sail for the Copper river upon a steamer that leaves Seattle the 15th. They propose to do placer mining at the head of the Copper river.

Some two years later the Omaha Daily News (January 26, 1900) noted the departure from Omaha of a large party for the gold fields:

D. C. Hazelet of this city, who two years ago, went from Neligh to Alaska, has organized what is known as the Chesna Mining and Improvement company, consisting of twenty-five citizens of this state, Iowa and Missouri, who will join him in developing certain new gold fields in the Klondike region. They leave this afternoon for Seattle, . . . The adventurous party will take a carload of horses, a saw mill, complete hydraulic mining apparatus, six head of work cattle and a large outfit of food and clothing.

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