Howe, Fred

1870-1943 | Bridge Foreman, Alaska Railroad

Fred Howe was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1870. He came to Alaska in 1897, first arriving in Nome where he spent several years mining. He moved on to Valdez, Alaska in later years, prospecting in the Shushana District. His next move was to Sunrise on Cook Inlet, doing prospecting in and around Hope. When the Alaskan Engineering Commission (AEC) started work on the Alaska Railroad, he joined the construction crews and remained as a bridge foreman until his retirement in 1936.

 In 1921, Ellen Pukkila Stolt and Fred Howe were married in Anchorage.  Ellen Pukkila Stolt was born in Finland in 1880. She and her first husband immigrated to the United States and settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where their first child, William Stolt, was born in 1900. Ellen Stolt's husband died the following year, and she stayed on in Boston working as a cook and baker. In 1909 she remarried and moved to Juneau, Alaska, where her second son, Paul, was born.  In 1917, Ellen Pukkila's family moved to Anchorage, and in 1918 she and her second husband were divorced.  She went to work for the AEC in 1920, working as a cook on the bridge crew, of which Fred Howe was the foreman.

In 1929, Fred Howe's step-son, William "Bill" Stolt married Lily "Lilian" Rivers in Anchorage. Bill Stolt was a graduate electrical engineer, and Lily Stolt had a degree in business administration. The couple started on a long career in Anchorage as business partners in Bill's Electric, later changed to Stolt's Gift Center. Together they operated an electrical contracting business and gift shop for many years.  Bill Stolt served three terms as Mayor of Anchorage during the tumultuous years of World War II. Prior to being mayor he also served for a two-year term on the Anchorage City Council (1938-1940). 

Fred Howe died in 1943, and Ellen Pukkila Stolt Howe passed away in l962. Their remains are in Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. William "Bill" Stolt, celebrated his one-hundredth birthday in 2000, and died the following year.


This biographical sketch of Fred Howe is based on an essay which originally appeared in John Bagoy’s Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage, AK: Publications Consultants, 2001), 160-161. See also the Fred Howe file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 4, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage, AK. Photographs courtesy of the Howe and Stolt families.  Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited slightly by Bruce Parham, April 9, 2016.

Preferred citation: Mina Jacobs, ed., "Howe, Fred," Cook Inlet Historical Society, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940,

Major support for Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940, provided by: Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Atwood Foundation, Cook Inlet Historical Society, and the Rasmuson Foundation. This educational resource is provided by the Cook Inlet Historical Society, a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt association. Contact us at the Cook Inlet Historical Society, by mail at Cook Inlet Historical Society, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, 625 C Street, Anchorage, AK 99501, or through the Cook Inlet Historical Society website, Copyright © 2017 by Cook Inlet Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.