ohn Teeland, who was born in Norway in 1865, arrived in Dyea, Alaska in 1898 en route to the Klondike gold fields via Chilkoot Pass. He spent two years prospecting the famous Bonanza and Eldorado Creeks, and, like many others, he found the good claims were already staked and only the dregs remained. John soon departed for greener pastures in Fairbanks. When he heard of the strike at Pedro Dome he staked a claim or two on Cleary Creek and on Fox Gulch.
In about 1903, he decided to take a trip to Seattle, and there he met Kate Norris, who had come to the United States a few years earlier. She was born in Ireland in 1887. John sold her on the idea of prospecting for gold, and they set out for Fairbanks. They got a grubstake and set themselves up in a cabin on Cleary Creek, trying to strike it rich.
Following the big news of gold lying on the beach ready to be picked up at will, in the spring of 1908 they headed for Nome. As usual, all of the good stuff was staked, so they returned to Cleary Creek on the last boat upriver from St. Michael.
The next strike that attracted John’s attention was at Ruby, on the Yukon River. By then, the family included three children, Walter, born in Nome in 1907; Hazel, born in Nome in 1908 and Mabel, born in Goldstream in 1909. They headed down the Yukon to Ruby on a raft. There, too, all the good gold claims had already been staked so, John acquired some horses and did freighting and blacksmithing for the next ten years.
There was one more venture, which was the strike at Wiseman on the Koyokuk River. Here, the family spent a tough winter of minus sixty-degree weather, living in a small cabin. A near tragedy occurred to daughter May, who was born in Ruby in 1913. In Hughes, where the family had stopped to provision for the trip up to Coldfoot and Wiseman, she was attacked by three loose dogs and severely bitten on the face. She required medical help, and since there was none at Hughes, John had to take May back downriver to Nulato, where there was a doctor. He had to leave the rest of the family at Hughes for three weeks while he made the one-hundred-mile trip. Before John left, however, he went hunting and found May’s three attackers tied up at the rear of their owner’s store. He promptly dispensed with the dogs with a twelve-gauge shotgun.
In l921, with the gold fever subsiding, John moved the family to Nenana, where he obtained employment with the Alaska Railroad. In 1923, they moved down to Anchorage, making it their permanent home. John Teeland died in Anchorage in 1951. He is buried in the pioneer section of Anchorage Memorial Park. Kate moved to Salem, Oregon to live with one of her daughters. She passed away in 1964 in Salem, where she is buried.
Walter married Vivian Jones, daughter of another Anchorage pioneer family. They had three children, Colleen, Walter and Larry. Hazel Teeland Ostrander had two children, Loreen and Steve Jr. Mabel Teeland Holbrook had no children. May Teeland Bowman had two children, Eric and Carol.
- John Teeland with daughter-in-law Vivian Jones Teeland, date unknown.
- Kate Norris Teeland, born in Ireland in 1887. Died in 1964.
- Kate Teeland, circa 1960.
- John Teeland, born in Norway in 1865. Died in 1961.
- Kate Teeland with daughters Hazel, May and Mabel and son Walter, in Ruby, 1919.
- Seated, left: May Teeland Bowman, born in Ruby, 1913; center: Mabel Teeland Holbrook, born in Goldstream, 1909. Standing, center: Walter Teeland, born in Cleary City, 1907; right, Hazel Teeland Ostrander, born in Nome, 1908.