Holdiman, Fred Rozelle

1883-1976 | Machinist, Alaska Railroad

A railroader who came to Anchorage via Cordova, Fred Rozelle Holdiman was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1883 and grew up there. While living in Livingston, Montana in 1906 he met and married Laura Maude Akam, who was born in Clinton, Ontario, Canada in 1885. After a few years in Livingston, the Holdimans moved to Othello, Washington, and in 1917 they moved to Auburn, Washington. Holdiman was a trained machinist and his trade was in demand by railroads during that time. By that time, the couple had five children.

Holdiman had heard of the opportunities in Alaska and in 1922 he packed up the family and left for Cordova, where he had a job lined up with the Copper River & Northwestern Railway. Two years later they moved on to Anchorage where Holdiman was hired as a machinist with the Alaska Railroad. When the family first arrived, they lived on Government Hill and then moved to the former Alaskan Engineering Commission (AEC) Cottage No.18 on 2nd Avenue. They remained there after purchasing the home, which was renumbered to 518 2nd Avenue, Anchorage. 

Holdiman was active in the Federation of Government Employees for several years and was instrumental in obtaining the homes built by the AEC, when they came up for sale, at their appraised value so that the current occupants and Alaska Railroad employees could purchase them. Maude Holdiman had her garden, and while the children were in school she served as president of the Parent-Teacher Association for several years. Fred Holdiman retired from the railroad in 1945, and, in 1949, he and Maude moved back to Auburn, Washington.

Laura Maude Akam Holdiman died in Auburn, Washington in 1951. Fred Rozelle Holdiman died there in 1976. They are buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn, Washington. 

The union of Fred and Maude produced six children: Ruth Holdiman Smith, Ralph Holdiman, Roy Holdiman, Reetha Holdiman Martin, Roberta Holdiman Simmons, and Reona Holdiman Baker. 


This biographical sketch of Fred Rozelle Holdiman is based on an essay which originally appeared in John Bagoy’s Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage, AK: Publications Consultants, 2001), 257-258. See also the Fred Holdiman file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 4, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage, AK. Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited slightly by Bruce Parham, April 9, 2016.

Preferred citation: Mina Jacobs, ed., “Holdiman, Fred Rozelle,” Cook Inlet Historical Society, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940, http://www.alaskahistory.org.

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, www.cookinlethistory.org. Copyright © 2017 by Cook Inlet Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.