Romig, Joseph Herman, M.D.
1872-1951 | Moravian Church Medical Missionary and Physician, and Mayor of Anchorage (1937-1938)
Joseph Herman Romig, M.D., was a Moravian Missionary Society medical missionary in Alaska who arrived in Bethel in 1896, with his wife, Ella Mae Ervin Romig (1871-1937), a nurse. Romig became known as the “Dog-Team Doctor” for his expertise at mushing, as his practice stretched throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. He was also called Yung-Cha-wista ("Remaker of People") due to his skills in modern medicine and self-sacrificing dedication. He completed his seven-year mission in 1903, but afterwards, served as a U.S. commissioner, superintendent of schools, and chief railroad surgeon for the Alaska Railroad in Anchorage. He served as Mayor of Anchorage from 1937-1938.
Early Years and Education
Joseph Herman Romig was born on September 3, 1872, in West Salem, Illinois, the sixth of eleven children and first son of Joseph Herman and Margaret Ricksecker Romig. He preferred to be called by his middle name, Herman. Romig’s ancestor, Dr. John Adam Romig, was a member of the Moravian Church, a central European pre-Reformation Protestant sect, from Germany who settled in Pennsylvania under a grant from William Penn in 1732. When he was twelve years old, his mother died, leaving his father to support a large family with insufficient financial resources and the difficulties of single parenthood until he replaced missionary work with teaching which, combined with farming, to keep the family together. Money was so scarce in the family, after graduating from high school, young Romig dropped his plans to become a physician and accepted a teaching position in Independence, Kansas, to help the family.
In 1891, Romig was selected for a medical school scholarship offered by the Moravian Church with the understanding that he would serve seven years as the physician at the Moravian Mission at Bethel, Alaska, after medical school. He attended Moravian College at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to study pre-medicine, and then entered Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, where he took some special training in surgery and received his medical degree in 1896.
During Romig’s senior year, he met Ella Mae Ervin, an 1894 graduate of Hahnemann’s Nursing School. She shared his desire to help the less fortunate and became interested in his plans to go to Alaska and serve his term at the mission at Bethel. Her family had also settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Her great-grandfather, Henry Ervin, served as a private in the Fifth Pennsylvania Regiment fighting in the American Revolution under the command of Colonel Francis Johnston at Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. Ella was born near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on December 28, 1871, the second of three children born to Albert Fisher and Marietta Struck Ervin. Ella moved to Forty Fort, Pennsylvania with her parents and they later took up residence in Philadelphia. Romig married Ella Mae Ervin on April 30, 1896, at Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.
Bethel Moravian Mission (1896-1903)
Shortly after his graduation from medical school, the Romigs traveled to Bethel to serve a medical mission for the Moravian Church. On the way west, they visited the old Romig homestead in Ohio and relatives in Kansas. On June 6, 1896, they set sail from San Francisco on the Alaska Commercial Company steamer Bertha, to Unalaska. They stopped over at Unalaska for two weeks to see the mission work of Dr. Sheldon Jackson, the Presbyterian Church’s director of mission schools to Alaska and the U.S. Bureau of Education’s General Agent for Education in Alaska, whom they had met in Philadelphia. From Unalaska, they left on the schooner Pearl, and sailed three hundred miles across the Bering Sea, arriving at the mouth of the Kuskokwim River, where the mission boat, the Swan, with ten tons of supplies, took them upriver to Bethel. They finally reached Bethel about July 13, 1896.
Joseph Herman Romig and his wife, Ella Mae Romig, followed Philippine C. King of the First Church in Philadelphia, as medical missionaries to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. King came to Bethel in July 1893 as the first trained nurse in the region. King was stationed at Bethel and Ougavig until 1896, when she was transferred to the mission station at Carmel on the Nushagak River, near Kanuluk, where she remained until her retirement in 1904. Romig served as head of the Bethel Mission from 1899 until 1904, when they moved after a one-year furlough to Carmel in 1904.
Their Alaska mission was furnished “with the best surgical instruments and drugs obtainable.” However, Romig had promised to work the seven years without a salary due to the Moravian Church’s generosity in furnishing his education, with an allowance of $50 a year for spending money.
Romig’s oldest sister, Edith, and her husband, John Henry Kilbuck, two of the original founders of this mission, welcomed them to Bethel. The mission was established in 1885 by the Kilbucks, along with the Reverend William Weinland, Caroline Weinland, and Hans Torgersen. Kilbuck was of Delaware Indian ancestry and had a physical likeness to the Yup’ik people of the Kuskokwim River area. He also was a linguist. Although he represented an unfamiliar culture, he was respected and liked by the Natives. By the time that the Romigs had arrived in about 1897, adequate buildings for the mission and a school had been built. In addition to Bethel, a presence was established at the outlying villages of Nushagak, Ougavig, and Quinhagak.
Romig felt that Kilbuck’s relationship with the Yup’ik people would increase his opportunity to make a success of his medical activities. In retrospect, the goals of the Moravian missionaries like Kilbuck have been judged by contemporary standards as intrusive:
“Like Protestant preachers and teachers working on Indian reservations throughout the United States in the 1880s, the Moravians wanted to change the way people were married, clothed and fed. They planned to transform nomadic people who wore fur garments and lived in muddy, underground men’s and women’s houses into stable, hard working, Christian citizens who lived in single-family cabins and cut their hair.”
In Bethel, Romig set up his hospital in a small log structure divided into two rooms: one with two crude beds with the other serving as an office and dispensary, with a makeshift operating table. Robert Fortuine, in Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska (1989), provided this description of Romig’s first year of medical practice there:
“In his first year he treated 470 cases, with 72 different diagnoses. One of his first patients was a local village leader who was badly injured by a harpoon. Romig’s surgical skill in this case and others enhanced his reputation among the Eskimos. He operated under all kinds of conditions, in missions, igloos, kashims, and even steambaths. His toughest case, however, came in late 1898 when his brother-in-law developed a rapidly spreading infection of his arm secondary to a fishhook injury of his hand. With Mrs. Kilbuck giving the anesthetic, Dr. Romig amputated the arm just below the shoulder. The Eskimos who watched never forgot how the missionary died and then came alive again.”
During his years in Bethel, Romig was often referred as the “Dog-Team Doctor.” He made many extended trips, generally, by dog sled, over the west coast, from St. Michael to Kodiak, as a physician and as superintendent of Moravian Missions. Yu’pik people and other Alaska Natives came from near and far to seek medical care.
Romig soon became expert at dog mushing, and he made extended journeys by dog team up and down the Kuskokwim and, occasionally, to the lower Yukon. His practice stretched for hundreds of miles, and all of his missions were related to saving lives. There were no planes, no highways, no snow machines; nothing but dogs or snowshoes in the winter or rowboats, kayaks and other watercraft in the summer.
During the last years of the nineteenth century, the health of the Yu’pik people deteriorated rapidly as influenza epidemics swept repeatedly through the population. The disastrous epidemic of 1900, known as the “Great Sickness,” was attributed to census takers like John Henry Kilbuck and Joseph Herman Romig who had assisted with the 1900 U.S. census earlier that year. It was later estimated that almost half of the Yu’pik people in the region perished in the 1900 epidemic. Since Romig’s remedies were not effective in the face of the epidemic, he was also discredited somewhat for a period of time. Despite these setbacks, Romig has been judged as “one of the most successful of the early medical missionaries in Alaska.”
In the fall of 1899 the annual re-supply ship did not make it up the Kuskokwim River, creating a serious food shortage for the village with winter approaching. Romig rounded up about twenty men and a half-dozen rowboats and headed upriver to portage and slog across to the Yukon and down to Russian Mission for supplies. They found that supplies were scarce there as well, so they headed down the Yukon to St. Michael where they were able to get supplies. The return trip was just as miserable, fighting flesh-devouring mosquitoes and bad weather. When they finally got back to Bethel, they had covered more than a thousand miles to make the relief mission.
While Romig was making extended journeys by dog team, Ella Mae Romig managed the small medical mission, performing minor surgery, setting broken bones, sewing up wounds, and performing other tasks except for major surgery. When her husband performed an operation, she was his assistant. She also bore the first three of their four children while in Bethel. Their son, Robert Herman, joined the family on January 26, 1897. Their first daughter, Marietta Margaret, was born on November 6, 1898, and their third child, Helen Elizabeth, was born on January 2, 1901. Later, in Seward, their fourth child, Howard G., was born in 1911.
In 1903, the Romigs left Alaska to establish themselves in the Lower 48 states. During a one-year furlough, he divided his time between San Francisco and Pennsylvania. He practiced medicine in San Francisco and visited Ella and the three children at Forty Fort, a small town near Wilkes-Barre, where Ella’s father lived. They made numerous speeches to church groups about the success of the Bethel Mission. Romig negotiated a trial agreement with the church headquarters at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to try to develop a church hospital at Carmel Mission, where medical services would be provided to both Natives and fish cannery workers in the area with the Moravian Church covering the costs for a year. The Church agreed to this offer and the Romigs arrived back at the Carmel Mission on June 21, 1904, with their youngest child, Elizabeth, leaving the two older children, Robert and Margaret, with relatives in the Lower 48, to take advantage of better educational opportunities available to them.
In the summer of 1905, Bishop J. Taylor Hamilton of Bethleham, Pennsylvania made an official visit to the Moravian Mission at Carmel. He decided that the results were not commensurate with the expenses, leading to its closure in 1906. The Moravian influence over the Natives had diminished by cannery wages, leading them to accept worldly ways in the community. The Russian Orthodox Church continued to be very influential in the Natives’ lives. In the fall of 1905, the Romigs left Carmel and the mission was closed the following summer. For many of the reasons given by the church, Romig decided that he no longer wanted to practice medicine in such a geographically isolated region. Romig and his family returned to San Francisco, where the entire family was reunited, and he resumed the surgical practice that he had established with other colleagues in 1903.
San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
On the morning of April 18, 1906, the San Francisco earthquake struck with an estimated magnitude of 7.8, destroying one-fourth of the city. The ensuing fires engulfed most of the city for four days, destroying more than 28,000 buildings and 500 blocks, with about 700 people losing their lives and a quarter million residents left homeless. Romig served as acting assistant surgeon of the California National Guard and ran the First Reserve Hospital at Gough and Eddy Streets. The hospital was the headquarters for emergency work in the downtown section of the city, with twenty-six doctors, forty nurses, and forty orderlies. The Romigs also lost their home and belongings in the earthquake and fire that struck the city.
By June 1906, Romigs were homesick for Alaska. He and his family again returned to Nushagak, where he worked fulltime as company physician for five thousand people employed by the Nushagak Packing Company. He also secured a small mail-route contract on the Yukon River, between Bethel and Quinhagak and Koserefsky, forty miles downriver from Anvik. In addition, he served as the U.S. Commissioner at Nushagak and the Alaska Indian Service superintendent of schools at Nushagak under the Alaska Division, U.S. Bureau of Education. In 1909, he was appointed by the U.S. Bureau of Education, as superintendent of schools and physician for the southwestern district of Alaska. In addition, he was placed in charge of the management of the reindeer industry in western Alaska, a responsibility of the Alaska Reindeer Service.
Seward and Fairbanks
In May 1909, Romig moved to Seward when his headquarters as superintendent of schools was moved there. In late 1909, Romig was appointed as chief special agent for the U.S. Census for the Second Division of Alaska. He was placed in charge of the west coast district. In connection with preparations for the 1910 federal census in Alaska, he went to Washington, DC, to urge that the collection of census information be delayed until April 15, since many bona fide residents lived Outside during the winter months. In 1911, Romig resigned from the U.S. Bureau of Education to establish the Pioneer Hospital in Seward.
In 1914, Romig accepted a position as surgeon for the Alaskan Engineering Commission (AEC) at the Alaska Railroad Hospital in Seward. He also served in the municipal government as city health officer and kept local vital statistics. He also served on the school board in Seward in 1915 and 1916, and as city treasurer. During World War I, he was the medical member of the draft registration board, Local Board No. 13. In 1922, he was elected to a term as president of the Seward Chamber of Commerce. He also established Romig and Romig, Seward realtors, which sold recreation lots outside of town. He was chairman of the Seward Chapter of the American Red Cross and an officer in the Pioneers of Alaska. The family eventually left Seward to live in Nenana, Fairbanks, and eventually in Anchorage as his responsibilities with the AEC’s medical service changed over time.
About 1922, Romig moved to Fairbanks. In addition to his responsibilities with the AEC, Romig was a surgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital, operated by the Sisters of Providence. In 1923, Ella was elected as a member of the Pioneer Women of Alaska, an organization for women who arrived in Alaska prior to 1901.
Medical Career in Anchorage (1925-1940)
On October 1, 1925, he left Fairbanks to became the railway surgeon at the Alaska Railroad Hospital (Second Avenue, between A and B Streets) in Anchorage, with operation of the hospital continuing under Dr. A.D. Haverstock. In 1930, he became chief of staff at the Alaska Railroad Hospital in Anchorage. He retired from the Railroad Hospital in mid-1936 after Colonel Otto F. Ohlson, general manager of the Alaska Railroad, discovered that he was one of the leading advocates in support of the Sisters of Providence to found a new hospital in Anchorage. For a few years, he went into private medical practice with his son, Howard Romig, in Anchorage. In 1939-1940 he became chief surgeon at Providence Hospital, and shortly thereafter retired from practice.
Civic and Community Affairs
Romig was elected in the April 6, 1937 general election to a one-year term as mayor of Anchorage (1937-1938). He received 501 votes out of a total of 880 votes cast in the election, a plurality of nearly 225 votes. Mayor Herb E. Brown received 281 votes, and H.N. Elvig polled 95 votes. Romig was interviewed in Seattle while on a short business trip and expressed surprise that he had been elected to this office: "You bet I'm surprised. In fact, I am so surprised. I don't know what is say. You see, I have never been elected mayor before."
Romig's major accomplishment as mayor was his support of public education. Romig had previously expressed overwhelming support for a new Anchorage public school building, and there was almost a five to one indication by the voters for new and modern school facilities. On July 30, 1937, he reported approval of a $101,250 Federal Emergency Administration grant to cover forty-five percent of the cost of a new grade school, auditorium, and gymnasium for a new Fifth Avenue grade school. In an election held on September 9, 1937, seventy percent of the voters approved the sale of thirty-year bonds for $137,000, by a vote of 286 for and 118 against, for a new Fifth Avenue grade school. After several delays, the high school auditorium and the grade school (minus the unfunded gymnasium), were turned over to the Anchorage School Board on September 6, 1939.
Romig was also active in community affairs in Anchorage. He was a member of the Alaska Territorial Medical Board and president of the Alaska Territorial Medical Association. He was also a member of the Anchorage Elk’s Club, and started an annual Game Dinner night of fun and food.
Romig purchased several acres of land on what is now called Romig Hill, where Anchorage High School, later called West Anchorage High School, was built. The section of Spenard Road that slopes down to Chester Creek became known as Romig Hill as it was the hill where the Romigs had lived. Henry Easterly had a log cabin on his homestead at the top of the hill, which he called "Moosehorn Ranch." Romig built an addition to the log home.
In the early 1920s, Romig organized the first service club in Anchorage, known as the Board of Directors, an informal organization of his friends. It met once per week and each guest at the weekly luncheons automatically became a member. As membership grew, the group discussed civic problems and became influential in local affairs. Each fall, he asked the group to "go out into the hills, the dales, the swamps, and even the sea and bring back the choicest specimen of the wild game for which Alaska is famous." He and friends put on an annual wild game dinner, and each guest cooked and brought a wild game entrée. Due to the unique menu, at times the dinner was given national publicity. This turned out to be an annual affair, and the same group of men formed the beginnings of the Anchorage Rotary Club.
Ella Mae Romig, died on January 1, 1937, following a stroke which left her in poor health. He then married a widow, Emily Craig Romig, a long-time friend of his first wife, who worked as a nurse at the Alaska Railroad Hospital in Anchorage. She was the widow of A.C. Craig, the chief carpenter of the Alaska Railroad, who died in 1928.
In 1940, Joseph and Emily Romig moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. His writings include A Medical Handbook for Missionaries in Cold Climates (Philadelphia: Boericke and Tafel, 1904) and The Raven of the Eskimo (Colorado Springs, CO: The Author, 1943).
Joseph Herman Romig died on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1951, in Colorado Springs, after a prolonged illness. His remains are buried in the Masonic tract of Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. He was originally buried in Colorado Springs, but his remains were disinterred, brought to Anchorage and buried in the family plot. His second wife, Emily Craig Romig, survived him. In addition, he was survived by two sons, Howard G. Romig and Robert B. Romig, both of Anchorage; and by two daughters, Elizabeth Romig Daily, of San Francisco, and Margaret Romig Hannon, of Seattle.
Emily Craig Romig died on May 8, 1957, in Seattle. She is buried at Lake Forest Park, in Seattle, Washington.
The name of Romig Hill stuck even after the family left the area, and eventually, a junior high school built adjacent to West High was named Romig Junior High School (now Romig Middle School), in the doctor’s honor. In addition, Mount Romig in the Kilbuck Mountains, seventy miles southeast of Bethel, was named for him.
The Joseph Herman Romig Papers, 1862-1955, are held by the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives, Elmer C. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition, the J.H. and Ella Romig Journals, 1898-1905, are available on microfilm from the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library. In Anchorage, there is an oral history interview with his son, Howard Romig, in the Medicine in Alaska Oral History Project Transcripts, 1982-1983 (HMC-1075), in the Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska, Anchorage.
 Rae Arno, Anchorage Place Names: The Who and Why of Streets, Parks, and Places (Anchorage: Todd Communications, 2008), 63-64; Phyllis Movius, “Introduction,” in Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, Edited with an Introduction by Phyllis Demuth Movius (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 1997), 1-2; and Mary J. Barry, Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Part I: Prehistory to 1914 (Anchorage: Mary J. Barry, 1986), 118-119.
 Phyllis Movius, “Introduction,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, 2; and Stephen W. Haycox and Betty J. Haycox, editors, Melvin Ricks’ Alaska Bibliography: An Introductory Guide to Alaskan Historical Literature (Portland, OR: Binford & Mort for the Alaska Historical Commission, 1977), 186.
 “Dr., Mrs. Romig Pass Fortieth Anniversary,” Anchorage Daily Times, May 1, 1936, 4.
 See, Stephen Haycox, “Sheldon Jackson in Historical Perspective: Alaska Native Schools and Mission Contracts, 1885-1894,” Pacific Historian, v. 28, no. 1 (1982), 18-28; reprinted in http://www.alaskool.org/native_ed/articles/s_haycox/sheldon_jackson.htm (accessed October 4, 2016).
 James W. Henkelman and Kurt H. Vitt, The History of the Alaska Moravian Church, 1885-1985: Harmonious to Dwell (Bethel, AK: Moravian Seminary and Archives, 1985), 148.
 James W. Henkelman and Kurt H. Vitt, The History of the Alaska Moravian Church, 1885-1985: Harmonious to Dwell, 145; and Ann Fienup-Riordan, The Yup’ik Eskimos, as Described in the Travel Journals and Ethnographic Accounts of John and Edith Kilbuck who Served with the Alaska Mission of the Moravian Church, 1886-1900, Edited, with an Introduction by Ann Fienup-Riordan, Alaska History, No. 31 (Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press, 1988), 514.
 Eva Greenslit Anderson, Dog-Team Doctor: The Story of Dr. Romig (Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1940), 26.
 Ibid., 26-34.
 There is an excellent, detailed biographical essay of John Henry Kilbuck in Ann Fienup-Riordan, editor, The Yup’ik Eskimos, as Described in the Travel Journals and Ethnographic Accounts of John and Edith Kilbuck who Served with the Alaska Mission of the Moravian Church, 1886-1900, Alaska History, No. 31 (Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press, 1988), xxvi-iv.
 Penny Rennick, editor, The Kuskokwim, Alaska Geographic, v. 15, no. 4 (1988), 47. Quoted in Phyllis Movius, “Introduction,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, 5.
 Robert Fortuine, Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 1989), 188.
 Eva Greenslit Anderson, Dog-Team Doctor, 79; and Mary J. Barry, Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Part I: Prehistory to 1914, 118.
 In the area around Bethel, Robert Fortuine stated that “fifty-seven died at Bethel and some 212 were counted dead between Ogavik and Bethel. Below Bethel the mortality rate was also frightful. In one village only 20 survived from a population of 121. As a result of the epidemic several villages along the Kuskokwim and on Nelson Island were permanently abandoned.” Ibid., 224-225.
 Ibid., 189.
 John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 332-333.
 “Mrs. J.H. Romig Succumbs at Home,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 2, 1937, 1 and 5.
 Phyllis Movius, “Introduction,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, xv, and 7.
 Phyllis Movius, “Introduction,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, 15. See also, James W. Henkelman and Kurt H. Vitt, The History of the Alaska Moravian Church, 1885-1985: Harmonious to Dwell, 162-167.
 Howard R. Lamar, editor, The New Encyclopedia of the American West (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 1009.
 Ed Ferrell, editor and compiler, Biographies of Alaska-Yukon Pioneers, 1850-1950, Volume 2 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1995), 280; “Mrs. J.H. Romig Succumbs at Home,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 2, 1937, 1 and 5; and “Dr., Mrs. Romig Pass Fortieth Anniversary,” Anchorage Daily Times, May 1, 1936, 4.
 Phyllis Movius, “Epilogue,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, 237; entry for Joseph H. Romig, U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1907), 673, U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 7, 2016); and Mary J. Barry, Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Part I: Prehistory to 1914, 118.
 Romig was later placed in charge of conducting the U.S. 1920 census in the Seward area. Mary J. Barry, Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Part I: Prehistory to 1914, 118.
 “Brief History of Dr. J.H. Romig, Pioneer Physician,” Seward Daily Gateway (Seward, AK), Prosperity Edition, December 5, 1925, 24; entry for Joseph H. Romig, U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1909), 68, U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 7, 2016); “Dr., Mrs. Romig Pass Fortieth Anniversary,” Anchorage Daily Times, May 1, 1936, 4; Phyllis Movius, “Epilogue,” Ella Mae Ervin Romig, When the Geese Come: The Journals of a Moravian Missionary, 1895-1905, Southwest Alaska, 237; and Mary J. Barry, Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Volume II: 1914-1923, The Railroad Construction Years (Anchorage: Mary J. Barry, 1993), 7, 37-38, 58, 125-126, 148, 155, and 158.
 “Dr. Romig Will Take Post Here Railway Doctor,” Anchorage Daily Times, September 26, 1925, 8.
 John C. Shideler and Hal K. Rothman, Pioneering Spirit: The Sisters of Providence in Alaska (Anchorage: Providence Hospital, 1987), 56-57.
 " 'It's Surprise to Me,' New Mayor Says," Anchorage Daily Times, April 7, 1937, 1.
 "Romig Named Mayor in Landslide, Andresen, Morrison, Watson Win," Anchorage Daily Times, April 7, 1937, 1 and 8; "Official Returns," Anchorage Daily Times, April 7, 1937, 1; "Response to Election Reflects Progressiveness [Editorial]," Anchorage Daily Times, April 7, 1937, 2; and Helve Enatti, "Anchorage Public Schools, 1915-1951: A Thirty-Six Year School District Development Study," Master's thesis, University of Alaska, May 1967, 128-137.
 “Brief History of Dr. J.H. Romig, Pioneer Surgeon,” Seward Daily Gateway (Seward, AK), Prosperity Edition, December 5, 1925, 24; and typescript, “Dr. Joseph Herman Romig,” attachment, Ben Romig to John Bagoy, February 17, 1993, in J.H. Romig file, Bagoy Pioneer Family Files (2004.11), Box 7, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, AK.
 Rae Arno, Anchorage Place Names: The Who and Why of Streets, Parks, and Places, 64.
 Included on the 1942 menu were goat, caribou, duck, reindeer, seal, bear, goose, grouse, ptarmigan, deer, rabbits, porcupine, pheasants, squaw candy, and "military secret." See, printed program, "1942 Annual Wild Game Dinner of Dr. J.H. Romig's, Board of Directors, October 5, 1942, 7:00 P.M., Idle Hour Country Club, Anchorage, Alaska," Folder 6, Series 1, Part 1, David Strandberg Papers, 1907-1956 (HMC-0357), Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK.
 Stephen W. Haycox and Betty J. Haycox, editors, Melvin Ricks’ Alaska Bibliography: An Introductory Guide to Alaskan Historical Literature, 186.
 “ ‘Dog Team’ Doctor Succumbs in States,” Anchorage Daily Times, November 24, 1951, 1 and 8; and Dr. Joseph Herman Romig, U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 6, 2016).
 Entry for Mount Romig, Donald J. Orth, Dictionary of Alaska Place Names, Geological Survey Professional Paper 567 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1967): 814.
This biographical sketch of Joseph Herman Romig is based on an essay which originally appeared in John P. Bagoy's Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 330-335. See also the Joseph Herman Romig file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 7, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, AK. Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012. Note: edited, revised, and substantially expanded by Bruce Parham, October 8, 2016.
Preferred citation: Bruce Parham, “Romig, Joseph Herman, M.D.,” 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.