Stoddard, Dayton W.

1878-1933 | City Clerk, Assessor, and Magistrate, City of Anchorage

Dayton W. Stoddard served as city clerk, assessor, and magistrate for the City of Anchorage from 1925 until his death in 1933. He became active in the pubic and community life during the 1920s and early 1930s and was identified with the life of the city for years. He first arrived in Anchorage with his family in 1919, after being discharged from the U.S. Army.

Dayton W. Stoddard was born in Hutchinson, Minnesota, on March 16, 1878, to George S. Stoddard and Sussie H. Stoddard. He spent his early childhood in Boon Lake, Minnesota. When Stoddard was five, he moved with his parents to Portland, Oregon. By 1900, when Stoddard was twenty-two, his father had died. He and his mother were living in Monmouth, Oregon, where he worked as a bank clerk.[1] 

Stoddard married Esther Graham on November 20, 1913, in Vancouver, Washington.[2] They met in Portland, Oregon, where he was a lieutenant in the National Guard. She was born in Elgin, Iowa, on December 29, 1884, the daughter of C.G. Graham and Ida Watenpaugh. In Portland, he worked as a bookkeeper for the Eastern Manufacturers Company and other firms.[3] The couple had four daughters: Vivian (born in 1915); Fay (born in 1917); Dorothy (born in 1923); and Beth (born in 1924).

Stoddard was stationed at Fort Liscum near Valdez, in 1918, and Esther and their two daughters, Vivian and Fay, joined him there the following year. He and his family next lived at Seward, where he was stationed for a short time.  During World War I, he served as a second lieutenant in Company B, 30th Battalion, U.S. Guards.[4] The U.S. Guards were a formation of the U.S. Army, and created to guard strategic installations and areas in order to free infantry regiments for overseas duty in Europe. In 1919, he was honorably discharged in Anchorage from the U.S. Guards.[5]

In Anchorage, Stoddard was employed by the Alaskan Engineering Commission (AEC), the temporary federal agency in charge of construction of the Alaska Railroad, for a short period of time. He operated an ice cream parlor from 1921 to 1923. In 1925, he accepted the position as city clerk, magistrate, and assessor for the City of Anchorage and worked in this capacity until his death in 1933. He also served a term as U.S. postmaster of Anchorage, from March 16, 1922 to January 3, 1924, when he was replaced by Henry S. Sogn.[6]

Stoddard was prominent in social and public life in Anchorage. He was a member of the Jack Henry Post No. 1 of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was Chef de Gar of the Forty-and Eight, and a member of the Masonic order.[7]

On November 22, 1933, Dayton W. Stoddard died suddenly and unexpectedly in Anchorage. He is buried in the American Legion Tract of Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.[8]

Esther Stoddard was an experienced telephone operator and was employed by the City of Anchorage until her retirement in 1956. She moved to Oregon that same year and lived there for the remainder of her life. She died in May 197l, and is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.[9] She was survived by four daughters: Vivian Stoddard Laurie; Fay Mildred Stoddard Eskilson; Dorothy June Stoddard Walling; and Beth Marie Stoddard Allen; and ten grandchildren.


[1] “Many Pay Farewell Tribute to Departed Friend and Citizen,” Anchorage Daily Times, November 27, 1933, 8; and Dayton Stoddard, 1900 U.S. Census, Monmouth, Polk County, Oregon, ED 177, page 1B, National Archives Microfilm Publication T623, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900, Roll 1351, 1900 Federal United States Census [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[2] Dayton Stoddard and Esther Graham, Certificate of Marriage, Vancouver, Clarke County, Washington, November 20, 1913 [marriage date], Marriage Detail and Statistical Register, in Marriage Records, 1854-2013 [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[3] Entry no. 7184, Dayton Stoddard and Esther Graham, Record of Marriage Statistics, for Clarke County, State of Washington, Washington Marriage Detail and Statistical Register, November 19, 1913, 182, Washington State Archives, Olympia, WA, Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013 [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016); and Entry for Dayton Stoddard, R.L. Polk’s Portland 1915 City Directory (Portland: R.L. Polk & Company, 1915), 1148, in U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[4] Dayton Willey Stoddard, Application for Headstone, November 28, 1933, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1916, Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941, Roll 115, in U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[5] John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 66-67.

[6] Entry for D.W. Stoddard, National Archives Microfilm Publication M841, Record of Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-1971, Roll 4, in U.S., Appointment of U.S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[7] “Dayton W. Stoddard Called to Last Rest after Sudden Attack,” Anchorage Daily Times, November 22, 1933, 8; and “Final Services D.W. Stoddard here Tomorrow,” Anchorage Daily Times, November 25, 1933, 6.

[8] See, 2Lt. Dayton Willey Stoddard, U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).

[9] Esther L. Stoddard, U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], (accessed November 6, 2016).


This biographical sketch of Dayton W. Stoddard is based on an essay originally published in John P. Bagoy’s Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 66-67. See also Dayton W. Stoddard file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 7, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, AK.  Photographs courtesy of the Stoddard family.  Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited, revised, and expanded by Bruce Parham, November 6, 2016.

Preferred citation: Bruce Parham, ed., “Stoddard, Dayton W.,” 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,