Wahl, Charles

1882-1962 | Hard-rock Miner, Carpenter, Fisherman, and Apartment Owner

Charles Wahl was born in Vaasa, Finland in August 1882. He immigrated to the United States in 1901.[1] His wife, Milja Hulda Miljana Wahl, was born in Kristiina, Waasalaani, Finland on May 19, 1892.[2] 

The Wahls arrived in Anchorage in 1921 from North Dakota. Charles Wahl worked independently as a carpenter in Anchorage for many years. He also spent time as a fisherman on Cook Inlet and was a hard-rock miner in the Willow Creek mining district. In addition, he was employed as a custodian for various local businesses. They had one daughter, Irma, who was born in Anchorage in 1922.

After Wahl’s retirement, he and Milja Wahl operated several rental units adjacent to their home on 3rd Avenue between Cordova and Barrow Streets. He also maintained a hobby making jewelry, while his wife enjoyed gardening.

Daughter Irma Wahl married Eugene Crocker, a member of another Anchorage pioneer family. Irma and Eugene Crocker had three children: Linda Gene White, Arlene M. Bennett, and Eugene Charles Crocker.

Charles Wahl died on July 10, 1962, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, after a brief illness.[3] Milja Wahl died on December 31, 1972, at Providence Hospital, in Anchorage.[4] Their daughter, Irma Wahl Crocker died in 1968.[5] All three are buried in Tract 18, Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. The couple was survived by three grandchildren, Arlene Bennett of Juneau, Linda White of Anchorage, and Eugene Crocker, of Anchorage. Eugene Crocker died in 1990 and is buried in Tract 3 next to his father in Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.


[1] Charles Wahl, 1910 U.S. Census, Valdez, Alaska, ED 7, page 16B, National Archives Microfilm Publication T624, Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Roll 1750, 1910 Federal United States Census [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 31, 2016).

[2] On June 19, 1964, her name was changed to Milja Wahl. See, Index card, Miljana Hulda Wahl [Milja Wahl], June 19, 1964, U.S. District Court, District of Alaska, Third Judicial Division, Anchorage, AK, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1788, Indexes to Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the District, Territory, and State of Alaska (Third Division), 1903-1991, Roll 19, U.S., Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 31, 2016); and “Milja Wahl Dies; Longtime Resident,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 3, 1973, 4.

[3] “Charles Wahl is Dead at 74,” Anchorage Daily Times, July 10, 1962, 2; “Wahl Service is Tomorrow,” Anchorage Daily Times, July 11, 1962, 2; Charles Wahl, U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed October 31, 2016); and John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage:  Publications Consultants, 2001), 209-210..

[4] “Milja K. Wahl Dies at Hospital,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 2, 1973, 4; and “Milja Wahl Dies; Longtime Resident,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 3, 1973, 4.

[5] Obituary, Erma Crocker Dies,” Anchorage Daily Times, October 22, 1968, 2.


This biographical sketch of Charles Wahl is based on an essay originally published in John P. Bagoy’s Legends and Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 209-210. See also the Charles Wahl file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 8, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, AK. Photographs courtesy of the Wahl family.  Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited and revised by Bruce Parham, October 31, 2016.

Preferred citation: Bruce Parham, ed., “Wahl, Charles,” 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.