Matanuska Project Index
Research Center


Families of the Matanuska Valley Project



(1 family)


Stahler, John & Elizabeth  



(66 families)


Alexander, Harold & Frances Of Robinsdale.  Brought four children with them: William Gene, Bonnie Lee, Winston, Harold.
Bell, Lloyd & Dorothy Of Mora.  (25 June 1935)
Benson, Henning & Irene Of Barnum.
Bergan, Leonard & Alice Of Carlton.  One child.
Carson, Arnold & Hortense Of Milaca.  Two children.
Christianson, Martin & Leota Of Ogilvie.  One child.
Cook, Clyde & Jesse Of Longville.  Seven children.
Doughty, Glendon & Hulda Of Milaca.  Two children.
Eckert, Virgil & Lillian Of Cloquet.  Two children.  Begun paying back his loan (5 October 1936).
Emberg, George & Evelyn Three children.
Engebretson, Oscar & Johanna Of Richfield.  Three children.
Fisher, Otto & Frances Of Kanabec.  One child.
France, Grant & Eva Of Grand Rapids.  Five children.
Fredericks, Albert & Audrey Of Sturgeon Lake.  Two Children.
Fredericks, Allen & Lenore Of Sturgeon Lake.  Three children.
Giblin, Theodore & Jennie Of Brookston.  One child.
Hack, Arthur & Mabel Of Ogilvie.  Three children.
Hemmer, Patrick & Cora Of Wright.  Four children accompanied them.  Patrick and Mrs. I.M. Sandvik lodged complaints against the project on behalf of 40 colonists.  (19 June 1935)
Hesse, Claude & Helen Of St. Louis Park.  One child.
Holler, John & Gertrude Of Pine City.
Ising, William & Marie Of Saginaw.  Two children.
Jahr, Paul & Emma Of Pine City.  Four children.
Jenson, Henry & Edna Of Littlefork.  Two children.
Johnson, Johan & Irene Of Anatol.  One child.
Jones, Vernon & Eleanor Of Onamia.  Two children.
Kenser, Grant & Gertrude Of Swatara.
Kerttula, Oscar & Elvi Of Deer River.  Two children.
Kindgren, Oscar & Saima Of Duluth.  One child.
Kirsch, John & Rose Of Solway.  Three Children.
Klienpier, Kenneth & Grace Of Anatol.  Three children.
Larson, Fred & Laura Of Ranier.  Four children.
Leander, Rudolph & Inez Of Onamia.  One child.
Lee, Francis & Eugenie Of Forest Lake.  Three Children.
Lemmon, George & Josephina Of Littlefork, in the northern part of MN.  Married 3 months prior (to 2 May 1935).
Lemmon, Gilford & Catherine Of Koochaching County.   (25 June 1935)   Married just before leaving for Alaska (2 May 1935).   
Lepak, Thomas & Irene Of Duluth.  One child.
Lund, John & Margaret Of Saginaw.  One child.
McKechnie, Loren & Edna Of Cloquet.  Five children.
Meehan, John & Viola Of Cloquet.  Five children.
Meier, Carl & Edith Of Duluth.  Five Children.
Moses, Arthur & Blanche Of Bigfork.  One child.
Moss, Edward & Myrtle Of Pine City.  One child.
Olmstead, Vernon & Pearl Of Remer.  Three children.
Olson, Hilmer & Gwendolyn Of Duluth.  Two children.
Olson, Walter & Minnie Of Duluth.  One child.
Patton, Claire & Margaret Of Long Siding.  One child.
Peterson, Otto & Meryle Of Wrenshall.  Five children.
Pippel, Walter & Melva of St. Paul.  (11 August 1936)   Begun paying back his loan (5 October 1936).
Poore, Chaney & Florence Of Littlefork.  One child.
Powell, Ores & Lorenzie Of Duluth.  Two children.
Rebarchek, Raymond & Edna Of Graceton.  One child.
Rorrison, Lawrence & Vera Of St. Louis Park.  Two children.
Rossiter, Henry & Mary Of Cloquet.  Four children.
Ruddell, Charles & Ada Of Duluth.  Six children.
Saaralla, Matt & Olga Of Swan River.  One child.
Sandvik, Ingolf M. & Agnes Of Carlton  (12 August 1936).  Agnes and Mr. Patrick Hemmer lodged complaints against the project on behalf of 40 colonists.  (19 June 1935)  Six children.
Sieber, Joseph & Albertina Of Grasston.  Five children.
Sjodin, Clarence & Alice Of Onamia.  Two children.
Smith, Lauren & Hollis Of Bennett.  Five children.
Splittgerber, Herman & Violet Of Hinckley.  Two children.
Stephan, Vincent & Betty Of Grasston.  One child.
Strang, Eldred & Helen Of Strang.  One child.
Swanda, Frank & Wilhelmina Of Pine City.  Two children.
Ubert, Lawrence & Alice Of Kingsdale.  Two children.
Vasanoja, Laurence & Helen Of Cloquet.  Five children.
Vickaryous, Anthony & Alys Of Bandette.  Four children.
Wilkes, Ray & Ruth Of Wahkon.  Five children.



(68 families)


Anderson, Walter & Garnet Of Kenton, Houghton County.  Five children accompanied them, the youngest being six months old. (15 May 1935)
Bennett, William & Ruth Of Empire.
Boice, Harold & Iona Of Merritt.  Six children.
Campbell, George & Onabelle Of Mio.  Two children.
Carter, Clifford & Dorothy Of Muskegon.  Two children.
Casler, William & Elsie Of Mesick. 
Chaney, Escar & Louise Of Stephenson, Menominee County. (14 May 1935)  Three Children.
Cousineau, Charles & Reba Of Roscommon.  With them was their son, Clifford Cousineau, eight weeks old. (as of 17 May 1935)
Davis, Harold & Edith Of Lansing.  Two children.
Dingman, William & Mildred Of Frankfurt.  Three children.
Dreghorn, Lawrence & Grace Of Wolverine, Cheboygan County; ten-day-old son (as of 13 May 1935) Hamich Dreghorn, is the  youngest traveler in the group.
Durphy, Robert & Gladys Of Cheboygan, Cheboygan County.  Three children.
Ellsworth, Lester & Senia Of Merriweather.  Five children.
Ennis, Max & Lila Of Tower.  Three children.
Fitzpatrick, Theodore & Leona Of Roscommon.  Five children.
Foster, Kenneth & Marion

Of Stephenson, Menominee County; two daughters and one son also emigrated.  Wife Marion had auburn hair. (14 May 1935)

Fox, Waldo & Mable Of Hulbert.  Farmer, trapper and fox raiser.  (17 May 1935)  One child.
Frank, Darrell & Lois Of Mio.  Two children.
Greene, Clarence & Alida Of Hancock.
Havenmeister, Arnold & Emmy Of Wallace, Menominee County. (14 May 1935)
Higgenbotham, Robert & Clara Of Stambaugh.  Two children.
Hoeft, John & Adeline Of Rogers City.  One child.
Hoganson, Harold & Mayme Of Ewen.  Three children.
Hopkins, Roy & Ada Of Arcadia.  Two children.
Huntley, Walter & Beatrice Of Sault Ste. Marie.  Two children.
Hynek, William & Neville Of Faithorn.  Five children.
Jacobson, Adolph & Mable Of Mohawk.  Two children.
Johnson, Arvid & Edith Of Crystal Falls.  Two children.
Johnson, Harold & Fannie Of Houghton.  One child.
Kalliosaari, John & Letta Of Copemish.  One child.
Laako, Henry & Ruth Of Mohawk.  One child.
Larsh, Emil & Gertrude Of Iron Mountain, Dickinson County.  Two children.
Lavalley, Edward & Florence Of Houghton.  Four children
Lipke, Henry & Mary Of Harrietta.  Two children.
Loyer, Joseph & Naomi Of Harrisville.  Four children.
MacNevin, Leon & Loraine Of Atlanta.  Five children.
Manginen, Walter & Vivian Of Champion.  One child.
Martin, Clyde & Arbutus Of Mackinaw City.
McCormick, Martin & Margaret Of East Tawas.  Martin was a farmer.  Melvin and Alvin McCormick - young twins accompany their adult brother, Martin, with four pet ducks. (17 May 1935)   See also (10 June 1935).
Newville, Irving & Lila Of Boyne City.  One child.
Nutilla, Eino & Betty Of Ironwood, Gogebic County (13 May 1935).  Two children.
Onkka, David & Saina Of Bruce Crossing, Ontonagon County.  Six children.
Pakonen, Russell & Madelon Of Long River, Gogebic County (13 May 1935).
Parks, Clarence & Beulah Of Merriweather.  Daughter born the day the boat arrived in Alaska.  (5 June 1935)  Three children.
Parlette, Paul & Violet Of Rapid River.
Pfeiff, John & Clara Of Stephenson, Menominee County. (14 May 1935)  Six children.
Piatkowski, Frank & Frances Of Ironwood, Gogebic County.  Five children.
Porter, John & Alice Of Champion.
Porterfield, Ernest & Almeda Of Harrietta.
Quarnstrom, Clarence & Sadie Of Daggett, Menominee County.  One child.
Retallic, Arthur & Alice Of Amasa.  One child.
Rotz, Fred & Emma Of Plymouth.  Two children.
Schutt, Claus & Hattie Of Lucas.  Three children.
Smith, Martin & Margaret O Ewen, Ontonagon.  Seven children.
Snyder, Thomas & Freda Of Manistee.  Four children.
Spencer, Milan & Margaret Of Sherman (Wexford County).  With them is their 13-day-old (as of 13 May 1935) son.
Spencer, Nelson & Olive Of Chauncey.  Three children.
Stebbins, Dewayne & Evelyn Of Mesick. 
Sturdy, Norris & Leona Of Crystal Falls, Iron County.  One child.
Sullivan, Carl Francis & Elizabeth Of Cheboygan, Cheboygan County.  One child.
Usher, Robert & Helen Of Copemish.  Three children.
VanWormer, Howard & Bernice Of South Boardman.  One child.
Venne, George & Irene Of Bear Lake.  Three children.
Way, Sherman & Esther Of Lyon Manor.  One child.
Wilding, John & Viola Of Iron Mountain, Dickinson County.  Four children.
Wilson, Amedee & Leah Of Cooks.  Four children.
Wirtanen, Eino & Fannie Of Iron River. 

Zook, Harold & Clara

Of Central Lake.  Three children.



(67 families)

There were 183 children and 134 adults in the Wisconsin group, making a total of 317.  Seventy-five of the children were under five years of age, 73 between 5 and 12, and 36 were 12 or more years old.

All Wisconsin families are listed in an Ironwood Daily Newspaper clipping dated May 4, 1935.  It can be accessed here.

In addition to the names below, five men's names (with families, it doesn't say) appear in the article.  I have been unable to find any additional information on them - particularly whether they continued as part of the project and actually traveled to Alaska. Additional information on these five would be most appreciated.

Carman, Edgar Of Route 2, Elkhart Lake, Sheboygan County.
Gessler, Berton Of Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan County.
Larson, Archie Of Round Lake, Sawyer County.
Ring, Joseph Of Marinette County.
Ubert, Joseph Of Dairyland, Douglas County.

Wisconsin Families Who Emigrated as Part of the Matanuska Valley Colony Project


Anderson, Chris & Grace Of Shell Lake, Washburn County.  Brought three children with them.
Anderson, Clarence & Clara Of Draper, Sawyer County.  Two children went with them.
Archer, Pearle & Dorothy Of Cumberland, Polk County.  Four children accompanied.
Arndt, Lawrence & Etta Of Nelma, Forest County.  One child went with them.
Bailey, Ferber & Ruth Of Route 5, Lena, Oconto County.  They brought their two children.
Barry, Earl W. & Louise

Of Oconto, Oconto County.  Earl was a 45-year old (5 years over the age limit) storekeeper when he was accepted as a colonist.   Homesteaded in Montana and pioneered in Albert.  Seven children.  (14 May 1935)

Beylund, Oscar & Irene Of Route 3, Rice Lake, Barron County.
Biller, Robert & Dorothy Of Fence, Florence County.  Two children.
Bouwens, William & LuLu Belle Of Rhinelander, Oneida County.  Bouwens was a butcher, and a deputy sheriff.  Their eleven children accompanied them (not in any special order):  Dorothy, Eunice, Delores, Edward, Evelyn, Audrey, Ronald, Wayne, William Jr., George and James.  This was the largest complete family among the emigrants.  (15 May 1935)
Bradley, John & Sylvia Of Lake Nebagamon.  Two children.
Brown, Otis & Grace Of Route 2, Pelican Lake, Oneida County.  Three children.
Campbell, Harry & Theodora Of Abrams, Oconto County.  Harry was 25-years old (as of 14 May 1935).  Theodora was born and raised in Milwaukee.  They married September, 1934.  Harry was elected head of the Matanuska Valley Colony council.  (7 June 1935)
Church, John & Julia Of Route 1, Mountain, Oconto County.  Five children.
Clayton, Walter & Rose Of Star Route, Spooner, Washburn County.  Three children.
Connors, George & Edith Of South Range, Douglas County.  Four children.
Covert, Albert & Catherine Of Cable, Bayfield County. 
Dean, Ballard & Marion Of Fence, Florence County.  Three children.
DeLand, Nile (Edgar?) & Helen Of Winter, Sawyer County.  Five children.
Dragseth, Joe & Velma Of Route 3, Rice Lake, Barron County.  Two children.
Ellison, Carl & Ruth Of Superior, Douglas County.  One child.
Erickson, Carl & Inga Of Rhinelander, Oneida County.  Three children.
Ferguson, Walter & Mable Of Iron River, Bayfield County.  Two children.
Greise, Raymond & Hazel Of Starks, Oneida County.  Three children.
Gulberg, Bernard & Beatrice Of Route 3, Medford, Taylor County.  Two children.
Hamman, Leroy & Gretchen Of Downing, Dunn County.  Two children.
Henry, Francis & Ella Of Viroqua.  One child.
Herman, John "Jack" & Hilda

Of Plymouth, Sheboygan County.  Jack served in Alaska with the army.  A southerner, Herman and his wife and family of six children, three by a first wife, resided in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Spooner and Shell Lake, Wisconsin, before settling in Plymouth.  Their youngest child, George, was 3 years old (as of 14 May 1935).

Herried, Leonard & Ella Of Trempealeau, Trempealeau County.  Two children.
Hess, Frank & Florence Of Cavour, Forest County.  Three children.
Huseby, Einer & Inez Of Pembine, Marinette County.  Three Children.
Jensen, Harry & Viola Of Tipler, Florence County.  Four children.
Johnson, Clinton & Doris Of Winter.  Two children.
Johnson, Victor & Klaria Of Harshaw, Oneida County.
Johnston, James & Lillian Of Shell Lake, Washburn County.
Juvette, Eugene & Mary Of Mercer, Iron County. One child accompanied the couple.  Eugene sent a letter to Henry Peterson of Hurley (friend? relative?).  (22 June 1935)
Koenen, Henry & Bernice Of South Range, Douglas County.  Two children.
Kurtz, Cecil & Mary Of Suring, Oconto County.  Two children.
Laflam, Claire & Emma Of Shell Lake, Washburn County.  Three children.  Surname could be Lafram.
Lake, John & Magdalene Of Superior, Douglas County.  Three children.
Larose, Henry Jr. & Clystia Of Phillips, Price County.  Four children.
Lentz, Joseph & Zuleika Of Route 4, Merrill, Lincoln County.  With a family of three children (12 August 1936 - surname spelled Lenty).
Lentz, William & Viola Of Route 4, Merrill, Lincoln County.  One child.
Mattson, Runar & Eleanor Of Route 4, Ashland, Ashland County.
McKendry, Howard & Edith Of Winter, Sawyer County.  One child.  Last name could be McKenzie.
Miller, Neil & Margaret Of Blair, Trempealeau County.  Margaret Miller was elected secretary on the Matanuska Valley Colony council.  (7 June 1935)  Three children.
Monroe, Lester & Mary Of Hiles, Forest County.  Three children.
Nelson, Arthur & Isabel Of Shell Lake, Washburn County.  Two children.
Nelson, Paul & Margaret Of Route 1, Mountain, Oconto County.  Paul, age 24.  With them was Norma Noreen Nelson, 8 months old.   (14 May 1935)
Nichols, Harry & Virgie Of Luck, Polk County.  One child.
Novak, George & Catherine Of Butternut (Ashland County). (4 May 1935)  One child.
Puhl, Joseph & Blanche Of Rice Lake, Barron County.  Two children.  Begun paying back his loan (5 October 1936).
Raschke, August & Anna Of Wentworth, Douglas County.  One child.
Reitan, Bernard & Alice Of Superior, Douglas County.  Two children.
Ring, Frank & Lucille Of Beecher.  Six children.
Roughan, Henry & Minnie Of Monico, Oneida County.  Five children.
Runyan, Scottie & Irene Of Hertel, Burnett County.  Two children.
Scheibl, Gustave & Alethea Of Sheboygan.  Three Children.
Schultz, William & Martha Of Route 1, Tomahawk, Lincoln County.  One child.
Sexton, Allan & Minnie Of Route 1, Pelican Lake, Oneida County.  Five children.
Smith, William & Alice Of Bennett, Douglas County.  Five children.
Sorenson, Clarence & Vivian Of Rice Lake, Barron County.  One child.
Soyk, Martin & Genette Of Route 1, Minocqua, Oneida County.   Martin, a carpenter.  One son, Jimmie (their 2nd born),  accompanied them.  Their first-born child, a boy named Sonny, became ill and died.  The family left  Wisconsin with almost nothing after their log cottage burned down with all their belongings inside.  (6 May 1935)
Taylor, Neil & Violet Of Tipler, Florence County.  One daughter accompanied them. (14 May 1935)
Walport, Paul & Ethel Of Stone Lake, Sawyer County.  One child.
Weiler, Nicholas & Elsa Of Star Route, Medford, Taylor County.  Four Children.
Worden, Frank & Margaret Of Route 1, Three Lakes, Oneida County.  Five children.

Yohn, Victor & Manila Bay

Of Route 1, Tomahawk, Lincoln County.  Three children.