A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Alden Lytton WILBUR

Alden Lytton Wilbur first married Carrie Idella Quackenbush (sister of J. Roy's first wife, Lula). They had no children. At the time of her wedding, Della was already stricken with tuberculosis so the couple left immediately for Denver in hopes that the dryer air would make her well. Della apparently died in Denver shortly after their arrival. Alden then went on to Seattle where members of Ida's family were already living. There he met and married married Agnus Ely Cook, a registered nurse from New York who had gone to Seattle, WA hospital to be in charge of the baby ward. The couples first two children, Alden Jr., and Helen Louise, were born in Seattle.

From Seattle, Alden Sr. set out alone for Alaska (abt. 1912). He went from Seattle to Valdey by boat in the winter. They then walked 365 miles (in winter) to Fairbanks. At that time there were many roadhouses to stay which were located about every 9 to 18 miles. Alden went to Alaska to work for another man in the plumbing and sheetmetal business. The next year he started his own sheetmetal business in Fairbanks. The following spring, Agnes brought Alden Jr. and Helen first by steamship and then paddle boat all the way to Fairbanks. Agnes was a wonderful musician. She played the piano at the silent picture shows, that first winter in Fairbanks, at the Emperious Theatre.

In 1924, Alden and his family moved back to Seattle so Helen and Alden Jr. could go to high school there. In about 1925, his brother J. Roy and his family came to visit them and stayed for about 7-10 days (except for Donald who was in Oregon at the time.). At the time Helen thought her uncle J. Roy looked like her father. The Roy Wilbur family arrived by train and when J. Roy stepped off Helen said, "Dad there's your brother."

Alden Sr. had a good disposition and everybody liked him. When the children were still very young, Alden was mayor of Fairbanks for 2 years. At the time, Fairbanks had only one-two thousand people. Today, Fairbanks and the surrounding hills has about 80,000 people. Wilbur Street, in Fairbanks, was named for Alden Lytton Wilbur, Sr. Later in the early 1950s, his son, Alden L. Wilbur, Jr. served for two years in the legislature. The sheetmetal shop in Fairbanks that was started by Alden Lytton Wilbur, Sr, was later taken over by his sons, Alden Jr. and Jack and today is run by his grandson, Alden Roy Wilbur. It is currently the oldest family business in Fairbanks.

[Information on the family of Alden Lytton Wilbur was from the memory of Helen Wilbur Bell, written by her niece, Brenda Wilbur.]

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