Historica Wiki

John Franklin Alexander Strong.jpg

John Franklin Alexander Strong (15 October 1856-27 July 1929) was the Democratic Governor of the Alaska Territory from 21 May 1913 to 18 April 1918, succeeding Walter Eli Clark and preceding Thomas Riggs Jr..


John Franklin Alexander Strong was born in Salmon Creek, New Brunswick, Canada in 1856, and he worked as a store owner and teacher before joining the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897 and working at newspapers in Dawson City, Yukon and at Skagway and Nome in Alaska. In 1905, he founded The Nome Nugget, and left Alaska in 1906 to work for papers in Tonopah, Nevada and Greenwater, California. He returned to Alaska the next year, publishing the Herald in Katalla, founding the Nugget in Iditarod in 1910, and founding the Alaska Daily Empire in Juneau in 1912. Strong went on to serve as Governor of the Alaska Territory from 1913 to 1918, and he failed to enforce a tax on canned salmon, granted US citizenship to Alaska Natives who gave up tribal life, implemented workers' compensation and the United States' first old age pension, authorized a territorial university, created a board of education, authorized the construction of the Alaska Railroad in 1914, and created Mount McKinley National Park in 1917. Because he had never been naturalized as a US citizen, he was not reappointed as Governor during President Woodrow Wilson's second term, and he settled in Seattle while wintering in Los Angeles. He spent a year in India during a world tour, and he died in Seattle in 1929.