29 October 2016
"Klondike Newsman: Stroller White" by R.N. DeAmond
From the pen of a journalist, Klondike Newsman: "Stroller" White compiled and edited by R.N. DeArmond offers the reader a glimpse into life during the Yukon gold rush (1897+). According to Bob DeArmond, "Stroller" or Elmer John White may have been the first newspaper columnist on the northern scene. After Stroller's death, Bob worked as a writer for Mrs. White on the Stroller's Weekly.
In this book, the compiler shares a glimpse of everyday life from a scattering of "The Stroller" columns that appeared in newsprint. The "Forward" by Stroller Tod White sets the stage with updated family information including Albert Hamilton son of Elmer and Tod's father; Stroller Benjamin and Nadia are Tod's children. The "Introduction" by the editor provides background information on Elmer John White, the Stroller. Entertaining his readers was Stroller's goal. The columns include everyday people and their kinfolk; people interested in three squares a day and how to obtain them with the least amount of work. The book, divided into selected newspaper columns, offers humor, truth, semi-truth and homespun yarns.
In the days when Skagway had five to ten thousand people at any time, Stroller White in his reminiscence added names to word pictures with the sounds and smells of Dawson, Skagway and Whitehorse. The reader needs every word to enjoy the complete picture. These pictures are too large for my brief article. A few of the column names include Gussie Lamore, Frank Slavin, The Hot Cake Kid, Nosey, Barbara and The Ice Worm Story. As a 76 year old lady, Barbara ran north "I always wanted to try it and never had a chance. When the chance came, I took it. And here I am..." This quote plus more about Barbara may be read on pages 22-27. The Ice Worm Story, pages 112-118, was reprinted in other papers. The Scientific Research Society in London requested a specimen. The Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. asked for updates. Read the column for the rest of the story.
The following information on the political career of Elmer John White is from political graveyard.com. Most of the information was weaved into the reviewed book. Elmer John White (1859-1930) - also known as E.J. White - of Juneau, Alaska. Born in Cambridge, Guernsey County, Ohio, November 28, 1859. Democrat. School teacher, newspaper editor and publisher, U.S. Consular Agent in Whitehorse, 1911; member of Alaska territorial House of Representatives 1st District, 1919-22; Speaker of Alaska Territory House of Representatives, 1919-20. Died in 1930.
This book deserves a five star rating because of the humor, entertainment and educational value. Do you ever say, "I want to learn more about this person?" After reading Klondike Newsman and his columns, I have spent days researching his family, the geography and history of Alaska. Nadia, great-granddaughter, has retraced their family steps. In the Travels With Josie, Nadia shares her discoveries. Nadia White, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, weaves her love of family, journalism and environment into her daily life.
Comments, please contact Selma Blackmon.