September 12, 2008

Deputy US Marshal James M. Rowan

Holly street, Skagway 1897
The People's Theater (right side of street)
where Deputy Rowan was shot

I'd like to introduce Renee Rowan, who is newly researching her great-grandfather, Deputy US Marshal James M. Rowan shot and killed by John Fay (who also shot and killed Andrew McGrath) in Skagway, Alaska on January 31, 1897. Soapy protected Fay from a lynching by the newly formed vigilantes until he could safely hand him over to Commissioner John Smith for a fair trial in Sitka. He then started up a collection for Rowan's widow and new born.

Renee contacted the Soapy Smith Preservation Trust for help in locating new information about her famous Skagway descendant. As there is so little known about Rowan's time in Skagway except for his death there was little new we could provide her. However, there might be some information by way of letters or documents in the various Soapy collections in the hands of the family. If you have something please let us know and we will forward the information to Renee, Thank you.

Close-up of the People's Theater

The large photograph at the top of this post also shows another building of special interest. To the far right of the photograph is the First Bank of Skaguay. In the spring of 1898 it would become Jeff Smith's Parlor.

The First Bank of Skaguay


Photographs are property of
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

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