November 7, 2008

Frank Lowe...Skagway vigilante, marshal, & fire chief.

Click to enlarge
Lowe's badge (circa 1900).

Doug Campbell writes in.
My aunt nursed Frank Lowe years age. Frank Lowe was the Skagway Fire Marshall and apparently part of the vigilante group that was after Soapy Smith. I am researching Frank's background, apparently he was a store owner. I have Frank's Fire Chief badge and ribbons as well as his badge. If you are interested I can send a photo of Frank's artifacts. I'd appreciate any information you may have regarding Frank Lowe.
Cheers, Doug Campbell.

I contacted my inside man at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park who was able to retrieve the following information about Frank Lowe.

Click to enlarge
Lowe's Fire Chief badge.

Frank Lowe was the first city marshal of the incorporated city of Skagway, appointed by the city council on December 4, 1900 (Daily Alaskan, December 5, 1900, p. 1). Skagway had had others in that position before incorporation, but none that were paid, and none in an official capacity, due to the fact the city was not incorporated.

Lowe was also the first Chief of the Fire Department of the incorporated city, having been appointed in that capacity sometime the previous winter.

In the 1899 wet /dry petition, an “F. Lowe” is listed. It indicates that he is from Bradford, is a furniture builder or dealer, and that he arrived in Skagway in January 1898.

Click to enlarge
Lowe's Fire Chief ribbon (circa 1901).

In the 1899 Skagway business directory (page 135), we have (under the furniture category), Frank Lowe & Company (Frank Lowe & Martin Sickenger), 621 Broadway.

In the 1901 city directory he's listed as: "Lowe, Frank, (Lowe & Sickenger)

Skagway, City Marshal & Fire Chief, Broadway" (page 853). Lowe
& Sickenger are also listed under Second Hand Goods heading (page 867).

If anyone out there has more information on Frank Lowe, especially his role as a vigilante in Skagway please contact us. Thank you.


  1. I have just returned from a trip to Alaska. My husband is a relative of Frank Lowe; a great nephew. We have newspaper clippings and documentation to support his role as a marshal of Skagway.
    If I may make a correction on a previous comment posted; he was actually from Brantford, Ont. not Bradford.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi, Donna.

    Thank you very much for writing in. Thank you for the correction from Brantford to Bradford.

    I'll be happy to post any of the documentation you wish to scan and send in. Our Skagway historians would most likely wish to hear more about Frank Lowe if you might want to share with us.

    Jeff Smith


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