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 Frances “Fannie” <I>Sedlacek</I> Quigley

Frances “Fannie” Sedlacek Quigley

Birth
Nebraska, USA
Death 22 Aug 1944 (aged 74)
Alaska, USA
Burial Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, USA
Plot Pioneer #1, Tier 13, Row 2
Memorial ID 66478485 · View Source
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Fannie Quigley of Alaska Fame Dies

Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug, 29 (AP)

Funeral arrangements are being made today for Fannie Quigley, widely known resident of Kantishna near McKinley parks since 1906, who was found dead on a couch in her home by a neighbor, Jonny Busia, last Friday. She was 73.

Born in Nebraska, she joined the stampede to the Klondike in '98 and later followed the rush to Fairbanks. Her feats as a miner, hunter and gardener have made her the subject of many stories.

Survivors include two sisters, Josie Criss of Marcola, Oregon, and Mary McLain of Anacortes, Wash.

Source: Daily Capital Journal
(Salem, Oregon)
29 Aug 1944, Tue, Page 9

OBITUARY

F. QUIGLEY FOUND DEAD BY FRIEND
Famous Kantishna Woman Dies in Sleep After Long Career in North

One of Alaska's most colorful pioneers came to the end of her tread last week when Fannie Quigley died quietly and alone in her little house in the Kantishna where hundreds of park visitors, explorers, scientists, trappers and prospectors had visited her in the past 30- years since she settled there at the edge of McKinley National Park, a hundred miles from the railroad

Fannie was found dead Friday by her close friend and neighbor Johnny Busia, who accomplanied her body to Fairbanks yesterday and help make funeral arragements.

Busia said he had last visited Quigley house on Tuesday and it appeared Fannie had died the evening after he returned home.

Busy As Usual

Busy as usual, Fannie was a starting to pile some wood when he was there Tuesday, Busia said. When he made his second call Friday she was on the couch dead, the wood unpiled and a cookstove fire in the kitchen stove but not lighted. He deduced that she had sat down to rest before cooking an evening meal and had died in her sleep.

This ended the 73 year career of Fannie Quigley, the midwestern girl who ran away from her Bohemian home at an early age, learned to speak English while working her way westward along the railroad, and took up the trail of (missing word) with the stampede to the Klondike in 1898.

Fannie was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, March 18 1871, in a settlement were little English was spoken but where she learned the art of gorgeous embroidery that helped her while away many a long winter hours in the north. Her journey westward was punctuated with several restaurant jobs and it was as a roadhouse operator that she was known in the Dawson country in '98. Many remember her place on No. #. Above on Hunker Creek and her marriage to Angus MacKenzie in 1901.

When gold started the stampede to Fairbanks shortly afterward, Fannie and her husband followed stopping firt at Chena where the original Tanana settlement was made, and following the population to Fairbanks.

In 1906 the new diggings in Kantishna attracted Fannie and she again pulled up stakes, this time for the last time. With Joe Quigley she staked claims on Clacier and Caribou creeks and later a piece on Eureka creek. Fannie and Joe were married after that and prospected, mined, trapped and hunted together until they were divorced seven years ago. Joe now lives in Seattle.

Worked Like Man

In the Kantishna Fannie became a legend. Her abilities to work like a man, hunt, kill, skin, butcher, pack, and cache her own game, embroider like an artist and entertain like a queen, spread her fame in books and stories and brought many visitors to her place in the shadow of Mt. McKinley to see and talk with the little woman who stood hardly five feet tall in her rough men's clothes.

With no formal education, Fannie all her life kept studying, collecting facts, and ideas from newspapers, magazines, visitors, the radio, and her own observation of nature and people. Some of her game trophies have been preserved in museums and many of her sayings have been quoted by writers.

Expert Gardner

In addition to her spectacular abilities on the sled-trail and the game trail, Fannie was also an expert gardener, a grower of fine vegetables for good as well as the flowers for decoration. A selection of her finest pansies and the flowers she pressed in books and later reproduced in embroidery work on a beautiful table cloth on which she spent many years and which still was unfinished at her death

Fannie's ability as a seamstress got a real test many years ago when she got out her needle and made repairs on Joe Quigley's face after his nose was nearly torn off in the crack-up that followed the first airplane landing on Moose Creek near their diggings. The story is told with gusto by Fannie's friends as they escort visitors to the little frame house that Fannie and Johnny Busia put up four years ago down the hill from the Red Topmine, where she lived with a big tomcat for a companion.

Fannie continued to live in the Kantishna by choice, long after the normal time to retire to the easier life in civilization. Her industrious habits, her success as a miner and her ability to live mostly off the country had long since assured her financial independence. One trip outside many years ago, and several jaunts to Fairbanks for supplies and medical attention, including one siege in the hospital with a broken leg, always found her glad to return home to the Kantishna where there was no need to lower her high, ringing voice to conversational tones or to forsake her outdoor garb.

Funeral arrangements are being made by her attorney, E. B. Collins, and will be announced later.


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  • Maintained by: Kim and JM Talboo
  • Originally Created by: kevers
  • Added: 4 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 66478485
  • Kim and JM Talboo
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Frances “Fannie” Sedlacek Quigley (18 Mar 1870–22 Aug 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 66478485, citing Birch Hill Cemetery, Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, USA ; Maintained by Kim and JM Talboo (contributor 46999453) .