Erickson, John H.

1882-1934 | Electrician, and General Telephone and Telegraph Foreman, Alaska Railroad

John Hugo Erickson was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 18, 1882.[1] When Erickson was sixteen years old, he left Stockholm on a sailing ship, bound for England, and returned home at the age of eighteen. He was a sailor who visited ports around the world before finally landing at Nome in 1902.

In southeastern Alaska, Erickson fished for halibut in Cordova. He worked at the Cliff Mine in Valdez and prospected in the Valdez area from 1912 to 1917. In 1917, he moved to Anchorage, where he met and married Ingeborg Haggkvist Hendrickson (1888-1949). He was first employed by the E.J. Emard Packing Company as an electrician. Later that year, he entered the service of the Alaskan Engineering Commission (AEC) and its successor federal agency, the Alaska Railroad, in the telephone and telegraph department. Initially, he worked as an electrician and participated in the installation of telephone and telegraph lines in Anchorage. During the construction of the Alaska Railroad (1915-1923), he also worked as a wire chief, dispatcher, and telephone and telegraph foreman during the construction of lines between Seward, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. He later became the general foreman of the telephone and telegraph department, and worked in this position until he died.[2]

Ingeborg Haggqvist Hendrickson was born in Rockland, Michigan on January 2, 1888. Sometime during her childhood, she returned to Sweden with her parents. In 1905, she left Sweden for New York and Seattle, Washington, to join her brother, John Haggkvist Hendrickson. Two weeks after her arrival, her brother was killed at the Pacific Coast Coal Company’s coal mine at Black Dimond, Washington. She lived with her friends, the Bloomquists, whom she had met at a church in Ballard, Washington. Ingeborg then accompanied the Bloomquist family to Valdez in 1913. In 1914, she made a visit to Seattle, and on her return to Valdez, she had an unforgettable experience when aboard the liner, Admiral Sampson.  The ship was rammed on August 29, 1914 by the Princess Victoria, which sank with the loss of its captain, several officers, and eight others. Ingeborg returned to Valdez on the next ship.  Later, she accompanied the Bloomquists when they moved to Anchorage.

On August 4, 1917, Ingeborg Haggkvist Hendrickson married John Hugo Erickson in Anchorage. There were four children: Ebba (born on May 27, 1918); John Leonard (born on November 27, 1922); Alva (born on November 24, 1920); and Edith (born in 1928). The three daughters and their brother grew up at the family home on Seventh Avenue and L Street, Anchorage. In 1919, John Hugo Erickson was naturalized as a U.S. citizen.[3]

Erickson was a member of the Anchorage Masonic Lodge and was active in other organizations. Ingeborg Erickson was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoyed her flower and vegetable garden.

John Hugo Erickson died on January 28, 1934, at Seward Hospital, Seward, Alaska, from typhoid pneumonia. Ingeborg Haggkvist Hendrickson Erickson died on July 11, 1949, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. They are both buried in the Masonic Tract, Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. They were survived by three daughters, Ebba Erickson Montgomery,[4] Alva Erickson Davey,[5] and Edith Erickson; and a son, John Leonard.[6]

Erickson Street, located in the Municipality of Anchorage, was named in honor of John Hugo Erickson.[7]


[1] Draft registration card, John Hugo Erickson, Local Board No. 10, Anchorage, AK, October [14?], 1918, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1509, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Roll AK-1, U.S., World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918 [database on-line], (accessed November 27, 2016); and John H. Erickson, 1920 U.S. Census, Anchorage, Third Judicial District, Alaska, ED 11, stamped page 50, National Archives Microfilm Publication T625, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920, Roll 2031, U.S., 1920 Federal United States Census [database on-line], (accessed November 27, 2016).

[2] “John H. Erickson is Laid Gently to Eternal Rest,” Anchorage Daily Times, February 5, 1934, 8; Rae Arno, Anchorage Place Names: The Who and Why of Streets, Parks, and Places (Anchorage: Todd Communications, 2008), 30; Fond Memories of Anchorage Pioneers, Vol. 1 (Anchorage: Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo 15, Auxiliary 4, 1996), 154-155; and John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 146-147.

[3] Naturalization index card, John Hugo Erickson, U.S. District Court, District of Alaska, Anchorage, AK, November 10, 1919, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1788, Indexes to Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the District, Territory, and State of Alaska (Third Division), 1903-1991, Roll 5, U.S., Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line], (accessed November 27, 2016).

[4] See, obituary, Ebba Montgomery, Anchorage Daily News, May 5, 2011, A-9.

[5] See, obituary, Alva Davey, Anchorage Daily News, December 14, 2005, B-9.

[6] “John Erickson of Anchorage is Called to Rest,” Anchorage Daily Times, January 29, 1934, 8; and “Mrs. J. Erickson Succumbs at 62,” Anchorage Daily Times, July 11, 1949, 8; and John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935, 146-147.

[7] Rae Arno, Anchorage Place Names: The Who and Why of Streets, Parks, and Places, 30.


This biographical sketch of John Hugo Erickson is based on an essay which originally appeared in John Bagoy's Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage, AK: Publications Consultants, 2001), 146-147. See also the John Hugo Erickson file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 3, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, AK. Photographs courtesy of the Erickson family.  Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited, revised, and enlarged by Bruce Parham, November 27, 2016. 

Preferred citation: Bruce Parham, “Erikson, John H.,” Cook Inlet Historical Society, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940,

Major support for Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940, provided by: Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Atwood Foundation, Cook Inlet Historical Society, and the Rasmuson Foundation. This educational resource is provided by the Cook Inlet Historical Society, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt association. Contact us at the Cook Inlet Historical Society, by mail at Cook Inlet Historical Society, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, 625 C Street, Anchorage, AK 99501 or through the Cook Inlet Historical Society website,