Lottsfeldt, Carl F., Sr.

1898-1976 | Businessman and Politician

Carl Lottsfeldt Sr. served two terms in the Alaska House of Representatives (1963-1967). He was known for his efforts on behalf of the Pioneers' Homes in Alaska and lobbied long and hard for their establishment.

A well-known Alaska politician and businessman, Carl Fredrik Lottsfeldt was born in San Francisco, California on May 28, 1898, the son of Swedish immigrants Johan Fredrik and Signe Kinander Lottsfeldt. He grew up in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from Franklin High School.[1]

Lottsfeldt’s life in Alaska spanned more than fifty years. He first arrived in Alaska in 1919 and worked in a local salmon cannery in Cordova until 1921. He joined the Alaska Road Commission in 1921, where he worked for fourteen years, five of them as a superintendent, on supervising the building of the first bush airfields in McGrath, Takotna, Ophir, and Flat.[2] He lived mainly in Anchorage starting in 1921.

Lottsfeldt met Sophia Anderson of Douglas, in Juneau, in 1928. They were married in Juneau on March 11, 1929. Sophia was born in Douglas, Alaska in 1907 and spent her early life in southeast Alaska. She was a graduate registered nurse and worked in the Juneau hospital as well as in Anchorage. She also operated a health store in Anchorage for a number of years.[3]

Following and interspersed with his employment with the Alaska Road Commission, Lottsfeldt was chief clerk for four years at Mount McKinley National Park. He also served as an administrator for the Civil Works Administration at Lynn Canal. During the 1940s, he was the proprietor of the Ophir trading post, and served as the U.S. postmaster in Ophir in 1947. Later, he was the state baseball commissioner for the National Baseball Congress.[4]

When Lottsfeldt retired from federal civil service, he went into private business, selling heavy equipment and mining machinery.  He operated Lottsfeldt Equipment Company, a heavy equipment rental and sales firm, until his retirement in 1972.

Lottsfeldt was a well-known Alaska legislator. He served two terms as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives, 3rd and 4th Alaska Legislatures, representing House District 8 (Anchorage) from 1963 to 1967.[5]  In the November 5, 1968 general election, he narrowly lost a bid for a third term, losing by 67 votes to John Schwamm, who polled 12,881 votes to 12,814 for Lottsfeldt.[6]

Lottsfeldt was running for the Alaska Senate when he died on August 20, 1976, after suffering a heart attack in the living room of his apartment in Anchorage. His death came four days before voters in Alaska Senate District E (Downtown Anchorage) were to choose between him and incumbent State Senator Genie Chance in the Democratic primary. He lost in earlier bids for the Alaska Senate in 1966 and the House of Representatives in 1972.  In 1968, he was the general chairman in the Anchorage area of U.S. Senator Ernest Grueing's unsuccessful re-election campaign.  Gruening was defeated for re-election in the Democratic primary by Mike Gravel.[7] 

In 1960, he was the past grand president of the Pioneers of Alaska. He was a member of the Masons, Shrine, Elks, and the American Legion. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I.

Lottsfeldt and his wife, Sophie, reigned as king and queen regents of the 1968 Fur Rendezvous festival in Anchorage.  She served as president of the Pioneers of Alaska, Auxiliary 4, in Anchorage.[8] 

Carl and Sophia Lottsfeldt had two children: daughter Frances Marie Lottsfeldt Leon (born in 1929) and son Carl F. Jr. (known as "Buzz"), who was born in 1931.

Sophia Anderson Lottsfeldt died in 1975, a year preceding her husband's death.  Carl, Jr. died in 1997, and his sister, Frances died in 2000. All are buried in the Pioneer Section of the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.



[1] Evan: Evangeline Atwood and Robert N. DeArmond, compilers, Who’s Who in Alaskan Politics: A Biographical Dictionary of Alaskan Political Personalities, 1884-1974 (Portland, OR: Binford & Mort for the Alaska Historical Commission, 1977), 59.

[2] “Lottsfeldt Dead at 78,” Anchorage Times, August 20, 1976, 1.

[3] John P. Bagoy, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage: Publications Consultants, 2001), 202-203.

[4] Entry for Carl F. Lottsfeldt, Ophir, Alaska, National Archives Microfilm Publication M841, Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-September 30, 1971, Roll 4, U.S., Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line], http://ancestry.com (accessed August 15, 2016); Evangeline Atwood and Robert N. DeArmond, compilers, Who’s Who in Alaskan Politics: A Biographical Dictionary of Alaskan Political Personalities, 1884-1974, 59; and “Pioneer Lottsfeldt Files for Secretary of State,” Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, April 13, 1966, 1,https://Newspapers.com (accessed August 15, 2016).

[5] Alaska Legislative Roster of Members, 1913-2010 (Juneau: Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency, 2010), 40-41, http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/docs/pdf/ROSTERALL.pdf (accessed August 15, 2016).

[6] "State Completes Official Canvass, and Finds 84,908 Voted," Anchorage Daily Times, November 21, 1968, 16; and “Dems ask for Recount,” Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, November 21, 1968, 2, https://newspapers.com (accessed August 15, 2016).

[7] "Sen. Gruening Names Campaign Chairmen," Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, July 1, 1968, 8, https://Newspapers.com (accessed August 15, 2016); and “Lottsfeldt Dead at 78,” Anchorage Times, August 20, 1976, 1; and “Lottsfeldt Memorial Service Draws Friends, Relatives,” Anchorage Times, August 25, 1976, 11.

[8] Entry for "Lottsfeldt, Sophia Florence," in "End of the Trail," Alaska magazine, April 1975, 59.


This biographical sketch of Carl Lottsfeldt, Sr. is based on an essay which originally appeared in John Bagoy’s Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1935 (Anchorage, AK: Publications Consultants, 2001), 202-203. See also the Carl Frederick Lottsfeldt file, Bagoy Family Pioneer Files (2004.11), Box 3, Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage, AK. Photographs courtesy of the Lottsfeldt family.  Edited by Mina Jacobs, 2012.  Note:  edited, revised, and expanded by Bruce Parham, August 15, 2016.

Preferred citation: Bruce Parham, ed., “Lottsfeldt, Sr., Carl F.,” Cook Inlet Historical Society, Legends & Legacies, Anchorage, 1910-1940, http://www.alaskahistory.org.

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, www.cookinlethistory.org.