UA Journey

1917-1921 Leo Francis Shaw

Anchorage

Leo Francis Shaw was born in Chico, California on February 20, 1874. His boyhood years were spent in Port Townsend, Washington, where he got his first newspaper job.

In 1901 he began a four year stint as a reporter for The Alaska Prospector in Valdez. After that he spent a year as a reporter for the Nome Nugget for Governor Strong. About that time the Northeastern Trading Company obtained some concessions in Siberia and called for prospectors and he spent the next eight months in Siberia. Returning from Siberia, he went to Seward where he was the editor for the Seward Gateway from 1909-1913. On June 18, 1912, he married Margaret E. Lyons, in Walla Walla, Washington.

By 1913 Judge Fred Brown appointed him the U.S. Commissioner in the Nelchina district. In 1915 Shaw was dispatched to Knik to take charge of the paper Ted Needham was running, so that Needham can attend to his wife who was ill in Juneau. When Needham returned after his wife’s recovery, he and Shaw decided to pitch a tent along the Ship Creek banks. Shaw and Needham, circulated a petition requesting the federal government provide a townsite along the railroad that was being built at the time. The newsmen called their new publication the Cook Inlet Pioneer & Knik News beginning on June 5, 1915. The Cook Inlet Pioneer & Knik News was the first newspaper for a settlement that became Anchorage.

Shaw and Needham sold the Pioneer to Charlie Herron around the spring of 1916.  Shaw became the editor for the Anchorage Times from 1916-1919.

Governor Strong appointed Shaw to the first board of trustees of the Agricultural College & School of Mines at Fairbanks in 1917. Resigned from the board in 1921. Robert Bloom was appointed to take his place on the Board. Became the editor for the Alaska Weekly Dispatch in Seattle from 1919-1923. Became the editor and director of the Alaska Weekly in Seattle from 1923-1931.

Leo Francis Shaw died on March 14, 1931 in Seattle due to complications resulting from intestinal flu. He was 57 years old.


Sources:

BOR file