Seventy-five years ago: Growden news


Aug. 22, 1935 — As the fourth day passes without a trace of the four well-known citizens of Fairbanks who disappeared Monday morning while traveling by airplane from Dawson to Fairbanks, search for the lost plane and its occupants is being pursued with increased vigor by Alaska aviators.

Official authorization for the search was received today from Gov. John W. Troy. From his headquarters in Juneau, he sent a telegram to United States Commissioner W.N. Growden of Fairbanks directing that Murray Hall, federal aeronautics inspector, be placed in charge of the hunt and advising that territorial funds could be used in prosecuting it.

from The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The above report would refer to:

     Name: William Nelson Growden [4458]
      Sex: M
AKA: Nelson Growden

Individual Information

          Birth: 18 Aug 1893 - Franklin Co, Tennessee, USA 1
          Death: 29 Oct 1979 - Los Angeles, California, USA 2
 Cause of Death:  
        User ID: 4458
           AFN :  


         Father: Arthur Matthew Growden [4399] (1861-1942) [MRIN:1520] 
         Mother: Ella Edna Walling [4414] (1866-1936) 

Spouses and Children

1. *Gwendolyn Fisher [4462] (               - Bef 1979) [MRIN:1540]
                1. William Charles Growden [4468] (1922-1992)
                2. Robert Nelson Growden [4469] (1923-          )
                3. Andrew Jackson Growden [4470] (1928-          )
                4. James Wilson Growden [4471] (1935-1964)



Worked in government service in Alaska.

Alaska. Democrat. Member of Alaska territorial House of Representatives 4th District, 1935-36

Retired to Los Angeles, California.


In Ruby, Alaska:
Growden, William N. Sargent with the Signal Corp. Ran telegraph station 1922 on (source P 46). (Source P 16). 1928 (Source P 4). 1930 (Source P 4)

Growden, William N. — of Ruby, Yukon-Koyukuk census area, Alaska. Democrat. Member of Alaska territorial House of Representatives 4th District, 1935-36. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.

Last Modified: 7 May 2010

James W. Growden Award

This item from an Alaskan newspaper mentions the James W. Growden award.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – entry Lathrop honors top students =:

At the Lathrop Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony Wednesday night, Keegan Severns received the James W. Growden Award, which goes to the top student athlete at the high school.

In recent years, former Lathrop basketball coach Joe Tremarello has made the presentation, including a description of Growden’s achievements. Growden was a star Fairbanks athlete in the 1950s who became a coach in Valdez. He died, along with his two sons, in the 1964 earthquake.

I believe there is also a Growden Memorial Park in Alaska, presumably also named after him.

James Wilson Growden was born in 1935, the youngest son of William Nelson Growden. James was my fourth cousin. I believe that his daughter Ronda survived (it was not the earthquake that killed James and his sons, but they had gone down to the harbour to watch the fishing boats land their catches, and were drowned by the resulting tsnunami).

William Nelson Growden was born in Tennessee, and worked in government service in Alaska. He was the son of Arthur Matthew Growden, who was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. Much of this information I got from Monica Louise Deragowski of New Orleans, who was a first cousin of James Wilson Growden, and was very interested in the family history, and corresponded with Growdens all over the world. I’ve been trying to continue her work, and see if I can find links between all the Growden families, so I’m very interested in news items, like the one above, that mention the Growden family history.