The original inhabitants of Urucararmiut

by Peter Twitchell

Today I want to focus on original Bethel families who made up Bethel at where it was, the permanent residents when the village of Bethel was simply known as “Gathering place of Moss” (Urucararmiut).

There were families who settled Bethel and made it what it was before outsiders started migrating to Southwest Alaska. A handful were already settled here before missionaries arrived.

These are the families who lived here: John and Mary Samuelson, Germack’s and Marie Sara Samuelson, Henry, George and Lucy Beaver, Joe and Marie Andrew – whose son John “R” was a great Bethel Warrior basketball player and sister Nastasia who helped gather some of the names listed here today.

John and Ella Kinegak, the James Active Family, Edward and Elsie Koenig, Harry Mezak, Louie Andrew Family, Nasqunaar Albert, Daniel and Natalia Andrew, Nick Charles family, Henry Demientieff family, Edward and Bessie Hoffman Family, Chuck and Marie Pensgard Family, Apurin, Elia and Sarah Albright Sallafie Family, Johnny Boy Samuelson, Neil Brown Family – whose last name – Brown Slough was named after.

Clement and Martha Sara family, the Al Foss Family who lived along the Brown Slough, Bud and Susie Riley Family – Susie was from Pilot Station on the Yukon. Maggie Sirilo Family, John and Elsie Hinz who lived on Mission Road, Moses and Anna Anvil Family, Tommy and Maggie Kinegak Family, Sonny and Bertha Hoffman Family, Jesse and Celia Oscar Family, Wassillie Waska Family, Sarge and Elena Connick Family, Jim and Mary Kohl Family, Walter and Martha Larson Family, Thomas Tommy, Albert Schmidt Family, Dr. Harriet Jackson, Neresta, Dick Apaqutaq Family (Dick knew all the Eskimo songs lyrics), Pek’aq Patch, Antone Pitka from Sleetmute Family, Wassillie Gregory, Willie Fredericks, Uyaquq and Evelyn Tikiun Family, Evan from Eek and Esther Green Family, Louie and Helen Albert Andrew Family, Gussie Ephamka (Russian Orthodox reader and Grandpa to Mary Belkoff Peters in Russian Mission), Joe Taggar and Nellie Evon, Thomas Kas’atuq, Thaddeus (Akutaq) Tikiun Family, John Kilbuck whose name the Kilbuck Mountains were named after, Elsie Lekander Family, Andy and Helen Edge, Atalpik (Angallkuq), Sam Owen, Gabriel and Olga Fox, Joe Peter (later moved to Marshall), Ray and Tilly Christiansen from Mission Road, Alkagtaq Paine, and finally but not least Peter and Hannah Pitka Family.

And thank you to my friends John “R” Andrew and Mary Belkoff Peters. If I missed your name or your family’s name it was not intentional, thank you.