RIP Martha Clayton of Puget Sound and Alaska, 1858?-1948

One of the first Settler kids born on Puget Sound in Washington Territory went on to work in Alaska as an interpreter.


  • her Pacific NW frontier childhood,
  • the fact that Martha Clayton’s obituary ran in the Juneau paper,
  • and that she had an association with the Yukon Territory (presumably during the Klondike gold rush),

I’m guessing that her interpreting job mainly involved Chinuk Wawa and Native people of southeast Alaska.

martha clayton

Former Alaskan Dies In Seattle

SEATTLE, Nov. 23. — (AP) — Mrs. Martha Clayton, 90, first white child born at Port Orchard, and an apartment owner here, died yesterday. She was the widow of Frank W. Clayton, who was the first vice consul at Dawson, Y.T. She spoke fluently in Chinook and spoke several Indian dialects and was an interpreter for the government while in Alaska.

— from the Juneau (AK) Daily Alaska Empire of November 23, 1948, page 3, column 5

I’m sorry I haven’t yet found a photo of Martha Clayton to share here…

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?