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Home  >  Digital Archives  >  Industry  >  Mining
Dawson Weekly News - January 7, 1947

R.C.M.P. Return with Bad News

After 26 days on the trail, during which time they encountered some of the severest weather of the winter, Const. Wilf Lee R.C.M.P. and his guide Johnnie Sestak, returned to Dawson December 27 after completing a 200-mile round trip patrol to Matson Creek where they buried the remains of the late, pioneer Yukoner placer miner and trapper.

Thus ends one of the year's most unusual sagas of the northern wilderness.

Perturbed because she had no word from her miner husband who was supposed to "come outside" this summer, Mrs. Kate Rockwell Matson, widow of the late pioneer, flew in here late last fall to ascertain the fate, if any, that might have befallen her husband. Joe Sestak, experienced Sixtymile trapper and woodsman, whose cabin is about thirty miles away from Matson's and who was his closest neighbour, made a trip to the old timer's cabin, fifty miles up the Sixtymile, shortly before the close of navigation. Joe returned with the tragic news that he had found Matson's body, mutilated by animals at one of his smaller trapping cabins, 8 miles from his main headquarters. Mrs. Matson received the news here in Dawson and knowing that she could do nothing further, returned to her home at Bend, Oregon.

. . . John was to have joined his wife outside this past summer. But the winds of fate had other plans. The oldtimer was destined to remain forever in the country that he loved, his remains interred on the bench overlooking his lonely cabin where he'd made his home these past forty years or more. He most likely would have wanted it that way.

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