Elisabet Elisa "Bessie" Kangas ~ 1883-1963
Eliza "Bessie" (Kangas) Wilson - born in Pulkkila, Finland 1883, the daughter of Antti & Maria Kangas
• Early records show her name to be Elisa/Elisabet/Lisa Kangas, names she used between 1883 and 1901.
• 1898 Boston Passenger lists 1820-1943, October 1898 lists a Lisa Kangas, age 17, born abt. 1881, from Liverpool, England on the Catalonia, port of arrival Boston, Mass; destination Minnesota, servant. It is very likely that her brother, John Kangas was in Minnesota at the time of her entry into the United States; his immigration records show a year of 1891, same as Greta Sofia. In 1898 Bessie came to America to live with her sister, Greta Sofia Majenpää, who by then had three children. 1898 - Greta Majenpää is shown at the Chilkoot Pass checkpoint May 31, 1898. [I originally thought that Bessie went with Greta on the Chilkoot Pass, but if Bessie came in Oct. 1898, then that would not have been true.]
• 1901 - Passport information is for Elisabet Antintytär Kangastalo, lists her birthdate as 1883, unmarried, a servant, home parish of Oulu, passport date 1901, destination Amerikka.
• 1901 - 15 Feb. 1901 at Philadelphia, ship’s manifest of the American Steamship Company, SS Waesland sailing from Hango originally, then to Liverpool Feb. 1, 1901 has a Lisa Kangas, age 18/19, servant, destination Rock Springs, to her sister, Greta Majenpaa, Box 163, Rock Springs, Wyoming. [In 1901 the SS Waesland sunk in collision with Houston Line's s/s HARMONIDES off Anglesey.]
Bessie traveled extensively as a young adult moving between Grand Forks, Yukon Territory; Astoria, OR; Hancock, Mich; Valparaiso, Ind; Embarrass, MN; Chicago, Ill. between 1898 and 1909. She worked at a bakery in Grand Forks, Yukon Territory in 1906-07 and in Fairbanks, Alaska between 1909-1911. She is listed in the 1910 Federal Census in Fairbanks as "head of household, waitress, Bessie at Shaw". In that the enumerator may not have found her at the residence when he came by, someone there might have told him that she was at “Shaw”... which could have been the Shaw Hotel since her occupation was listed as a waitress.
See a timetable of Bessie's life and travels, from Finland to Canada and in the US.
See Historical Notes on the Yukon Territory circa 1898 to 1907. Photos of Bessie on a Steamer ship.
Her marriage certificate from Calif. shows her as last at Fairbanks, AK, single, age 24 (not), waitress; witness only I.W. Panttaja, address 2429 9th St., West Berkeley, Calif. See Ed & Bessie's Life in Parlier California 1911-1918, pdf document.