Margaret "Maggie" Eskilida
Margaret "Maggie" Eskilida was born April 12, 1910 in Lower Tonsina, Alaska. Maggie’s parents were the late John Sr. and Miriam Billum. She was raised in Lower Tonsina and the Chitina area. Maggie worked as a midwife in her younger days. Maggie moved to Anchorage in 1954, where she worked for Alaska Native Services (ANS), first in housekeeping and then as a dietician in the kitchen. She worked there for ten years. She moved with her family to Glennallen after the 1964 Earthquake, where she went to work for the State of Alaska. Maggie also worked as a janitor at the Glennallen High School from 1966-1976, when she retired. Maggie taught Athabascan to students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and she also contributed to the making of the Ahtna dictionary. She formed a dance group called the “Chitina Dancers.” She taught her grandchildren to drum, sing and learn dances of different stories. Maggie loved to fish, pick berries and enjoyed family picnics along the creeks and rivers. Later in life, she moved in with her daughter, Millie Buck in Glennallen and eventually moved to Anchorage, Alaska. This information is from an article recognizing Maggie's 93rd birthday in 2003 that was published in the Ahtna Kanas newsletter.