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Henry Beatus

Henry Beatus

Henry Beatus was born in January 1932 in Hughes, Alaska to Fred Bifelt, whose father was Jimmy Huntington, Sr. Henry's mother was named Helen. She died when he was a year and a half old, so he was raised in Hughes by Grandpa Beatus and Grandma Ida. They raised Henry living mainly by subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping. Henry learned to trap a long trapline at a young age. In 1952, he married Sophie Koyukuk from Allakaket. They had 11 children and adopted one. In the 1950's, Henry worked for the Utopia gold mine in summers or on Jimmy Huntington, Jr's freight boat the Galloping Goose. In the 1960's and 1970's, Henry worked various construction jobs as a carpenter, and spent part of the winters trapping and dog mushing. Henry won several prizes in local and regional spring dog races. In 1969, he took a steady job as a maintenance man for the Hughes School, and he greatly valued the steady pay. He commented that his pay was not so steady when trapping for a living. Henry continues to fish, hunt, trap and remember the old stories. Sophie was a Health Aid at the Hughes Clinic. More details about their life can be found in Henry Beatus, Sr.: A Biography by Curt Madison and Yvonne Yarber (Hancock House publishers, Vancouver, B.C., 1980).

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