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Washington Post / January 2, 1906

Millionaire Cuts His Throat After Nights of Carousal.

San Francisco, Jan. 1 -- Frank Phiscator, a Klondike millionaire, who joined the original gold stampede from Eagle City to the mines, and who built the first house in Dawson, died last night from wounds in the throat, which he inflicted while depressed, after a debauch.

Phiscator was like “Swift Water Bill.” He had made several fortunes, but failed to keep his money. He was welcome in the Tenderloin, where he spent money with a free hand. He had been host of two women in the rear of a saloon. On drinks he spent $100, and then he gave $100 to each of his companions. When he came out he had not a cent.

A poor opium fiend begged for a quarter. Phiscator went back and asked the barkeeper to loan him $5. The man passed out $20, but Phiscator took only $5. This he gave to the opium fiend, who wept at this generosity. The Klondyker then went to his hotel and slashed his throat with a razor.

Phiscator was married twice, but divorced. His last wife was a waiter girl at St. Joseph, Mo., [actually Michigan, not Missouri -- Dave] whom he wedded two hours after he first saw her. He still owns two claims on Bonanza Creek, from which he drew a large revenue. On one of his claims he picked up a famous nugget, which he sold for $10,944.

Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 1 -- Frank Phiscator, the millionaire Alaskan miner who committed suicide yesterday in San Francisco, was very well known in Berrien County, Mich. He made annual visits to Baroda, where he had provided his parents with a fine home and the luxuries of life. His brothers and sisters also profited largely through his good fortune.

His annual home comings were the occasion for prolonged festivities among his friends. Four years ago he fell in love at first sight with the waitress at the Hotel Whitcomb, St. Joseph, and married her the same day. His bride went back to Alaska with him.

Fairbanks Daily News / August 9, 1906


His Son Gets the Bulk of the Estate, and Has Taken possession of It -- Goes Out to Inspect.


Had no Wife at His Death, but Willed a Dollar to All Such Women as Should Claim That Title.

DAWSON, Yukon Terr., July 27. -- The transaction in the probation of the will of Frank Phiscator, Sr., in the Yukon, was completed this morning by Charles Macdonald, clerk of the Yukon territorial court, who acted at the instance of Judge Craig. Application for probate was made before Judge Craig yesterday by Charles B. Scott, of Gardner [Gardiner], Mont., executor of the will and guardian of Frank Phiscator, Jr.

In Mr. Phiscator’s will he stipulates that he has no wife living, and that should any one claim to be his wife and bring action to prove such claim, he wills her $1. The will was made in Los Angeles. The original will has been probated in the states, and this is an auxiliary will.

Mr. Phiscator asks in his will that in case of the death of Mr. Scott before Frank, Junior, reaches his majority that the court appoint another executor and guardian. The will is plain and simple, yet a carefully prepared document. The only request that the old Klondike pioneer made in the document in respect to himself was that he be given a funeral in keeping with his station, but that it be modest. He also expressed thanks to those who had been his friends and who had been kind to him.

In the disposition of his property, Frank gave the major portion to his only son, the sixteen-year-old boy now visiting Dawson with his mother, Mrs. Gordon, and Mr. Scott. Several hundred acres of land which Frank had in the state of Michigan he wills to the following relatives: George Phiscator, brother to the deceased; Frank Narrigan and his wife, Edna; Louisa Casselman and her son, Webster; Adam Harr. Each received from forty to eighty acres of land, all with the provision that on the death of those to whom it is willed the property shall become vested in Frank Phiscator, Jr..

Frank Phiscator died in San Francisco December 31, 1905. He was one of the early Klondikers who made a fortune here. He was liked by all for his genial disposition, and was among the few men who struck it rich here who never sold their claims. His mining property and city property in the Klondike is registered as worth $87,000. This property will be subject to the succession duty as provided by the territorial law enacted only last week.



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