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Crosby, Hartley “Pete” & Jean (Eby)

by Sharon (Crosby) DeJay

Hartley “Pete” Crosby was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on September 19, 1915. He and his family later moved to Oregon. During the Depression, Pete worked for the Conservation Corps in Oregon. His sister, Brownie and brother-in-law Charlie Bland, lived in Juneau. They convinced Pete and their sister, Thelma, brother-in-law A.W. “Bud” Boddy and their son Doug to come to Juneau. They arrived in Juneau on the passenger ship Northland in 1941. Pete went to work at the AJ Mine from 1941 to1942 as a crane operator.

During World War II, Pete joined the US Army. After basic training at Fort Chilkoot in Haines, he was stationed at Moses Point, Alaska and ran a Caterpillar keeping the airfield clear so planes could land and refuel. When he left Moses Point, Pete was stationed in Portland, Oregon, where he rode the trains as a M.P.

After the war, he returned to Juneau and went to work for the Corps of Engineers. When the Corps of Engineers closed in 1948, he went to work for the Juneau Police Department. He was a policeman until 1952. He then became a Deputy United States Marshal and traveled throughout Southeast Alaska.

In 1959, when Alaska became the 49th State, the Deputy U.S. Marshal’s position was abolished. Governor Bill Egan asked Pete if he would be interested in applying for a position as a traveling magistrate. Pete applied for the position and was hired. At the time he was appointed Magistrate, it was not a requirement to be an attorney. As Traveling Magistrate he traveled again throughout Southeast Alaska hearing court cases. He was then appointed District Court Judge until his retirement in 1974. At the time of his retirement, Pete was one of two judges in Alaska that were not attorneys. After retirement, Pete still worked as a Pro Tem Judge filling in for various judges until 1985, when he permanently retired.

Outside of work Pete was very active in the Juneau BPOE Elks Club No. 420 where he is a lifetime member. He held various positions in the club and was Exalted Ruler from 1970 to 1971. He also served as President of the Alaska State Elks Association in 1988-89. He is also a member of Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 6.

Jean (Eby) Crosby was born in Hood River, Oregon, on June 18, 1922. Jean graduated from high school in 1940. she then attended nursing school at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon from 1942- 1944. After graduating as a nurse she worked at the hospital. At the end of World War II, Jean and her cousin, Peggy Mulligan, decided to leave Oregon and come to Alaska. They got on the SS Aleutian and headed to Juneau in May 1947. They did not know anyone in Juneau but had the name of a person which their family knew that lived in Juneau. When they arrived it was a typical rainy Juneau day. They stayed at the Gastineau Hotel for a few days and later moved to the Home Hotel.

Jean applied for work at St. Ann’s Hospital; however, she did not want to work shifts at the time. Peg went to work at the Corps of Engineers. Another position came open and Jean applied and also received a job working for the Corps of Engineers.

Jean later worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Territorial Department of Mines until Alaska became a state. She then worked for the State Department of Mines and Minerals until 1964. She also worked for the Department of Labor and worked several sessions for the Alaska State Legislature House of Representatives, from where she retired.

Jean was very active in Emblem Club No. 90 in Juneau. She held numerous positions in the organization including serving as President. She is also a member of Pioneers of Alaska, Auxiliary No. 6.

Pete and Jean Eby met in 1947, in Juneau and they were married November 29, 1947. They just recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. They have three daughters, Sharon, Norma and Linda.

After retiring, Pete and Jean traveled during the winter months for many years in California, Oregon and Hawaii.

Jean and Pete bought property on Mosquito Lake out of Haines, Alaska. They cleared the property themselves and hauled all the lumber and materials up the lake and built their recreation cabin. Even though the cabin had no electricity or running water they spent many enjoyable summers fishing, exploring and just relaxing. Pete also hunted for moose for many years at Yakutat or at their cabin.

The Crosbys still reside in Juneau.

Hartley "Pete" & Jean Crosby.

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