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Glass, Buford & Eva

by Adrienne Glass Cooley

Buford (Brig) Glass was born in Wasco, Oregon, on October 28, 1901. Eva (Tiny) Glass was born in Newberg, Oregon, on August 23, 1906.

The first time Brig came to Alaska was about 1919. He and his parents went to Perseverance, his father, Harleigh, to work in the mine and his mother, Bertha, to teach school. Brig worked in the kitchen. They remained about a year and a half, then returned to Oregon. After Brig graduated from high school he went on to business school and was proficient at typing, accounting and general office work, but gave it all up as he realized working indoors in an office did not suit him at all!

Brig had a liking for Alaska so in 1924, he headed back with his bride, Tiny. Their daughter, Adrienne, was born in Juneau in 1925, and they spent a number of years living and working on mink and fox ranches in the Mendenhall area. They moved to town and Brig worked for the A.J. Mill, soon rising to be flotation foreman. When the AJ mine was closed during WWII, he remained as an employee with a skeleton crew, cleaning up the mill and mine, and maintaining the power lines.

In the 1950’s, he and Tiny lived at the boarding house in Last Chance Basin, as custodians of the historic site of the Last Chance Placer Mine which had at one time been called the Jualpa. The origination of the name Jualpa was Ju for Juneau, al for Alaska and pa for Pennsylvania, where some of the mine investors were located.

In the late 50’s, Brig was disabled with multiple forms of arthritis and could no longer work. He bore his illness with courage and was an inspiration to all who knew him. Brig loved the outdoors, hiking, fishing. He was a reader, a player of ragtime piano, banjo, and cornet; was a great cartoonist, beloved of kids, family and friends. He was self-effacing, never putting himself forward. Brig died in Seattle on June 22, 1985.

Tiny was sociable, energetic, cheerful, kind-hearted, altruistic, a good cook, and proud of her Swedish-Danish ancestry. She loved to sing and loved nothing better than to have people gather around singing, as she played the piano and Brig played the banjo. Tiny worked several years in Juneau at the Gastineau Café in the 30’s. One of her more memorable experiences was when she waited on Will Rogers and Wylie Post the evening before they took their fatal flight. Will Rogers told her that she looked just like Ann Harding, a popular screen star of those days. His dinner order was “pork chops with the gravy just a-oooozin’ out.”

Tiny’s work history also included working at the Hayes Curio Shop, clerking for Commissioner Gray, assistant for Dr. A. Stewart, dentist, and as a clerk at Ludwig Nelson Jewelers. When she was 50 years old, it became apparent that she would have to be the sole support for her husband and herself when Brig could no longer work. She went to community college at night and brushed up on her typing skills, then was hired by the U.S. Forest Service. She worked for them until she retired at age 65, in 1971.

For many years she was an active member of the original Northern Light Presbyterian Church, and later, the Chapel-by-the-Lake. She was a choir member and for over 45 years, Sunday School teacher to preschoolers. Tiny was an active charter member of PEO Chapter D and she and Brig were members of Pioneers of Alaska. She died in Juneau in 1989.

Tiny and Brig Glass, 52nd Anniversary, September 1976.

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