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Denny, Bessie Johnson (1870-1973) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Denny, Bessie Johnson (1870-1973)

Historical Note:

Bessie Johnson Denny (1870-1973) was born on June 15, 1870 at Gáash T’éiyináa Géeyak’w (translated as Little Bay on the Back Side of Gáash, also known as Cape Fox Village), Alaska. Bessie Johnson Denny was of the Eagle Moiety, the Neix.ádi Clan, and of the Ch’áak’ Koowú Hít (Eagle Fan-Tail House). She married Henry J. Denny Sr. (1860-1947) of Saanyá Kwáan and later had and raised nine children, not all of which survived to adulthood. These include; Henry Jr. (1903-1979), Joseph H. (b. 1905), Cora (b. 1908), Reynold (b. 1910), Elizabeth Mable (b. 1912), Sophie (b. 1918), Andrew Nathan (b. 1920), and Benjamin (b. 1923). She also raised some of her grandchildren. She was active in the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 15 for most of her life, and knowledgeable in the history of the Saanyá Kwáan Tlingit.

Sources: BIA Census records and Ketchikan Daily News, 16 Jul 1970.

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