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Donnelly, Harold Lawrence (1915-1996) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Donnelly, Harold Lawrence (1915-1996)

Historical Note:

Harold Lawrence Donnelly Sr. (1915-1996) was born in Haines, Alaska to Irish settler Edward D. Donnelly (1864-1919) and Tlingit Indian Mary Johns (Kahanna) (1876-1956). Harold was of the Raven Moiety. At the time of Harold’s birth sources indicate the Donnelly family was living at Wells, Alaska, a community north of Klukwan. In 1919 Harold’s father died during the Spanish flu epidemic, and in 1923 Harold’s mother was seriously injured, breaking her hips. Later that year Harold was sent to live at the Presbyterian operated Haines House, a boarding school for Alaska Native youth. Harold remained at the Haines House until he completed the sixth grade at age 11, then transferred to the Sheldon Jackson School in Sitka, from where he graduated as valedictorian. During his time at the Sheldon Jackson School he met Florence Hays, who he married shortly after graduating from the school, and they later had two children, Harold Jr. and Eva. He later went to work on the U.S. Naval base on Japonski Island, Sitka, at the power plant, retiring from the power plant in 1973 as foreman. He passed away in 1996.

Sources: Obituary, Chilkat Valley News (27 Jun 1996), BIA census records, ancestry.com, and records in this collection.

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