1st Alaska State Legislature

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The 1st Alaska State Legislature served during 1959 and 1960. All of its members were elected on November 25, 1958, when Alaska was in its last days as a territory.


The Alaska Constitution established that legislative terms begin on the fourth Monday in January following an election year, and that the date may be changed by statute. This legislature passed Senate Bill 70 in the first session, which placed the date into statute but did not actually change it.

  • All terms began on January 26, 1959
  • All terms of representatives, and of those senators serving short terms, expired on January 22, 1961
  • All terms of senators serving long terms expired on January 27, 1963


  • 1st session: January 26, 1959 – April 16, 1959
  • 2nd session: January 25, 1960 – March 29, 1960

Alaska Senate[edit]


Affiliation Members
Democratic Party 18
Republican Party 2
 Total 20
 Government Majority 16


District Name Party Location
A James Nolan Dem Wrangell
Frank Peratrovich Dem Klawock
B Walter O. "Bo" Smith Dem Ketchikan
C Howard C. Bradshaw Dem Sitka
D Thomas B. Stewart Dem Juneau
E Ralph E. Moody[1] Dem Anchorage
Irene E. Ryan Dem Anchorage
F Balfour J. "Bob" Logan Dem Cordova
G Joseph Earl Cooper[2] Dem Anchorage
H Irwin L. Metcalf Dem Seward
I Alfred A. Owen Dem Uganik Bay
J George B. McNabb, Jr. Dem Fairbanks
Robert J. McNealy Dem Fairbanks
K Jack E. Weise Rep Bethel
L John B. Coghill Rep Nenana
M Hubert A. Gilbert[3] Dem Fairbanks
N William E. Beltz Dem Unalakleet[4]
Lester Bronson Dem Nome
O Eben Hopson Dem Barrow
P John A. McNees Dem Nome


  • Senate President: William E. Beltz (D-Unalakleet)

Alaska House of Representatives[edit]


Affiliation Members
Democratic Party 34
Republican Party 5
Independent 1
 Total 40
 Government Majority 28


District Name Party Location
1 Charles M. Jones Dem Craig
2 Oral E. Freeman Dem Ketchikan
James R. "J. Ray" Roady Dem Ketchikan
3 John E. Longworth Rep Petersburg
4 Frank E. Cashel Dem Sitka
Andrew Hope Dem Sitka
5 Douglas Gray Dem Douglas
Dora M. Sweeney Dem Juneau
6 Morgan W. Reed Dem Skagway
7 Harold Z. Hansen Dem Cordova
8 Bruce Kendall Rep Valdez
9 James J. Hurley Dem Palmer
10 Helen M. Fischer Dem Anchorage
James E. Fisher Dem Anchorage
John S. Hellenthal Dem Anchorage
Earl D. Hillstrand Dem Anchorage
Peter J. Kalamarides Dem Anchorage
Edward R. "Russ" Meekins Dem Anchorage
James E. Norene Dem Anchorage
John L. Rader[5] Dem Anchorage
11 William M. Erwin Dem Seward
12 Allan L. Petersen Dem Kenai[6]
13 Peter M. Deveau Dem Kodiak
Henry L. Haag Dem Kodiak
14 Charles J. Franz Dem Port Moller
15 Jay S. Hammond Ind Naknek
16 James Hoffman Rep Bethel
17 Donald Harris Rep McGrath
18 Grant H. Pearson Dem McKinley Park
19 Frank X. Chapados Dem Fairbanks
Joseph R. "Bob" Giersdorf[7] Dem Fairbanks
Richard J. Greuel Dem Fairbanks
Robert E. Sheldon Dem Fairbanks
Warren A. Taylor Dem Fairbanks
20 R.S. McCombe Dem Chicken
21 John Nusunginya Dem Point Barrow
22 John E. Curtis Rep Kotzebue
23 Robert R. Blodgett Dem Nome
Charles E. Fagerstrom Dem Nome
24 Axel C. Johnson Dem Kwiguk


  • Speaker of the House: Warren A. Taylor (D-Fairbanks)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Resigned in 1960, following the end of sessions, to accept appointment as attorney general
  2. ^ Appointed to the Alaska Superior Court between sessions. Seaborn J. Buckalew, Jr. (D) was appointed to his seat for the second session.
  3. ^ Appointed to the Alaska Superior Court between sessions. Rep. Bob Giersdorf (D) was appointed to his seat January 29, 1960. Giersdorf, who was born on February 24, 1935, was short of the constitutionally-established minimum age, and resigned the seat. Edmund N. Orbeck (D), who was appointed to Giersdorf's House seat, replaced him.
  4. ^ Died on November 21, 1960, after the end of sessions but before the expiration of his term.
  5. ^ Appointed state attorney general between sessions. Blanche L. McSmith (D) was appointed to his seat for the second session.
  6. ^ Petersen, Jettie. Once Upon The Kenai, page 269-70 Kenai Historical Society, Alaska, 1984
  7. ^ Appointed January 29, 1960, to replace outgoing Sen. Hubert Gilbert for the second session, but re-assumed his old seat February 2, 1960. Edmund N. Orbeck (D) filled his House seat in the interim.

External links[edit]

Photos of individual and assembled members of the 1st Alaska State Legislature, as hosted at Alaska's Digital Archives