History and Genealogy Research

This photograph was taken to commemorate the imminent departure of  these seventeen Mariposa County miners to  the Klondike
gold fields in  1900, so that they could take part in the Alaska gold rush. When the  expedition reached Juneau, the men heard of the new discovery of gold   at Nome. At least some, and perhaps all, of them diverted there for  the summer  mining season. The two men in the very  center of the back   row are, left, John James "Babe" Napier, son-in-law of Mariposa   County pioneer John Sevier Branson  (he was married to Nancy Anne   Branson) and, right, Alvin Thorpe Branson, son of  John Sevier  Branson. (Alvin is the blond fellow   with the sharply receding   hairline.) No one else's identity is known for  certain, but the men bracketing Babe and Alvin strongly resemble,  and probably are,   Alvin's second cousins, sons
 of his father's first cousin, Mariposa  County pioneer Isaac Branson. If this is the case,  then the man to   the left of Babe  is Joseph Russell "Devil Joe" Branson, and the man  to the right of Alvin is Hiram Wilson Branson, Sr.
If anyone knows   who the other thirteen men are, please get in touch. Photo scanned by  Dave Smeds,  from a print  that belonged to Alvin Thorpe Branson, was  inherited by his son Ivan Thorpe Branson, and is now in the  possession of Ivan's widow.