"Scotty" Allan Alexander Allan helped put Alaska "on the map"
when he started in 1908 the All-Alaska
Sweepstakes, an annual dog-team race which aroused world-wide interest in that
little-known part of the world. He developed a breed of dogs which served not
only in that region, but played an active part in both World Wars. Scotty
Allan’s life story is the story of Alaska from the first days of the Gold Rush
to the Japanese invasion of the Aleurians.
Even as a boy in Scotland, Allan
showed an uncanny aptitude with animals. At twelve he was sent to a school where
he became expert in the handling of horses.
At the age of nineteen, he came to America to deliver a prize stallion to a
horseman in South Dakota. In America he worked at many things, in all parts of
the country. Then, fired by stories of the Klondike gold strike, he made tracks
He prospected for gold, trapped
furs, drove a horse team, became a "dog-puncher "and hauled supplies over
treacherous frozen trails. He worked his way from Dawson to Nome and beyond the
Arctic Circle, where he became a guide. All the rime he managed to collect dogs,
mostly dangerous animals others were glad to be rid of, which he trained and
made into leaders. Soon his dog teams and racing dogs were the most famous in
When the First World War broke
out, Scotty was commissioned by the
government to gather one hundred dogs to be used in hauling supplies over the
mountainous region between France and Germany. His K9 Army became well known,
and many of the dogs received decorations for valor.
Scotty was elected to the Alaskan
legislature, and helped pass laws protecting the fisheries. He found time to
write a book, GOLD, MEN AND DOGS, and later became advisor to
the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.
Note: This brief bio came
from the flyleaf cover of the book 'Scotty Allan' King of the Dog-Team Drivers
by Shannon Garst and published by Julian Messner, Inc. 8 West 40th Street, New
York City 18.