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Significant Scots
Scotty Allan

"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 for Alaska.

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 Alaska.

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.

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