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M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder Of The Alaska State Fair

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dc.contributor.author Colberg, Talis James
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-06T18:10:17Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-06T18:10:17Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/8947
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008
dc.description.abstract This dissertation presents the life of M.D. Snodgrass as an example of how the Alaskan frontier transformed an unremarkable middle aged migrant into a socially prominent civic leader. The life of M.D. Snodgrass exemplifies how American frontier society provides ordinary people with exceptional opportunities to flourish and prosper. One of the end results of Snodgrass's taking advantage of Alaskan frontier opportunity was the Alaska State Fair. The dissertation divides the life of Snodgrass into four phases with the following findings: (1) The first thirty-one years of Snodgrass's life was spent outside of Alaska. His early life in Kansas demonstrates: the forces which formed Snodgrass, the absence of noteworthy activities and the habits he embraced that would remain constant in his long life. (2) The second thesis section documents: how upon arrival in Alaska he was immediately confronted with challenges and opportunities in the wilderness that built his self-confidence, and how he devoted most of the last six decades of his life to advancement of agriculture in Alaska. (3) The third part addresses his political career, with the following observations: the unsettled frontier society had no established upper class and he became socially mobile; being present at the creation of a political system allowed him to attain extraordinary prominence rapidly; and he learned to take risks, to lose and yet keep trying. (4) The final phase demonstrates that by definition a frontier society lacks institutions, and Snodgrass seized the opportunity to be a participant in the creation of two colleges and became the founding figure of the Alaska State Fair. The author concludes that had M.D. Snodgrass never left Kansas he probably would never have been a representative, senator, college trustee, founder of experiment stations, state presidential elector, or the founder of a state fair. A normal individual can accomplish exceptional feats in a frontier setting where the open environment encourages the development of human potential.
dc.subject American history
dc.subject Biographies
dc.title M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder Of The Alaska State Fair
dc.type Thesis
dc.type.degree phd
dc.identifier.department Northern Studies Program


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