THE JOHN HENRY KILBUCK COLLECTION
The John Henry Kilbuck Collection contains approximately 200 Yu'pik Eskimo objects which includes: harpoons, fishhooks, fishing tools, sewing awls, baskets, needles, cooking containers, food preparation utensils, snowshoes, snow goggles, toys, fetishes and figurines. John Henry Kilbuck was the great-grandson of Delaware Chief, Gelemend, born May 15, 1861, near Fort Scott, Kansas on a Delaware Indian Reservation. His family settled in Ottawa, Kansas, where he married the daughter of a Kansas missionary, Edith Romig, in 1885. Setting out for Alaska, the Kilbucks founded the first Moravian Mission in Bethel, Alaska among the Yu'pik Eskimoes.
Kilbuck was well known in Alaska for his missionary work and linguistic talents. John Kilbuck's missionary work included developing new strategies of outreach focused on the proclamation of the Gospel to the Yu'pik villagers, establishing mission stations, as had been done in Greenland and Labrador; and using the Yu'pik language to teach the Gospel to the Eskimos in the area. The collection was given to Ottawa University by Edith Romig in 1911. The Kilbuck Collection is currently on display in the Collections Area of the Myers Library at Ottawa University.