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Biography of Hon. Alphonso Fowler Learned

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HON. ALPHONSO FOWLER LEARNED. – Mr. Learned, whose travels and services abroad have taken him extensively over the world as an able representative of the American nation and flag, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1838. He spent a precocious boyhood in the schools of that city, – “The Athens of America,” – and at the age of sixteen was an alumnus of Comers College. Preferring the sea, however, to further bookish confinement, he became cabin boy on a full-rigged ship, returning as able seaman.

In 1857 he came on the clipper ship Sierra Nevada to San Francisco, and as mate on the bark Goldhunter, sailed to Port Townsend, Washington Territory. There he entered the mercantile business with his uncle, E.S. Fowler, but in 1862 went to Shanghai as superintendent for the large tea importers, Russel & Co. He returned in 1871, and continued in business with E.S. Fowler until the death of the latter in 1879. Much time was spent after this in San Francisco in the newspaper business, and six years in the internal revenue department. Coming back once more, he accepted a position as bookkeeper for the Alaska Mill & Mining Company; but the offensive climate induced his speedy return. He thereupon opened a real-estate and insurance office, and conducts a large business in this line.

In the political world, Mr. Learned has been a prominent figure. He has held a position on the city council. He pushed Judge Hastings to the narrow majority of one vote as candidate for treasurer of Jefferson county. Six years he held the position of consul to Nicaragua, and was master of the first Masonic lodge in China, and has also filled the same office at Port Townsend.

He was married in that city to Miss Isabelle, a daughter of Doctor Samuel McCurdy, an old resident of the port. She is a lady of culture and refinement; and they have a fine family of children, three girls and three boys.

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