Bloom, Robert L., 1878-1974Variant names
Robert Bloom (1879-1974), born in Lithuania and Jessie Bloom (1897-1980), born in Ireland, were married in Seattle in 1913 and subsequently made their home in Fairbanks, where Robert Bloom had operated a general store since 1904. During their life in Fairbanks Robert helped found the University of Alaska, promoted agriculture in the Interior, particularily wheat, and became a partner in a flying service. Jessie became the first kindergarten teacher in Fairbanks and helped establish the first Girl Scout camp in the area.
From the description of Robert and Jessie Bloom papers, 1898-1975. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 42064970
Robert and Jessie Bloom were married for over 60 years. For most of those years, they lived and worked together in Alaska as 20th century pioneers on the final frontier of the United States.
Robert L. Bloom was born in Siaulie, Lithuania on October 15, 1878. At the age of eight his family moved to Dublin, Ireland and, in 1897, he came to Alaska in search of gold. Robert had little success as a prospector, so he moved to Seattle, Washington to earn enough money to be able to return to Alaska. In 1904 he did return. He settled in Fairbanks, and using the supplies he had brought with him from Seattle opened a hardware and general merchandise store.
Jessie S. Bloom was born in Dublin, Ireland to Leon and Olga (Kopelansky) Spiro on December 17, 1887. She spent her childhood in Dublin but left there when she was 21 to go to London, England to work as a secretary. While in London Jessie became involved in the growing women's suffrage movement, joining the Women's Freedom League in 1909, and working for passage of a suffrage law by selling pro-suffrage newspapers and attending rallies.
Robert and Jessie came together in 1910, in Dublin, when both, coincidentally, were vacationing there. In 1912, Robert and Jessie, who were also second cousins, were married in London. Shortly afterwards they moved to Alaska.
The transition from England to Alaska was not unpleasant for Jessie and they soon began their pioneer life together, working on the development and settling of Alaska.
Robert was involved in many activities. He was a charter member of Igloo No. 4, Pioneers of Alaska, a fraternal organization. He was a member of an advisory group that helped establish an Air Force base in Alaska and was a founder of what was later to become the University of Alaska. serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the U.A.'s forerunner, the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines from 1921 t0 1925.
Jessie, too, became involved in a number of activities. Two of her major accomplishments were the establishment in 1918 of the first kindergarten in the city of Fairbanks and the formation in 1926 of the first Girl Scout troop in Alaska. Today, the Girl Scout training center in Fairbanks is named in her honor.
Together, the Blooms were co-founders of the Fairbanks Airplane Company and in 1925 Jessie became one of the first women in Alaska ever to ride in an airplane. Robert and Jessie were also very active in conservation efforts in Alaska, supporting efforts to set aside lands for wilderness preserves and opposing efforts such as the Alaskan oil pipeline, which they felt posed a serious threat to Alaska's natural environment. Finally, the Blooms were very active in establishing and promoting the Jewish community in Alaska. Robert served as chairman of Alaska's Jewish Welfare Board and together they served as unofficial chaplains for Jewish servicemen stationed in Alaska during World War II.
The Blooms also raised a family in Alaska. They had four daughters: Dr. Olga Bloom Backer, Dr. Deborah Kaplan, Meta Buttnick, and Ruth Ibbetson.
Robert and Jessie moved to Seattle to retire. Robert died there in April 1974 at the age of 95. Jessie remained in Seattle, in continual close contact with the friends, activities, and causes she had left behind in Alaska until her death in December 1980 at the age of 92.
From the guide to the Robert and Jessie Bloom Papers, 1897-1980., (The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)
|referencedIn||American Jewish Archives. American Jewish Archives Collection, 1889-1980.||University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library|
|referencedIn||Buttnick, Meta Bloom, 1913-. Oral history interview with Meta Bloom Buttnick, Dec. 10, 1984.||University of Washington Libraries|
|creatorOf||Robert and Jessie Bloom Papers, 1897-1980.||The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives|
|creatorOf||Bloom, Robert, 1879-1972. Robert and Jessie Bloom papers, 1898-1975.||University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library|
|associatedWith||Adelaide Outdoor Club||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||American Israel Public Affairs Committee||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||American Jewish Archives.||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Bernstein, Philip S.||person|
|associatedWith||Bernstein, Philip S. (Philip Sydney), 1901-1985||person|
|associatedWith||Bloom, Jessie, 1897-1980.||person|
|associatedWith||Bloom, Jessie S., 1887-1980||person|
|associatedWith||Buttnick, Meta Bloom, 1913-||person|
|correspondedWith||Ervin, Sam J.||person|
|correspondedWith||Farthest North Girl Scout Council||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Fulbright, J. William||person|
|correspondedWith||Harman, Avraham and Zena||person|
|correspondedWith||Jackson, Henry M.||person|
|correspondedWith||Jerusalem Mental Health Center||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||League of Women Voters||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Lowell, Ted and Babe||person|
|correspondedWith||Magnuson, Warren G.||person|
|correspondedWith||Marcus, Jacob R.||person|
|correspondedWith||National Jewish Welfare Board||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Percy, Charles H.||person|
|correspondedWith||Sandrow, Edward T.||person|
|correspondedWith||Udall, Morris K.||person|
|correspondedWith||United Jewish Appeal||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||United Nations Association||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||University of Alaska||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||University of Alaska (College)||corporateBody|
|correspondedWith||Weizmann Institute of Science||corporateBody|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|World War, 1939-1945|
|Jewish way of life|