After graduating from the Evansville College in Indiana, Ernest and Helen Watson went to Alaska as teachers. From 1925 to 1926, they were stationed in St. Paul on the Pribilof Islands. Their goal was to earn money and continue their education. Ernest eventually became a pediatrician, and Helen received an advanced degree in library science.
During their stay in St. Paul, the couple took photos of wildlife, people, and activities in the area, as well as their trips to or from St. Paul.