population 1,258, on right bank of Kuskokwim River, 90 mi. SW of Aniak and 83 mi. E of Nelson I., Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Bethel was originally the site of an Eskimo village and trading post of the Alaska Commercial Company. Listed as "Mumtrekhlogamute" with 41 people by Ivan Petroff in the 10th Census, in 1880. The name is reported to mean "Smokehouse people" because here a peculiar house for smoking fish was erected . Alaska to locate a site for a mission, which they placed at the village of Mumtrekhlogamute. The mission was established a year later by Weinland and J. H. Kilbuck. The name given to the mission is derived from the biblical passage "And God said unto Jacob, Arise, and go up to Bethel, and dwell there; and make there an altar unto God. (Genesis 35:1). The scriptural Bethel was 22 mi. N of Jerusalem and means "house of God" in Hebrew. The Alaskan Bethel had a population of 33 in 1890, 110 in 1910, 221 in 1920, 278 in 1930, 376 in 1940, and 651 in 1950. The Bethel post office was established in 1905.