Captain and Ship Master Biographies



Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1893

George W. Aiken, a long-time resident and prosperous horticulturist of Ottawa County, owns a beautiful home upon the banks of the Grand River, a little southeast of Grand Haven, and the homestead contains one hundred and twenty-three acres of fine land, twenty-five acres of which are devoted mainly to gardening and fruit-raising. William Aiken, the father of our subject, was a native of New England, and was born amid the hills of New Hampshire, where he received his education and grew to adult age. After his marriage, he and his wife commenced housekeeping near the scenes of his childhood days. George W., also a native of New Hampshire, from the date of his birth, in 1846, spent the days of boyhood in his birthplace, and gained his education in the common schools of the district. When about twenty years old, inspired with a desire to see something of the world beyond the quiet village of his nativity, he embarked on a whaling voyage, and from 1866 until 1870 was sailing on the Southern Pacific Ocean, all the time below the equator. Cruising along the shores of Juan Fernandez and out in mid ocean, he made some successful catches and returned again to his home on the 5th of July, 1870.

Upon the vessel "Sappho," commanded by Capt. James Handy and owned by a Mr. Seabury, Mr. Aiken first caught a glimpse of the life of a sailor, and experienced the excitements and privations of a whaling voyage. he had scarcely returned to the old New Hampshire home before he decided to try his fortunes in the farther West, and from 1870 to 1874 sailed on the great chain of lakes connecting Buffalo and Chicago. Between these two ports he voyaged upon the bark "Chicago Board of Trade," in charge of Capt. Fountain, and owned by Charles Bradley. Not long after the close of the season of 1874, Mr. Aiken bought his valuable homestead, and settled down to the tilling of the soil and horticultural employments.

In the year 1872, in Port Byron, N. Y., George W. Aiken and Miss Amelia Doud were united in marriage. Mrs. Aiken is a native of New York, and a daughter of well-known and highly respected citizens of that State, under whose guidance she arrived at adult age an intelligent and industrious young woman, well fitted to undertake the experiences and vicissitudes of life. She received her education in the excellent schools of her native State, and in early womanhood removed with her husband to the farther West, locating in Michigan. The pleasant home of our subject and his estimable wife has been brightened by the birth of two children, a son and a daughter. Jessie was born in 1874, and Edward Doud in 1886.

The daughter, now in the dawn of womanhood, has received superior educational advantages and is a social favorite among a large circle of friends.

Mr. Aiken has long been a valued member of the Unitarian Church in Grand Haven, and is a liberal giver in behalf of benevolent enterprise. He is fraternally associated with the Masons, and has for many years been connected with that honored order. Politically a Republican, he is an ardent advocate of the party, but has never been an office-seeker nor has he any desire for public position. He is ever ready to extend aid in all matters of local enterprise, and is intimately associated with the growth and upward progress of the vital interests of his home locality.



Source: Submitted by a researcher/see credits page

Cornelius Anderson (a.k.a. Kornelius Andersen) b. 8 Feb 1855 in Sannidal, Telemark, Norway, the youngest son of Anders Pedersen and Anne Hansdatter, emigrated from Kragerø, through Oslo, to Chicago in June 1874. He was an able bodied seaman. He is shown in 1880 U.S. Census, along with a brother Peder, living with brother Hans and his family in Holland, Michigan. He married Caroline M. "Lina" (unknown) in 1886, probably in Wisconsin.

In 1900 they are living at 1836 N. Main St. in Racine, Wisconsin with children, Arthur H. b. Sept 1887, Clarence C. b. Aug 1888, Agnes L. b. Oct 1892, Esther C. b. Oct 1894 and Eugene T. b. Sept 1896. Cornelius is working as a sailor on the Great Lakes.

By 1910 they are in Milwaukee, WI at 498 Fifteenth Ave. with all children still at home plus the addition of another son, Kenneth b. abt. 1902 in, I think, Racine.

Cornelius has died by 1920, Caroline shown as widow, and Arthur H. and Agnes L. are no longer found in the Census. By 1930 Caroline is apparently dead and only Eugene T. and Kenneth are found.

Eugene T. Anderson, 33, is married to Alice D. Udisches, living with widowed m-i-l at 381 34th Street in Milwaukee. He is employed as a "Commercial Traveler, Universal Atlas Cement Co." Kenneth, 28, single, a lodger at 1008 Third St., Milwaukee is shown to be a Real Estate Salesman.



Submitted by a researcher/see credits page

Peter Anderson (a.k.a. Peder Andersen) b. 29 Jul 1846 in Sannidal, Telemark, Norway, the second son of Anders Pedersen and Anne Hansdatter, emigrated from Kragerø, through Oslo, to New York in Mar 1874, but shown as "Amerikaner". He was an able bodied seaman. He is shown in 1880 U.S. Census, along with a brother Cornelius, living with oldest brother, Hans and his family, in Holland, Michigan. He married Paulina (unknown), b. Dec 1861, in about 1884, probably in Wisconsin.

In 1900 they are living at 655 15th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with children, Alice b. Sept 1888, Pearl b. Oct 1890, Goodwin b. Jul 1892, and Leona b. Sep 1894. They had previously lived at 403 Madison in Milwaukee. Peter is working as a Captain of a ship on the Great Lakes.

In 1910 they are still at 655 15th St. in Milwaukee, WI with all children still at home. Peter is retired from the sea and is a watchman. In 1920 they are at 1644 28th, Wauwatosa Twp., Milwaukee, WI, all children are at home but Pearl is now divorced with a surname of Brill.

By 1930 Peter has died, widow Pauline and daughter Alice live at 1128 3rd Street in Milwaukee. Goodwin is married to Eugenia F. b. abt 1922, and with children Jeanne b. abt 1925 and J.Peter b. abt 1928, they are living at the family home at 1644 28th Street, Milwaukee (formerly in Wauwatosa Twp.). Neither Pearl nor Leona are listed by the Anderson name in 1930 Census, either married or deceased.



Source: [Memorial Record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1895), pp. 148-50, incl. photograph. Library of Congress #F572 .N8 M5, copied 2 Mar 2001 by Daniel Dzurek, with his interpolations in brackets]

Captain George Bartley [1835-1908], general superintendent of the Escanaba Towing & Wrecking Company, is a native of the old Bay State [Massachusetts], his birth having occurred in Chelsea on the 25th of August, 1835. His parents were Casper and Clara (Brown) Bartley, the former born in Schenectady, New York, of Mohawk Dutch parentage, while the latter was a native of Massachusetts and of French lineage. The family moved from Chelsea to New York, and when the Captain was a young man of twenty years emigrated to Wisconsin, where both parents died. The father was a hotel-keeper. Captain Bartley was the only son and second child in a family of 6 children. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is the widow of D. N. Robinson, formerly of Lockport, New York, and makes her home in San Francisco, California. Sarah, now Mrs. Judd, resides in Milwaukee; Mrs. Susanna Damon, also makes her home in Milwaukee, and Delphine died at the age of 5 years.

In taking up the personal history of Captain Bartley we present to our readers the life record of him who is both widely and favorably known in this locality,--a man highly esteemed for his sterling worth and many excellencies of character. His life has been an eventful one, and has been spent mostly upon the water. He first sailed on the Great Lakes, there spending four years, when he shipped before the mast on a whaler, which left the harbor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, on a three years' cruise in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, and the Japan, Yellow and Okhotsk seas, for the capture of sperm whales. During that voyage he visited at the principal islands in the Pacific and some on the Atlantic: was at New Zealand, the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii], Society Islands [French Polynesia], King Mill Island, Juan Fernandez, and the Friendly Islands, and touched on the coast of California. That cruise was a source of pleasure to the Captain, and many interesting incidents does he relate of it. They went as far north as seventy-three degrees and thirty minutes [Arctic Ocean north of the Bering Strait],--something unusual on ordinary whaling expeditions. For six weeks the boat was frozen in the ice of the northern seas, during which time the crew captured many seals. They also killed a monstrous polar bear, weighing 1,530 pounds, and the Captain tells how he cut off the animal's paw, skinned it and made of the hide a cap, which just fitted his head without a change. They also traded quite extensively with the Eskimos, the articles of traffic being tobacco, needles, pins, and thread, in exchange for which they received furs, walrus teeth and other such commodities. In capturing whales, their boats were frequently capsized and crushed to pieces in the vigorous fight which was made by the monster of the deep for his life. At the Sandwich Islands Mr. Bartley shipped on a boat for a winter voyage around the equator to capture the right whale.

At length Captain Bartley returned to his home, in the fall of 1859, and has since been continually employed upon the Great Lakes. He has served as foremast hand, mate and master, and for the past twenty-two years he has been master of a towing and wrecking tug [Monarch]. He has been upon the waters since 1852 and has met with some narrow escapes, though his boats have had few accidents. On one occasion he was wrecked off Twin River Point, Wisconsin, the tug having gone down in quicksand, but she was raised and restored to service.

The Captain was married in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in 1861, to Miss Maria Branigan, a native of that city, born of Irish parentage. They had nine children, all yet living. Mrs. Bartley died in Chicago, whither she had gone for treatment. For his second wife, Captain Bartley chose Miss Nina H. Leighton, a native of Maine and a daughter of Arthur and Lois (Donovan) Leighton. They have three children,--Gertie, Clifton and Warren. The lady's parents removed from Indian River, Maine, to Bay de Noquet, Delta county, Michigan, when she was a maiden of six years. Her mother died there, and her father, who has married again is still living at that place. Mrs. Bartley is the elder of two daughters, the other being Mrs. Adelaide Dady, a resident of Escanaba.

Captain Bartley is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in his political connections is a Republican; but his busy life has precluded the possibility of seeking office even though he should have desired to do so. He has traveled much and seen many countries, but to the Captain there is "no place like home." He has a beautiful and commodious residence, which was erected under his personal supervision. It is large, well built, finely finished and handsomely furnished, and is supplied with all modern conveniences, including hot and cold water all over the house. It was erected at a cost of $5,000, exclusive of furnishings, and is located at 624 Georgia street [So. Ninth Street, Escanaba, Michigan]. There in the midst of his family Captain Bartley delights to spend his leisure hours, and to his many friends he extends a heart-felt hospitality.



Source: Memorial Record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1895), pp. 67-68. Library of Congress #F572.N8 M5, copied by Daniel Dzurek.]

Captain Casper Bartley, master of the tug Delta and resident of Escanaba, Michigan, is a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, born May 31, 1862, son of Captain George B. and Maria (Branigan) Bartley.

Captain George B. Bartley is a native of Massachusetts. He has been a sailor all his life, spent many years on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, and since 1861 has been on the Great Lakes. While on the Arctic ocean he was in a whaling vessel. At present he is master and managing owner of the tug Monarch, and is also superintendent of the Escanaba Towing and Wrecking Company. The mother of our subject died February 17, 1885. Her family was composed of the following children: Casper; Ada Frances, deceased wife of Alexander Cunning; George Ancel, engineer on his father's vessel, the Monarch; Clara at home; Frank, who works for his father during the navigation season; Mamie, at home; William, who resides with his brother Casper; Edwin, who makes his home with his brother George, the latter being married; Hiram, at home; Harry, also at home; and one child that died in infancy. In November 1885, the father married Miss Nina Leighton, his present wife, by whom he has had four children, one of whom is deceased.

Casper Bartley attended school until he was fourteen years of age. He then came to Escanaba, and was employed here about seven years before the removal of the rest of the family to this place. His first work was in the capacity of cook on a tug, which he followed two or three years. After this he served as lineman until he received a master's papers in 1882. His first assignment as a master was on board the tug Pilot, where he served about two years or until the vessel was sold. The company then built the Delta, and he was assigned to the command of the tug Owen, of which his father had served as captain until the completion of the Delta. For tow years our subject was captain of the Owen. Then he was employed by the Ford River Lumber Company, as commander of the tug Bruce, continuing with them for two years. Next we find him at Ashland, where he took command of a tug on Lake Superior. Before the completion of the season, however, he was called by telegram to take command of a tug owned by the Escanaba Towing and Wrecking Company, his former employers, and he has been with them ever since. Nineteen years of his life have been spent on the waters.

Captain Bartley was married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 28, 1883, to Miss Nellie Burke, a native of Madison, that State, born in June, 1863. When she was about a year old her parents moved to Milwaukee, where her mother still resides; her father is deceased. The captain and Mrs. Bartley have had four children, namely: George, born September 22, 1884; Elmer, who died January 3, 1891, at the age of eighteen months; Cornelius E., born January 11, 1891, and Irma Agnes, born June 27, 1894. The family are members of St Joseph's Church, Roman Catholic. Politically, the captain is a Republican and is a formidable candidate for Alderman of his ward. He is a member of the A.O.U.W., and on the organization of the Bartley Tent of Maccabees he was Commander of the tent.



Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 1579

CAPT. ROBERT K. CASWELL, was born in Grand Island, New York; commenced steam-boating on Lake Erie in 1838, and came to Milwaukee in 1840. In 1841, went to Buffalo, and cut out the steamer "Milwaukee," that was held there in controversy and brought her to Milwaukee in the interest of Solomon Juneau; was master of the schooner "Merrill," which he sailed one season; then built the small schooner called the "Sylvenus Marvin," and sailed her one season. The next year he took the schooner "Sea Serpent" off the beach, repaired her, changed her name to "The Mint," and sailed her one season. The next year he sailed the schooner "Solomon Juneau; in 1846, retired to his farm near the city, which he had purchased from the Government in 1842. In 1858, he started a lumber yard, located near Reed street, where he continued one year, when he removed to Reed street, opposite the Union Depot; remained there almost five years. In 1862, William V. Caswell was admitted as a partner with his father, the firm being R.K. Caswell & Son. The business was removed to South Water street in 1865, and continued by William V. Caswell, alone, R.K. Caswell retiring to the farm, just northweset of the city limits; he remained on the farm until the time of his death, which occurred December 14, 1870, aged 58 years and nine months.



Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 1504

WM. V. CASWELL, lumber commission merchant, Marine Block, was born in the Village of Chippewa, Canada, July 4, 1836; came to Milwaukee with his parents in 1841, and when only a boy went sailing with his father; worked as a ship carpenter and caulker for several years, and in 1862 was admitted as a partner with his father in the lumber business; closed out the business in 1869, and in 1871 took charge of the schooner "Sinai," of which he was part owner, engaged in the lumber trade, and sailed her till 1873, when she was lost at Point Betsy, east shore of Lake Michigan. He commenced the lumber commission business in the Marine Block in 1876; deals in pine and hardwood lumber, wood and bark railroad ties, cedar posts and telegraph poles by the cargo; handles from $80,000 to $100,000 worth of stock annually. Residence, No. 693 North Second street.



Source: Chicago Tribune, Nov. 14 1871

A Gallant Sailor
Heroic Conduct of Captain Gilson, of the Tugboat Magnolia, on Night of the Great Fire - A Late Acknowledgement of Priceless Services.

Captain Gilson, of the tug boat Magnolia, called at the Tribune Office, yesterday afternoon, and was interviewed by one of our reporters. He was in bed when the great fire of October 9 broke out, and, when he saw the reflection in the sky he went to his boat, which was lying in the Illinois Central slip, to see if his men were there. He found them, and started up the stream, with the intention of going to the foot of Illinois street, and saving his household goods, his dwelling being No. 150 on that thoroughfare.

When he reached Rush street bridge he saw no other tugs around and realizing that the fire was approaching rapidly, and that it would soon be on the docks, he concluded to remain in the vicinity of the bridge, and save as much property as possible. The fire soon made its appearance on the wharves west of Rush street bridge, and observing that it was eating its way east with alacrity, he passed out his hawser to several vessels and towed them into the lake.

Upon returning he found that the propellers Ira Chaffee, Skylark, and side wheel steamer Manitowoc were crowded with men, women and children who had been driven on board by the fire, there being no other place for them to seek shelter. The commanders of these vessels had steam up, and were ready to leave their moorings, but their engines were powerless to move them an inch, the wind being so strong that it locked them, as it were, to the wharf.

When told of this, Capt. Gilson towed the vessels one by one into the lake, and thereby saved the lives of all on board. Had not this tug been there, every one on board would have perished, as there was no available avenue of escape. After the vessels were gone, many persons assembled on the docks, and they would have been burned to death or drowned had not they been taken on board the Magnolia and carried to the propeller Ira Chaffee, which was kept at the North Pier to receive any who should make their appearance on the wharf. One man, who was nearly frightened to death, jumped into the river, and was picked up by the Magnolia.

After leaving the propellers in the lake, the tug ran into the river again, and the brave Captain, seeing that the wharf lines of several schooners were already on fire, and feeling confident that, if the vessels ignited, the warehouses facing the river, then untouched, would surely be destroyed, picking out those nearest the warehouse and towed them away, he continued the good work all night, and saved an immense amount of property.

When daylight appeared he learned that there were eight or ten thousand people on the lake shore, north of the lighthouse, who could not move on account of the fire. He stopped his tug at the North Pier, took aboard as many as the deck would accomodate, and landed them on the West Side. There were too many people for one boat to take to a place of safety, and he reported the fact to Captain Crawford, President of the Towing Association, who sent other tugs to assist in the work, and they were engaged all day Monday and until Tuesday afternoon in moving the crowd from the lake shore.

With a view of placing the matter before the public, who are always willing, when satisfied of the worthiness of the applicant, to contribute something to show their appreciation of heroic conduct, a number of prominent gentlemen, among them Mr. J.E. Buckingham, have drawn up a petition and signed their names to it. As the document shows what Captain Gilson did, it is subjoined:

To the Public: We the undersigned citizens of Chicago, do hereby certify that Captain Joseph Gilson of the tug Magnolia, was burned out by the great fire of October 9, while at the peril of his life and the destruction of his tug, he was fearlessly engaged in saving the lives and property of many of the sufferers. His was the only tug that remained below the ruins rendering assistance to the distressed. We know him to be a brave temperate and industrious young man, who has employed his earnings to contributing to the support of his brother and sister, who are not able to earn their own living. We believe he is deserving of a liberal reward from those immediately benefited by his exertions, and that the public in general should by their liberality, encourage such generous self-sacrifice. Capt. Gilson distinguished himself in 1867 by saving the crew of the schooner Alpena, at the immediate risk of his own life, while she was a wreck at the mouth of the Chicago River, and no other tug would venture out to render her and her crew assistance.

Appended to this petition is a statement of General McArthur of the Board of Public Works, setting forth that he witnessed the efforts of Captain Gilson to save lives and property and that he was ferried across the river by him, while endeavoring to reach the Water Works on that Monday morning.



Source: Milwaukee Daily Sentinel Milwaukee, Thursday Aug 3, 1848 Page 2

Drowned-Mr. Robert Harris, first mate of the propeller A. Rossetter, fell overboard when the propeller was about eight miles north of Milwaukee, on her passage to this port, and was drowned. Mr. H. was ill and unable to take his usual rest for some days before the accident and it is thought the wheel must have struck him, as he never appeared up on the surface after he disappeared beneath it. Mr. H. has left a wife and two children to mourn his loss-Chicago Democrat.


Edward M. Herman

Source: Sent in by a researcher/see Credits page.

Edward M. Herman served on a number of Great Lake ships before he served on the U.S.S. Morrill 1903. He later was appointed to the United States Lighthouse Service serving at the Life Saving Station, Buffalo, NY and then at the Marblehead Lighthouse retiring from service in 1943. One of the ships he lists in his notebook was the Rosedale, 1899. He lists this as "the English ship". (photo of Rosedale in ship photo section.)



Source: Sent in by a researcher/see credits page

Nelson Holland and his cousin Frank Sears, had operated a sawmill at East Saginaw, Mich. near the foot of Atwater St. About 1888-89, Holland became interested in the Emery Lumber Co., of East Tawas, along with Temple Emery, when Holland purchased the interests of Hiram A. Emery. The East Tawas mill, formerly operated as Emery Bros. (1877). Hiram A. Emery at that time returned to work for H. W. Sage, at West Bay City.

From 1885, Emery Brothers had been importing logs from the French and Wahnapitae river region, in Canada. It was for this service that the Barge "Wahnapitae" was originally constructed. On the Canadian side, the firm was known as Emery Lumber Co. with a controlling interest held by members of the Saginaw Lumber & Salt Co. (James MacLaren, of Buckingham, Quebec). After the logs arrived in Michigan, at East Tawas, they were divided two to one in favour of the Saginaw interests.

From 1888 all the logs of the Emery Lumber Co. were towed to Andrew Miscampbell's mill at Midland, Ontario for processing. I believe most of this towing was done by the Rathbun Co. who also logged this same region. The Tug "Resolute" was often used. It was about this time that the Barge "Wahnapitae" was placed in general cargo service.

Likely due to the controlling interests held by the Saginaw firm (MacLaren), that Hiram A. Emery sold his interests to Nelson Holland, in 1888. Hiram returned to work for H.W.Sage, at West Bay City, whom the Emery's were employed by prior to 1877.

Like the original Saginaw plan, Canadian logs were railed from East Tawas, to Hollands mill. In 1892 Nelson Holland and Temple Emery purchased the remaining interests of the Saginaw partners and the Emery Lumber Co. was dissolved. The former Emery Bros. mill at East Tawas was sold to H.W.Sage, and the Holland mill dismantled and moved to East Tawas.

About 1897 the Holland & Emery Lumber Co. mill at East Tawas was again removed to Byng Inlet, Ontario. This firm was reorganized in 1902, as Holland & Graves Lumber Co. and in 1907, as Graves, Bigwood & Co. Luther Pomeroy Graves, associated with this firm was also involved with shipping at Lower Black Rock.

Nelson Holland was also associated with William Hudson, of Buffalo, in a sawmill at Naubinway, Michigan, about 1879.



Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1893

Hiram Hunter, a successful agriculturist of Moorland Township, Muskegon County, was born in Brownville, Jefferson County, N. Y., June 10, 1835, and is the son of Silas O. and Sallie (Smedley) Hunter, natives of Massachusetts. His father was a sailor and went before the mast at the age of sixteen. Two years later he was made master of the vessel on which he was sailing, and from that time up to the age of forty-five he occupied a commanding position among the mariners of Lake Ontario. Selling out his shipping interests at the age above mentioned, he moved to Ottawa County, Mich., where he was actively engaged in farming during the remainder of his life. His death, at the age of eighty-one, was caused by falling from a verandah while in the city of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Longevity is a prominent characteristic of the Hunter family, whose members possessed very rugged constitutions and usually attained to advanced years, although some of them met with violent deaths in their prime. Of seven children, our subject is the next to oldest. He received a thoroughly practical business training at an early age from his father, who took great pains to instruct his children in the best business methods. He entrusted them with many of his personal affairs, thereby giving them the advantage of practical experience.

Continuing at home until the age of twenty-five years, the subject of this sketch then engaged in the lumber business in northern Michigan, contracting, jobbing and also superintending for others. he followed this business very successfully for many years. In 1890 he located in Moorland Township, Muskegon County, where he engages extensively in farming and also devotes consdierable attention to stock-raising. He is an extensive grower of mint and onions, for which he finds a ready sale at fair prices. His farm embraces about seven hundred acres, and its thorough state of cultivation shows the same energy and attention which are characteristic of Mr. Hunter's every enterprise.

Mr. Hunter has been twice married. His first union was with Matilda J. Snyder, and by her he had four children. Louis, the eldest, was killed at the age of twenty-five, at Lucas, Mich., in a railway accident; the others are: William, who resides in Muskegon; Edward, who is engaged in the mercantile business at Iron River, Mich.; and Georgia, who is at home with her father. The second marriage of Mr. Hunter united him with Mrs. Mary Thompson, who was born in New York. Although the management of his farm requires his constant attention, yet this activity does not seem to exhaust his energy. He affiliates with the Republican party and is greatly interested in the general welfare of the community, of which, he is an enterprising and popular citizen.



Source: Milwaukee Daily Sentinel Jan. 8, 1897

George Irving, Who Took the First Vessel to Lake Superior.
Windsor, Ont. Jan. 7-Capt. George Irving, an old time lake mariner, died here last night, aged 81 years. He was the first man to take a vessel from Lake Huron to Lake Superior before the canal was constructed.




The Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee WI) July 11, 1883; pg. 2; col D

Waukesha July 10. - Capt. Geo. Lawrence one of the historic men of the county after a protracted illness and gradual decline of two years passed peacefully away this morning at the family residence at 6:30 o'clock. Mr. Lawrence was surrounded by his entire family at the time of his death. The funeral will occur to-morrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. Capt. Lawrence was born at Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Mass. on Oct. 31, 1812. He began a sailor life when a lad by sailing on the small coasters. At the age of 16 he shipped with his father who was an old sailor on a whaling voyage harpooning two whales before he was 17. During this voyage he visited China, Japan and the Sandwich Islands and was promoted to boat-steerer. From the position of a steerer he rapidly arose to the position of captain and subsequently became largely identified in the purchase of vessels. In the fall of 1846 he made Milwaukee his headquarters; in 1847 he built the schooner Lawrence at a cost of $12,000 and the following year he exchanged one third of the vessel for a comfortable home near Waukesha and sold the remaining share to Daniel Newhall.



Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1893

Capt. Seth Lee, of Muskegon, is the owner of the North Muskegon Ferry and Tug Boat Line. He has experienced the life of a sailor for many years, and is widely known among the sailors on the Lakes. He is a native of Ohio, the place of his birth being in Lorain County, while the date is 1834. His parents were George and Sallie (Rose) Lee, the former native of the Buckeye State, and the latter of Albany, N.Y. The ancestors of the Lee family came from Germany. The father of our subject emigrated Westward and died in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1814.

Capt. Lee, whose name heads this record, spent the first ten years of his life in the State of his nativity, and then began sailing as cook on a vessel on the Great Lakes. He was successively promoted from one position to another, until at the early age of nineteen he had become captain of a schooner, the "Ellen Kent," plying between Sandusky and Buffalo. In the capacity of captain he continued to sail on the Great Lakes until 1881, when he purchased the present line of tug boats, which he has operated successfully since.

In 1874 Capt. Lee chose as a companion and helpmate on life's journey Miss Kittie M. Burroughs, of Buffalo, N. Y., and unto them have been born two children, a son and daughter, Kate B. and Charles Henry. The family reside at No. 172 West Webster Avenue, where they have a spacious and elegant residence, handsomely and richly furnished. In social circles, the Captain and his wife rank high, and throughout the community their friends are many.

In 1885, Capt. Lee began contracting for the laying of cedar pavement, and has since paved a large portion of the streets of Muskegon. He is now engaged in superintending the building of the large Magoon & Kimball Docks. He also owns and operates the People's Steam Laundry of Muskegon, and his various business interests yield him a good return and make him one of the substantial and well-to-do citizens of the community. He possesses excellent business ability and his good management and careful attention to all the details of his business, and his honorable, upright dealings have brought him a reward in the shape of a handsome competence.

The Captain exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, and in 1886 he was elected as Alderman of the Third Ward, serving as a member of the Council in a faithful and acceptable manner. Socially, he is connected with Muskegon Lodge No. 140, A. F. & A. M. He possesses the genial, kindly nature so characteristic of sailors, and is therefore popular and well liked.



Source: The Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio) Oct. 8, 1887

Another Lake Disaster
Toledo, O., Oct. 8-The tug Orient which left here Monday night, went down near Point au Pelee during Tuesday's storm. Her entire crew of six men were drowned. Their names are Daniely Lyons, master; John Davis, first engineer; William Paugborn, second engineer; Ed. Kane, mate; P. Dillard, fireman, and the steward, name unknown. They all belonged to Marine City were the boat was owned.

Source: The Elyria Democrat (Elyria, Ohio) 1887 October 13

The tug Orient, which left Toledo. O., on the 3rd foundered in the storm of that day off Point Au Pelee, and her crew of six men were all lost. The victims were Dan Lyons, captain[ Ed. Cane, mate; John David, first engineer; Lawrence Pangborne, second engineer; Robert Bashon, fireman; Joseph Sharkey, steward. All the men lived at Marine City, Mich.

Source: Manitoba Daily Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) 1887 October 7

Swamped in Lake Erie

Another Vessel That Went Down in Tuesday's Great Blow.
Detroit, Mich. Oct. 6-Another peculiar and serious marine disaster on Lake Erie during the great blow on Tuesday was reported today by a vessel passing Detroit. The ill fated vessel was the tug Orient which went down with all hands near Point Au Pelee about two o'clock of that day. The Orient left Toledo Monday night and on Wednesday morning was seen by the tug Oswego, maing bad weateher and flying a signal of distress. ??? owing t the fearful see running it was impossible to render any assistance. The violence of the storm increased and the waves broke over and almost submerged the little craft. The schooner Gren??? lay behind the point, and her crew were witnesses of the disaster. The tug's crew were seen baling her out with pails, but their efforts did not count for much, and a few moments later she took a header and disappeared from sight with her six brave men. They were Danl' Lyons, master; John Davis, first engineer; Wm. Pangborn, second engineer; Ed. Kane, mate; P. Dillock, fisherman steward, name unknown. They all belonged to Marine City, where the boat was owned.



A researcher sent this in. It is in reference to the Charles McIntosh shown elsewhere on this website.

Capt Charles McIntosh did not have a son by that name [M.G. McIntosh]. Capt Charles died of malaria aboard the ship Colborne whiich he built. At the same time his brother Captain James McIntosh and his entire family died of malaria and his father Captain John McIntosh sailed from Scotland to Canada with passengers.

I have the will and the death certificate of Captain Charles McIntosh. He had 1 daughter and 1 son and his wife survived and remarried with the daughter marrying and moving to New York and the son Charles McIntosh II, my gr grandfather, was only 1 year old at the time and later moved to Puslinch Ontario after his mother and sister had remarried.

I dont know how many times people have written to me asking if M Mcintosh from the Lucknow area is related and no, not to my knowledge. In fact for many years their name was spelled MACINTOSH, not McIntosh.

Sent in by a research/see contributors page.



Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1893

Capt. William Mees, a retired lake captain, who is now enjoying a well-earned rest after years of arduous toil at his home in Muskegon, was born in Somersetshire, England, on the 18th of June, 1826. His parents, William and Fannie F. (Baker) Mees, were also natives of England. The father served in the British navy for the period of twenty-four years, and at length emigrated to Canada, where his death occurred.

Capt. Mees, whose name heads this record, was a lad of only eight summers when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to Canada, landing in Quebec. The father was also a contractor of canal building and was engaged on the construction of the St. Lawrence Canal. Our subject's connection with the Lakes dates from his fourteenth year, when he went with his father to Chicago and secured a position as cook on the schooner "Drift," which plied on Lake Michigan between St. Joseph and Chicago, and was commanded by Capt. William Dougan. Capt. Mees sailed on the Lakes until 1892, and rose successively step by step until he became captain. The first vessel he sailed out of Chicago was the "Henry Clay," in 1848. In 1849, he was captain of the "Gen. Warren," which he ran for two seasons, and later the brig "T. W. Morris" two seasons. He then moved to Muskegon, in 1851, and entered the employ of Ryerson & Morris and sailed the schooner "Roberts," being in their employ steamboating and sailing for about ten years.

Later he resumed business on his own account, buying a small steamboat, which he ferried across Muskegon Lake, being so engaged about two years, when he built the passenger steamer "pony," which was also put into commission as a ferry boat. He afterward sold the above two boats and then built the tug "Gettie" in connection with Capt. Tom Walters.

In 1873 he sold the "Gettie" and went to Green Bay and bought the steamer "Annie," which he took up to Pine Lake and ran between Charlevoix and East Jordan for four seasons, and being desirous of selling the "Annie," he took her to New Orleans, via Chicago and the Illinois Canal and Illinois River, and disposed of her to advantage. In the following summer he became superintendent of the Muskegon Booming Company's floating stock and was so engaged about six years. He was then engaged as captain of the "Ira O. Smith" up to 1891, his practical retirement from the steamboat business dating from that year. He has held papers as a pilot and captain for thirty-six years, but his whole experience on the Lakes runs back to 1842. He is among the oldest lake captains living.

In January, 1848, Capt. Mees was united in marriage with Miss Winnifred White, a native of Boston, Mass., who died June 11, 1888, mourned by many friends. Eleven children were born of that union, but only three are now living, as follows: Mary, now the wife of Charles Brown, a resident of Chicago; Eliza, who resides in Lansing, Mich., where she is employed in the State Auditor's office; and Winnifred, wife of Robert Foster, who resides in Muskegon.

On the 18th of November, 1843, during a severe storm, Capt. Mees was wrecked off the coast of South Haven, while sailing on the schooner "Liberty." Making his way to the shore, he walked through two feet of snow to St. Joseph, a distance of twenty miles. He met with a number of hardships during his life on the Lakes, yet altogether was very successful in escaping wrecks and injury. Since 1892 he has lived retired and his rest is well deserved. In politics, he votes with the Democratic party and is a stanch advocate of its measures. Socially, he is connected with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Muskegon Lodge No. 140, A. F. & A. M. The captain is widely known throughout this community and has a large circle of friends and acquistances, who esteem him highly for his sterling worth and the many excellencics of his character. He is an interesting conversationalist, having many entertaining stories to tell of his life as a sailor.



Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties Michigan Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1893

Frank Scott, dealer in fine wines and liquors at Muskegon, is a man of excellent business ability, and for thirty-six years has been associated with the growth and prosperity of the city where he now resides and where year after year he has successfully conducted his present line of trade. Mr. Scott is a native of England, and was born in London January 7, 1824. His father, George Scott, was born, reared and educated in England, and long after arriving at mature age, emigrated to America and located in Michigan. Nine children blessed his marriage, our subject being the third in order of birth. He attended in childhood the schools of his native land and early beginning the struggle of life enjoyed but little recreation even in his youthful days. He was only fourteen years of age when, in 1838, he embarked upon the long voyage to the land of promise, of which he had heard and read so much. Sixty-eight days were occupied in making the passage, and during the two months upon the water the energetic and ambitious boy formed many plans for a future in the United States.

Landing in New York City, our subject made but a brief stay in the great metropolis of the East, and journeying still farther to the Westward, located in the city of Detroit, Mich., where he secured employment as a sailor upon the lakes, continuing in that vocation for a time. Later he sailed upon the Atlantic and while thus employed visited the West Indies, in 1849. Enjoying the roaming life which gave him a home in every port, he once more, after returning from the West Indies, followed the Lakes as an occupation, but in 1857, permanently settling in Muskegon, entered into his present business, which he has prosperously managed ever since. He has achieved a comfortable competence and owns valuable city property, including two substantial and commodious brick buildings, two stories in height and located on Clay Avenue. This property brings in a handsome rental and during the last few years has materially advanced in value.

In 1853, Frank Scott and Miss Helen Cleaver were united in marriage, shortly after the return of the former from the West Indies. Mrs. Scott, a lady of worth and intelligence, is a native of England and was educated in the land of her birth. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Scott was cheered by the presence of three children, two sons and a daughter: George, Jessie Helen and Charles G. The sister and brothers received their education in Muskegon, where they attended the public schools. The pleasant family residence is desirably located at No. 150 Amity Street. Our subject is politically a strong Democrat and an ardent advocate of the "Party of the People." During his long residence in Muskegon he has been identified with the promotion of various public enterprises and is widely known as a man of liberal spirit and progressive ideas. A sincere friend and kind neighbor, ever generous to those less fortunate than himself, he is one of the most popular citizens of Muskegon and possesses the high regard of a host of friends.