August E. Anderson
August E. Anderson passed several years of his early marine life on salt water, visiting all latitudes. He is a son of Andrew Pierson and Anna (Johnson) Anderson, and was born in Oland, Calmer, Sweden, on September 23, 1854. His parents were natives of Sweden, and August attended public schools at Torslunda until he was fifteen years old, assisting his father on the farm until the spring of 1870, when he went to Mechlenburg, Germany, and there worked about fifteen months on a railway running into Berlin. In 1871 he went to Grimsby, England, and shipped as boy in the German brig Ludwig Capovis, on a voyage to Danzig and return to Plymouth, after which he took the berth before the mast in the full-rigged ship Bosphorus, to Shields, where he joined the bark Macedonia on a voyage to Cartagena, Spain, thence to London, which occupied seven months. In the fall of 1872 Captain Anderson shipped as ordinary seaman on a brig out of Bricksund, bound for Trieste, Austria, and Bahia, Brazil, returning to Liverpool. His next ship was the Seminole, full rigged, between Liverpool and New York, arriving in the United States in May, 1873, and has since made this country his home. This was an eventful year, as he shipped in two brigs during the period, was out in what is called the Cow bay gale, during the prevalence of which twenty-seven vessels were wrecked at Cow bay. The vessel on which the Captain sailed succeeded in reaching South Sidney, but lost her sails in the harbor. He was also in the schooner Early Bird, and had his foot frozen, off Lewiston, Del., and, as if this were not misfortune enough, he contracted typhoid fever and was taken to New York, where he lay in the marine hospital seven weeks.
In 1874 Captain Anderson shipped on a coasting brig, trading between Gloucester, Mass., and Savannah, Ga., after which he passed about five months on a fishing schooner, Sea Queen. He then came to the lakes by rail to Ashtabula, where he shipped on the schooner John Wesley, also passing some time on the scow Frank Crawford. After laying up his boat he went to Baltimore and joined a schooner hailing from Rockland, bound for New Haven with coal. On putting into Hampton Roads, she collided with the steamer Old Dominion, and was sunk three miles outside of Fortress Monroe. They reached Norfolk, where they were cared for by the Ladies Seamans Friend Society, and sent by them to Baltimore, where the Captain shipped in the Ironsides, of Belfast, Maine, for Genoa and Leghorn, Italy, thence to New York. His next berth was on a schooner from New York to Windsor, Nova Scotia, in the coasting trade, finally bringing up at New York, going by rail to Boston. In 1876 he shipped in the fishing smack Morning Star, followed by a term in the Daisy Hartwell and Commodore Foote, and here he ran into another gale off the Sable Islands in which nine New London smacks were lost and thirteen Gloucester fishing vessels lost or dismantled. The next year he went to Gloucester and shipped for a coasting voyage, his boat trading from Bath to Albany and to Boston. He then engaged in shore fishing and first became master of a small sail boat. Captain Anderson's next berth was in a coasting schooner trading out of New York for Key West and Pensacola, Fla., at which place he joined the schooner Hattie, of Saco, Maine. She was caught in a gale off Cape Hatteras, and her masts carried away; she became water logged, and the crew remained on her four days subsisting on crackers and gin, when they were taken off by a barkentine bound for New York. He then went on the yacht Dauntless for five months, when he joined a bark bound for Galveston, Texas, where he engaged with the Forbes Dredge Company, for ten months, and was then employed four months at rigging work. He also worked on the Santa Fe branch between Fort Worth and Galveston. In the spring of 1880 Captain Anderson went to Chicago, ad shipped as wheelsman on the steamer Maggie Marshall, holding that berth two seasons, when he was promoted to be mate, which office he held two years. In the fall of 1882 he sailed from New York to Liverpool in the steamship Arizona, returning the following spring on the ss. Order from Bremen to New York. In the spring of 1884 he was appointed mate and pilot of the steamer Nellie Torrent, of Manistee, and remained with her until August, 1885, when he transferred to the C. N. Hackley, George Naughton, and Annie O. Hanson as mate. That fall he again went to New York and sailed for the Old World, this time finding a berth on the steamship Urania, returning in the spring of 1886 with the ss. Fulda. At this time he saw the steamship Oregon sink about forty miles from New York; this unfortunate vessel had passed the Fulda two days before, and when sighted was six hours ahead. The Fulda reached her at noon, and fifteen minutes later she went down. The passengers and crew, numbering about 1,700 souls, were in boats, rafts, etc., and were transferred to the Fulda. The Fulda had of her own about 1,400 people aboard, so that the addition of 1,700 made quite a crowd. The weather was fine and the sea smooth, so that all reached land in safety. In the spring of the next year (1886) he was appointed master of the steamer Maggie Marshall, and has sailed her successfully twelve years, never having lost a man or boat by stranding or collision. He is a member of the order of Foresters.
On February 19, 1886, Captain Anderson was wedded to Miss Ottelia C. Larson in Sweden. The children born to this union are Annie Laurie, Gertrude M., Ella A., Mabel and Angus Edward. The family homestead is in Manistee, Michigan.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.