George W. Robertson
George W. Robertson, chief engineer of the J.E. Mills, was born September 25, 1856, in Algonac, Mich. His father, Henry Robertson, who was a native of Vermont, was engaged during the greater part of his active life as a custom-house officer at Algonac, where he died in 1852. He was succeeded by his son, John M., who has also been a representative from the Huron district to the State Legislature.
At the age of ten years George W. Robertson accompanied the family on their removal to St. Clair, Mich., where he has since made his home. When eighteen years of age he began work as fireman on a ferry trading between St. Clair, Courtwright and Moretown, and after serving for three years transferred to the ferry Courtwright, owned by D.A. Daly, as engineer. He served as assistant engineer upon the steambarge Emma E. Thompson, of Saginaw City, and was later on the Alpena for two years, spending the same length of time on the Michigan as assistant, after which he shipped on the Sprite as chief. He was subsequently engaged on the Shoo Fly, L.Q. Rawson, S.S. Curry, Clara, Island Belle and Huron City, from the last-named vessel coming to the J.E. Mills, where he has since served in the capacity of chief engineer to the entire satisfaction of his employers.
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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.