Captain Kingsbury Walker
Captain Kingsbury Walker, one of the oldest and best known tug men of Buffalo harbor, was born at Ithaca, N. Y., October 6, 1829. His parents were Elias and Mary (Reddington) Walker, natives of Massachusetts, the former of whom was a carpenter and farmer, one of the old settlers. At the age of nine years Captain Walker began driving on the Erie canal, at which labor he was engaged until twelve years old, when he moved with his parents to Pittsfield, Mass., and there attended school for about two and one-half years; this was his first schooling and all he ever received. He has been a great reader, especially of Shakespeare's works, while his school has for the most part been the "school of experience"; in fact he is a typical self-educated, self-made man. After this short term of study, he again went on the Erie canal, this time as a master of the Kinnebec, where he remained three years. In 1863 he commenced his career as a tug man, as master and owner of the N. Britton for that and two months of the following season, when he sold her and built the Idaho, of which he was master and owner for about a year. He then built the C.N. Farrar, which he ran for two seasons, selling her and building the Ed. A. Vanburen, of which he was master for about two and a half years, at the end of which time she was also sold. He next built the Troy, of which he was master and owner the three succeeding seasons, when he sold her, and the next season built and ran the Jessie P. Logie and George H. Westcott. In 1881, the following season, he and his son Edwin built the Sam Darling, running her until September 1 of same year, when they took her to New York and sold her to the government. She was sent to Georgia. Returning to Buffalo, they built the Sam N. Sloan, he having a two-thirds and his son a one third ownership, and Captain Kingsbury Walker was master of her for nine succeeding years, being in the tug business for about twenty-seven years. At that time he sold his interest, and retired from that line to enter the bond, mortgage and general real estate business, in which he is now engaged.
Captain Walker was married September 12, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Brown, a native of Buffalo, N. Y., born in 1833, and their union has been blessed with five children: Albert H., a prominent tug owner and engineer; Edwin C. and George A., both well known tug masters and owners; and Mary and Sam, who are both dead. The family residence is at No. 215 Swan street, Buffalo, N. Y. Captain Walker, during his career, has experienced and witnessed a number of interesting incidents. He never has had any serious mishaps out of the ordinary, excepting a collision, in which his tug, the N. Britton, was sunk; the tugs Britton and Sarah Swift were racing to catch a tow, and when the Britton was ready to turn and throw her tow line the engineer, for some unaccountable reason, failed to heed the Captain's signal, and as a consequence she plunged into the intended tow, stove a hole in herself and sank, the Swift picking up her crew. Captain Walker has had the pleasure and honor of saving two human lives. Fraternally, he is a member of Harmony Lodge, A.O. U. W., and No. 1, Central R. T. of T.
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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.