John C. Drexler
John C. Drexler was born in Buffalo, September 5, 1851, and obtained his education in Public School No. 20. He is of German descent, his father, John Drexler, having been born at Frankfort-on-the-Rhine, while his mother, Margaret (Selbert) Drexler, was a native of Bavaria. John Drexler was a mason and well-digger by occupation; he died in 1876, his wife in 1887. There was another son in the family, Henry, a tinsmith by trade, now at Port Huron; the only daughter, Margaret, is the wife of Rudolph Berkhousen, a tinsmith residing in Buffalo.
Our subject learned his trade in Goodell's machine shops at Pentwater, Mich., and when seventeen years of age sailed from Buffalo, first as engineer on tug boats, and on the Niagara river from Chippewa up stream. He took the Ellen M. O'Brien from Buffalo to Pentwater, and sailed her in that harbor. The greater part of his life has been passed as engineer of harbor tugs nearly all over the lower lakes, particularly in Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and, latterly, in Buffalo. As tug engineer he has spent most of his time in Buffalo and Pentwater. The season of 1896 he was part of the time in the steamyacht Echo that ran down Niagara river.
Mr. Drexler has been a Freemason for about fifteen years, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows about twenty years. He was married in Buffalo, in 1872, to Miss Caroline Klein, by whom he had three children: Henry C., now (1898) twenty-three years of age, who is a machinist at the Snow Pump Works; and two daughters, both now deceased. Mrs. Drexler died very suddenly of heart disease while in her kitchen, on the evening of the 15th of November, 1896.
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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.