Edmund J. Jackson
Edmund J. Jackson, a member of the well-known firm of Ward & Jackson, shipsmiths, has throughout his entire business life been actively identified with the shipbuilding industry, and is an expert and skillful workman. He was born October 17, 1843, at Ancton Hall, Suffolk Co., England, and is a son of William and Johanna (Mewese) Jackson. His father was a coast guard, and as occasion required was stationed at different ports on the English Channel, with the ostensible purpose of preventing smuggling so extensively carried on at that time. Previous to being appointed to the position he had been a North Sea fisherman, and had become an expert boatman. He had been connected with the ocean marine a number of years. In connection with the duties of the coast guard was that of signaling the authorities in case of war, when an enemy appeared on the coast; and also acted as a life saver, the system being somewhat similar to that which obtains in this country. This was about the time that the English press-gang system was in vogue and his mother's father, Mr. Mewese, being a sailor in the ocean merchant marine of England, and was impressed to serve in the navy on board a man-of-war, which had taken him from his ship.
But to revert to the subject of this sketch, Mr. E. J. Jackson, his primary education was obtained at Lowestoft, Suffolk County, to which place his father removed when he was retired on a pension. Mr. Jackson was then apprenticed to a shipsmith, with whom he learned all the practical parts of the trade, serving seven years. At the expiration of this time, he went on a North Sea fishing voyage, which occupied about fourteen months.
In 1873 he came to the United States, first locating in Cleveland, where he was employed by Blatt & Wight, who were at that time doing iron work on the schooner Scotia for Quayle & Martin. He remained with that firm until the senior member withdrew and then formed a partnership with Mr. Wight under the style of Wight & Co. In 1874 William Ward, his present partner, purchased Mr. Wight's interest, and the firm has been Ward & Jackson. From the beginning their trade has constantly increased and soon after starting in business they did the iron work on many of the lake vessels, which gained for them an enviable reputation. They did all the iron work on the Wilson fleet - the Olympia, Yokima, C. W. Lockwood, J. C. Lockwood; and the Republican Iron Company's fleet - Magnetic, Colonial, Smith Moore and Wokoken and many others. Since Mr. Jackson first engaged in the shipsmith business he has secured much vessel property, notably, an interest in the steamer J. H. Outhwaite, which he purchased in 1886; the J. J. Barbour in 1872; the H. A. Barr in 1875; and the Roumania in 1890. Owing to circumstances of traffic he has disposed of all this property and now contents himself without lake tonnage.
Mr. Jackson was united in marriage to Miss Lucretia Betts, whose father was superintendent of the gas works at Lowestoft, and who is a lady of rare business qualities. They have one son, Charles, who is carrying on a machine and black- smith shop in Cleveland.
Mr. Jackson has a warm feeling for his old home on the other side of the water, and four different occasions he has visited England, and always accompanied by his wife; once in 1878, 1884, 1888, and again in 1895. On the last occasion he was also accompanied by Thomas and George Quayle and Mr. Radcliffe, all shipbuilders. He has also traveled extensively throughout Europe. The family homestead is in Cleveland, at 23 Hazard street.
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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.