Captain John Mason
Captain John Mason began to sail when he was ten years of age, and since that time the greater part of his life has been spent on the lakes. His first experience was on a schooner in command of Captain Lever, and running out of Putneyville, N.Y., the town where he was born May 3, 1852. For several years he was employed in minor positions on different boats, and in his twentieth year he was given command of the schooner New Hampshire. His next boat was the schooner Portage, which he sailed four seasons, then going on the schooner Champion, where he remained one year. From 1880 to 1887 he kept a store on the corner of Michigan and Ohio streets, Buffalo, and then returned to the lakes in command of the schooner Planet. From this boat he went on the schooner David Vance, and was in command when she was wrecked on Lake Erie, the crew escaping in a yawlboat. Following this time he sailed the schooners Maxwell, Francomb and Wilcox and came on the schooner San Diego, in 1896, where he has since remained.
Captain Mason is one of eight children born to Joseph and Louise (Fellows) Mason, natives of New Jersey and New York respectively. Mrs. Mason is deceased, but Joseph Mason resides at New Haven, Mich. The family is as follows: Luzerne, a sailor who resides at Chicago; Mary, unmarried, who resides in Buffalo; Sarah, who is married to Rev. Ebenezer Ireland, and resides in Texas; Ellen, who is married to Albert Tubbs and resides in New Haven, Mich.; Herman, who is a bookkeeper and resides at New Haven; Walter, who is a jeweler and resides in Mt. Clemens; and Emma, who is married to Marshall Giddings, and resides in Washington, Michigan.
In September, 1873, Captain Mason was married to Miss Catherine Gain, of Buffalo. Their children are: Agnes, born October 9, 1876; Catherine, born December 9, 1878; John, Jr., born September 20, 1881; Margaret, born May 3, 1885; and Martha, born March 9, 1887.
Return to Home Port
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.