Captain Charles R. Miner
Captain Charles R. Miner, another ocean navigator who speedily came to the front on lake craft, was born at Stolpe, Germany, in 1848. His education was obtained in the public schools of his native place. His first experience as a sailor was as cabin boy on the passenger and freight steamer Johanna Happer, out of Dantzig, from which he transferred to the Peter Rolt, owned by the same company. Both vessels were engaged in trade betwen ports in England and Sweden. After serving his apprenticeship, Mr. Miner shipped as seaman on the Barosse from which he ran away at Antwerp to take a berth in the American packet Industry, bound for New York. On arriving in the United States he shipped on the barque Excelsior, which traded between New York and South American ports, touching at Bordeaux and Montevideo, thence to San Francisco and return to New York.
In the spring of 1869, Captain Miner came out to the lakes, locating at Buffalo, and there entering the employ of John Kelderhouse, with whom he remained sixteen years. He shipped as seaman on the schooner Thomas Sheldon, was later employed in the same capacity on the schooner W. S. Crosthwaite, and was promoted to the position of mate in 1873, when he shipped on the schooner B.F. Bruce. This berth he held for six years, at the end of that time transferring to the Queen of the West, also as mate, and remaining on her two years. In the spring of 1882 he was appointed master of the steamboat Oregon, which he sailed two years, following this service with a season on the steamer Nevada. Captain Miner then removed to Cleveland and accepted an appointment as master of the steamer Queen of the West, which he retained two years, after which he went as master of the steamer H. J. Johnson three years, the George Presley ten years, and again in the spring of 1894 took command of the H. J. Johnson, which berth he held three years, laying her up at the close of navigation in 1896, Captain Miner has never lost a boat, has never been shipwrecked and has never lost a man, all of which helps to prove that he has been competent to hold the positions to which he has attained without the assistance of money, influence or favoritism. He is a member of the Ship Masters Association and carries Pennant No. 504.
Captain Miner was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Jessman, of Buffalo, N. Y., in 1873, and four sons have been born to them: Charles A., George, Frank and William. The family residence is in Cleveland, and is provided with all the luxuries and comforts of a modern home.
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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.