Captain Charles Tyler Morley
Captain Charles Tyler Morley, one of the early shipmasters, has been instrumental in making history on the Great American Lakes, although he has not contributed a single vessel to the beach or a man to the depths of the water. He is a highly esteemed and honored citizen of Marine City, and has been elected mayor two successive terms. He is closely identified with the business prosperity of the city, and believes in paternal government. He is not a narrow minded partisan, but regards his party as the representative of certain constitutional principles, which he ardently supports. Loyal and amiable in all relations of life, there is a piquant dash of caviare in his character which makes him a charming companion. He is a son of Horace and Mary (Kellogg) Morley, and was born at Sodus Point, N.Y., January 10, 1840. His father was a vessel owner and master on the lakes for many years, and his brother, W.B. Morley, was a noted shipbuilder at Marine City. Tyler, as he is familiarly known, received but a limited school education by direct attendance in school, but, after he began his life as sailor, he went to school during the winter months and profited well by the opportunities he had.
His first experiences on the lakes was in 1850 in the schooner Enterprise (owned by his father), as cook, and he seemed to excel in the culinary department, as he was kept in that humble capacity four years, the last two in the schooners Isabella and Australia. He then shipped on various schooners before the mast, and in 1856 he was in the schooner B.R. Lummis with Capt. Andrew Holling, when he rescued the crew of the steamer Northern Indiana, destroyed by fire near Point Pelee, Lake Erie. In 1857 and 1859 he shipped as seaman in the schooner Colonel A.B. Williams; 1859, as mate of the schooner B.R. Lummis; 1860, as mate of the Mediterranean, and remained on her until the fall of 1861, when he was appointed master of the schooner Mail. He then sailed the schooner Colonel A.B. Williams until the summer of 1863, and then joined the schooner Mediterranean, owned by Rogers & Bates, and sailed her until the close of the season of 1866, when he turned her over to his brother, and stopped ashore the next year.
In the spring of 1868 Captain Morley and his brother, W.B. Morley, purchased the lake tug Balize, which he sailed two seasons. In 1870 he was appointed master of the George W. Holt, and the next season he sailed the bark Lotus. He then turned his attention entirely to steam, and brought out the new vessel built by Morley & Hill at their shipyard at Marine City. In 1872 he brought out the new steamer D.W. Powers, plying between Marquette and Cleveland in the ore trade; the last trip down that fall he had a cargo of 600 tons of ore, the freight rate on which was $6.50 per ton. He was in command of the Powers when she delivered the first cargo of coal ever taken to Duluth by steamboat. In the spring of 1873 he brought out the steamer Jarvis Lord, new, for the Ward Lake Superior line, and sailed her two seasons; she was the first steamer to pass Conners Point, at Duluth. The next spring he was appointed master of the steamer N.K. Fairbanks, which was new that season, and commanded her until the close of the season of 1883. The next year he went to Cleveland and opened a ship brokerage office. Returning to the lakes, he sailed the steamer Cumberland during the season of 1885, and the next spring brought out the steamer Samuel F. Hodge, closing the season as master of the new steamer William H. Stevens. In 1887 he assumed the command of the new steamer Louisiana, in which he owned an interest, and sailed her two years. In 1889 he associated himself in the shipbuilding business of Morley & Hill, at Marine City, and after constructing the steamer St. Lawrence he brought her out new in the spring of 1890, and sailed her that season. He then retired from active life on shipboard and assumed his place in the shipyard as financial manager, since which time they have built the steamers J.J. Hill and W.B. Morley, the firm owning controlling interests in the last three steamers built, and which are managed by Capt. Tyler Morley. He also has a pleasure yacht, on which he enjoys an escape from business cares.
In January, 1881, Captain Morley was wedded to Miss Alice, daughter of William R. Pettit, of Cleveland. The children born to this union are Horace W. and Helen. The family homestead is on Main Street, Marine City, Michigan.
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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.