Captain John Peil
Captain John Peil, master of the three-masted schooner Apprentice Boy, and the owner of that vessel as well as of other lake property, has sailed on the lakes ever since he came to Chicago in 1867, over thirty-one years ago. It might be said that the Captain was raised on the water. He went before the mast when only thirteen years of age, and his father before him was a seafaring man.
Captain Peil was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1843, the son of Capt. Frederick and Gertrude (Miller) Peil. The father was also a native of Germany, and in his youth went before the mast. Later he became master of an ocean vessel, and sailed for many years. After leaving the sea Captain Frederick Peil entered the service of the German government and there remained until his death in 1894. His widow still survives. Our subject was reared in his native land, and when thirteen years old shipped on a German line of boats. He sailed from Hamburg and from Bremen for a number of years, then came to New York and for five years sailed from that port. He was in the East India service for two years, sailing on the coast of China and making all ports. His ocean experiences include service aboard one vessel which was lost in the North Sea.
In 1867 Captail Peil came to Chicago, and since then he has followed the lakes contin- uously. On the lakes he first shipped aboard the schooner Lookout, then sailed on various vessels in different capacities until in 1875 be became master of the schooner Crawford. Four years later he sailed the schooner Westchester, which he commanded for two seasons, then in 1881 he became master of the schooner Cape Horn, owned at Muskegon. For eight years he sailed this schooner, then in 1889 he purchased from Captain Kirby, of Grand Haven, Mich., the schooner Apprentice Boy, which he has since sailed. Captain Peil is also half-owner of the schooner Julia B. Merrill.
In 1871 he was married at Chicago to Miss Anna Platt, who is a native of Germany. Mrs. Peil has sailed with Captain for the past sixteen years, and is thoroughly acquainted with the various ports of the Great Lakes. To Captain and Mrs. Peil have been born three sons: Edward (now mate on the Apprentice Boy), John and George. Captain Peil is a prominent member of Covenant Lodge No. 526, F. & A. M., and has been a resident of the Seventh ward of Chicago for the past twenty-six years. He is one of the well-known and prominent vesselmen of that city.
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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.