Table of Contents

Title Page
Lewis B. Adams
Charles W. Adler
Charles E. Ager
John Alexander
Captain Christopher C. Allen
G. L. Allen
George L. Allen
Nathan Elmer Allen
Captain S. C. Allen
Lewis Allison
James N. Ames
Niel Andersen
Captain Alexander Anderson
Alexander Anderson
August E. Anderson
George H. Anderson
James Anderson
Captain John Anderson
Captain John G. Anderson
Captain Joseph Anderson
M. M. Anderson
Captain Mathew Anderson
Captain George Angell
William G. Angell
Captain Charles H. Anthony
The Anthracite Coal Association
Arthur Armson
Captain William Armstrong
Theodore F. Arnold
Walter O. Ashley
Captain Barton Atkins
Captain J. W. Averill
Captain John W. Averill
William W. Axe
Table of Illustrations

Captain Christopher C. Allen

Captain Christopher C. Allen
Captain Christopher C. Allen, one of the most prominent shipmasters sailing out of the port of Cleveland, and a man of fine physique and good presence, was born October 1, 1846, in Amherstburg, Ontario, a son of Christopher C. and Mary Julia (Burk) Allen. The father was a native of England and, coming to America, landed in New York, finally locating in Amherstburg, Ontario, where he met his future wife. When our subject was four years old his father died, and he passed under the guardianship of his uncle, who, although a kind-hearted man, believed in positive methods, and in 1856 bound young Allen out to learn the shoemaker's trade. Two years later the uncle died, and the nephew at once forsook the awl and last, and the marine interest gained a typical sailor and a future steamboat captain of the first class.

Located as he was at Amherstburg, witnessing the passing and repassing of vessels, the lakes and rivers, with their many voices, enchanted the youth, and he took ship and went out to their waters and their freedom. We therefore find him, at the age of twelve years, aboard the scow Idea in the humble capacity of cook. The crew consisting of but two men, he also took his turn at acting mate. His next birth was before the mast on the scow Mary Ann. In the spring of 1859 he shipped on the steamer Pearl, plying between Detroit and Amherstburg, as wheelsman and porter, holding this composite berth four years. His next berth was before the mast on the schooner C. N. Johnson, but on his arrival at Buffalo he left her, returned to Detroit and shipped on the schooner Radical, where he remained until the fall of 1865. The next season he went to Chicago and shipped in the schooner Traveler, transferred to the Lone Star, and made the last trip of the season in the J. F. Joy. In 1867 he went before the mast in the schooner St. Andrews, was promoted to the position of mate, and closed the season on the steamer Dove. The next spring he joined the tug Zouave as wheelsman, soon after transferring to the steamer Reynolds. He then entered the employ of the Northwestern Steamboat line as lookout on the steamer Colin Campbell, and in the spring of 1870 he came out on the new steamer R. J. Hackett as lookout; the following season he served as mate; and in 1873 was appointed master and sailed her continuously for fourteen years.

In the spring of 1887 Captain Allen entered the employ of the H. H. Brown Steamship Company as master of the steel steamer C. J. Sheffield, which he sailed until June 15, 1889, when his boat came into collision with the steamer North Star on Lake Superior, the Sheffield getting the worst of the encounter. The crew were all taken aboard the North Star as the Sheffield went down. Captain Allen then made a round trip between Saginaw and Marquette, as master of the steamer City of Cleveland, and was then recalled by the Brown Company to superintend the construction of the fine steel steamer Castalia, of which, on her completion, he was appointed master, and to which he has sailed successfully up to the present time, laying her up in Cleveland on December 22, 1898, and is billeted for next season. Captain Allen is recognized as one of the most skillful steamboat men on the lakes, and is possessed of good business qualifications. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Knights of the Maccabees. He also belongs to the Ship Masters Association and carries Pennant No. 577.

On September 20, 1870, Captain Allen was united in marriage with Miss Mary King, of Amherstburg, Ontario, and nine children, five sons and four daughters, have been born to them; two others died in infancy. The family residence is at No. 195 Taylor street, Cleveland, Ohio.


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Volume I

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.