Captain Alexander Reddick
Captain Alexander Reddick, one of the prominent early lake captains, and one well known on Lake Michigan, having commenced sailing from Chicago in 1848, is a native of England, having been born in the Parish of Holcomb, Somersetshire, in 1818.
Jude and Julia (Manning) Reddick, parents of the Captain, were born, the father in Somersetshire, England, the mother in Ireland. Jude when a young man enlisted in the British navy under Admiral Nelson, and served seven years. He married in Ireland, after- ward engaged in coal mining in England, and was accidentally killed. The mother also died in England.
Our subject received his education at the schools of his native parish, and when yet a lad went sailing from the port of Bristol, England, as ordinary seaman on the ship Hugh Johnson, bound for St. John, N.B. This vessel sailed from Bristol to all points, including the ports of Liverpool, London, Portsmouth, etc. At the end of one season he entered the British navy, his first vessel being the man-of-war brig Pantaloon, from which he was afterward transferred to the sloop-of-war Hazard, remaining on her eighteen months. He then left the navy and traveled through the country. While residing in Ireland he was married, in 1846, in County Cork, to Miss Josie Green, a native of that locality, and in 1848 they came to the United States, making their permanent home in Chicago. Ten children were born to them, five of whom are yet living: Alexander, William, Mrs. Rooks, Jude and Julia, a teacher in the Douglas Park school.
In the spring of 1848, just after his arrival in Chicago, Captain Reddick commenced sailing on the schooner Samuel Hale (afterward converted into a brig), in the grain trade between Kenosha and Buffalo; but after one trip he left her and went on the schooner Vermont, and next season sailed on the schooner A.G. Wilcox, Captain John Reid. After one season on her he went on the old brig Enterprise three seasons, in the lumber trade between Chicago and Grand Haven; then went before the mast on the old scow Ark for two seasons. About this time the Newbold, on which our subject's brother John was a sailor, was lost with all hands off Racine, Wis., and the old Ark was caught in the same gale and driven ashore some miles farther north. The Captain then went to Racine in order to procure some block and tackle, etc., but learning there of the loss of the Newbold with all on board, including his brother, he did not return to the Ark.
After that event he sailed various vessels (the first one being the Ashtabula), up to the time he bought the James Catchpole in Oswego, N.Y.; he sailed her two seasons, and then sold her to Capt. Thomas Simms, at the same time buying the Lamplighter at Detroit. This vessel he brought to Chicago, sailed her a short time, and then sold to Captain Simms, taking in part trade a one-third interest in the Puritan, built by Miller Bros., and sailed the latter one year or season. He then traded his one-third interest in the Puritan for the schooner H.N. Gates, which he sailed a good many years in the lumber trade. At one time he rescued the J.B. Wright, forty miles off Waukegan, and towed her into Chicago. Captain Reddick owned the Gates for many years. After leaving that vessel he went to Cleveland and bought the Rutherford B. Hayes, sailed her one season, then sold to Woodruff & Payne, although he still continued sailing the lakes. Later on he went to Downer's Grove, Ill., and resided there some years, after which he sailed the Radical for J.V. Taylor, and in 1873 retired from the lakes. He first became captain somewhere about 1859 or 1860.
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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.