Captain J. E. Reynolds
Captain J.E. Reynolds, who was born in St. Clair Township, near Port Huron, St. Clair Co., Mich., on March 27, 1862, attained to his first steamboat command in the spring of 1897, and sailed her with such satisfaction to the owners that he was retained in the same office for the season of 1898. He is the son of Bernard and Ann (Hayes) Reynolds, the father a native of County Longford, Ireland, the mother born near Picton, Canada. They were married in Port Huron in 1860. Their other children are Bernard, Jr., Christopher J. (who sailed for a time but is now located on timberland in West Virginia), Margaret A., and Mary A. (who died April 3, 1893). The Captain makes his home with his parents at No. 603 Ontario street, Port Huron, Mich., his father now living retired after having been engaged in the lumber business for many years.
After acquiring a common-school education J. E. Reynolds worked in the lumber camps of B. C. Gill and N. & B. Mills. He then took a business-college course. His lakefaring life began in the spring of 1886, when he shipped as watchman on the steamer Ogemaw, going as wheelsman the second season. During the season of 1888 he was lookout on the Lake Superior transit steamer Vanderbilt, the next season sailing as wheelsman on the steamer Simon Langell, with Capt. Alex. Sinclair. In September he took out pilot's papers and shipped as wheelsman on the steamer Montana. In the spring of 1890 he entered the employ of the Vermont Central Steamship Company as mate of the steamer Alex McVittie, with Capt. William Rollo, remaining on her two seasons, and transferring to the steamer F. H. Prince, as mate with Capt. David Kiah. The next year he joined the steamer Selwyn Eddy, as mate with Capt. H. Zealand, remaining until July, when he suffered a serious accident and was incapacitated for duty for about three months, being confined to hospital part of the time. About the middle of October he went to Chicago and joined the steam-monitor Christopher Columbus, as mate under command of Captain McArthur, bearing his share of the responsibility of transporting the enormous number of passengers carried by that noted monitor during the World's Columbian Exposition.
In the spring of 1894, Captain Reynolds came out as mate and pilot of the steamer Marquette, but closed the season as mate of the steamer T. D. Stimson. The next year he came out as mate of the steamer Mariner, and during the season made several changes, going as mate of the steamers Cherokee, Cadillac and Rappahannock. While he was in the last named vessel her tow, the barge Aberdeen, parted her line and went ashore at Point Iroquois, White Fish bay; Captain Reynolds, with a boat's crew, took off the Aberdeen's crew and landed them. He closed this season as mate of the steamer Cleveland, Capt. Daniel Sinclair. In the spring of 1896 he shipped as second mate on the steamer Sitka, left her to go as mate in the steamer Zenith City, and closed the season as mate in the George H. Corliss with Captain Gunderson. In the spring of 1897 Captain Reynolds was appointed master of the steamer H. E. Runnells, which he laid up at Port Huron on December 16. While on the last trip his steamer grounded slightly during a driving snowstorm, and as a matter of precaution he took the crew ashore for the night, all returning to the stranded vessel the next morning, when they succeeded in releasing her.
Captain Reynolds is a member of the Ship Masters Association. He was the first officer to fill the position of chaplain of the Lake Pilots Association, and the first captain of Port Huron Harbor N. 46, of the American Association of Masters and Pilots of Steam Vessels.
Return to Home Port
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.