Joseph Timothy is a French Canadian, having been born in the village of St. Timothy, Province of Quebec, in 1843. He attended school at Isle Perrot, Vaudreuil Co., Quebec and after leaving school set to work to learn the trade of carpenter. Like so many of his compatriots who live and breathe the air on the banks of the romantic St. Lawrence, young Timothy was irresistibly drawn toward the life of those who were actively engaged on the bosom of the great river, and at the age of nineteen years shipped on the propeller Avon, running between Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Chicago. He then went on the propeller Bruno as wheelsman, which was engaged in the freight service between the same points mentioned above.
Mr. Timothy's next boat was the propeller Whitby, running between Hamilton and Montreal. This boat was afterward lost in a collision with Capt. Frank Patterson's side-wheel steamer Osprey, the disaster having occurred in Lake St. Louis, above the Lachine Rapids, St. Lawrence River. The Whitby was literally cut in two and sank in about eighteen feet of water near the village of Lachine. Her machinery was afterward transferred to the tug Active, which plied on the St. Lawrence River. Mr. Timothy's next boat was the propeller East, on which he remained for part of a season, the balance being spent on the Colonist, also a propeller. After this he was on several steamboats, notably the propeller Acadia, owned and commanded by Captain Malcolmson; a second time on the Bruno, remaining one season,; the propeller Calabria, Dromedary, and Columbia; then back on the Calabria again. The Columbia afterward was swamped in Lake Michigan, and her master, Captain Malcolmson, brother of the Acadia's master, together with the mate and several passengers were lost. Then he went on the propeller Cuba, of the Merchants line, running between Toronto and Odgensburg, and was afterward on the propeller California. The California was lost in Lake Huron, and several lives were lost. Then in the year 1884 Mr. Timothy became mate of the Persia (his present boat), and remained on her for seven seasons, when he shifted to the big propeller Ocean, of the same line, and was three years on her, during which time she was successively commanded by Captains Trawl, Vaughn, Towers and Malcolmson.
Three years ago he again joined the Persia, the commander of which is Capt. J.W. Scott, one of the most popular masters on the lakes. The Persia, along with the Ocean, belong to the Wentworth Navigation Company, and ply between Montreal and Hamilton, this particular line finding favor with a large number of tourists, who look for comfort and excellent accommodation.
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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.