Captain Calvin Carr
Captain Calvin Carr, who is deeply versed in the current affairs of the lakes, and who has a vivid remembrance of the events that occurred away back in the 'forties, is at this writing engaged in the vessel and insurance business in Chicago, and is highly esteemed by lake men, who generally place great confidence in his views concerning the conditions which regulate lake commerce, and their bearing on future events. He is a man of dignity and refinement, and lives much within himself, although his stately form is one of the most familiar about the marine offices in Chicago, where he has carried on business during a period of twenty-five years. His forefathers came to the colonies in 1620, landing at Plymouth. His grandfather, Joshua Carr, was born in New York State, and settled in Rensselaer county, N. Y. in an early day. Two brothers, Caleb and James (1), settled in Rhode Island in 1635, and our subject's grandfather was a descendant of James (1).
Captain Carr, the subject of this article, was born in Oswego county, N. Y., March 4, 1835, a son of Caleb Carr, the eldest son of Joshua. The father and mother moved west, locating near Horicon, Wis., where they operated a large farm for thirty-five years. He died at the age of seventy-two years, from paralysis, induced by a severe injury received. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Jane Smart, and was a native of New York State, lived to the advanced age of eighty-four years.
The Captain remained at home, assisting his parents and attending school until he reached the age of sixteen. In the spring of 1851 he determined to adopt the life of a sailor, and shipped as boy in the brig Arcadia. The next two seasons he sailed in the barque Norman. In 1854 he came out in the Seminole, but closed the season in the Saxon with Capt. John Davis, going with him in the schooner Hungaria the next season. Being an active, intelligent young man, he soon attracted the attention of his captain, who appointed him mate, in the spring of 1856, on the schooner Indiana, he continuing in that berth until September, 1857, when he was promoted to the command of the schooner Augustus Ford. From this time until he retired from active duty on shipboard he was master of several notable vessels. In the spring of 1858 he was appointed master of the Syracuse; in 1859 master of the Maple Leaf, sailing her two seasons; 1861-62 he again sailed the schooner Syracuse; and the next three years he was master of the bark Champion, at that time the largest vessel on the lakes. In the spring of 1866 he assumed command of the Southwest, and in 1867 he was appointed master of the bark Northwest, sailing her four consecutive seasons. In 1871 he was chosen weighmaster for the Chicago Board of Trade, and held that office two years. In 1873 he joined the schooner Maringo as master, sailing her two seasons.
In 1875 Captain Carr retired from the lakes, and became a marine agent for the Orient and Mercantile Mutual Insurance Companies, engaging the next year with Capt. W. M. Eagan in the charter and commission business, remaining with him until 1881, when he established a vessel agency and insurance business on his own account, and he is still successfully engaged in that business. Socially he is a Royal Arch Mason.
On May 4, 1857, Captain Carr was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Allport, a daughter of Zachariah and Phoebe (Edwards) Allport, of Oswego, N. Y. Five children have been born to this union, but all have passed to the Master who said "suffer little children to come unto me." Willis, the eldest, was drowned at Ogdensburg, N. Y., in 1866; Frank died when but eighteen months old; the other three died in infancy. The family residence is at No. 6939 Perry street, Englewood, Chicago, Illinois.
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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.