Captain John Gillis
Captain John Gillis, a devoted follower of the sea, has from an early age been actively engaged in marine pursuits, and is widely and favorably known among those of his own calling. He is a native of Inverness-shire, Scotland, and was but a year old when the family removed to America, locating in Middlesex, Ontario, where he attended school until his fifteenth year, when he went to Detroit.
At that time his great desire to become a sailor was gratified, and he went upon the King Sister as seaman, having previously spent some time on a small schooner. The next season he was on the Zach Chandler as mate, and the next fifteen years filled the same position on the Erastus Corning, the Lizzie Law, and others. For a time he was second mate on the Peerless, and later served as mate on the same vessel for ten years. His next change made him mate of the City of Fremont, and subsequently he was mate and pilot of the City of Duluth.
After two seasons spent with the Western line as mate, Captain Gillis came on shore, and devoted some time to the occupation of farming, but marine life had a greater charm for him, and to it he returned, going in command of boats owned by the American Steel Barge Company. After four years in the employ of this company he was made captain of the Sir Joseph Whitworth, in 1896, and is still master of that vessel. His had been a fortunate career, and one that has gained for him the greatest respect and confidence of his employers.
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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.