John Laudvick, who has had some experience as a salt-water sailor, is a native of Norway, having been born in Bergen in 1868. He is a son of Johannes and Mary (Johnson) Laudvick. He attended the public schools in Bergen only two years, but later took advantage of an opportunity to acquire a good education.
In 1884 he joined, as ordinary seaman, the ship Nora, out of Bergen bound for Hull, England, and was wrecked on the return voyage in the North Sea. After suffering extreme cold weather for two days and a half in the small boats, the crew was picked up by an English steamer and returned to Hull. On arrival at that port the Norwegian consul found a place for him on the English ship Penora, bound for Calcutta, and he remained on her in the East India trade eighteen months. In 1886 he quit the Penora in New York and shipped in the schooner Fred Gowan, at that time engaged in the coasting trade between Boston, New York and Baltimore, remaining one year. He then stopped ashore, and took railroad passage for Hawley, Clay Co., Minn., and went to work on his aunt's farm.
In the spring of 1888 he went to Duluth and found occupation in the roundhouse of the Great Northern Railroad Company, oiling and caring for locomotives, after which he went into the Mesaba range and ran a planing-mill engine. The next spring he shipped as seaman on the lumberbarge Brightie. In 1890 he enlisted in the Fifteenth Infantry, U. S. A., stationed at Fort Sheridan, Ill. He was appointed second coxswain of the life-saving crew at that point, Lieut. W. W. Blow being the captain of the crew, and took an honorable part in all the rescues made by the crew while he was with them, and was assistant engineer of the water works connected with the fort. During the time he was in Fort Sheridan he studied engineering and electricity under the tutelage of Lieutenant Blow, and after fifteen months he purchased his discharge and went into Chicago, and there entered the employ of the Chicago Telephone Company as electrical wireman, holding that position about eighteen months.
In the spring of 1893 he went to Allis Junction, Wis., and ran a sawmill engine four months, after which he went to Duluth, and shipped in the barge Alta as donkey engineer. The next year he shipped on the schooner Edward Kelley as seaman and donkey engineer, holding that position until 1895, when he was made second mate of the schooner. In the spring of 1896 he joined the steamer A. L. Hopkins as fireman, but before many months passed he was called to take the position of mate on the schooner Edward Kelley, and in 1897 he was made engineer of the barge Aurania, 3,113 tons, owned by Capt. John Corrigan, of Cleveland, and one of the largest cargo carriers on the lakes. Mr. Laudvick resides at No. 43 Hillside avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
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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.