Captain William Roach
Captain William Roach, of Detroit, Mich., was born November 14, 1860, in County Wexford, Ireland, and was brought by his parents in 1861 to Hamilton, Ontario. He had his first sailing experience when yet a lad, in 1869, as porter on the propeller Bristol. The next year he remained at home, going to school, but in 1871 he sailed as day watchman on the R. N. Rice, running from Detroit to Cleveland, continuing on this boat for four years, and when he left her he had been second mate for a year. In 1876, he was wheelsman on the propeller Bertschy, of which he served as second mate the season following. In the spring of 1878 he shipped as first mate on the steamer Cuyahoga and remained in that position until the close of the season of 1879. During the season of 1880 he served in various capacities, being captain of the tug Alpena, doing river towing, and first mate of the Saginaw Valley, Iron Age, and Sanilac. In 1881 he was captain of the Saginaw Valley, and during the years of 1882-83 he was captain of the Sanilac, running from Saginaw to Cleveland. During the seasons of 1884-85 he sailed the Saginaw Valley on the same route, and in 1886 he was captain of the Don M. Dickerson. In 1887-88 he sailed the steamer Arundell, and in 1889 he was captain of the propeller Laura, owning $5,000.00 worth of stock in her. As the stockholders were unable to agree as to the best route for her the next season he went in 1890 to the steamer W. R. Stafford as master and sailed her successfully to the close of 1896, when he signed a contract to sail the S. S. Wilhelm during 1897.
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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.