John Westaway was born November 11, 1837, at Sandwich, Ontario, son of William and Charity Westaway, natives of England, who came there and settled in 1832, when Sandwich was a thriving village, comparing favorably with its neighbor, Windsor. There they resided, on a farm, from that time until their death, which occurred in April, 1862, and November, 1879, respectively.
John Westaway received his early education at the schools of his native place and Windsor, which he attended for several years and he was later a student in the Albion College for some time. At the age of twenty-one he left school, and having a great desire for the life of a sailor he shipped in the propeller Hercules as second engineer, having previously spent time during the summer season in a machine shop in Detroit. He served as second engineer for one year and was then given the position of chief, which he held two seasons, afterward going on the steamer Gore, which ran on the Detroit river in the towing business. Upon the Magnet he acted as second engineer for two years and as chief for the same period and from that boat went as chief to the Forester, a large side-wheeler then running from Green Bay to Escanaba. In 1865 Mr. Westaway went on the Transit, remaining until 1867, when he transferred to the Great Western, the first car ferry on the lakes. The following years he spent in the Susan Ward and the steamers Ward and Dove, finally, in 1872, entering the employ of the Canada Southern Railroad Company, with which he has since remained. His first experience in their service was on the old Transfer, on which he spent seven years, and later he spent four years on the transport and one year on the Michigan Central. He then superintended the building of the new Transfer at Cleveland, having super- intended the building of all the boats, and in 1885 he was given the position he now holds, that of chief engineer of the line.
Mr. Westaway was married in November, 1861, to Miss Frances Buffin, of Rhode Island. They have had three children, Minnie, who is married to Beverley J. Walker and resides in Windsor; Emily, who resides in Amherstburg, Canada; and Albert I., a marine engineer, who has been in the employ of Dunbar Dredging Company eight years.
Return to Home Port
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.