Captain William A. Williams
A three-years' cruise, commencing when he was four years old, gave our subject an early acquaintance with salt water and a seafaring life. He was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, August 30, 1860. His father was master of an ocean vessel, the bark Juno, and at the age of four years our subject was taken on board with his mother and brother for a cruise which lasted three years and four months, during all of which time the family did not return to their home. The Juno was then engaged in the South America and East India trade.
When the Captain was fifteen years old he embarked on a fishing schooner, where he remained during the season. During the following winter he attended school, and the next September he left Annapolis, Nova Scotia, as cook in the schooner Gleanmire. On December 5, the boat was lost in a collision forty miles off Cape Hatteras. The crew, consisting of six men, put off from the sinking vessel in an open boat and six days later were picked up in a starving condition by the German bark Jessonda. The men were landed in Bremerhaven, from which port young Williams made his way to Liverpool, where he shipped on the Livingstone, remaining on this vessel until he was twenty years of age, and then won the position of second mate, when he joined the American ship Ringleader and made several East India voyages. The Ringleader was sold in Hong Kong, and he then joined the Scotch steamer Glancone, engaged in the China trade. In 1885 he came to the Great Lakes, serving as mate and second mate on the steamers Wallula, Charlemagne Tower, J. C. Lockwood, Frontenac, Sitka, E. B. Bartlett, Briton and Marina, and as master of the Missoula and the Olympia. The first steamer he commanded was the Missoula, which broke her shaft and rolled to pieces on Lake Superior, November 3, 1895. Captain Williams left the vessel in a boat and was given up for lost, being missing for nine days. During the season of 1896 he was in command of the Olympia.
On January 1, 1884, Captain Williams was married to Miss Susan Kilgour, of Limerick, Ireland. Four children, all of them girls, have been born to them, namely: Fannie, Mabel, Pearl and Ruth. They live in a cosy home on Davis avenue, in the West End, 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.