Captain W. H. O'Neill
Captain W.H. O'Neill, who for ten years held the position of harbor-master at Detroit, is a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, born in 1837, and was brought to the United States by his parents at an early age. The family settled in Detroit, Mich., and Captain O'Neill has resided there ever since. He attended school until thirteen years of age, when he first went on the lakes as boy forward, rising rapidly from that position to second mate, and then mate. After several seasons he became master of the schooner Harmonia, which he owned, and he later commanded the tug Red Eric, of which he was half owner. Captain O'Neill also sailed the Ballentine, the William A. Moore, and the Castle, after which he went ashore for some time. On returning to the lakes he sailed the Riverside, and then purchased the Burnside, which he owned for three years. In 1877 he left the lakes for two years and a half, during which time he served on the police force of Detroit, but he finally resumed his old occupation, taking command of the tug Mayflower for two seasons, and was on the John Martin and Frank Moffat one season each. He then fitted out the iron tug Carrington, taking her to Lake Superior, but he sailed her for a short time only. In 1884 Captain O'Neill left the lakes permanently, and again joined the police force of Detroit. After a few years he was made harbor-master at Detroit, and held the incumbency for ten years, during which time he came in personal contact with all the vesselmen in and near this harbor, and was a very popular officer. He has since been doorman at the Canfield avenue police station. He is a younger brother of the late Capt. Patrick H. O'Neill, who was for many years one of the most popular masters on the lakes.
Captain O'Neill is married and had one son, Walter B. O'Neill, who died in Washington, D. C. some three years ago; at the time of his death he was holding the prominent position of Assistant United States Attorney General under Olney.
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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.