Captain John Stewart
Captain John Stewart, of Ludington, Mich., and captain of the steamer City of Milwaukee, is a native of Canada, born in the city of Quebec in 1847, a son of Samuel and Ann (Gleeson) Stewart, natives of Ireland, the former of Scotch descent.
John Stewart's early years were passed at Amherstburg, and in 1863, at the age of sixteen years, he ran away from home and shipped as deck hand on the steamer Olive Branch, which ran between Gibraltar and Detroit, and there learned to be wheelsman. He was on the Olive Branch one season, and then went as fireman on the steamer Clara, which ran about Detroit. His next boat was the Pearl, running between Detroit and his native city, on which he served in the capacity of fireman. The following two seasons were passed in tugging between Lakes Huron and Erie. The next season he sailed for a time in the steamer Huron as wheelsman, and finished the year on the Evergreen City as lookout, the latter then running between Buffalo, Chicago and Green Bay. The following year year he passed on the Illinois, a side-wheel steamer running between Cleveland and Lake Superior, and then sailed as second mate on the steamer City of Toledo, which plied between Saginaw and Toledo. Next he sailed on the Huron in the capacity of second mate, the Huron then running from Saginaw to Alpena. He was made mate of this steamer, and in about a year was promoted to captain of the same. Following the Huron the Captain sailed the Metropolis on the same route, and when sold he sailed the City of Sandusky. He then sailed the side-wheel steamer George L. Dunlap, and the John Sherman, the latter running from Saginaw to Alpena and Mackinaw, which he sailed one year on that route, when, in 1875, she was removed to Lake Michigan, running from Ludington to Sheboygan, and was the first steamer the F. & B. W. R. R. Co. put across the lake. In 1876 Captain Stewart left the lakes and went to the Pacific coast, where for a year he was engaged in the lumber business. In 1877 he entered the ocean service as quartermaster in the Pacific Mail line, with which he remained a year and a half, and sailed to various foreign ports. Later he went with the Coast Steamship Company, with which he remained nearly two years, sailing both inland and outside steamers.
While in the West, Captain Stewart was married at San Francisco, to Miss Ida, daughter of Louis and Ida Stellar, of German extraction, and a sister of Mr. Stellar, of the business firm of Loury & Stellar, of that city. To this marriage have been born four children, as follows: Ida, Lewis, and John and James (twins).
In 1881, the Captain returned to the lakes and entered the services of Captain Cole, and sailed the steamer Dove, running on excursions. He then sailed the Arundel three years, and from her went into the service of the F.& R. W. R.R., and remained there eight years sailing between Ludington and Milwaukee. >From this service he went with the Grand Trunk railroad, and has since sailed the steamer City of Milwaukee. Captain Stewart is a member of the Ship Masters Association and of Blanchard Chapter of Bay City Masons. He is a most thorough seaman and one of the most popular captains on the lakes.
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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.