Andrew J. Wilson
Andrew J. Wilson, chief engineer of the steamship Chili, was born in Port Huron, Mich., November 15, 1864. His father, Lewis Wilson, was a butcher, and is now president of the Port Huron Live Stock Association, being in charge of a ranch at Chinook, Mont., with 5,000 head of sheep.
Andrew J. Wilson was educated in Port Huron, and at the age of seventeen entered the machine shop of the Phoenix Iron Works, where he remained three years. Shipping on the lakes he served as fireman successively in the Ira Chaffee, Evening Star and the City of Concord. On February 16, 1888, he received his first papers as engineer, and during that year went as second engineer on the City of Concord and the Rhoda Stewart, at different times. The next year he was second of the steam Idlewild and chief of the tug Mystic, and during the entire season of 1890 he was second of the Wocoken. The entire season of 1891 he was second of the Brazil, and in 1892 he became chief on the tug A.J. Wright. On June 16, 1892, he transferred to the Wocoken as chief, and the following season was given the same berth on the Norwalk, of whose engine room he was in charge four years, or until the spring of 1897. In 1894 the Norwalk laid up on July 4, and during the remainder of the season he was chief of the Monohansett. In 1897 and 1898 he was chief of the steamship Chili.
Mr. Wilson has been blessed with a scarcity of hair-breadth escapes and dangerous experiences during his sailing career. The only accident of any consequence in which he was concerned was when the Brazil ran into and sunk the Samuel Mather, near Point Iroquois, Lake Superior, November 22, 1891. The Brazil on this occasion rescued the crew of the wrecked vessel. Mr. Wilson has commenced taking a complete mechanical course in marine engineering of the International Correspondence School of Scranton, Penn., with the intention of mastering every detail of his profession.
On Christmas Eve, 1885, Mr. Wilson was married to Miss Lizzie Beatham, of Port Huron, and their children are: Harry Beatham and Oscar James. Our subject is quite active in fraternal circles, being a member of the Knights of the Maccabees of the World, Tunnel City Tent No. 761, and also the Supreme Tent of Michigan; of the Independent Order of Forresters, Court Tunnel No. 159; of the F. & A.M., Pine Grove Lodge No. 11; of the M.E.B.A. No. 43; and of the United Home Protectors Fraternity of Port Huron, Michigan.
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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.