William R. Donaldson
William R. Donaldson is a native of Detroit, having been born there December 9, 1864, son of Robert and Anna (Rutson) Donaldson, the former of whom was superintendent of and a stockholder in the Detroit Dry Dock & Engine Works, but is now retired. There were nine children in the family - three daughters, Tina, Anna and Maude, and six sons, William R., David, Charles, George, Robert and Raymond. William R. learned the trade of machinist and draughtsman at the Detroit Dry Dock & Engine Works, finishing his apprenticeship in 1889, and in 1890 he went on the lakes as oiler on the City of Alpena. During the season of 1891 he was oiler on the W. H. Gilcher, and the next season he was promoted to second engineer of the William H. Gilbert, having assisted in putting in her engines during the spring at Wheeler's shipyard, West Bay City. The season of 1893 he spent as second engineer of the Gettysburg, towing logs for Alger, Smith & Co., and he was retained in this position through 1894 and 1895. In 1896 being promoted to chief engineer on the Briton, of the Menominee line, by which he was reemployed for 1897. Socially Mr. Donaldson is a member of the M. E. B. A. No. 3 and of Detroit Lodge, F & A.M. He is unmarried.
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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.