Captain Harry G. Harbottle
Captain Harry G. Harbottle, a young and ambitious officer who has seen service on both lake and ocean, comes of a line of navigators, his father, Capt. Thomas Harbottle, having spent a number of years as a seaman, first sailing out of the port of Bristol, England.
Thomas Harbottle was a native of England, born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and came to the United States when still a youth, first locating at Buffalo, N. Y. He soon obtained command of a lake vessel, and during the season of 1841 sailed the John Jacob Astor. Ten years later he went to Toronto and as master of the schooner American engaged in carrying supplies from Montreal to Hamilton, Ont., during the construction of the Great Western railroad. In the spring of 1853 he was appointed master of the Rochester, and while invested with this command he and his crew gallantly rescued the passengers and crew of the burning steamer Queen of the West on July 9, 1853. For this act of heroism Captain Harbottle was presented with a handsome gold watch, which his son Harry has inherited. From 1854 to 1869 he sailed the steamer Passport, plying between Montreal and Hamilton. He then went into the coal business, purchasing the schooner Rapid, and a tug, which he used to transport coal to steamers for fuel. In 1876 he resumed his lakefaring life as master of the Canadian steamer Chicora, in which he sailed until 1882, and in which he owned an interest. Upon the passage of the Masters and Mates Act he was invested by the Canadian Government with the inspectorship of hulls for the Toronto district, holding that position to the time of his death, which occurred in 1897, when he was seventy-three years old. Capt. Thomas Harbottle was the father of sixteen children, and six of his sons acted as pallbearers at his funeral. His widow, Euphenia (Clark) Harbottle, still survives, occupying the old homestead in Toronto, Ont. The sons in the family besides Harry G. were Capt. Thomas E., whose last boat was the Havana, on board which he died suddenly of heart failure at Houghton, Mich.; James, who was master of the Canadian steamer Chicora, and died April 4, 1897; Neville, who is master of a passenger steamer on Rainy Lake, Ont., near Rat Portage; George, who sailed some years, becoming mate of the steamer Chicora, but later studied medicine and is now engaged in conducting a drugstore at Toronto, Ont.; Colin, who is a railroad passenger agent at Niagara Falls, Canada, and a well-known champion bicycle rider; and Frank, who is studying law in Toronto.
Capt. Harry G. Harbottle was born October 8, 1872, in Hamilton, Ont., and received his primary training in the public schools of that city, later removing with his parents to Toronto, where he attended the Upper Canada College, receiving a liberal education. In the spring of 1885 he shipped as boy in the schooner Marquis, closing the season in the schooner Storm. The next season he was lookout on the Canadian- Pacific passenger steamer Alberta until she was laid up, after which he went before the mast in the schooner Fellowcraft. In 1887 he again joined the Alberta, as wheelsman, following with a season in the steamer Sovereign. During the passenger season of the Alberta in 1889 he sailed in her as wheelsman, transferring to the steamer Africa in the same capacity. The next season he was at the wheel in the steamer Cambria until August, when he changed to the steamer Siberia. His next berth was wheelsman in the steamer Gogebic, on which he remained until August, 1892, when he joined the J. C. Gilchrist, receiving pilot's papers in the meantime. That winter he went to Boston and shipped in the steamer Ethelwood, bound for Port Antonio, Jamaica, and later joined the Columbian, of the Leland line, for Liverpool. In the spring of 1893 he came out as mate in the steamer Gogebic, closing that season on the lakes in the Grace Dormer and the Canadian boat Hiawatha as master. In the winter he went to Boston and shipped in the steamer Ethelwood, making two voyages to Port Antonio, Jamaica. In the spring of 1894 he again sailed as mate in the steamer Gogebic, under command of Capt. William Weil, and opened the following season in the steamer Arthur Orr, with Capt. C. Z. Montague, as second mate, serving as such until June, when he was appointed first officer of the steam monitor Christopher Columbus, the position he retains at the present writing.
In the fall of 1896 Captain Harbottle went to New Orleans and shipped in the steamer Algiers, of the Morgan line, to Havana, later becoming quartermaster of the steamer Stillwater, in which he made two voyages, visiting Porto Rico, Buenos Ayres and Central American ports. He subsequently joined the steamer Foxhall as seaman, plying to Central American ports, and his next berth was in the British steamer European, as boatswain's mate. On arriving at Liverpool he left her and shipped as boatswain in the steamer Tampecian, bound for New Orleans, where he joined the Algiers on a voyage to Cuba with a consignment of mules for the Spanish Government. In the summer of 1898 the Algiers was used for transporting United States soldiers to Cuba. It will be observed that Captain Harbottle is an industrious young officer, and with the attention he has devoted to the study of the science of navigation will soon take rank among the most successful of lake masters. He makes his home with his mother in Toronto, Ont., when not on active duty.
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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.