Robert Watts is a modest young man, but possesses the laudable ambition to be one of the best engineers on the lakes, and to gain this end he is studying hard. His father, Matthew Watts, was a sailor on the ocean and lakes for the Canadian Government, being a master at the time of his death, which was caused by exposure on Lake Winnipeg, he having been lashed to the bottom of the yacht Keewatin for ten days and nights in the month of September, 1890. The mother's maiden name was Fairlina Brotchie.
Robert was born in Port Franks, Ont., in 1873, and his first experience on the lakes was in 1890, as waiter on the United Empire, running from Sarnia to Duluth. In 1891 he was wheelsman on the lighthouse tender Warrington, and the next season he wheeled the City of London, and the following season was oiler on the S. R. Kirby.
In 1894 he became oiler on the Harvey H. Brown, and the next season again became oiler on the S. R. Kirby. In 1896 he had charge of the machinery of the George E. Hartnell. That fall he was given his papers, and the season of 1897 found him second engineer of the steamer E. M. Peck, and the following season, that of 1898, he served as second engineer of the steamer S. R. Kirby. His 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.