William Westbrook, chief engineer of the J.H. Pauly, and a resident of Detroit, was born on February 10, 1861, in Marine City, Mich., a son of James Westbrook, who was captain on the lakes for a number of years, and died in 1867. Our subject began his marine life at the early age of seven years, and since that time has been closely connected with that industry. Having previously been upon his father's boats, he obtained the position of fireman on the Thomas Coleman, when in his eleventh year, and in that capacity was on several tugs - the Mystic, R. N. Masters, Brockway and Erie Bell - after which he served as second engineer in the City of Dresden and C. N. Pratt.
In the following season, Mr. Westbrook was given the position of chief engineer on the International, where he remained for three years, and then served in the same capacity on the W. J. Averill, Spinner, Ira Chaffee, John E. Hall, Ballentine, Preston and Desmond. At one time he owned an interest in the steambarge Oswegatchie, which was foundered in Saginaw bay, after he had disposed of his interest, losing all on board. He also owned the H. C. Potter. For several months he was engineer on the tug Onaping, and later on the St. Leland; but since 1896 he has been chief on the J. H. Pauly. He also owned and was master of the schooner John Breden for three years.
In 1882 Mr. Westbrook was married to Miss Abbie Appleman, of St. Clair, Mich., and they now have a pleasant home at No. 12 Locust street, Detroit. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
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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.