C. A. Heisner
C.A. Heisner is one of those marine engineers who are marked for the confidence in which they are held by employers, and he is equally renowned for his pleasing manners by means of which he enjoys a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
His father, Adam Heisner, was a native of Germany, but when young came to America, in which country he spent the greater part of his life, and his entire active career. He was employed at his trade, that of a blacksmith and shipsmith, for many years at Marine City, Mich. He was killed in the Civil war, leaving a wife, Mary (Diem) Heisner, and two sons, Charles A., and John W., who was on the lakes for several years as marine engineer, finally becoming master and now owning interests in the Mary McLaughlin and steamer Katie M. Forbes. Mrs. Heisner was subsequently married to John Minnie, by whom she has three daughters.
C. A. Heisner was born February 29, 1856, at Marine City. Michigan, then known as Newport. The family removed to Bay City, same State, and lived there for several years, at length returning to Marine City, where our subject has ever since made his home. There he attended school until his sixteenth year, when he went on the Trader for a short time as deck-hand, soon becoming wheelsman. The two seasons following he spent on the D.F. Rose and Robert Holland as wheelsman, after which he served two seasons on the George King as watchman and second mate. He then came on the side-wheeler Dove for part of a season, transferring to the H.D. Coffinberry, as wheelsman for the remainder. The following two seasons he spent on the Christina A. Forbes as fireman, coming the next year on the Westover as second engineer, and toward the latter part of the year he was given the position of chief. The next season he served on the Hattie T. Brown, afterward returning to the C.A. Forbes, on which he remained for three years. In the position of second engineer he then came to the C.F. Curtiss, remaining on that boat two years and serving as chief the greater part of the time. He was employed the following season in fitting out the Simon Langell, upon which he served for a short time as second engineer, and then came on the steamer Birckhead as chief for two seasons. He also acted as chief upon the steambarge Tempest two seasons, upon the Aztec part of a season, and then part of a season as second in the Maruba, coming to the Samuel Mather the following year. He was then on the Maruba for a short time, and served the balance of the year on the V.H. Ketcham as chief. In 1892 he shipped on the Pathfinder, where he has continued with Captain MacGregor up to the present time.
Mr. Heisner was married, in February, 1883, to Miss Carrie B. Lester, of Marine City. Her father, Thomas Lester, is an old vessel master and owner, at present having an interest in several boats, among which are the Tempest and schooner Coin. Henry and Curtis Lester, brothers of Mrs. Heisner, are both sailors in active life at the present time, and have been on the lakes for several years. Mr. and Mrs. Heisner have had five children: Emma M., John (deceased), Alta, Edith and Charles, all of whom but Charles are attending school at Marine City. Mr. Heisner is a member of the M. E. B. A. He spends his winters in the employ of different shops at Marine City, and also has a financial interest in the lake marine with John Balfour, owning the schooner Uranus.
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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.