Captain Thomas H. Howland
Captain Howland comes from a New England ancestry. He was born in Erie county, N.Y., in 1828, the son of Thomas and Fannie (Ovington) Howland, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Rhode Island. Thomas Howland, Sr., was a farmer by occupation, and lived in western New York, where he had become an early settler. Our subject was educated in Erie county, N.Y., and at the early age of thirteen years went to Buffalo and entered lake service as cook on the William Woodbridge. He was cook for five or six years, then sailed the schooner President. He took out master's papers the same year, and in 1849 became mate of the President. In 1851 he sailed the Harvey R. Seymour, remaining two years. Then for three years he sailed the Sarah C. Warbridge, carrying iron for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad, landing at Monroe, Mich. Captain Howland then sailed the Owego out of Dunkirk, also the Olean. He also sailed the propeller New Brunswick, which was lost in Lake Michigan in 1855. In 1856 he sailed the propeller Saginaw from Buffalo. The next year found Captain Howland in command of the brig Young America, and in 1858 he was mate of the steamer Ironside from Cleveland to Bayfield, Lake Superior. In 1859 he was mate of the Meteor, and in 1860 was mate of the Northwest in the Lake Superior trade. In 1861 Captain Howland engaged in the lumber trade as master of the schooner Jessie Phillips from Manitowoc, Wis. Next he engaged with the Usor Robinson lumber firm, and was stationed at Chicago to look after their barges.
The career of Captain Howland on the lakes, however, was not yet ended. In 1871 he went on the steamer Nebraska, sailing from Buffalo, and sailed one year. Then in 1873 he took command of the steamer Scotia, which had just come out, and for ten years he remained in charge of that handsome and well-built modern boat. Since 1883 Captain Howland has been in the employ of the Lake Anchor line, superintending the loading of the boats.
He settled in Chicago in 1869, and has resided there continuously ever since. He was married in Auburn, N.Y., to Miss Kate Nolan, who is a native of that city. Captain Howland is among the oldest and most highly honored masters of the lakes.
Return to Home Port
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.