William C. Barr
William C. Barr, the engineer for the Public Lighting Company, Detroit, is the son of A. F. and Sarah (Smith) Barr, and was born August 16, 1854, at Detroit. His father, who was a native of Pennsylvania, died at Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1860; he was a physician all his life.
William Barr spent the first two years of his life at his native place and then removed with his family to Port Huron, where he attended school until he reached his sixteenth year. In 1872 he went sailing, and for a number of years following devoted the greater part of his time to marine work. He first shipped on the propeller Montana, out of Buffalo, on which he remained one year, as oiler, and he then served two years as second engineer in the W.L. Wetmore and Sparta, transferring to the Lady Franklin as chief in 1876. For three years following he acted as chief on the John Owen, and he also held that position on the Iron Age, Iron Duke, S. J. Macy, Manistique, Gettysburg and Emily P. Weed. At the close of his service on this boat he abandoned sailing and embarked in the sand-dredging business under the name of the Detroit Sand & Gravel Co., in 1895 taking his present position with the Public Lighting Company.
On December 27, 1892, Mr. Barr was married to Miss Dorothea Luther, of Springfield. Ill. Fraternally he is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 87, and of the Engineers and Mechanics Clubs. C. L. BARRON
C.L. Barron, Detroit, Mich., chief engineer of the steamer City of Milwaukee, was born on the Michigan side of the St. Clair river. His parents, Benjamin and Catharine (Yax) Barron, were French Canadian, the former a native of Montreal, and the latter born on the St. Clair river. The father was a blacksmith by occupation, and carried on that business at Marine City, formerly Newport, Mich., where he settled and raised his family, and at which place his death occurred in 1855. His wife died two years previous.
Our subject passed his boyhood at Newport, where he received training in the common schools, and there learned the trade of a blacksmith with his father. At the age of twenty years he entered the machine shop of E.B. Ward, in Newport, where he remained three years and completed his trade. At about this time, Mr. Ward built and ran the largest line of boats on the lakes. Newport being then headquarters for steamboats, and at this point he established large repairing and erecting shops. In 1855, on leaving these shops, young Barron sailed on the steamer Huron as second engineer, his first experience in steamboating. The Huron was the property of Mr. Ward, and ran between Detroit and Saginaw. The following season (1856) he took charge of the steamer Samuel Ward as chief engineer, and was with her two years, running the same route. The three seasons following he was on the steamer Ruby between Detroit and Lexington, and then for eight years he was with the steamer Susan Ward, owned by E. Ward & Strachan, of Detroit, which was in the trade between Detroit, Saginaw and Toledo. He was then on the propeller Annie L. Craig for four seasons, which ran between Buffalo and Chicago. From the Annie L. Craig he went to the steamer Dove, which ran between Detroit and Amherstburg, and remained on her three years. After this he took charge of Capt. Darius Cole's line of steamers - the Alpena and Green Bay City, plying between Bay City and Alpena. He remained with Captain Cole six years. For a period of ten years following he was in the employ of John P. Clark as chief engineer on the steamer Pearl, which plied between Put-in-Bay and Cleveland. From the Pearl he went into the service of the D. & M. R. R. line, taking charge of the City of Milwaukee, and has been with her for the past ten years, it being understood that when the boat was leased to the Graham & Morton Transportation Co., that the engineer and captain were to go with her.
In 1891 he moved from Detroit to Grand Haven, where he remained till 1896, when he removed to Benton Harbor, still remaining in charge of the steamer City of Milwaukee, running between Benton Harbor and Chicago in the interests of the Graham & Morton line.
During the year of 1854 Mr. Barron was married to Miss Clarissa, daughter of William C. and Catherine (Droulard) Crampton, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Canada, and to this marriage were born the following children: William, Charles, James, Kate, Carrie and Ella, all of whom are living. The mother of these children died September 2, 1893, and in September 1895, he married his second wife, Mrs. Mary O'Dell, of Detroit, born in that city of Irish descent, and on December 9, 1897, a son named Robert was born to them.
Our subject is now in his forty-second year of service of sailing on the lakes, during which time he has encountered many storms, but met with no serious accidents. He also possesses forty issues of license as marine engineer, the last one being for five years. He is hale and hearty, and to all appearances is good for many years more of active life.
Socially, he is a member of Star Lodge No. 13, of Detroit, A.O.U.W.; of Crescent Lodge (sick benefit) of the same city; of the National Dotare of Grand Haven, and the M.E.B.A., No. 3, of Detroit. In politics he is a Republican. He resides at No. 122 Church street, Benton Harbor, Michigan.
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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.