George M. Belloir
George M. Belloir, one of the most prominent and best qualified marine engineers sailing out of Duluth, has inherited many of the admirable characteristics of his French ancestors. The same qualities previously transmitted to his father rendered him one of the most notably courageous soldiers of the American Civil war, and it was he of whom General Custer wrote: "I record the death of one of the bravest of the brave, Sergeant Mitchell Belloir, who has been my color bearer since I have been in command of this brigade, and who received his death wound while gallantly cheering the men on at the head of a desperate cavalry charge at the battle of Trevillian Station, West Virginia." Mitchell Belloir was born in Lyons, France, and came to the United States about the year 1845, locating in Ogdensburg, N. Y. Soon after the birth of his son George M., which occurred in Ogdensburg, April 15, 1851, he removed to Marquette, Mich., where he followed his business as iron worker in the first forge erected in that city. On June 14, 1861, he enlisted in Company B. First Michigan Cavalry, Captain Town being in command of the company, and the regiment eventually became a part of General Custer's brigade and saw much service on the battlefield. Mr. Belloir was promoted to the rank of sergeant and color bearer for the regiment, and was noted for his gallantry. He was invested with the brigade colors in 1863, and had the honor of participating in the momentous battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. He was taken prisoner at Cedar Mountain, and on June 14, 1864, was shot in the head and died at the head of his brigade, with the flagstaff in his hand, as noted above and recorded in detail in a volume entitled "Michigan in the War."
George M. Belloir, being but thirteen years old at the time of his father's death, was taken charge of as a ward by Cornelius Donkersley, superintendent of the Marquette, Houghton & Ontonagon railroad, and sent to school in Marquette. In 1865 Sidney Adams was appointed as his guardian until 1870, and in the meantime he learned the machinist's trade in the shops of the Marquette, Houghton & Ontonagon Railway Company, serving a four-years' apprenticeship. In the spring of 1871 Mr. Belloir went to Sault Ste. Marie and entered the employ of Mr. Burke, remaining with him four years. It was in the spring of 1875 that he opened his career as an engineer in the employ of Mr. Trompf, as assistant in the tug W. D. Cushing. The next year he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Mary, following with two seasons on the Mystic and part of a season in the William H. Seymour. In the spring of 1880 he took the lake tug E. M. Peck, which he ran for two seasons, In November, 1882, he went to Duluth, and the next year was appointed chief of the T. H. Camp, running her three seasons. In 1886 he was chief engineer of the steamer R. G. Stewart, owned by the A. Booth Packing Company, transferring the following spring to the steamer A. Booth, as chief, and retaining that office until July, when she was lost, and he again joined the Stewart. In the spring of 1888 Mr. Belloir went to Baltimore after the steamer Hiram R. Dixon, which Mr. Booth had purchased to taken the place of the A. Booth, and as chief engineer ran her to Portland. In August he went to Tacoma, Wash., where he had acquired a homestead, and during the two years he was in the West he sailed on Puget Sound as chief engineer of the passenger steamer Seaside. On returning to Duluth in 1890 he was engaged to the close of the season on the ferry boat Estelle - plying between that city and Superior - and the little steamer Point Angelus, and in 1891 he became chief engineer of the steamer Doctor, holding that berth three consecutive seasons. In 1894 Mr. Belloir again entered the employ of the A. Booth Packing Company as chief engineer of the steamer S. B. Barker, which he ran two seasons, when he was transferred to the pass- enger steamer Hunter, as chief, retaining that berth up to the present time and giving uniform satisfaction.
On October 31, 1880, Mr. Belloir was united in marriage with Miss Ella L. Wray, of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., formerly of Williamsport, Penn., and to them have been born two children - Earl Eugene and Collia Wray. Although Mr. Belloir lives in Duluth, Minn., the family homestead is in Tacoma, Wash. Fraternally he unites with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 38, of Seattle, Washington.
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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.