Captain John M. Beverly
Captain John M. Beverly, or, as he is familiarly known, "Local Attraction Jack," was born in 1843, at Frederick, New Brunswick, a son of Francis and Margaret (Lombard) Beverly. His father was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1800, a grandson of Admiral Peter Beverly, of the English navy, and a great-grandson of Post Captain Beverly, to whom the British Government granted a tract of land near Boston, known as the Beverly reservation, before the Revolutionary war. Francis Beverly was the Queen's printer and bookbinder for the British provinces; he died at the age of ninety years, and his wife, who was born in Portland, Maine, in 1811, died in 1892, at the age of eighty-one years.
Captain Beverly attended the penny schools of New Brunswick, and finished his education at the Baptist seminary. He then commenced, at the age of sixteen years, his sailing career, in 1860 shipping on the schooner Gilbert Bentt, plying between the Bay of Fundy and New York City in the plaster trade. In 1861 he sailed in the schooner Abbie Wells, out of Portland, Maine, to the West Indies, remaining on her one year before the mast. In 1862 he was appointed master of the schooner Mary D. Wilson, holding that berth for two years.
On leaving the Wilson, the Captain quit sailing, and went as coast pilot between Boston and all eastern ports on the Atlantic, continuing in that business until 1878, when he opened a store and office as compass adjuster at the Union wharf, Boston. The following year he sold out his business there to Henry Mayo and went to Cleveland, in which city he had an office in the ship-chandlery store of J. W. Grover & Son, and there remained fifteen years and gained much renown. In 1893 he opened a shop at Brooklyn, Ohio, returning to Cleveland, however, in the spring of 1897, and estab- lishing a new shop and office at No. 150 River street. He manufactures all kinds of nautical instruments, and is always ready to go on board vessels and adjust compasses, Captain Beverly is the oldest compass adjuster in the United States, and when he commenced business in that line was the only one. He has been eminently successful in his chosen field, and has done the major part of the work on the new vessels launched on the lakes since his advent in 1879, the result of his science proving satisfactory to both owners and masters. He has worked for the Anchor Steamship Company of Buffalo for the last fifteen years; for the Western and Union Steamboat Companies; has adjusted all the compasses of Bradley fleet for the last twelve years, as well as those of Capt. John Mitchell, since he has been in the vessel business, and has been engaged by other lines as occasion required.
Captain Beverly has a master's license of the first class, which covers the Great Lakes and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and is therefore a navigator in the fullest sense of the term, a qualification not possessed by any other compass adjuster in the United States. It is therefore to be presumed that he is well prepared to do satisfactory work. He is a member of the Ship Masters Association and holds Pennant No. 889.
Captain Beverly was wedded to Miss Mary J. Harvey, of Portland, Maine, in 1866, and two daughters, Daisy and Pansy, have been born to this union. The family residence is on a farm near Painesville, Ohio, to which the Captain retires during the winter months.
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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.