Louis Souter was born in Buffalo December 24, 1853, and was educated in the public schools of that city. His mother died when he was about two weeks old, and his father, John B. Souter (who was a Frenchman by birth), having gone away when Louis was quite young, he was brought up by relatives; as a consequence he was compelled to earn his living the best way he could and with a very meager education to start with.
Mr. Souter's first employment was as a carpenter in David Sutton's shop, where he worked about five years. In 1867 he began his connection with marine work as fireman on harbor tugs, and was thus engaged for a period of about ten years, in the various tugs belonging to Maytham's and Hand's lines. From 1877 to 1889 he was employed as engineer on harbor tugs, and on March 15 of the last mentioned year he became engineer of the tug Arthur Woods, owned by Hingston & Woods, being still with her at the close of the season of 1896.
Angeline Columbus, above mentioned, is a daughter of Alexis Columbus. This gentleman was born in Quebec, Canada, November 2, 1789 and on January 8, 1897, he was still living, in his one hundred and eighth year, at the house of his son John, No. 102 South Park avenue, Buffalo.
He is a descendant of the famous discoverer of America, and was a visitor to the World's Fair at Chicago in 1893. While living in Canada he farmed for a living, and followed the same occupation after his removal to Buffalo in 1843. He was married in Quebec, to Parmelia Daire, who was his life companion until a few years ago, when she died, and it is only since her death that he has given up his farm life. When Mr. Columbus first came to Buffalo he bought woodlands in the vicinity of what is now known as Columbus Place, but was formerly White's Corners Plank Road. Columbus Place cuts through what was formerly his homestead. He speaks Canadian French more fluently than English, though he talks the latter very well. He has always smoked tobacco of his own raising. His hair has been white for many years, but is still abundant, and he has all of his teeth but one. His trip to the Fair was much more tedious than he expected, because, in addition to the fatigue caused by the tedium of the journey and the exertion of getting about, he was besieged by newspaper men for his history, and he was glad to return at the end of ten days, fearing that he might end his existence away from home.
Mr. Columbus reared a family of eleven children, four sons - two of whom are dead - and seven daughters. Those still living are named as follows: John, who keeps a saloon at No. 702 South Park avenue; Peter, a carpenter by trade, who lives at No. 704 South Park, avenue; Kittie Souter, wife of John B. Souter, No. 401 Massachusetts avenue; Angeline Souter, wife of Louis Souter, No. 170 Church street; Elizabeth Baker, Rosa Suor and Jennie Jones, all of whom live at Joliet; and Josephine Fleming, who resides at Ogdensburg.
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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.