Captain Frederick C. Starke
Like many of our successful men, the Captain is of German blood, the home of his ancestors having been in the Kingdom of Hanover. Frederick Starke, the father of our subject, was born in Hanover and came to America in 1847, locating in Milwaukee, where he became prominently identified with marine interests. He was the founder of the Starke Dredge & Dock Co., of that city, and was the sole owner of its plant until his death in 1858, when his brothers succeeded him. The first dock built in the city was constructed by him, as were all the piers built along the beach from 1850 until 1858. A number of bridges were erected under his direction, and in 1858 he built the first tug constructed in Milwaukee, the vessel being also owned by him. His energy and executive ability seemed equal to any undertaking, and his name will always be associated with the development of the city in which he made his home.
Captain Starke was born in 1855, in Milwaukee, Wis., and was educated in that city, attending first the elementary schools, afterward spending three years in the German High School, and three years in what is now known as Concordia College, then an academic institution. On leaving school at the age of eighteen, he began to gain a practical knowledge of shipping by working upon the tugs in which his family had an interest, and on attaining his majority he was made captain of a tug, a position which he held for four years. In 1880 he was appointed manager of the Milwaukee tugboat line, and after continuing in this responsible post until 1891 he sold out all his shipping property and interests, and purchased stock in the Sheriff Manufacturing Company, of which he is now a vice-president, as above stated. In the same year he bought the plant of the Wolf & Davidson Dry Dock Company, and arranged for a consolidation with the Milwaukee Shipyard Company, and formed the Milwaukee Dry Dock Company, of which he has since been vice-president and general manager. This company owns the entire dry-dock system of Milwaukee, and is one of the leading corporations of the city. Captain Starke has always shown great interest in marine matters, and since the organization of the Ship Masters Association, in 1890, he has served as its treasurer. While he has apparently an inexhaustible fund of energy for his business enterprises, he has never diverted it to political activities, and notwithstanding the fact that he is a stanch Republican he does not seek official honors of any sort.
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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.