Captain Charles M. Swartwood
Captain Charles M. Swartwood (deceased), formerly captain of the J.H. Wade, was the son of Earl and Sarah Cornell Swartwood, and was born April 29, 1850, at Lorain, Ohio. The father was also a native of Lorain, and was a vessel builder for about fifteen years of his life. He died in 1883, having survived his wife, who passed away in 1871.
Capt. Charles Swartwood spent his youth in Lorain attending the public schools. At this time, a desire for marine life being stronger than for any other calling, he decided to be a sailor, and to put this desire into practice he went on the scow Fairy, of Lorain, at the age of fourteen years, then put in a season on the J.U. Porter. From this he came on the Lilly Fox as mate, and the following season on the Enright as master. He spent the following two seasons on the Oak Leaf as second mate, and then joined the D.P. Rhodes, as mate, on which he remained four seasons. From this boat he came to the Helvetia, as mate for one season, and afterward commanded the L.C. Butts for four seasons. The following seasons were spent on the W.D. Rust, H.B. Tuttle, Champion, Gladiator, Crusader, T.S. Christy and William Chisholm; coming to the J.H. Wade in 1891, upon which he remained until his death.
On November 8, 1871, he was married to Miss Agnes Dennison, of Lorain, a daughter of John Dennison, a native of Canada, and an old vessel master, and sister of John and Bert Dennison, who spent several years of their lives on the Great Lakes in different positions.
Captain Swartwood was a member of the Knights of Honor, Knights of the Maccabees, Knights of Pythias, and Protected Home Circle. On February 17, 1898, he passed away at his home in Cleveland. The funeral was largely attended, a large delegation from the Ship Masters Association, as well as representatives from the various orders, came to pay their last tribute of respect to their comrade. Honored and respected by all, his last voyage closed "a life well spent."
Return to Home Port
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.