Captain Hoyt H. Townsend
Captain Hoyt H. Townsend, the second son of Capt. Gilbert and Adelia (Robertson) Townsend, was born September 6, 1862, at Algonac, Mich., and after attending the public schools of his native town for some time he took a course in bookkeeping. He then adopted the usual occupation of the Algonac youth, that of the sailor.
At the age of sixteen years he shipped on the Mary Pringle out of Algonac as deckhand, serving in that capacity two seasons. His next berth was as wheelsman on the same vessel, closing the season on the steamer D. F. Rose. In 1880 he again shipped as wheelsman on the D.F. Rose, remaining with her three seasons, when in the spring of 1883 he was appointed master of the tug Dave and Mose, owned by G. L. Colwell, of Harrisville, Mich., from which he was transferred to the Fannie Neil, and closed the season on her. The following spring he was again made master of the Dave and Mose, closing the season on the William B. Ogden. Part of the season of 1885 he was mate of the schooner Fitzhugh closing as second mate on the D. F. Rose. The next season he was appointed mate of the steamer H. S. Hubbell, then mate of the steamer Glasgow, holding that berth until October, 1888, when he transferred to the steamer Araxes as master. He passed the season of 1889 as mate on the steamer Kate Buttironi, and in 1890 was appointed master of the steamer Edwin S. Tice, sailing her two seasons. He sailed the steamer Isabella Boyce in 1892, and the two following seasons was mate and Lake Superior pilot on the steamer Viking.
In the spring of 1895 Captain Townsend was appointed master of the steamer Edward Smith No. 2, and sailed her three seasons, including that of 1895. He has been fairly successful in his profession, and owns a money interest in the steamers Sauber, William H. Gratwick and Edward Smith No. 1, of the Mitchell Steamship Company. He is associated with his brother Bernard in timber lands, sawmill and lumber business, with which he occupied his time during the winter months. He is a member of the Association of Masters and pilots; is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Maccabees.
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.