Captain Abel Voisine
Captain Abel Voisine is of French extraction, and was born on January 22, 1859, at Green Island, Ont., as were his parents and grandparents. He is the son of Joseph and Madeline (Jean) Voisine, who removed to the United States in 1865, locating in West Bay City, Mich., where his father died in 1883. His mother is still living. His early years were spent in a sawmill, and he is self-educated, having neither opportunity nor desire to attend school while young. Since commencing to sail he took a course of study and soon acquired a liberal education.
Captain Voisine's first experience as a mariner was in 1876, as deckhand and watchman on the propeller Antelope, recently lost on Lake Michigan. The next season he sailed as watchman on the passenger propeller Eighth Ohio, and the following season he went before the mast on the City of Grosse Point. In the spring of 1879 he shipped as wheelsman on the lake tug Peter Smith. His next berth was at the wheel on the tug Sol S. Rumage, now the Charlie O. Smith, followed by a season on the same boat as mate. In the spring of 1882 he took out papers and was appointed mate of the tug Ella Smith. The next year he came out as mate of the tug Ontario, but closed the season as mate of the Star of the North. He put in part of the season of 1884 as mate on the lake tug Niagara, closing on the Pensaukee as mate, and remained with her until the spring of 1887, when he shipped on the tug Annie Moiles. In the spring of 1888 he was appointed master of the tug Sarah Smith, and sailed her two seasons. His next boat was the Annie Moiles. In the spring of 1891 he was appointed master of the tug Carlie O. Smith, which he sailed six seasons with good business success. In the spring of 1897 he came out as master of the fine tug Sweepstakes, but transferred during the season to Charlie O. Smith, Annie Moiles, R. H. Weidemann, Lula Eddy and Ella M. Smith, laying the latter up December 18, 1897. The following year he was appointed master of the tug Ella M. Smith. Socially he is a member of the beneficial Order of the Maccabees.
Captain Voisine was wedded to Miss Jane, daughter of Joseph and Demontaine Blais. The children born to this union are Joseph, Edmond, Eva; Abel and Albert, both of whom died young; Mabel Ruth and Wilfred. The family homestead is at No. 1005 Long Street, West Bay City, Michigan.
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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.