Captain William Young
Captain William Young, a navigator and skillful steamboat master, is a popular and highly esteemed citizen of Vermilion, Ohio, which place he has made his home for the last forty-five years. He is a well-read man, of unusual good conversational powers, and after passing through the public schools of his native place, studied navigation in 1848, under a private tutor, named John Dens.
Capt. Young is a son of Edward and Margaret (Nolan) Young, both natives of Baltimore, Ireland, where the subject of this sketch was born on February 13, 1833. He comes of a long-lived family, his father living to the age of eighty-six, and his mother to be eighty-four. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all masters and owners of ocean-going vessels, and it may, therefore, be said that Capt. William Young is a born sailor. At the age of nine years he made trips on the Atlantic, coasting between Baltimore, Liverpool and Wales in the schooner Mary Young, owned by his father. In 1850 he shipped in the barkentine Jessie, of Dundee, bound for Santiago and Mexican ports, and returned to London, the voyage lasting about six months. He then went to Baltimore, Ireland, and again joined the Mary Young, remaining with her until August, 1852, when he took passage with his bride in the steamer Cornelia for New York, going thence to New Orleans, where he became foreman of a gang of stevedores.
In the spring of 1854 Capt. William Young came into the Great Lake region, locating in Vermilion, and the same year shipped with his uncle, Capt. C. Young, in the schooner, Thomas Corwin, closing the season in the brig Greyhound, with Capt. B. Robinson. The next spring he joined the schooner Queen City, which was commanded by Capt. J. Grover. In 1856 he was appointed mate of the schooner Bemis, with Captain Estes, going the next season as mate of the schooner C.J. Roeder, of the Minch line, closing the season in the schooner A. Bradley, and in 1858 transferring to the B. Parsons, to which he had been appointed mate. In the spring of 1859 he got his first vessel, the schooner C.J. Roeder, to sail, and after a season he took the schooner J.C. Fremont and the B. Parsons, with which he remained until the close of 1863. This was followed by two seasons in the schooner I.W. Nicholas. In the spring of 1866 he was appointed master of the new schooner C.P. Minch, which he sailed with good results for five years, and was then made master of the new schooner Fred A. Morse, holding that position seven seasons, going from her into the steamer John N. Glidden as master, sailing her seven seasons. In 1887 Captain Young was appointed master of the steamer Philip Minch, a command he held until the fall of 1897, when he laid her up in Chicago, and resigned with the purpose of retiring from active life on shipboard. He then went home to enjoy the fruits of an industrious life which covered nearly one-half of a century, forty-two years of which were passed in the employ of Capt. Philip Minch.
On August 6, 1852, Capt. William Young was wedded to Miss Johanna Sullivan, of Baltimore, Ireland. Ten children were born to this union, of whom five still survive: Daniel J., who is a member of the Cary-Lombard Lumber Company; Annie, now the wife of M.J. Haley, timber agent in Montana; Mary, wife of William P. Cary, of the above named lumber company; Johanna, wife of M.F. Fanning, employed in the office of the Lake Shore railroad at Ashtabula; and Katie, who is still at home. The family homestead is spacious, and gives evidence that the Captain retired with a good competency. It is situated at the corner of Ohio and Decatur streets, Vermilion, Ohio. Socially the Captain is a member of the Ship Masters Association, and carries Pennant No. 408.
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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.