William Ritchie Burnett
William Ritchie Burnett, assistant engineer on the car-ferry Ontario, of Windsor, was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the son of George and Annie (Porter) Burnett, natives of the same country, where his father is still living; the mother died in August, 1881. Mr. Burnett attended the schools of his native place during his early years, and then after working at farming for a short time began sailing, his first employment in that line being on the City of Dundee, running from Aberdeen to Dundee, upon which boat he acted as fireman for two years. Following this he spent two years in Aberdeen in different employments, and then went upon a stock farm, where he worked six years, at the end of that time coming to America. His first home here was at Owen Sound, Ontario, where he lived for seven years. Mr. Burnett's first experience on the lakes was as fireman on the Magnet, and after one season on her he went on the Meteor, where he remained four years as assistant. He acted as engineer part of a season upon the Heatherbell, and then took the position of greaser on the Athabasca, on which boat he remained two years in that capacity and one year as fireman. He then came to Detroit and entered the car-ferry Ontario, where he has now been assistant engineer four years.
Mr. Burnett was married in June 1893, to Miss Isabella McKenzie, of Teeswater, Ontario, and they have one child, Kathleen, who was born in September, 1894. Mr. Burnett is a member of the A.O.U.W. Sons of Scotland, and Masonic Order, being well known in fraternal circles, and he enjoys a wide acquaintance. He resides with his family at No. 11 Salter Avenue, Windsor.
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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.