J. A. Cameron
J.A. Cameron, a young a popular engineer, having been identified with the lakes since boyhood, and now in the employ of the Norton Milling Company, was born in Rockford, Ill., in 1871, a son of J.B. and Mary (Burton) Cameron, the latter a native of the East. The father, who was a lumberman by occupation, was an early settler of Rockford, but later returned to Canada -- his native land -- and engaged in lumbering. He died in Sault Ste. Marie, in 1891, and his wife died in the same year, having survived him only a month.
Mr. Cameron was reared in Sault Ste. Marie, and received a good education, graduating from the high school of that place. He commenced sailing from that port in 1887 on the Roanoke, and fired on tugs; in 1889 was fireman on the Andy Smith, which was lost on Gray's Reef, Lake Michigan, that season, and in 1890 was fireman on the steamer Joliet. In 1891 he was oiler on the Bristow, and in the fall of that year went to Mobile, Ala., where he shipped as fireman on the tug Keiser, plying between that port and Tampa, Fla., remaining on her two months. At the latter place he shipped on the steamer Mascot, of the Plant Steamship line, and afterward went to Jacksonville, Fla., where, in 1892, he shipped as oiler on the steamer Cherokee, of the Clyde line, but left her at New York City, and came to Ashtabula, Ohio, at which place he became oiler of the steamer Frontenac, remaining on her for the rest of the season of 1892; that fall he made application for engineer's license, which was granted in 1893. The first part of that season he was engineer of the steamer Vega, of Cleveland, belonging to the Lorain Steamship line; later shipped as second engineer on the old Keystone, of Cleveland, which he laid up early in the season; and then made a trip on the Spokane to Duluth, Minn. In the early part of 1894 he was engineer of the steamer Philip Minch, remaining on her till June, when he accepted the position as engineer of the Pontiac, engaged in the ore and lumber trade. He then transferred from that vessel to the Frontenac, of the same line, remaining on her one season. The fall of that year (1895) he became engineer of the Metropolitan West Side Elevator, Chicago, but the following spring resigned that position, and shipped as engineer on the Globe, which he ran in the freight trade between Chicago and Buffalo until August 1, of that year. That fall he accepted his present position, that of engineer of the Norton Milling Company, Chicago.
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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.