Captain Neil Campbell
Captain Neil Campbell, a descendant of a long line of Scotch ancestors, as the name implies, is a ship master of ready resource, of thoughtful and studious habits and generous hospitality, and enjoys a domestic life, although his duties as a mariner would seem to preclude him from that essential to complete happiness. He was born in Inverness, Scotland, on September 10, 1855, and is the son of Philip and Henrietta (McLeod) Campbell, both also natives of Scotland, who came to America in 1863, locating at Owen Sound, Ontario. The father was a seaman, engaged in the coasting trade as master and owner of sloops, which were so common in the waters washing the shores of the British Isles.
After obtaining a liberal education in the public schools of Owen Sound, which he attended until the spring of 1872, Captain Campbell entered the employ of the Beattie Steamship Company, as watchman in the passenger steamer Manitoba, plying between Detroit, Sarnia, and Duluth, in command of Capt. J. C. Symes, and he held that berth three seasons. In the spring of 1875 he shipped in the steamer Silver Spray, plying between Collingwood and the Sault, and after remaining on her two seasons with Capt. J. Nabb, entered the employ of the Georgian Bay Transportation Company as second mate of the passenger steamer Northern Belle, with Captain Campbell. At the end of the second year he was promoted to the office of mate and he laid the steamer up that fall, coming out the next season as mate of the Northern Queen, a sister ship. In the spring of 1880 he was appointed mate of the steamer Manitoulin, following with two seasons as mate of the steamer City of Owen Sound, of the Canada Transit Company. In the spring of 1883 Captain Campbell attained to the command of the Northern Belle, and the next year he was appointed master of the steamer City of Owen Sound, which he laid up that fall. As she did not go into commission the next spring the Captain went to Buffalo, declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States, and shipped as wheelsman in the United Empire with Captain Gillies, on which he served until September, closing the season in the B. W. Blanchard. In the spring of 1887 he was appointed mate of the United Empire, and in 1888 he was appointed master of the side-wheel steamer Cambria, plying between Owen Sound and the Sault in connection with the Canadian Pacific railroad, sailing her successfully three years. In 1891 he transferred to the new steamer Manitoba, operated by the same company, as mate. Having passed his examination before the inspectors in Detroit that winter and having been granted a license he shipped the next spring as wheelsman in the steamer Tuscarora, plying between Chicago and Buffalo, pending a vacancy in the John M. Nicol, of which he was appointed mate in August. Captain Campbell then entered the employ of the American Steel Barge Company as mate of the steamer J. B. Colgate, transferring to barge No. 117 as master the next spring, and with the exception of one season, when he sailed the side-wheel passenger steamer Cambria between Windsor and the Sault, he has been with that company ever since - in 1896 as master of Monitor No. 117, and in 1897-98 as master of the steam monitor Colgate Hoyt.
On January 9, 1890, Captain Campbell wedded Miss Catherine McLeod, daughter of Donald McLeod, who is in the mercantile business in Marquette, Mich., and the children born to this union are Philip Bernhardt, Norma Evaline and Catherine Henrietta. The family homestead is situated in Owen Sound, Ontario.
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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.