P. Canton, marine engineer, of Detroit, has had many thrilling experiences. His father, Henry Canton, was born in Canada and there lived the greater part of his life, his death occurring in 1892, at Quebec. For many years he was employed as ship carpenter on English vessels.
P. Canton was born July 11, 1858, at Quebec, Canada, at which place he received his education, attending the public schools until 1871, when he entered a machine shop in the same city and served an apprenticeship of three and a half years. On leaving this place he shipped on the Vandolana, a salt-water vessel running to all points of the globe, upon which he remained two years, serving as oiler and third engineer. For the next three years he was second engineer on the Carmona, a vessel of the same line, transferring from her to the Roslyn Castle, a Scotch steamer visiting many of the important ports of Europe, on which, in the capacity of third engineer, he served three years. From her he went to the Palma as chief engineer for two years, at the end of this time leaving salt water and coming to the lakes. His first position was on the Argyle, a Canadian boat owned at St. Catharines, on which he only stayed part of a season, and he then went on the Indian, which was owned at Kingston, Ont., and was engaged in the lumber business. For three years he was employed at Detroit on ferryboats, among them the Hope, Excelsior and Sappho, and for the year and a half following he was on a Detroit river tug, the Crusader, as second engineer. In the succeeding years he was on the Iron Age, New Orleans, John Craig, and Charles W. Wetmore, upon which he went from Duluth to Liverpool, England, and back to America. Returning to the lakes he went on the Sitka, was chief of the Brockway, and in 1896 came to the Mariska as chief, having served the season of 1895 upon the same boat as second engineer.
Mr. Canton was married, January 7, 1884, to Miss Mary Cummings, and they have four children: Wilfred, Ethel, Etta, and Mary. Mr. Canton has been fortunate while on the lakes, never having been connected with any accident of a serious nature. He suffered shipwreck on salt water, however, while on the Bahama, in the Gulf Stream, when twenty-three lives were lost.
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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.