Henry L. Chamberlin
Henry L. Chamberlin, manager of the Buffalo and Rochester Transit Co., marine superintendent of the Great Lakes Steamship Company, and one of the well known successful men of the lakes was born in Cedarburg, Wis., October 10, 1852. He is the son of Charles E., and Eliza (Hill) Chamberlin, the former of whom was born in Catskill, N.Y. in 1816 and the latter in Oxford, Chenango County, in 1820; she was educated in the famous Oxford Academy located in the town of Oxford. The children of Charles E. and Eliza Chamberlin were as follows: Charles, a prominent vessel owner and broker of Detroit, Mich.; Ella D.; Mary E.; Henry L.; Benjamin F.; and Nellie; the latter two dying when they were twenty-two and sixteen years of age, respectively.
Charles E. Chamberlin moved to Wisconsin about 1840, and was engaged in the newspaper business in Milwaukee for several years, and was associated with C. Latham Scholes, the inventor of the first typewriter. He also served as a member of the Legislature of Wisconsin in 1852 and in 1872; in the meanwhile holding numerous county offices, such as clerk of the court, justice of the peace, etc. In politics he was a Democrat, but later in life became a Republican. He died May 8, 1897, at Port Washington, Wis., the early home of the Hon. Leland Stanford.
Henry L. Chamberlin was educated in the common schools of Port Washington, and the education here gained has been supplemented with a wide range of reading. His first experience on the lakes was when he was fifteen years of age and he became cabin boy on the steamer Manitowoc, of the Goodrich line, running out of Chicago. In the same position he afterward served on the steamers Alpena and City of Madison; and then went as associate purser on the steamer Marine City, which was later burned on Lake Huron with a large loss of life. From this boat he went on the side-wheel steamer, Huron, which was afterwards dismantled and put out of commission; and then in the steamer Milton D. Ward, running on the Detroit river. Following this he was on the steamer Island Queen, the little vessel stolen by the Rebels during the war, when they intended an attempt to release the prisoners on Johnson's Island, and was later on the steamers Favorite and Sarah Van Epps. He next went on the steamers Eighth Ohio and City of Sandusky, the latter of which was afterward burned on Lake Erie. Following this he was on the steamer Benton, running between Saginaw and Cleveland, which is still in commission as a steam- barge, and then he went as purser on the steamer Messenger, which has since been burned on Lake Huron; and from the Messenger to the side-wheel steamer City of Toledo, which was burned at Manistee, and whose engine, formerly in the steamer Dart, was placed in the steamer Flora. From this boat he went to the John A. Dix, thence to the Keweenaw, running from Buffalo to Duluth. In 1877 he went on board the steamer Annie L. Craig, also running from Buffalo to Duluth, and which afterward became a Canadian boat, under the name of City of Winnipeg, and finally burned in Duluth. He then went on the steamer Jacob Bertschey, which was afterward lost at Grindstone City, Lake Huron; she belonged to the Engleman line, of Milwaukee. From this boat he went on the steamer Lake Breeze, afterward burned at the mouth of the Detroit river; and the next on the Minneapolis, which sunk in the Straits of Mackinac in the spring of 1895. He was then on the steamer Amazon, and was on board her when she was wrecked at Grand Haven, the passengers and crew, about seventy persons in all, being rescued by the life-saving crew. On all the vessels on which he sailed subsequent to the Marine City, he held the position of purser, though in his marine career he has filled the positions of lookout and wheelsman, and, in fact, has served in nearly, if not quite all, the various grades. He also sailed on the Alpena of the Goodrich line, which was lost in a storm on Lake Michigan in the fall of 1880. He was on the steamers Depere and Menominee, and came out in the new steamer Wisconsin in the spring of 1881. His next boat was the City of Milwaukee, which was built in 1880 and ran between Milwaukee and Grand Haven; and is now owned by Graham and Morton, and is running between Chicago and St. Joseph. The following year he went on the St. Paul, running from Buffalo to Duluth, and in 1885 he was made Buffalo agent for Ward's Detroit and Lake Superior line, which, in 1891, changed to the Crescent Transportation Company. He remained with this company until the spring of 1895, becoming interested, in 1894, however, in the Buffalo, Rochester & Syracuse Steamboat line, now the Buffalo & Rochester Transit Company.
On August 13, 1879, Mr. Chamberlin was married to Miss Eliza Anthony, daughter of Barney and Jane (Hannah) Anthony, the latter of whom was from Antrim, a maritime county in the northeast of Ireland, and the principal home of the celebrated Scoth-Irish race. Jane Hannah was a daughter of James and Sarah (Maxwell) Hannah. Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin have had born to them the following children: Royal H., born June 29, 1887; Gregory H., born September 13, 1889, and died at the age of sixteen months; Gertrude, born May 19, 1891; and Hazel, born May 30, 1894. Mr. Chamberlin is a member of the F. & A. M., Azankee Lodge No. 17; Ottawa Council of Chosen Friends, Grand Haven, Mich. He and his family reside at No. 34, Days Park, Buffalo, New York.
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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.