Captain William Cotter
Captain William Cotter, a young officer, who was appointed chief engineer of a steamboat in his second year as a sailor, and master of the same steamer the following season, was born in Titusville, Penn., in 1870. In 1873 he removed with his parents to Cleveland, where he attended a private school, under the tutelage of T.J. Kelley.
After the completion of his education Captain Cotter decided to adopt the life of a sailor, and shipped as lookout on the steambarge Alice Strong, with Capt. D. Henderson. The next season he went as engineer of the same steamer, and in the spring of 1889 was appointed master. In 1890 he was given the steam sandlighter Robert Greenhalgh, Jr., to sail, closing the season on the Protection. He also sailed the Protection the two following seasons. In the spring of 1893 he went to Chicago and shipped as mate on the Monitor No. 104, but remained with her only two trips. He then entered the employ of the Cleveland Tug Company, as master of the Maggie Sanborn, transferring to the Charles Henry, S.S. Stone, N.B. Gates, James Amadeus and L.P. Smith in the order named. In 1894 he sailed the tug J.R. Sprankle, 1895 the tug John Gregory, 1896 the Ben Campbell, closing the season, however, as night manager of the tug line. In the spring of 1897 he was again appointed master of the tug Campbell. He has eight issues of pilot's license.
Captain Cotter was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Gorry, of Cleveland, January 13, 1896. Mrs. Cotter is a graduate of the Spencerian Business College, and is a rapid and accurate accountant and stenographer.
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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.