Charles Coushaine is a son of Andrew and Margaret (Williams) Coushaine, the former a native of Montreal and a blacksmith by trade, who died when the subject of this sketch was but three years of age. The latter was a native of Painesville, Ohio, and died in about the year 1860. There were six children in the family, Andrew being the only one, besides Charles, who is a sailor; the latter is master of a harbor tug on the south shore of Lake Michigan.
Mr. Coushaine has been in the lake service twenty-two years, and has twenty-one issues of license. During that period he has proved his capability as a marine engineer, filling chief's berth most of the time, and the fact that he is now in the employ of the Union line is additional evidence that he is a reliable man. He was born April 9, 1850, at Fort Mackinac, now more familiarly known as Mackinaw City. After completing his education he began life on the lakes, going before the mast for a season on the schooner Francis Eddy. He was next fireman and engineer, respectively, on a dredge at Cheboygan, Mich., owned by Corkan & Stickney, where he worked a year. >From the beginning until the middle of the next season he was in the employ of a Mr. Dale on a dredge owned by him at Sand Beach, placing stone cribs for the piers at that harbor, at which time the first stones were dug which were used for the cribs above mentioned. Following that employment he was engineer on the harbor tug Mary Newton, at Cheboygan, for two seasons, and succeeding that he was second and chief on the lake tugs Frank Moffatt and Mocking Bird, owned by James Moffatt, of Port Huron.
The next season he became engineer of the tug Reed at Chicago, which he left in the middle of the season, going to Port Huron to accept a similar position in the ferry boat Congor, on which he remained a season and a half; the tug Reed was engaged in carrying loads of railroad ties from the west shore of Lake Michigan to Chicago, while the Congor was engaged in carrying passengers from Sarnia to Port Huron. His next employment was as chief engineer of the steambarge D. W. Powers in the lumber trade, in which he continued for a season and a half. The following three seasons he was chief engineer of the W. H. Barnum, Edward Tice and John C. Pringle, the latter controlled by Smith, Brown & Co., of Buffalo. While in the Pringle, during the season of 1892, she collided with the schooner Morrison, consort of the steambarge Horace A. Tuttle, the accident occurring about July 13, while the John C. Pringle was bound up with a cargo of Italian marble. The consorts of the Pringle were the Sweetheart, Sunshine and Harrison, loaded with coal. The collision took place about thirteen miles below Thunder Bay, and the Morrison sunk with a cargo of iron ore, a total loss. The crew were saved, however. The bow of the Pringle was damaged by being stove in, her spar cracked, and she lost two anchors. Captain Vickbonah was knocked overboard, but was rescued by the yawl boat of the Horace A. Tuttle. The next service rendered by Mr. Coushaine was in chief engineer's berth on the steamer Emily P. Weed, then owned by the Hollister Transportation Company, which continued two seasons. He next filled the same berth in the propeller Avon, and then became chief engineer of the steamer Tioga, of the Union line, in which position he has continued during the seasons of 1895-96-97-98.
Mr. Coushaine was married in the fall of 1878, and has a family of three children: Annie, Charles and Cora. Their residence is at No. 116 Laurel Street, Buffalo. In social connection Mr. Coushaine is a charter member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association; belonging to Local Harbor No. 43, at Port Huron, and filled the office of vice-president one year. He has worked his way up the ladder of prosperity, by his personal efforts, and by his own merit has attained his present position. He is emphatically one of the self-made men of the lakes.
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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.