William Crosthwaite, for many years one of the leading shipbuilders on the Great Lakes, began his career in Buffalo in 1841, in connection with Thomas Banta, one of the earlies shipbuilders in that place. He was subsequently with Bidwell & Banta. In about 1848 Mr. Crosthwaite began building boats on his own account, and during the earlier part of his career he built a great many tugs, the names of which it would be useless to record. In 1856 he converted the Empire into a floating dry dock. In 1862 he built, in Buffalo, the steamer Oneida, and in 1863 the tugs Governor and Tillie C. Jewett, both of which were employed as blockade runners during the war of the Rebellion. About this time he removed to Bay City, Mich., built the first dry dock in that place, and established the shipyard which is now a part of the one owned by F.W. Wheeler & Co. He built the schooner William Crosthwaite, of 371 tons; the schooner John Kelderhouse, of 500.66 gross tons, in 1867; the schooner American Giant, of 365.41 gross tons, in 1868; the schooner A.C. Maxwell, of 469.13 gross tons, in 1870. Removing now to East Saginaw, Mich., he there built the schooner William S. Crosthwaite; the schooner T.P. Sheldon, in 1871; the Morning Star, the Evening Star and the B.F. Bruce. Returning to Bay City, he built the Robert A. Packer, in 1881; the Queen of the West, of 625 gross tons, in 1881; the Nevada, the Iowa, and the L.W. Drake, of 456 gross tons in 1881, and the Oregon, of 845 gross tons, in 1882. Disposing of his interests in Bay City, Mich., Mr. Crosthwaite removed to Portland, Ore., where for a few years he was engaged in the building of vessels for ocean traffic, retiring from active business in 1885. He is now living at Los Angeles, California.
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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.