Captain Shephard H. Currie
His father, Thomas Currie, a harness-maker by trade, was proprietor of a hotel at Algonac for many years, and the Captain received his education in the schools of that town. He began his life on the lakes at the age of seventeen, when he took the position of cook on the Traffic, the first steamer up the Saginaw River.
During the Captain's forty years on the lakes, which have been spent entirely on steamboats, he has never missed a season since he began to sail, and never has to lay off on account of sickness. Beginning his lake career as cook, he was promoted to fireman, then to wheelsman, and finally became a master, his first command being the side-wheeler Dart, on which he remained but a short time. The Captain was in the employ of Alger, Smith & Co. for fifteen years, eleven years of which time he commanded the tug Torrent, and for seven years acted as master of the tug Brockway, in which he owned an interest; he also owned a third-interest in the tug Ballentine.
Captain Currie has invented and secured a patent for sounding lead, which is considered a great improvement over the old one, and those who have used it say it is the only lead to use, and its probable recognition by the United States navy will probably cause it to come into general use. The chief feature of this instrument is the brass top or nose piece which protects the end, and sinks quickly and naturally.
In August, 1866, Captain Currie was married to Miss Catherine M. Russell, of Algonac, Mich., and to this marriage eight children were born to them, six of whom are still living; Samuel Harrison, a member of the police force of Detroit; Alfred Latta, mate with his father; Calvin Carols; Maggie Crane; Arthur Miles, a wheelsman, and Stephen B. Grummond, also a wheelsman. William Russell died at the age of nineteen, and Thomas Franklin when but two weeks old.
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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.