Captain Ezra H. Davis
Captain Ezra H. Davis is the youngest son of Calvin and Jane (Snell) Davis, and was born at Painesville, Ohio, in November, 1848. He acquired his education in the public schools of his native town, and after his parents removed to Marine City went to work in the shipyard of R. Holland, where he remained one summer, going to school in the winter.
While he has not had the experience of ocean sailing that fell to the lot of his elder brother, Capt. W. H. Davis, his career on the lakes has been remarkably successful. In the spring of 1864 he shipped on the schooner General Winfield Scott, and remained until June of the next year, when he joined the schooner Harriet Ross, closing the season on her. In 1866 he joined the schooner Tartar, going before the mast. His next boat was the scow Wake Up, on which he made one trip, when she sunk at Black River, Ohio, after which he shipped on other vessels until late in the season, when he was appointed mate of the schooner Wanderer, trading on Lake Ontario. In the season of 1868 he sailed as second mate on the barkentine City of Painesville. The next season he shipped before the mast on the schooner Dan Hayes, trading between Lake Michigan ports, and before leaving her was advanced to the berth of second mate, and closed the season as mate, and the next year took her out as master. In 1871 he was in command of the schooner George L. Seavers, and sailed her until June. In the meantime his crew were all taken down with fever, leaving no one to work the ship but himself and a boy; during this time he collided with the schooner M. I. Wilcox, which resulted in the dismasting of both vessels. He then joined the bark Raleigh as second mate. The next season he was made mate of the schooner Charley Crawford.
In the spring of 1873 Captain Davis turned his attention to steamboating, and was appointed mate of the steamer McDonald, trading to the Georgian ports. He then sailed as mate of the steamer Chauncy Whiting, working in the shipyard during the winter months. In the spring of 1878 he was appointed master of the schooner T. D. Skinner, sailing her three years. His next command was the H. F. Church, which he sailed one season, followed by a season as master of the O. J. Hale. He sailed the schooner A. C. Maxwell during the season of 1883, and part of the next year, when he went as mate with Capt. W. H. Davis on the S. J. Tilden. In the spring of 1885 he sailed as mate of the steamer Cumberland; 1886 mate on the steamer Glasgow, and in 1887 mate on the steamer Ogemaw. He then took command of the steamer Pawnee, and sailed her eight consecutive seasons, transferring to the steamer Britannic as master in 1896, and holding that office for some time.
While ashore Captain Davis devotes much of his time to the fraternal societies of which he is a member. He carries Pennant No. 121 in the Ship Masters Association; he is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; a Knight Templar Mason; a member of the honorable Order of Odd Fellows, and a Knight of the Maccabees.
Return to Home Port
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.