Table of Contents

Title Page
Christian Dahl
Joseph Dale
William H. Dalton
A. J. Davenport
Captain James E. Davidson
John Davidson
Captain Ezra H. Davis
Captain Henry W. Davis
Oscar F. Davis
Captain R.A. Davis
Richard Davis
Oscar F. Davis and William I. Davis
Captain Erastus Day
Captain Joseph Day
Joseph Day, Jr.
Captain George Y. Dayton
A. C. Decatur
Wilson De Hart
Captain Thomas De Largie
Edward Dempsey
William F. Dempsey
Captain John J. Denstaedt
William Dent
Harvey Depuy
E. Detlefs
Detroit, Belle Isle & Windsor Ferry Company, Detroit, Michigan
Captain George L. Dewolf
J. W. Dickinson
Joseph R. Diebold
Henry C. Dilgart
George A. Dingman
Captain William Disher
Captain Lawrence Distel
Captain Henry E. Ditzel
Edward T. Dixon
Captain John Doherty
George H. Dolan
Captain William S. Dolloff
Captain John A. Donahue
Captain Patrick Donahue
David Donaldson
Captain David Donaldson
Grant Donaldson
John Donaldson
Robert Donaldson
William R. Donaldson
James Donnelly
James B. Donnelly
William Doran
Thomas C. Dorey
Captain F. A. Dority
Charles Dovey
Captain David F. Doville
Captain Egbert Doville
Captain Joseph Doville
Captain Henry S. Downer
Captain Rosel Downer
Bernard Doyle
P. H. Doyle
Daniel C. Drackett
John Drackett
Captain Albert B. Drake
Captain James Drake
Charles W. Draper, Sr.
Charles W. Draper, Jr.
Frank Dresbach
John C. Drexler
Captain D. Driscoll
Thomas Drysdale
Captain John Wesley Duddleson
Ed. R. Dungan
Captain James S. Dunham
Captain J. Dunn
Captain John Dunseith
Captain George Lyman Durand
Oliver E. Durrant
Captain Sylvanus Dusenberry
Captain Selah Dustin
Ashley & Dustin
Captain William J. Dwyer
E. Dyble
Patrick Dyer
Table of Illustrations

Richard Davis

Richard Davis
Richard Davis (deceased). The subject of this memoir, who died at his home in Milwaukee April 4, 1895, was for many years a leading business man of his city, and as the head of the Marine Boiler Works he had a national reputation. He was the first boiler maker to establish a shop on the Great Lakes, and at one time he had a practical monopoly of the trade in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and the middle West generally. To his energy and foresight as a business man, and his public spirit as a citizen, Milwaukee owes much and it is fortunate that his sons give promise of continuing in even wider lines the enterprises in which he was interested. Socially and politically he made his influence felt, although his chief effort was in the direction of business, and for years he was active in religious work as a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, at Milwaukee. His funeral services, at which the rector of the church officiated, were conducted according to the beautiful and inspiring ritual of the Episcopal prayer book, hallowed by centuries of use, and the solemn services were largely attended by prominent citizens including the members of various fraternal orders with which he was connected. Few histories in this volume will be read with such wide interest as the following, for few men were as well and favorably known to all connected with the shipping trade of the lakes.

Mr. Davis was born April 13, 1826, in Flintshire, Wales, and after receiving a common-school education was bound out to learn the trades of boiler making and ship building, spending four years in Scotland as an apprentice. About 1843 he came to America, locating first in Schenectady, N.Y., where he spent some time in the employ of the Schenectady Locomotive Works, and the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Later he was employed in a similar establishment in New Jersey, and at one time he had charge of a boiler manufactory at Galena, Ill. He was also employed as foreman of railroad shops at various points, his skill being undisputed, and previous to 1860 he was for a time in charge of the Chicago & Alton shops at Bloomington, Ill. In 1860 he removed to Milwaukee, where he opened a small boiler shop in Lake street, and for thirty years he carried on a successful business, his trade enlarging until the help of two hundred workmen was needed at times to complete his orders. His plant was the largest of its kind in Milwaukee, and he furnished the boilers for nearly all the craft built at that place, as well as for a good proportion of all the vessels afloat upon the Lakes. As the business increased he transferred it to a new location in Oregon street, and in 1890, having decided to retire from active work, he sold out to the Milwaukee Boiler Company, the few remaining years of his life being spent in well-earned leisure. While his early educational opportunities were not of the best, he was well-informed, having always been fond of reading, and he took great interest in all public questions. In political faith he was a staunch Republican and at times he was active in local work in his party, serving for one term as alderman. Socially he was identified with various orders, including the F. & A. M., I. O. O. F. and the K. of P.

In 1849 Mr. Davis married Miss Patterson, of Schenectady, New York, who died about 1853, leaving one son, Price Henry, now a resident of Milwaukee. In 1854 Mr. Davis married a second wife, Miss Ann Bond, of Chicago, who passed to the unseen life February 14, 1882. By this union were four sons: Oscar F. and William I., who are mentioned more fully below; Walter R., a resident of Milwaukee, and Russell E., who died in 1895.


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Volume I

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.