E. Detlefs was born in Hamburg, Germany, July 10, 1868. His father, Richard Detlefs, was an ocean steamship captain for about forty years, and his grandfather was also an ocean captain and vessel owner.
He came to America at the age of thirteen years, and settled at Port Clinton, Ohio. There he received a common-school education, and soon after removed to Cleveland. He then began his marine life by sailing on the schooner Benson as boy. Here he remained two seasons, and then went on the schooner Montgomery. From this boat he sailed on several others as boy, and then went before the mast on the Selkirk, and remained part of the season, finishing on the Thomas L. Parker. The following year he went on the James Pickands as wheelsman, remained one season, and was made second mate the next season. He next joined on the Christy as second mate, and then was on the W.D. Rust and Horace B. Tuttle as mate. He was pilot on the Cleveland firetug for the next nine months, and filled a like position on several lake and river tugs. In 1893 the command of the Horace B. Tuttle was given him, which vessel he sailed for one season. The following year he went on the Nahant and in 1896 on the Andaste.
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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.