Captain M. L. Edwards
Captain M.L. Edwards, who is the son of Capt. Joseph and Amy Johnston Edwards, was born May 26, 1852, in Manitowoc, Wis. His father, who was a master and owner of lake vessels for many years, was born in Jersey City, N.J., in 1801, and his mother was a native of New York City, born in 1804. The grandparents were natives of New England.
Captain Joseph Edwards built the first fishing boat, the first scow and the first tug ever constructed in Manitowoc and sailed them. He was also master of several other vessels. In 1861, during the war of the Rebellion, leaving home, wife and children, he enlisted in the Thirty-second Wis. Vol. Inf., and took an honorable part with his regiment in the battles around Vicksburg and Cold Springs, with Gen. Tecumseh Sherman, under whom he also participated in his march to the sea, joining in all of the battles of that famous campaign at Resaca, Big Shanty, Lookout Mountain, Kenesaw, Dallas, Atlanta and Savannah. He was also in the invasion of North and South Carolina, his last battle being at Bentonville, N.C. Among the trophies he secured was a drum captured from the enemy, which is held by the family as an heirloom. The sons of the family who were sailors and warriors were Capt. Henry Edwards, who sailed the schooner Citizen, the Convoy, Clipper City, Transit, C.L. Johnson (now the C.Y.M.Z.A.) and other vessels; his death occurred at Pine Lake, Wis. Capt. Daniel Edwards, who now owns and sails vessels at Santiago, Cal., was for a time in the employ of the Lake Navigation Company and he also sailed the schooners Belle, Fox, brig Coral, Black Hawk, and Rock Mountain; he enlisted in a Wisconsin battery of artillery and served with credit throughout the Civil war. Joseph, another captain, commanded among other vessels the schooner Sea Gem, Gertrude, Two Charlies, El Tempo and Driver, and the tugs Cyclone, Arctic and Gregory; he also took up arms for the Union, having enlisted in a Wisconsin calvary regiment; he has retired from active duty. Capt. Perry Edwards, the fourth son, enlisted in the Ninteenth Wis. Vol. Inf., and served until the close of the war, and it may be observed here that the mother had a son to represent her in each branch of the great army of the North, calvary, infantry and artillery; Perry was also a lake captain and sailed the schooners Blue Bell, Eclipse, Cuyahoga and Australia, the tug Arctic for the Goodrich line, and was in the steamer T.S. Faxton a short time.
Capt. Milton L. Edwards, the fifth son in the family, was too young to go to war. He attended school at Manitowoc until 1864, when he shipped on the schooner Adele, trading to Green Bay, and he subsequently sailed in the Royal, Grace Greenwood, Monarch, King Sisters and Arnold, at the age of seventeen serving as master of the schooner C.L. Johnson alternately with his brother Henry. In the spring of 1870 he was appointed to the command of the schooner Ben Moe, which he sailed three seasons, and he sailed his next boat, the Evaline, for two seasons. In 1870 he purchased a half-interest in the scow Selma, sailing her until the fall of 1877, when he sold his interest and went to the Black Hills to seek for gold. On his return to the lakes in the spring of 1878 he was appointed master of the schooner Ithaca, following with two seasons as master of the schooner Gen. Franz Sigel and two seasons on the Oliver Culver. In 1883 he bought the schooner Cascade and sailed her two seasons. He was then appointed master of the John Kelderhouse, holding that berth until 1887, when he was appointed keeper of the lightship Cascade, anchored off Chicago harbor, and after serving in that capacity two years he took her as master and sailed her successfully until 1895, when he sold her. For the following two years he was in the employ of the city of Chicago as keeper of the Lake View water works crib, and in 1897 he purchased the schooner West Side, which he has sailed up to this writing. He has eight issues of master's papers. Socially the Captain is a Royal Arch Mason of Corinthian Chapter and a Master Mason of Covenant Lodge, of Chicago.
In 1878 Captain Edwards wedded Miss Minnie Stone, daughter of Capt. Richard and Elizabeth (Brooks) Stone, of Chicago, and the children born to this union are Addison K., Wilbur F., Harvey B., Mattie E., Irene A. and Erma L. The family make their home at No. 675 Osgood street, Chicago, Illinois.
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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.