Captain Thomas C. Ellis
Captain Thomas C. Ellis was born April 28, 1842, in Wakefield, England, a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Clayton) Ellis, both natives of England. Henry Ellis came to America, and here passed the greater part of his life, dying December 22, 1895, at Mooretown, Ontario, having spent about forty years of his life on the lakes.
A desire for marine life was early manifest in Thomas C. Ellis, and he sailed on the schooner Dan Marble, of Detroit, having previously spent considerable time with his father on different boats. On the Marble he acted as boy only a short time, and was soon made able seaman, in which capacity he served throughout the season. He then came on the pro- peller Globe and acted as wheelsman two years, after which he entered the employ of the government and came on the survey boat Search, engaged in making maps and marine charts. Upon this boat he remained two years, acting as wheelsman and leadsman. In 1862 he came to Detroit, and for twelve years was employed on different tugs between Lake Huron and Erie, being mate on the City of Tawas, Stranger, J.P. Clark and Castle. At this time he shipped on another survey boat called the Ada, and there remained one season, then coming on the Nelson Mills, where he acted as second mate and afterward as mate. He then sailed on the Yosemite of Sandusky two years, and afterward came on the Birkhead and Tempest as mate. The following season was spent on the Dayton as master, and next year he brought out new the William A. Young. He then entered the employ of Hawgood & Avery, of Cleveland, and sailed the Belle Cross two years, then coming to the Servia, upon which he remained seven years. In 1894 he came on the George F. Williams, and has there remained in command to the present season.
On April 5, 1870, Captain Ellis was married to Miss Ellen Ward, of Kalamazoo, Mich. They have four children: Frank, who acted as second mate on the Masaba the present season; Arthur R., who is employed with the W. Bingham Company, in Cleveland; and Edith M. and John Henry, who are in school. In social life Captain Ellis is well known, being a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Ship Masters Association.
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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.