Captain Kenneth Finlayson
Captain Kenneth Finlayson, of Detroit, was born in the county of Ross, Scotland, June 29, 1838, a son of Daniel Finlayson, with whom he came to the United States in 1853. The father being a sailor, assisted upon the vessel in which he was bringing his family to America. The mother died during the voyage, and the family, after locating on the St. Clair river became broken up, each one seeking his own destiny. Daniel Finlayson was a sailor on the lakes for many years, serving on the Detroit & Cleveland line as master at one time, and met his death by suffocation on the St. Paul.
Kenneth Finlayson went on the lakes in 1854 as deckhand on the Ruby, and was engaged thus for two seasons. Later he was on the Huron and John Owen, and then on the Magnet as wheelsman, and in the years following he served on the Dunkirk, Forest Queen, Ocean, Buffalo, Kenosha, and Equator, sailed on the St. Lawrence river in the mail service during the years of 1864 and 1865, and was master of the W. R. Clinton in 1871. He has been also master of the Galena, the Adriatic, the Idlewild, and the Metropolis. In 1871 the Captain purchased the schooner St. Stevens, sailing her until 1873, when she was lost.
Captain Finlayson was married on August 14, 1870, to Miss Catherine McCrea, a member of the family of sailors of the old-time class. The only child of this union now living is Mary Bell, who was born August 16, 1874; four children, Katie, Margaret, and two sons, died in infancy. Captain Finlayson has had an exceedingly fortunate career in his chosen lifework. He is well-known to the lakefaring class as a man of character and ability, and is highly esteemed by all his friends and associates.
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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.