Captain John Foster
Captain John Foster was born at Windsor, Ont., June 17, 1858, and at that place and Detroit he has resided all his life. He attended school in his native place, and before completing his education began marine work during the summer season on the ferry line operating between Detroit and Windsor. He first went on the side- wheeler Essex as deckhand, but soon afterward acted in that capacity and as wheelsman and mate on the Fortune. Upon the Hope he acted as mate for some time, and then went on the Victoria as mate, at the time she was running between Detroit and Belle Isle. He returned to the Hope, however, and acted as mate for several years, transferring to the Excelsior as master in 1895. Upon this boat he remained in command until January 6, 1896, when she was laid up for the winter. He then transferred to the Victoria, where he is still to be found.
In December, 1884, he was married to Miss Annie Mayberry, of Windsor, who died June 17, 1895. This union was blessed with two pairs of twins. James and William, and Annie and John, the last named being deceased, and the others in school at the present.
Captain Foster is the son of James and Mary (Dun) Foster, natives of Canada. James Foster has been connected with that line of boats for twenty-five years and is still in the same employ; also having another son, James, Jr., whose life was closely connected with the history of the ferry line when the side-wheeler steamers were in operations.
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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.