Captain Thomas Garner
Captain Thomas Garner, mate of the schooner Antelope, of Toronto, a thoroughly experienced mariner and shipwright, is a native of England, born in 1847, in Milborne, son of Capt. Loup Garner. In 1853 the family emigrated to Canada, settling in St. Catharines, Ont., where the father followed the trade of ship-carpenter when not engaged in sailing on the lakes, for he was an efficient sailor as well as a competent tradesman.
In St. Catharines Thomas Garner received a liberal education at the common schools, and worked with his father as ship-carpenter until he was twenty years of age, becoming thoroughly skilled at that trade. In 1867 he commenced sailing the lakes, shipping before the mast on the brig Niagara, trading from Kingston, Ont., to ports on Lake Erie, on which he served during the last three months of that season. In the following spring (1868) he went on the brig Cavalier, and was on her five months finishing the season on the schooner Fanny Campbell. During 1869 he sailed on the schooner St. Lawrence as second mate; in 1870-71 remained on shore and worked at his trade of shipwright in the yards of L. Shickluna and Simpson, of St. Catharines. For a short time he was on the schooner Cecelia Jeffery, belonging to the Mitchell Coal Company, of St. Catharines, and afterward sailed as quartermaster of the American merchant schooner Anglo Saxon, going from her to the schooners Cheney Ames and William Home, both also American. Subsequently he returned to Canadian vessels and sailed as mate of the schooners Gleniffer and Vienna, remaining on the last named two seasons. He sailed part of the season on the schooner Trade Wind; then was on the schooners Mary Ann Lydon, of Port Hope, and Sir Oliver Mowat, and also on several other vessels until the spring of 1897, at which time he went, as mate, on the schooner Antelope, Capt. William R. Wakely, plying chiefly in the coal and lumber trade between ports on the south shore of Lake Ontario and Toronto. The only occurrence in Captain Garner's sailing career that may be said to have been fraught with imminent danger was when the schooner St. Andrews, of which he was mate, was driven ashore some eight miles below Niagara, on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Fortunately no one was drowned, and after three days the vessel was lightened off, only slightly damaged.
In 1867 Captain Garner was married to Miss Louisa Johnson, of St. Catharines, Ont., and six children, five daughters and one son, have been born to this union. Since 1890 the home of the family has been in Toronto. In politics the Captain is independent, always casting his ballot for the candidate he considers best qualified to represent his constituency in national, county and city affairs, for the good of the country and community at large. In religious faith and family adheres to the Church of England.
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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.