John Gibson, second engineer of the steamer Norwalk, was born in St. Clair county, Mich., in 1866, the son of James Gibson, a successful farmer. He attended school in the vicinity of his early home and was employed on his father's farm until 1892, meanwhile paying considerable attention to steam engineering and having charge of a threshing outfit during the fall for four years. He commenced sailing in 1893, shipping as fireman on the George T. Hope, and held a similar position on the steamer Merida during 1894, in 1895 serving as fireman and later as oiler on the same vessel. He became second engineer of the Norwalk in 1896, thus making unusually rapid advancement in his line of work. His brother, Albert Gibson, is fireman in the Merida.
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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.