Captain Walter D. Hamilton
Captain Walter D. Hamilton, a descendant of old New England and New York families, is a noted master of lake steamers. He is endowed with fine qualities, both mental and physical, and, as he becomes a friend and comrade, one learns to appreciate his coolness in time of danger, and his resource to overcome; his power of endurance and quick comprehension being proverbial. He is a grandson of Joshua Hamilton, of New York State, an early settler of the Mohawk Valley. His maternal grandfather was Solomon Jones, of Blackstone, Massachusetts.
He was born in Ogdensburg, N. Y., February 8, 1862, a son of David and Minerva (Jones) Hamilton. All the members of his father's family adopted commercial pursuits. He is a public-school graduate, and acquired a nautical education in the Wilson school of Chicago.
It was in the spring of 1878 that Captain Hamilton commenced to follow the lakes as wheelsman in the steamer Champlain, of the old Northern Transportation line, which position he retained three seasons, going thence onto the steamer Lawrence as wheelsman, being promoted at the end of the first year to the office of second mate. In 1883 he joined the passenger steamer City of Duluth, of the Lake Michigan & Lake Superior Transportation Co. as wheelsman and lookout alternately. The next spring he transferred to the steamer Jay Gould, of the same line, with a billet as second mate. In the spring of 1885 he joined the steamer Clyde as second mate, plying between Chicago and Buffalo. This was followed by a season as mate on the steamer Ida M. Torrent, and he held a like berth on the steamer Oneida during the season of 1887. In the spring of 1888 he was appointed mate of the steamer H. L. Worthington, and, with the exception of a season on the steamer Rhoda Emily, he passed seven years as mate of the H. L. Worthington. It was in the spring of 1896 that Captain Hamilton entered the employ of the Hines Lumber Company (the largest concern in the world engaged in that business), as master of the steamer S. K. Martin, which he sailed two seasons. The winter of 1898 he went to Marine City, Mich., and purchased the steamer Santa Maria, in the interest of the company, and sailed her as master in the lumber trade between Chicago, Duluth and intermediate ports. During the season of 1897 the Hines Lumber Company made sales of over 158,000,000 feet of lumber.
Socially, Captain Hamilton is a Royal Arch Mason, of Corinthian Chapter, and a Master Mason of Kilwanning Blue Lodge. He is also a member of the Knights of the Maccabees, and of the American Association of Masters and Pilots of Steam Vessels.
On December 25, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Thompson, of Ogdensburg, N. Y., and three daughters have been born to them: Ida May, Florence Dakin and Marion Estelle. The family residence is a No. 1295 Millard avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
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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.