Captain Joseph Inches
Captain Joseph Inches, who, by a system of right living, has won the esteem and respect of the citizens of Algonac, Mich., where he resided for the past thirty-three years, is a son of Charles D. and Mary (Green) Inches, born in Chatham, Ontario, March 2, 1850. His earlier education was acquired in the schools of his native town, finishing his schooling in Algonac, and at Roberts Landing, on the St. Lawrence river. At the age of fifteen years, being a lad of an independent turn of mind, he left home to do for himself, and the same year found his way to Algonac, Mich., where he secured work in the village and on a farm near by, owned by Capt. Chester Kimball, who also had a line of stages and the contract to carry mail, and young Inches occupied the post of driver for a time.
In the spring of 1867, however, Captain Inches changed his routine by shipping on the steamtug John Martin, and before the close of the season he had sailed before the mast on several vessels. The next season he passed on the schooner Danube with Captain Cash. In 1869 Captain Thomas Bundy appointed him master of the little schooner Jennie Lind, thus filling the berth of captain when he was but nineteen years of age, closing that season in the bark Danube. The next season he sailed as mate with Capt. William Grey in the steamer Saginaw, followed by two seasons in the schooner Lillie May, and last in the capacity of mate. He then sailed as second mate of the steamer Annie Smith. In the spring of 1876 he was appointed master of the bark Emerald; and sailed her two seasons, after which he joined the schooner H. R. Newcomb as mate. In the spring of 1879 he came out as mate of the schooner Clint, closing the season as second mate on the steamer John N. Glidden, sailing as mate of her the next season. In 1881 he came out as mate of the steamer E. B. Hale, but being appointed master of the T. N. Ryan he closed the season in her. The next spring he was mate of the steamer Ohio with Captain Estes, assuming command of her before the close of the season. In 1883 he was appointed mate of the steamer Alcona. At this time Captain Inches was threatened with an affliction of the eyes, and was advised by his physician to abandon steamboat work on account of the extreme watchfulness necessary, and he sailed the barges O. H. Hale and Agnes, schooners Angus Smith and Emma L. Coyne, superintending the rebuilding of the last three named. In the spring of 1888 Captain Inches' sight being much improved he again turned to steamboat command. He entered the employ of H. M. Loud & Sons, and after giving the steamer Wyoming a thorough rebuilding, he assumed charge of her, and has sailed her ten successive seasons. During the winter of 1896-97 he gave her new ends and a new boiler.
In December, 1873, Captain Inches was wedded to Miss Adelaide L., daughter of Captain Chester and Nancy Kimball. After the death of his first wife he was married to Miss Rhoda L., daughter of Charles Stewart. The children born to this union are: Charles S., Ethel M., Hiram C. and Sadie S.
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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.