Captain Charles K. Jackson
Captain Charles K. Jackson, an honored and highly esteemed citizen of Algonac, Mich., was born in that place September 27, 1837, son of Michael and Elizabeth (Kimball) Jackson. His father, who was a pioneer of St. Clair county, was born in the West riding of Yorkshire, England, in 1805, and came to the United States with his parents in 1818, locating near Batavia, N. Y. He lived at home until 1830, when he married Miss Elizabeth Kimball, the next year coming to Ann Arbor, Mich., and thence to Point du Chien, on the St. Clair river, where he worked at his trade. In 1837 he finally located in Algonac, following the shoemaking business there until his health failed him. In the meantime he had built for himself a homestead on the site now occupied by the "River View Hotel," and in 1853 he transformed it into a hostelry for travelers, which he conducted successfully for thirty years, the last ten years as a temperance house. During the Presidential campaign of 1828 he supported General Jackson, and he voted the Democratic ticket throughout the balance of his life. He was a cash subscriber to the Detroit Free Press for over forty years. He had no experience as a mariner, but he was the first keeper of the first lighthouse on St. Clair Flats. Although averse to holding political office, he served two successive terms as president of the village council. Mr. Jackson died in Algonac September 27, 1883, full of honors, after an illness of but a few hours, leaving a widow, who is still living at the age of ninety-three years, and four children. He led an upright, consistent life, and bore the character of a generous and honorable man, and his children have inherited his remarkable virtues.
Charles K. Jackson, after attending the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, adopted the life of a sailor, first shipping on the steamer John Owen, of which he served as cabin boy for three months, when he stopped ashore and went to work in a sawmill. In 1852 he again joined the John Owen, this time as deckhand, but after two weeks he was promoted to the berth of wheelsman, holding same all season and following with a season in the same capacity on the lake tug Pilot. He was then promoted to mate's berth on the sidewheel steamer Emerald, afterward sailing as such in the lake tugs Kate Moffat, William B. Castle, George E. Brockway, Red Erie, propellers Allegheny and Salina, lake tugs Quayle, Satellite, Sweepstakes, Champion and I. U. Masters, which was the last tug in which he sailed. In the spring of 1878 Captain Jackson shipped as mate in the steamer Belle Cross, stopping ashore after three months to help rebuild the propeller Montgomery, converting her into a towbarge and sailing her as master for thirteen years. She was sold in the fall of 1891 and the Captain then took command of the schooner Antelope for a season. The next spring he became master of the schooner Bottsford, sailing her three seasons, and during the seasons 1896-97 he sailed the barge G. K. Jackson, owned by his brother, after whom she was named. In the spring of 1898 he was appointed master of the steamer Nellie Torrent, owned by his eldest son, George D. Jackson.
During the war of the Rebellion Captain Jackson enlisted in May, 1864, in Company E, Twenty-second Mich. V. I., and was discharged in June, 1865, serving his country about one year. His regiment had been assigned to the Western army, and was serving under General Thomas when he joined it at Nashville; they wintered in Chattanooga, where his company and Company E, of the Ninth Michigan, were detached and placed on police and camp duty. The Captain was also one of sixteen men detailed from the company as railroad train guards to keep the lines of communication open, and they were later placed on the river transports Kenesaw and Chickamauga, with like duties to perform. After the capture of Atlanta his company was placed as guard over the prisoners confined there, and it was said that the Captain realized much satisfaction in guarding the people against escape who had so recently been on guard in the same place over the prisoners taken from his own side. After he rejoined his regiment and General Thomas had returned to Franklin, Tenn, Captain Jackson was detailed as mail carrier between that city and Nashville, performing that duty satisfactorily for three months.
Captain Jackson was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor M. Pangburn, daughter of Zadoc and Elizabeth (Brown) Pangburn. Zadoc Pangburn was an old-time shipbuilder, and constructed the Sultana, Fashion, America, and Congress, the last-named, built in Algonac to the order of Gurdon and Chester Kimball, uncles of Captain Jackson. Mrs. Pangburn was a daughter of William Brown, one of the first early settlers on the St. Clair river. The following named children were born to Capt. and Mrs. Charles K. Jackson: George D., William P., Charles Curtis, Elizabeth J., Mary Charlotte (wife of Capt. J. W. Randall) and Nellie Anna. The eldest son, George D., born December 16, 1862, went to Bay City when fourteen years of age to work for his uncle at a salary of $8.00 pe month. As the years passed this was increased until he commanded $2,500 per year as lumber inspector and later started in business on his own account; he now owns the steamer Nellie Torrent. He has been elected to fill the office of mayor of Bay City two successive terms. His wife was Miss Imogene Anderson. William P., the second son, married Miss Martha Allen; he died February 19, 1892, at the age of twenty-eight years. The third son, Charles Curtis, is now master of the schooner Celtic; he married Miss Margaret Dubeau. Captain Jackson's grandchildren are Curtis M. Jackson and George Jackson Randall. The family homestead is in Algonac, Mich. Fraternally the Captain is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Return to Home Port
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.