Captain John H. Jeffery
Captain John H. Jeffery, prominent owner and master of tugs sailing out of Duluth harbor, has also had large experience in raft towing, and during the many years that he has been engaged in the tugging business has never met with a disaster that involved the loss of life or boat. He is the son of Simon and Elizabeth G. (Williams) Jeffery, and was born in Callington, Devonshire, England, December 21, 1848. His parents removed to the United States in the year 1857, first locating in northwest Michigan, near Keweenaw Point, and five miles back of Eagle harbor. The father also engaged in mining in the Copper Falls, Phoenix, Connecticut, and many other mines in that region. The family passed through the old Sault canal in 1857, - the grandfather, Cullon Williams, being in the party - on the old steamer North Star, Capt. Ben Sweet being in command. The brothers of the family are Captain William, who sails the tug Cupid; Cullon, who is a farmer, his land being located seven miles from Duluth; and Simon, who is sailing the tug J. H. Jeffery, Jr., in which he was interested with his brother John. The father died in August, 1892, but the mother still remains to her children.
Capt. John H. Jeffery went to Duluth in 1869, and took a contract as gang boss on a section of the Lake Superior & Mississippi railroad, then building, now known as the St. Paul & Duluth railroad. He also worked by the month carrying stone for the filling of the breakwater and canal piers at the Superior entrance to St. Louis bay, operating in the construction five scows, which were towed by the tug Amethyst, which he engineered three and a half seasons. He then engaged in wood-cutting and logging, the rate of wood chopping at that time ranging from sixty-five cents to $1.00 per cord, and as the Captain was a strong chopper he was able to put up from two and a half to three cords per day.
At the opening of navigation the next season he took out marine engineer's license, and ran the tug Amethyst three seasons. He then took the tug Fred and Will, in which he alternated as captain and engineer, after which he was appointed engineer of the tug Nellie Cotton, holding that berth two and half seasons, then, in 1880, took out a master's license, and sailed her fourteen years in the same employ. He also sailed the tug Hope a short time, towing logs between Namadjt and Duluth, and the tugs Siskiwitt, Kamp, Fred and Will, and Hope, as occasion required. In the spring of 1892 Captain Jeffery was appointed master of the tug J. W. Bennet, and sailed her six consecutive seasons, including that of 1898, towing logs from Cranberry, Iron and Brule rivers to Duluth. He owns a half interest in the tug J. H. Jeffery, Jr., which his brother Simon sails. The Captain has twenty-four issues of engineer's license, and eleven of master's, and has put in about seventeen years in sailing tugs, filling various offices on same; since he began sailing in 1870 he has never missed a season. The fraternal society to which he belongs is the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
On April 6, 1873, Capt. John H. Jeffery was wedded to Miss Emma D., daughter of Justice and Syble Walker, of Gardner, Ill. The children born to this union are William H., now wheelsman on the tug J.W. Bennet; Minnie Lucy, wife of Fred N. Wilbur, of Duluth; Merttie E., a high school pupils [sic], and John H., also attending school. The family homestead is at No. 323 Fourth avenue, East Duluth, Minnesota.
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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.