Captain Robert H. Johnston
At the age of ten years our subject became a ferry boy on Buffalo creek, at which occupation he earned considerable money for one so young. His first experience on the lakes was on the bark D. P. Dobbins, with Capt. James Todd. He then went tugging out of Buffalo harbor for six years, during which time he held several places on the schooners American Giant and Weaver, and on the tugs Jones, J. C. Harrison, Compound, B. F. Bruce, the barge Ajax and the river tug Gladiator. He was on the J. C. Harrison when she got a line in her wheel and went ashore between Silver Creek and Sturgeon Point, when the crew was taken off by the tug Compound. In the spring of 1879 he shipped on the schooner Sam Flint as seaman for one season, and in 1881 on the schooner L. J. Farwell, of Sandusky, and the next spring, 1882, was appointed mate of the schooner Goodell, holding that position three seasons. In 1885 he stopped ashore and entered the employ of Bousefield & Co. in their woodenware works in Bay City, where he remained six years.
In the spring of 1891 he again took up his lakefaring life as mate of the schooner Sweepstakes; in 1892 he was appointed master of the pleasure boat Maid of the Mist, stationed below Niagara Falls, and held this berth four seasons alternating, however, with the tugs Cascade, Johnson and Dimick before and after the summer seasons at the Falls. He has also served two seasons as master of tugs in the employ of the Buffalo Dredging Company. He is a member of the fraternity of Odd Fellows, and of the Buffalo Harbor Tug Pilots Association, Harbor No. 41.
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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.