Alf H. Lanthier
Alf H. Lanthier, a young man of genial, happy temperament, and by occupation a first-class pilot was born at Prescott, Ontario, in January, 1870, the second son of Damascus and Maria (Winters) Lanthier. His older brother, Edward P., has been a steamboat man and master on the lakes for twenty yeaars and recently captain of the propeller Petoskey; James is with our subject in Ashtabula. After graduating from the public schools in Prescott and Ottawa, at the age of sixteen years, Mr. Lanthier repaired to Montreal and entered the McGill Medical College, as a student of the science of medicine, remaining there one year. The bard of Avon once wrote, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, roughhew them how we will." So it happened in this case. After Mr. Lanthier had advanced thus far on the road to the profession others wished him to follow he declined to study it further, and the storm center of his own desires took him to the lakes. He therefore returned to Prescott and in the spring of 1887 shipped before the mast on the L. D. Bullock, with Captain Eccles, remaining one season. The next year he sailed with Captain Bullock in the schooner Mineral State, and spent the following season in the schooner Benson. Becoming weary of the duties of an ordinary seaman, he secured the berth of mate on the Canadian schooner New Dominion, and after laying her up in the fall purchased the entire outfit and properties, including the required number of boats usually used by a prosperous fisherman, opening up business at Monroe, Mich., on his own account. He gained a good trade, shipping everything fresh East, West and South, and it may be noted here that he continued this business each winter until 1893. Having decided to get a license to run a steamboat he turned his attention to steam, in the spring of 1891, shipping as wheelsman on the steamer John C. Gault; in 1892 on the steamer German, in the same capacity; and in 1893 on the steamer Cherokee, closing on the steel steamer Saxon. The next season he shipped as wheelsman with Capt. Willliam Cunnings on the steamer Corsica, and in 1895 on the Saxon, closing the season on the Cambria. In the spring of 1896 he secured pilot's papers, and having accomplished his object again engaged in the fishing business, this time at Ashtabula harbor as manager of the Ashtabula Passenger & Fishing Co., which was incorporated in February, 1896. The opening of the season of 1898 found the company in the possession of a greatly enlarged plant and their facilities for taking fish enhanced by the addition of a new steam tug and the necessary outfit.
Mr. Lanthier makes his home in Ashtabula. His grandparents still live in the province of Gascony, France. His maternal grandparents, Stephen and Lucy Winters, were natives of Ipswich, England. His father and mother were married in France and came to Canada in 1856, locating first in Montreal and afterward removing to Prescott, where they acquired some property. The father died while Albert was quite young.
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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.