Captain Alex. McFarland
Captain Alex. McFarland is a shipmaster well known along the chain of the Great Lakes. He manifested a strong desire for a marine life at an early age and has thus far spent the greater part of his life in sailing. He was born November 29, 1842, at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the son of Peter and Elizabeth (Greenow) McFarland, who were natives of Michigan and Montreal respectively. They had a family of five children, of whom Anna, now the widow of Ebenezer Warner, is a resident of Sault Ste. Marie; Charlotte, unmarried, also resided at that place; Jane is deceased; John is in the employ of the Government surveying party at present operating at Vermilion, Ohio. Peter McFarland died in 1894; he was a lifelong sailor, and was for many years connected with a surveying party engaged in making lake charts.
At his native place Captain McFarland lived for only a short time, and for six years his home was in Montreal, where he attended school. He then returned to Michigan and from there went to Philadelphia, from which port he began sailing as boy on the schooner Wing. Along the coast of the United States he cruised for four years, and he then came to the lakes, where he was first employed on the schooners St. Andrews, De Soto, E.C. Roberts, Warner and Delight. The following two years were spent on the Manhattan as wheelsman, after which he transferred to the Northern Light as second mate, and then to the Likely Bell as second mate and mate. Captain McFarland's reputation as a pilot on Lake Superior is well known. For several years closed following his service on these boats, he was employed in this capacity on a Buffalo fleet, and he then returned to salt water, sailing from Pugent Sound to Lower California for two years, after which he came to Ashland, where he was employed in the ore trimming business three years. In 1890 he entered the employ of Pickands, Mather & Co., of Cleveland, and sailed on the Matoa and Masaba as mate, afterward taking command of the Mariska, which position he held four years; in 1896 he came to the Matoa.
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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.