Captain J. E. Moony
Captain J.E. Moony, for the past four years master of the steamer Arcadia, owned by the Starke Land & Lumber Co., of Arcadia, Mich., has been sailing on the Great Lakes since he was a lad of twelve yars, and has an enviable reputation as a reliable and courageous man among the Lake Michigan navigators. Captain Moony was born in 1854 in Cape Benson, Jefferson Co., N.Y., and his father, John Moony, was one of the early settlers of Sacket's Harbor, that county, having come to this country from his birthplace, County Wexford, Ireland, when very young. He, too, was a sailor, and was engaged as pilot on the mail boats from Kingston to Montreal, a fact which in itself is evidence of his competency, for only the best pilots are employed on that class of boats. He was drowned in 1860, in the Maclure Rapids, while following his calling.
J.E. Moony lived at Cape Benson until he was sixteen years of age, receiving the limited advantages for education afforded by the public schools of the place, which he has supplemented by reading and home study. When twelve years old he commenced sailing, shipping out of Clayton, N.Y., on the class of boats known as timber drovers, plying to Cleveland, Toledo, Bay City and other points. At this time horses were carried to load the vessels, and commencing as "horse boy" he followed this line for twelve years, after the first five years coming west and spending his winters in Milwaukee, Wis., where he was on the Gen. Burnsides for three years as second mate, this boat being one of the faster crafts plying between Clayton and points on Lakes Erie and Huron, and after leaving her he shipped before the mast on the David Vance, a barkentine, out of Milwaukee, on which he also remained three years, the second season becoming second mate. Captain Moony now commenced on his own account, buying the schooner C.L. Davis, built in Cheboygan, which he commanded in person, and ran her for two years between White Lakes and Milwaukee.
His next boat was the schooner Len Higby, which he ran two years as master, principally on Lake Michigan, and from her he went on to the steambarge Rumbell, which was built in Portage, Mich., and which was used in the lumber trade. After this he was on the Patty, plying between White Lake and Chicago and occasionally running to Muskegon, but she was sold and the following spring he accepted the berth of captain on the steamer J.C. Markham, on which he served in that capacity for four years, the two succeeding years going as master of the Allmedinger, owned by E.B. Simpson, of Milwaukee. Since that time he has commanded the steamer Arcadia, which is owned by the Starke Land and Lumber Co., of Arcadia, Mich., and used only in their interests in the lumber trade, going to all points on Lake Michigan. Captain Moony is a member of the Ship Masters Association, No. 6, of Milwaukee, and carries Pennant No. 946. He has been unusually fortunate and successful in the management of his boats, but it is certain that his ability and thorough knowledge of his business have had as much to do with this as "good luck," and he is considered trustworthy and competent by all who have employed him.
Captain Moony was united in marriage with Miss Louisa Alt, of Milwaukee, Wis., and their union has been blessed with two children: John L. and Mary E. Fraternally he unites with the Knights of the Maccabees.
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.