Scott Pratt is well known all over the lakes as one of the best qualified marine engineers, and as wheelsman and genial mate. His many good traits raise up friends for him in every port. He has had an interesting experience of many years, of which this article can give but a brief outline. He was born in Shelby, Macomb Co., Mich., on April 27, 1847, and is the son of Hosca and Ann (Dice) Pratt, the former a native of Vermont, the latter of New York State, born near Niagara Falls. The father was a carpenter and builder by trade, and moved to Mt. Clemens, Mich., where he took contracts for building, and where he purchased a large farm, on a portion of which the Grand Trunk railway depot now stands. In 1854, after selling the farm, he removed to East Saginaw, where he established himself in business, manufacturing furniture, sash, door and all classes of word work, doing well and enlarging his trade rapidly, and conducted it with good success for thirty years, when he sold out and retired. He died while on a visit in Oregon. The mother passed away in October, 1897, at East Saginaw.
Scott Pratt attended the public schools in East Saginaw until he was sixteen years of age, and helped his father in the shop, running a lathe planer and the engine until 1864, when he went tugging on the Saginaw river in the E. M. Peck. In the spring of 1877 he purchased an interest in the tug Hercules, and ran her. The next season he engineered the side-wheel tugs Wave and Ajax, closing the year in the latter. In 1868 he was appointed chief engineer of the tug A. F. Gay, followed by a season in the Fannie White. Early in 1871 he went to Salem, Ore., to take charge of the machinery of the city water works, but returned to the lakes the next spring and shipped as fireman on the F. & P. M. railroad until September, when he took charge of the tug Coleman as engineer. In 1872 he was given a locomotive to run on the F. & P. M. railroad. The next spring Mr. Pratt entered the employ of Carkin, Stickney & Cram as engineer of the tug Fannie White, running her until September, 1874, when he brought out the new tug W. S. Carkin, and engineered her until 1876, when he was transferred to the George L. Dunlap, and in 1877 to the steamer Dove.
In the spring of 1878 Mr. Pratt entered the employ of L. P. Mason & Co., as engineer of the steamer Lewis Gilbert, holding that berth one season, after which he transferred to the steamer Cleveland, which was burned on Saginaw bay, and closed the season on the steamer Mayflower. In 1880 he became chief engineer of the steamer Potter Chamberlain. The next season he brought out new the steamer C. H. Green. After leaving her he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer F. & P. M. No. 2, and ran her until July, 1888, when he brought out new the steamer Helena, of which he is chief engineer at this writing. During the winter months Mr. Pratt, being an industrious man, works in the machine shops at Milwaukee.
Socially, he is a Master Mason, having been raised in Pacific Lodge No. 50, at Salem, Ore. but initiated in Mt. Clemens Lodge No. 6. He is also a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 87, of Detroit.
On January 29, 1879, Mr. Pratt was united by marriage to Miss Anna Chapman, daughter of George and Elizabeth, and niece of Capt. Tom Foster, of Mt. Clemens, Mich. They have one daughter, Edna, who is a graduate from the Milwaukee high schools. Mr. Pratt removed to Milwaukee, Wis., in 1891, and resides at No. 966 Scott street.
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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.