Captain Joshua Bailey
Captain Joshua Bailey, who has had quite as varied an experience as any master mariner on the lakes, and who carries his three-score years in a happy way, his good nature being proverbial, was born in Whitby, Ontario, August 28, 1839, a son of James and Rebecca (Ferguson) Bailey. His father was a native of the North of Ireland, while his mother was of English birth. They removed to Canada about the year 1824, locating at Whitby, where they purchased a farm and where they both passed to a better world. Capt. Joshua and John Bailey are twins, and the mother died in giving them birth in 1839.
Capt. Joshua Bailey attended the schools in Whitby a short time, but when eleven years old ran away from home and shipped as cook on the schooner Paragon, Capt. Abraham Fairwell. The next year, 1851, he went before the mast on the schooner Duke of Darlington. On July 4, she capsized off the Highlands of Toronto, her cargo, consisting of forty- five tons of pig iron, having shifted; all of the crew were drowned except Captain Bailey, who succeeded in getting on the yawl, which was floating bottom side up, in which precarious position he passed the entire night. He was rescued the next morning, however, by the steamer Magnet, Capt. Towig, of Toronto. His next berth was before the mast on the schooner James Leslie, closing the season on the schooner New Haven, with Capt. George Stone, with whom he sailed at various times for seventeen years. In the spring of 1852 he shipped on the Canadian barks Alice and Fawn, and, after the latter was stranded, on the schooner Ellington until October, after which he transferred to the schooners Thornton, Lewis Wells, and S. Robinson. In 1853 he shipped on the schooner Queen City, Capt. George Stone, and that winter kept ship and remained with her seven years, making a winter voyage, however, in 1858, from New York to Liverpool, in the Three Bells, of Glasgow, finally reaching the position of mate.
In the spring of 1862, Capt. Joshus Bailey was appointed master of the schooner F.T. Barney, which he sailed seven years. In 1869 he joined the scow Wellhouse as pilot for one trip, but closed the season as mate of the bark Coyne, going the next spring with Capt. E.C. Roberts, until June, when he was appointed master of the schooner William B. Ogden. In the spring of 1871 he joined the schooner Escanaba as mate, remaining until the Nellie Redington came out new, when he was appointed to her two seasons, making a last trip, however, in 1872. His next berth was on the new steamer E.B. Hale as mate, retaining that office six years, and in 1879 he was appointed master of the schooner Escanaba; but, after sailing her successfully for five years, she stranded on Gull Island Reef on June 18, 1883. The Captain was then transferred to the schooner J.F. Card as master. His next vessel was the schooner Joseph Paige, on which he went as mate; but in September he joined the steamer R. J. Hackett in a like capacity. In the spring of 1885 Captain Bailey became mate of the steamer A. Everett with Capt. Albert Meyers, retaining that position three years. Then followed three seasons, during which time he was mate, a season each, of the steamers Smith Moore, Continental and Mariska, coming out with her new and working in the Globe shipyard at Cleveland during the winter months. In the spring of 1891 he joined the steamer C.J. Kershaw as mate, closing the season as master, and sailing her the following season; then went as mate on her in 1893, but closing the season in the steamer V.H. Ketcham. The next season Captain Bailey entered the employ of the Minnesota Steamship Company as mate of the steamer Maruba, transferring to the steamer Marina, on which he remained two seasons. In 1897 he was appointed mate of the steamer Nyanza; but in July he joined the steamer Senator, and remained with her until the close of the season of 1898.
Socially he is a Royal Arch Mason, and has belonged to Masonic bodies for thirty- seven years.
On July 24, 1863, in Vermilion, Ohio, Capt. Joshua Bailey was wedded to Miss Louisa Meyers, daughter of John and Persis (Whepley) Meyers, the former of whom was a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Vermont. The children born to this union are Frederick Albert and Mary Louisa, now the wife of George Randerson, of Cleveland. Socially Captain Bailey is a Royal Arch Mason, and has belonged to Masonic bodies some thirty-seven years. Mrs. Bailey's brother, Albert Meyer, who was a skillful steamboat master, lost his life at the time of the foundering of the steamer Western Reserve on Lake Superior, about sixty miles north of the Sand Hills, and it will be remembered that but one man, a Mr. Stewart, of Algonac, lived to recount the disaster.
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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.