Captain W. P. Benham
Captain W.P. Benham, of the steamer Nahant, is one of the younger men who have met with success in the management of vessels on the Great Lakes, and has been sailing since 1885. He is a son of Capt. C. E. Benham, who occupies such a prominent position in maritime and civic circles in Cleveland, and was born in Cleveland in 1870, receiving his education in the public schools of that city, for the most part in the Orchard school. He commenced his sailing career when fifteen years of age, shipping as watchman on the tug Samson for a few trips in the fall of 1885. The following season he sailed before the mast in the schooner Queen City, spending the season of 1887 in the schooner Our Son, from which he transferred to the steamer Henry C. Richards, in which he remained six years; the first season he was second mate, and for the remaining four years master of the vessel. During the season of 1894 Captain Benham sailed the steamer H. B. Tuttle, and he was master of the steamer Britannic from the opening of navigation in 1895 until she was lost in the Detroit river. This accident was due to the failure of her steam-steering apparatus to work properly, so that she was struck amidships by the steamer Russia and sunk. After the accident Captain Benham sailed the steamer Waverly one trip, and the steamer Bulgaria two trips, closing the season on the steamer Australia. He commanded the steamer Nahant during the season of 1896, laying her up in Cleveland, and then sailing the wrecking tug C. E. Benham for a short time in the late fall. Captain Benham has made occasional trips on other craft than those named, while his own vessels were laid up; he was before the mast in the schooner Brunette one fall, and was wheelsman of the steamer Cambria for a time during the year she came out. The accident which resulted in the sinking of the steamer Britannic in the Detroit river was the only serious one which has occurred to any vessel with which he has been connected.
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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.