D. C. Bennett
D.C. Bennett is one of the old-timers on the lakes, his career dating from 1844. He was born in Genesee county, N. Y., February 22, 1828, and his father was an old-time stage driver, in the days when railroads were scarce. In 1844, Mr. Bennett began steamboating as fireman on the old Anthony Wayne, running from Buffalo to Chicago, and continued on her during that and the next season. The two succeeding seasons he fired on the St. Louis for Captain Floyd, and the next season he fired on the Dewitt Clinton, in 1849 filling the same berth on the steamer Superior, after which he put in a couple of years working in the shops as machinist. In 1853 he served as assistant engineer on the propeller Forest City, and the next season shipped on the new propeller Sun. In the spring of 1855 he went to Grand Haven to run the engine of the Mary Belle, and held that position for two years, the next season returning to Buffalo and firing on the Orontes for two months, when he shipped as second engineer on the Edith. He remained with her and the Neptune until 1861, when he went back to the Orontes as assistant engineer, leaving her in the fall to take charge of the engine of the city elevator in Buffalo. This position he held until the elevator burned in March, 1864, when he went out as chief of the tug Harrison, serving on her when the government took her to patrol the Niagara River to prevent the crossing of the Fenians into Canada. The next season Mr. Bennett ran the tugs Danford and Bryant, both belonging to one line, and that winter he went to Titusville, Penn., to superintend the sinking of an oil well and the putting in of pumping machinery, remaining in the oil fields one winter. In 1867 he was second engineer on the Badger State, the next two seasons he ran the tugs Tiger and Harrison, and in 1870 he worked in a machine shop; in the spring of 1871 he shipped as chief engineer of the Araxes, and held that position for five years, at the end of which time he went to Sandusky to take the position of chief on the Orontes, which berth he held for two years. During the nine years following he sailed out of Sandusky as chief of the tugs Mystic and R. B. Hayes. In 1887 and part of 1888 he was chief of the American Eagle, and left her to become chief of the barge Norma, removing to Detroit. He then shipped as chief on Grummond's tugs, and was with that line on different boats, the Oswego, Gladiator, etc., until 1894, when he went out as chief of the steambarge Business. During 1895 he ran the Huron City, but in 1896 he did not sail much for the reason that he had his shoulder put out of joint on the Ohio early in the season, and was disabled. Later, when his shoulder got better, he ran the Little Daisy, for Beller, on the Detroit river.
Mr. Bennett was married in 1855, at Buffalo, to Miss Harriett Walker, and they have had twelve children, only five of whom are now living: Alva L., J. C., Daniel C., Jr., Edwin and Lillian.
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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.