Captain William H. Rowan
Captain William H. Rowan is a native of the State of Michigan, born at Monroe, in October, 1835, and obtained a common-school education at that place. His father, after whom he was named, died in 1836 of cholera, while engaged in building the harbor at Monroe, and the mother following him to the grave a year later; our subject never enjoyed her loving care, being brought up by relatives. There were five children in the family. Captain Rowan began sailing at the age of twelve years. His first venture was as cook on the schooner Emaline, of Ottawa, Sandusky Bay, commanded by Capt. Dan Stewart, and later he was mate of the schooner Post Boy, out of Buffalo, owned by Samuel D. Flagg and commanded by Captain Curtis. Mr. Flagg had a grocery business at that time on Main Street, Buffalo. The Post Boy was afterward sold to George Berryman. In 1852 Captain Rowan became master of the Post Boy for a few trips, and was subsequently in the same capacity on the steambarge Dunkirk and on the Prairie State and the propeller Sun. For seven years, beginning with the year 1861, he was on the propeller Mary Stewart, of Western Transportation line, after which he was on the steamer Illinois, schooners Monteagle, Cambridge and Resolute, tow barges H. & G., and Nellie McGilvery and steamer St. Louis. He was mate of the propeller Araxes three different seasons, and mate of the propeller Hunter, under Capt. George Dickson. His last employment on the lakes was as master of the government yacht Leewandin for the season of 1892, at the close of which he retired from active work because of physical disability. Captain Rowan is a member of Local Harbor No. 41, of the American Association of Masters and Pilots of Steam Vessels, and of C. M. B. A.
Our subject was married in 1857 at St. Bridget's Church, Buffalo, to Miss Mary Keys, and they have one daughter, Mary, who is a teacher in Public School No. 38, Buffalo, New York.
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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.