Captain A. M. Shephard
Captain A.M. Shephard may be designated as a master mariner who has made a success of the calling he has followed for over thirty-eight years, both as regards skill in handling his steamers and in a financial way. He is the son of Robert and Nancy (Neild) Shephard and was born March 14, 1846, in Manchester, England, of which city his parents were also natives. They came to the United States in 1847, locating first in Rochester, N. Y., and removed thence to Dover, Ontario. Later they returned to England, but after five years came again to America, this time locating at Bruce, Ontario, whence they removed to Goderich, same Province, and finally to Buffalo, N. Y. The mother died in that city in 1875.
It was in the public schools of Goderich and Buffalo that Captain Shephard acquired his education, and in the spring of 1860, when fourteen years old, he first shipped in the schooner Wilson, out of Goderich. The next year he went to work in a loft, where he gained much practical knowledge of rigging and sailmaking, and at the opening of navigation he shipped as boy in the schooner Maitland with Captain Donay, remaining on her until July, 1862, when he joined the bark Constitution, commanded by Captain Kenneston. She went ashore in November, on Lake Erie, between Conneaut and Ashtabula, the crew being taken off by the tug Leviathan and landed at Buffalo. In 1863 Captain Shephard shipped before the mast on the schooner Tecumseh, of Goderich, leaving her in August to accept the berth of second mate on the bark Nucleus, from which he trans- ferred to the E. W. Cross and Racer. In the spring of 1864 he again joined the Tecumseh and this time remained on her three seasons, the two following seasons serving as mate of the schooner N. C. Ford. Having then determined to learn to handle steam propelled vessels he shipped as watchman on the Keweenaw, being promoted to the office of second mate and mate the next year, and retaining mate's berth until the close of the season of 1872. In the spring of 1873, he was appointed master of the Keweenaw, which he sailed five consecutive seasons. In 1878 he took command of the steamer Northerner. The next spring he came out as mate of the Jay Gould, but closed the season in the Empire State. In the spring of 1880 he was again appointed master of the Northerner and sailed her until she was destroyed by fire in November, 1886, making eighteen years that he was in Captain Ward's employ. In 1887 he assumed command of the steamer Osceola, and sailed her until July, when he entered the employ of the Wilson Transit Company, bringing out the new steamer Missoula, and continuing on her as master until in the spring of 1889, when he brought out new the steamer Olympia, in which he owns an interest, and which he has sailed in the package freight business nine consecutive seasons with good business success. It will be observed that the Captain does not believe in changing employers to gain experience, and that he has succeeded in keeping his vessels off the beach. He has twenty-six issues of first- class papers.
On January 13, 1875, Captain Shephard was united by marriage to Miss Emily Middleton, youngest daughter of Charles Middleton, of Bayfield, Ontario. The children born to this union are: Marion, Fred C., Emily and Helen. Their homestead is in Goderich, Ontario.
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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.