Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain H. L. Sanders
Captain C. M. Saph
Captain James M. Saunders
Captain H. L. Savage
Captain Henry Savage
John R. Schiebel
Captain Phillip Schied
Herman E. Schmidt
William Schoeman
James Scholes
L. Schreiber
William Schumaker
Captain Syd. Scott
C. L. Scoville
Frank Seiler
Captain Willett A. Session
Captain Joseph Shackett
Captain Harry L. Shaw
Samuel Shaw
Captain Charles P. Sherbno
Captain James Sheils
Captain A. M. Shephard
Thomas W. Sheriffs
Charles S. Shriver
Captain Seymour Shriver
Captain David Sidney
John L. Simmons
Thomas G. Simmons
Captain Cyrus Sinclair
John Skelly
Captain James A. Skiffington
Captain William G. Slackford
Edward Slater
William J. Slater
Captain Thomas Slattery
L. Sleno
Samuel M. Sloan
Captain E. Smades
Captain A. C. Smith
Abram Smith
Charles E. Smith
Edgar J. Smith
F. B. Smith
Frank A. Smith
Captain George W. Smith
John Smith
John H. Smith
Captain Joseph F. Smith
Captain P. Smith
Captain P. C. Smith
Samuel Smith
Captain William H. Smith
Captain James Snow
J.O. Snyder
Oliver J. Soleau
Captain William H. Solmes
John B. Souter
Louis Souter
James A. Southgate
George J. Spaulding
Captain E. P. Spear
James Spears
James Speir
C. E. Stacy
Alick J. Staley
Captain Daniel H. Stalker
Captain John W. Stalker
Captain Frederick C. Starke
Frank Steadley
Captain Francis M. Stenton
Captain Vere S. Stenton
E. A. Stephenson
Captain William Lyman Stevens
Alexander T. Stewart
David P. Stewart
Douglass H. Stewart
Captain James P. Stewart
Captain John Stewart
Captain John A. Stewart
Captain John N. Stewart
Captain Charles H. Stickney
John Stoalder
Captain Henry W. Stone
Captain John Stone
Captain Marshall Stone
Dennis Strulb
John A. Styninger
Lafayette S. Sullivan
Captain John Dean Sullivan
Captain Robert H. Sunderland
Captain Edward W. Sutton
Joseph F. Sutton
William Sutton
Captain David Sylvester
Captain Solomon Sylvester
Captain George A. Symes
Captain James B. Symes
William J. Swain
The Swain Wrecking Company
Captain Charles M. Swartwood
Table of Illustrations

Captain William H. Smith

Captain William H. Smith, a master mariner of quiet and courteous demeanor, who gives one the impression that he is a man of great reserve force and energy in emergency, was born in Marine City, Mich., November 30, 1864. His parents A. C. and Martha (Bury) Smith, were both natives of Sombra, Ont., the grand- parents being early pioneers and farmers on the banks of the St. Clair river in that region.

Captain Smith received a liberal education in the public schools of Sombra, and in the spring of 1879 decided to change his mode of life from the farm to the lakes, getting a preliminary experience on the St. Clair river in the ferry steamer Scoville, plying between Sombra and Marine City. In 1880 he shipped as fireman on the passenger steamer Hattie, plying between Fairhaven and Detroit. The next spring he joined the tug W. B. Castle as watchman, and remained on her three years, the last two as watchman. In 1884 he shipped as wheelsman in the steamer Burlington. The next spring he came out as wheelsman in the Don M. Dickinson, but closed the season in the lake tug Admiral D. D. Porter. In the spring of 1886 he joined the tug W. B. Castle as wheelsman, but closed the season as mate of the tug Kittie Haight.

It was in 1887 that Captain Smith took out his first papers as pilot, and was appointed master of the tug O. W. Cheney. In 1888 he entered the employ of Captain Grummond as master of the lake tug Oswego, transferring to the Wm. A. Moore before the close of the season. The following spring he brought out the tug George N. Brady, but closed the season in the W. B. Castle, and in the 1890 he took command of the wrecking tug Henry Howard. This experience with large tugs proved of great value to the Captain, and after sailing a season as mate of the steamer Masabaa, he was appointed as master of the steamer S. C. Clark. She was destroyed by boiler explosion and fire near Sanilac, Lake Huron, the next year, the crew being rescued by the steamer Kaliska. In the spring of 1894 Captain Smith was appointed master of the steamer Wm. H. Barnum, closing the season as mate of the speedy little passenger steamer Unique, plying between Port Huron and Detroit. In the spring of 1895 he assumed command of the steamer Raleigh and sailed her two seasons. He then entered the employ of Capt William Mack as master of the steamer George W. Roby, transferring to the Pascal P. Pratt, and sailed her until the present writing. During these years the captain has proved himself an accomplished steamboat master, and has never found the bottom with any of these vessels, nor lost a man. He was instrumental, however, in rescuing a crew of twelve from the steamer Florida, which sunk in twelve minutes off Presque Isle. He has twelve issues of license.

Socially the Captain is a Royal Arch Mason of Sam Ward Chapter No. 128, and a Master Mason of No. 162, Marine City, Michigan.

On February 23, 1888, Capt. W. H. Smith was wedded to Miss Lily, daughter of Capt. Richard and Helen (Marsh) McDougall, of Detroit, Mich. The children born to this union are: Helen Florence, Lewis, Marie Catherine and Dorothy. Captain McDougall was an old-time master, and owner of vessels away back in the 'forties, among them the Jones and the Mary Amelia. The family homestead is in Marine City, Michigan.


Previous    Next

Return to Home Port

Volume I

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.