Captain E. P. Spear
Captain E.P. Spear was in command of the Samuel P. Ely in the season of 1896, and is a sailor of long experience and good repute. He is a son of Isaac and Eunice (Smith) Spear, natives of Vermont, the former of whom died in Painesville, Ohio, in 1857, having spent his life as a merchant and also was a justice of the peace, at Fairport, Ohio; the latter died in 1878.
Captain Spear was born June 9, 1831, at Crown Point, N. Y., where he lived only one year,when the family removed to Perry, Ohio, and thence to Van Wert county, Ohio, where his father bought a tract of land, then a dense forest. At this place they lived five years when the father obtained the appointment of lighthouse keeper at Fairport, Ohio. At the age of sixteen Captain Spear began the marine life to which he has since devoted his time. He first shipped on the S. L. Noble as boy, and remained three years, afterward coming on the schooners Troy, Nile, Yankee Blade, Pilot, Mark Sibley, the scow Virago and many others. The following season was spent on the I. C. Pendleton as mate, and afterward he acted in the same capacity on the Ellen White and Industry. As mate he served on the E. C. Roberts, Ellen White and Edwin Harmon, afterward becoming master of the last boat, which he sailed four years. He came on the Presto the following year, and soon after was on the brig Iroquois, Sultan, Massillon, Narangassett, S. H. Kimball, Sandusky, and in 1896 came to the Samuel P. Ely. While mate of the brig Sultan she foundered about nine miles out of Cleveland, September 24, 1864, and all hands were lost with the exception of our subject, who after hanging to the spars for nineteen hours was rescued by Captain McKay, then sailing on the old City of Cleveland.
On December 17, 1856, Captain Spear was married to Miss Sarah Greenhalgh. Their children are: Mary, who is married to Charles Calloway, and resides in Cleveland; and James, who lives on a farm in Mentor, Ohio. The Captain is a member of the Ship Masters Association in Cleveland, and is well known to a large number of marine men, whose lives are connected with the industry of the five Great Lakes.
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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.