Captain John W. Stalker
Captain John W. Stalker was born at St. Mary's, Ontario, in 1855, the son of Donald and Bessie Stalker. He has four brothers who are officers on lake vessels - Captain Duncan, Captain Daniel (of the schooner Golden Age), Captain Andrew (of the schooner Masassoit), and Archie (chief engineer of the tug Thomas Maytham, at Buffalo, New York).
Captain John W. Stalker acquired his education at the district schools of his native place, working on his father's farm in the meanwhile. He commenced his life as a sailor on the fishing tugs out of Bayfield, Ontario, remaining in that business four years. In the spring of 1876 he shipped before the mast on the schooner Harvey Bissell, and in 1877 was on the schooner Marion W. Paige, finishing the season on the J. A. Bailey, on which he continued until the fall of 1879. The following season he was appointed mate of the steamer William Chisholm, and in 1881 second mate of the steamer Itasca, but finished the season on the William Shupe. In 1882 he was made master of the tug Mary Day, operating out of Cheboygan, Mich. His next boat was the fishing shack Telephone, which he sailed three years. In the spring of 1887 he was appointed second mate of the schooner Delaware, finishing the season on the large tug River Queen. The next season he sailed the tug Mary Day, and for the two succeeding seasons was on the tug Jessie Enos, as master. In 1891 he brought out new the tug Louisa, sailing her two years. In 1893 he took the tug Marguerita, which he sailed until in September, 1895, he was appointed master of the tug Helene, operating out of the port of Cleveland; he held the same berth in 1897.
In 1883, Captain Stalker was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Robb, of Gault, Ontario, and five children, Lola E., Everett D., Clarence A., Bessie and Charles, have been born to this union. The Captain is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters.
Return to Home Port
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.