Captain C. R. Thayer
Captain C.R. Thayer, the captain of the tug Arctic, of the Goodrich line, is one of the younger captains on Lake Michigan, and has worked his way up to his present position by faithfulness and attention to duty in less responsible service. He is a native of Wisconsin, born September 7, 1867, in Ahnapee, now Algoma, and is a son of C. R. Thayer, who was a captain on the lakes for many years. The latter was born in Monroe, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., where his father, Enoch P. Thayer followed farming, and came west when a young man. He became a sailor in early life, and had held the position of captain for some years, when, in April, 1861, he enlisted on the first call for three-months' men. Later he volunteered for three years' service with the 33d Wis. Vol. Inf., serving as captain of Company H. of that regiment, and was with Grant in the Western Army until the close of the war, being mustered out with the rank of major. Captain Thayer was a well-known man in his day, and during the period of the Civil war showed his patriotism in many ways. He was a strong character, energetic and self-reliant, and was highly esteemed by all who know him. For six years he filled the office of fishwarden in the State of Wisconsin. He passed the last six years of his life in Allen county, Kansas.
Up to the age of twelve years C. R. Thayer, Jr., lived in Claybanks, Wis., receiving the advantages of the common schools and later attending school in Egg Harbor, Wis.; but he has for the most part been self-educated, picking up a great deal of general information of practical value by observation and reading. When fourteen years of age he commenced fishing in Green Bay, and between the ages of sixteen and eighteen he went before the mast on sailing vessels, serving on the Westchester, the Peoria and the Belle Laurie. His first experience on a tug was as fireman of the Piper, on which he made two trips one season, on Sturgeon bay. For one season he was with the Jessie Spaulding, as linesman, and from her he went into the tug George Pankratz, of Manitowoc, on which he remained three seasons, first as wheelsman and later as mate. For the three succeeding seasons he was deckhand on the George Cooper, at Ashland, Wis., after which he was made captain and for two seasons sailed the tug Pacific, of Ashland, as such. In 1891 he worked ashore, being employed in a boiler shop until August, when he went on a tug, as fireman, and in the spring of 1896 he was appointed to his present position, that of captain of the tug Arctic, of the Goodrich line, in whose employ he has since remained. Captain Thayer is an enterprising young man in every way, and he has advanced steadily in his calling by "push" and competent service in any capacity in which he has been employed. In social connection he is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees.
In February, 1891, the Captain was married to Miss Emma C. Barritz, of Manitowoc, Wis., and they have one daughter, Goldie Ethel.
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.