William Wallace Watterson
William Wallace Watterson, the efficient superintendent of the Cleveland Ship Building Company at Lorain, is one of the youngest shipbuilders that has ever attained to so important and responsible a position. He was born at Peel, Isle of Man, May 5, 1861, a son of John and Christian[sic] (Wallace) Watterson. His father was also born on the Isle of Man, and was a master mariner and owner of several schooners, among which were the Boomsang, Dart and Mona, the last named being christened in honor of the ancient name of the Isle of Man. The mother was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, a daughter of William Wallace, a lineal descendant of the great and patriotic warrior Sir William Wallace, and this name has been borne by the eldest son of all the descendants through all the generations since the death of that hero.
Mr. Watterson, our subject, was educated in the public schools of his native land, after which he became an apprentice to Thomas Watson, a shipbuilder at Peel, with whom he remained until he was nearly twenty years of age. In 1881 he went to Liverpool and joined the full-rigged ship Elwy, of that city, as carpenter on a voyage to the west coast of South America, touching at Valparaiso, Coquimbo, Chaural and Iquique, then returning to Falmouth, England, thence proceeding to Hamburg, Germany, the time occupied being one year and nine months. He left his ship at Hamburg and returned home where he engaged in shipyard work for two years.
In the year 1885 Mr. Watterson came to the United States, locating in Cleveland, where he found employment with the Cleveland Dry Dock Company as superintendent, and looked after the construction of the steamer Horace A. Tuttle. The next year he was appointed superintending builder in the yards of William Radcliff, the steamers Philip Minch, Maurice B. Grover, Gladstone, Pasadina and Hesper being built under his direction. He remained with Mr. Radcliff and the Ship Owners dry dock until September 1, 1898, on the 10th of which month he was appointed superintendent of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company, at Lorain, a position he now holds. Since his appointment he has launched the steamers Clarence A. Black and Pennsylvania, and has under construction a large steamer for Capt. Thomas Wilson, one for W. Hawgood, and one for A.B. Wolvin. Mr. Watterson, as a naval expert, has been frequently in demand to act on wreck surveys, etc., but since he has accepted his present responsible position he generally declines these encroachments upon his time.
On October 23, 1893, Mr. Watterson was wedded to Miss Laura McGarvey, daughter of Patrick and Harriet (Crowe) McGarvey, and sister of Capt. William McGarvey. One son, William Wallace, has been born to this union. The family homestead is at No. 8 Watterson street, Cleveland, Ohio. Socially Mr. Watterson is a Master Mason, being a member of Bigelow Lodge in Cleveland.
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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.