Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain William Wadsworth
William Wagner
Captain William R. Wakely
Joseph S. Walder
R. J. Walder
Lewis C. Waldo
Albert H. Walker
Abraham Walker
Captain Edwin C. Walker
Captain George A. Walker
James L. Walker
John D. Walker
Captain Kingsbury Walker
Robert E. Walker
Robert T. Walker
William T. Walker
Charles W. Wall
Captain Daniel Wall
Captain C. H. Wallace
David Wallace
John Wallace
Captain William H. Wallace
C. E. Walsh
John F. Walsh
Captain P. Walsh
Captain Joseph Waltman
Anthony Ward
Captain Julius A. Ward
William Ward
Liberty H. Ware
Norton J. Warner
Captain Henry Warwick
George Waterbury
Captain L. H. Waterbury
William Wallace Watterson
Captain James B. Watts
Robert Watts
William Watts
Joseph A. Weber
William L. Webster
Lawrence D. Weeks
Leeds H. Weeks
Captain Paul T. Weimar
Captain Frank Weinheimer
Alfred E. Welch
Charles S. Welch
David Welch
Hon. Martin Welker
James B. Wellman
Samuel A. Wells
Thomas H. Welsh
William P. Wenner
Captain David West
John Westaway
William Westbrook
Captain Peter Wex
Captain Frank W. Wheeler
Fred E. Wheeler
Captain John F. Whelan
P. W. Whelan
Captain Joseph White
Hon. William J. White
Captain Nelson J. Wigle
Andem J. Wilcox
Charles H. Wilcox
Daniel H. Wilcox
Captain Thomas Wilford
Captain Benjamin Wilkins
Captain Thomas Wilkins
Captain Thomas Wilkins
Captain W. W. Wilkins
Archie M. Williams
Captain B. F. Williams
Cassius M. Williams
Captain Edward Williams
Francis F. Williams
George F. Williams
Captain Thomas Williams
Captain William A. Williams
Captain William R. Williams
Lorenzo Willix
Captain W. J. Willoughby
Andrew J. Wilson
George B. Wilson
Captain George U. Wilson
Peter A. Wilson
Captain Thomas Wilson
William Wilson
William Wilson
Captain William H. Wilson
Richard Winkler
John G. Winter
D. W. Wise
George M. Wise
Captain Alfred M. Wolf
George S. Wolf
Herman Wolfe
Captain William Wood
Captain Z. L. Wood
Captain C. H. Woodford
Captain Charles Woodgrift
Captain Lyman B. Woodruff
Captain Henry J. Woods
Captain Edward J. Wylie
Captain John H. Wysoon
Table of Illustrations

Captain Thomas Wilford

Captain Thomas Wilford, who is one of the most prominent of steamboat masters on the Great Lakes, and a supervisor of construction, was born at Clipston, Northampshire, England, in 1841. In his capacity as a steamboat master he is independent, self-reliant, and always ready for any emergency that may transpire in his chosen line of work. He removed to the United States in 1853 with his father's family, locating at Amherst, Ohio, where his father died the following year, thus giving him limited opportunities for acquiring an education, but by dint of perseverance he was enabled to attend the public schools for some time. He is another of those men who have worked their way to the front by integrity, the force of energy, and a keen knowledge of the requirements necessary to the successful handling of large steamboats.

The first four years of his residence in this country were passed in the monotonous routine of a farmer boy's life in Amherst township, Lorain Co, Ohio. In the spring of 1858, deciding to cast off the lines that held him to the farm, and make fast to those of the water, he shipped as seaman on the schooner John S, Reed; and the following year joined the schooner Planet, remaining on her two season; then shipped on the schooner Winona and the Exchange for one season each, serving on these vessels in the capacity of seaman. In the spring of 1866 he was appointed mate of the schooner H.G. Cleveland, which position he retained four seasons, giving great satisfaction to those employing him. In 1871 he went as mate on the schooner Charles Wall, and then to the schooner George Warmington for two seasons, but closing the season of 1874 on the schooner Pathfinder. In 1875 he was appointed master of the schooner Exile, owned by H. Kelly, and later by W.C. Richardson. He held this command eight years, and was then appointed master of the steamer J.M. Osborne, owned by Capt. J.C. Richardson, which was sunk in Lake Superior, in 1884, by the Alberta, sailing in the interests of the Canadian Passenger Streamer line. In 1885 he brought out new the iron steamer J.H. Devereux, remaining with her five years. In 1890 be brought out new the steel steamer J.H. Wade, retaining command of her two years, or until 1892, when he was again required to take command of a new steel steamer, the Samuel Mitchell, which boat he laid up at the close of navigation of 1896 at Chicago, and taking command of her again in the spring of 1897; thus rounding up a period of thirty-nine years on the lakes, twenty years of which were passed as master of vessels, both sail and steam. He has been eminently successful as master of steel steamers. For the J.H. Wade and Samuel Mitchell he made the contracts, and was superintendent of construction. Captain Wilford sailed the steel steamer Samuel Mitchell, 2,278 gross tons, and has sailed metal steamers longer than any other master out of port of Cleveland.

He has been fairly prosperous, and owns a money interest in the steamers J.H. Devereux, Wade and Mitchell, and is also the owner of other property. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, and of the Ship Masters Association, carrying Pennant No. 196.

In 1870 Captain Wilford was wedded to Miss Fannie McQueen Gilmore of Lorain. Two children have been born to them, one dying young. Cora E., the daughter, is wedded to Charles f. Bartenfeld, or Lorain, Ohio.


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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.