Captain Charles Woodgrift
Captain Charles Woodgrift is one of those hardy Danes who are noted as good sailors. He was born in Schleswig, Denmark, in 1841, and began a life on salt water when but fourteen years of age. In 1861 he came to the United States, and went sailing from Philadelphia to the West Indies and Brazil.
In 1865 he went to Chicago and shipped before the mast of the Chenango, sailing from Chicago to Buffalo, and during the next year, in 1866, he again sailed on salt water out of Philadelphia. In 1867 he went back to the lakes, shipping on the William Crosthwaite. That fall he changed to the schooner Willaim Grandy, and in 1868 went as second mate of her. In 1869 he filled the position of second mate on the Sweetheart, running from Chicago to Buffalo, and in 1870 bought a half-interest in the schooner Rosa Ann; selling out his interest in the fall of 1871, he went back to the Sweetheart as first mate, where he remained until 1874, when he went as second mate of the steamer Superior. In 1875 he bought a half-interest in the schooner Hathaway, and sailed her until the fall of 1881, when she was lost on the beach at Springport. During the seasons of 1882 and 1883 he was captain of the Louisa, then entered the employ of the Tonawanda barge line, where he has since remained. He was captain of the schooner Alva four years; of the steamer Canisteo two years; and since then of the steamer F.R. Buell. During these years he has never grounded nor had any trouble; the line carried no insurance, claiming that it thus saved money.
In 1867, at Buffalo, Captain Woodgrift was married to Miss S.J. Brady, and they have four children; Alice; Jennie; Charles, who is a sailor; and Willie.
Captain Woodgrift is a member of the Detroit Harbor No. 47, Masters and Pilots Association, and expects to remain "on deck" some years yet.
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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.