Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain Edward Babcock
Captain George Francis Babcock
W. I. Babcock
Frederick A. Bailey
Captain Joshua Bailey
Captain Robert N. Bailey
Captain Thomas J. Bailey
Captain A. J. Bain
Captain Isaac Guilbert Bain
Captain Edward J. Baker
Captain C. R. Baker
Captain J. Baker
James W. Baker
J. A. Baldwin
Captain T.G. Baldwin
Horatio F. Bangs
Captain G. C. Barnes
William C. Barr
Captain John Barrow
Fred B. Barrows
Captain John L. Bartlett
Peter D. Bauld
William Baumert
James W. Beach
Oscar M. Beach
Charles Beatty
Richard Beaubien
Henry Beck
William G. Beckbissinger
Captain Daniel M. Becker
G. W. Beers
Thurman E. Beers
Harvey C. Beeson
David Bell
George M. Belloir
Captain W. H. Beltz
Captain Charles E. Benham
Captain W. P. Benham
D. C. Bennett
J. C. Bennett
James Bennett
Captain Fred G. Benson
Captain John G. Betke
Captain John M. Beverly
C. F. Bielman
Frank Bingham
A. D. Birdsall
W. E. Bishop
William H. Bishop
David A. Black
William A. Black
James B. Blair
Edward R. Blanchard
Joseph R. Blanchette
H. J. Blaney
C. Blauvelt
Robert S. Blauvelt
Henry Bloecker
Captain David Blom
Captain Frank Bloom
Charles A. Bloomer
Thomas J. Bluett
Adam G. Bohland
Captain George Bohn
George M. Bohnert
Captain David Bordeaux
Henry Born
Captain William A. Boswell
Captain Benjamin Boutell
Captain Thomas T. Boyd
Captain P. Boylan
George A. Brabant
George L. Brackett
Captain Thomas J. Brady
Fred A. Bradley
William E. Bradley
M. E. Brady
William Brake
Henry Braund
Samuel H. Braund
Patrick Brennan
Captain Julius Brett
Hiram Philip R. Brey
Captain John Bridge
Thomas W. Bristow
Engineer Peter Britz
John Broderick
J. P. Brogan
Captain Charles T. Bronson
Captain George E. Brooks
James William Brooks
Captain R. H. Brooks
Captain A. J. Brown
Alexander A. Brown
Capt. C. W. Brown
Captain Charles T. Brown
Charles W. Brown
Captain Frank H. Brown
Captain George H. Brown
Captain James E. Brown
Captain John Brown
Nelson Brown
Willis Brown
Hugh Buchanan
James Buchanan
Daniel Buie
Captain Dugald Buie
Henry Bullard
William Bullock
Captain Thaddeus F. Burbank
Henry B. Burger
James V. Burke
Captain William C. Burnett
William Ritchie Burnett
David Burns
Captain George C. Burns
M. J. Burns
Captain Riley M. Burrington
Captain F. O. Burrows
A. E. Bury
Captain Thomas Bury
Charles W. Butler
E. D. Butler
Captain F. G. Butlin
John Butterworth
Corey H. Buzzard
Irvin G. Buzzard
Captain Robert L. Byers
Captain James Byers
James T. Byers
Table of Illustrations

Captain F. G. Butlin

Captain F.G. Butlin has been one of those master spirits whose energies and enterprises have assisted in developing the present enormous commerce of the Great Lakes. From boyhood he has been associated with the traffic of the lakes, and his boyhood days were spent upon the shores of the beautiful St. Clair river, where daily during the season of navigation he saw sailing by the fleets of white-winged freighters. It was his fortune to become associated with a man whose interests upon the lakes a half century ago were rising into commanding prominence, and his tastes and efforts were turned to marine channels.

Capt. Butlin was born about seven miles from London, England in 1824. When ten years of age he migrated to the New World with his father, who was a farmer by trade and who settled in St. Clair, Mich., in 1834, when that State was yet a territory of undeveloped resources. The education of our subject was such as was afforded by the common schools in the neighborhood of his father's farm, supplemented by several terms in the village schools at St. Clair. An omnivorous reader, and possessed of a strong and inquiring mind, the young man made strides in mental attainments, far beyond the educational opportunities. In 1842 when eighteen years of age, he came to Chicago and entered upon service of the Great Lakes, as cabin boy on Ward's line between that city and St. Joseph. He was soon after wheelsman. In 1845 he was running to the Sault carrying supplies. In 1846 he became mate and pilot of the steamer Detroit, then running to Sault Ste. Marie, and in that year he saw the first iron ore come down from Lake Superior. In the fall of 1847 he became master of the Detroit, and in the spring of 1848 he left the Sault route and came back to Lake Michigan trade, the steamer Detroit being the morning boat between Chicago and New Buffalo. In the spring of 1849, Captain Butlin went to Detroit and brought up the Canada, and sailed her for two seasons. In 1851 he brought up the steamer Arctic, and commanded her until the railroad came around the lakes. During the latter part of 1852 he sailed the E. K. Collins and during the season of 1853 he again sailed the Arctic. He had purchased an interest in the Ward's line, but disposed of it in 1854 when Captain Ward sold out. Captain Butlin then turned his attention to the lumber business at Forestville, Mich., which he followed during the years of 1856 and 1857. In 1858 he resumed relations with the Ward's line, and handled iron for it on Lake Superior. In 1863 he built the propeller Antelope, and sailed her for two seasons. Selling the propeller in 1865, he developed some pine lumber interests in Michigan for several years.

In 1868 he purchased an interest in the Goodrich Transportation Company, and was elected to the position of general superintendent, which he held until 1889. On the death of Joseph Goodrich he was elected vice-president. He became president in 1885, and from that year to 1889 served as president and general manager.

Captain Butlin has been very successful in his business affairs. His motto has been "Eternal vigilance is the price of success," and his observance has brought ample reward. He is one of the prominent self-made men of Chicago. The family of Captain Butlin consists of two children, a son and a daughter, namely: T. G. Butlin, a commission merchant of Denver, and Minerva, now Mrs. Leonard.


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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.