Capt. Frank Henrich
In his school days Captain Henrich was ambitious to excel, and passed all examinations in the high schools when seventeen years old. Being, as the Prussians have it, a cadet of the family, it was a mooted question whether he would go into the army, the navy, or the clergy, but young Henrich promptly decided for himself, and in 1869 went down to the sea. He shipped in the full-rigged ship Elizabeth, as cabin boy, remaining until 1873, during which period he had the pleasure of sailing six oceans and connecting seas, in the meantime passing examination and filling all berths from cabin boy to mate. On October 1, 1873, Captain Henrich joined the German navy, reserving a year, granted as a privilege for his superior education and having attained to the position of mate and navigator, and it was his pleasure to serve in that office on the Barbarosa. He then joined the artillery ship Renown, and after serving on the torpedo boat Turbine was honorably discharged September 30, 1874, having passed through all the minor offices of the German navy. He then shipped, for one voyage, as mate in the Regulator, at that time in the Brazilian trade, remaining six months, and this was followed by a trip in the ship Gazelle, trading to Wilmington, Del. Not being satisfied with this experience, Captain Henrich took mate's berth on the full-rigged ship Ovarense, which had been sold to the British Government; she was afterward sold to Fisher & Randall, of Manchester, and diverted into coast trade. After the sale of this vessel Captain Henrich went aboard the British man-of-war Boxer, passed the necessary examination and took charge of the bark Amelia as master, transferring to the Sierre Leone, and sailed her six months in the African trade. In the spring of 1876 Captain Henrich was appointed master of the steamer Zu-Zu, and the next season he returned to Prussia, where he remained joining home comforts.
In 1878 he shipped as mate out of Hamburg on the Scotch bark Rowena, bound for Quebec. It was at this time that Captain Henrich heard of the American Lakes. He then quit his boat, went to Buffalo and shipped before the mast on the schooner Ida Keith, and the next season he became mate of the schooner Samana; in 1880, second mate of the schooner A.J. Rogers, with Captain Reimers, remaining on her off and on until he was appointed mate of the schooner Houghton in 1886. His seamanship had, by this time, attracted the attention of the owners of all classes of vessels, and in 1887 he was appointed master of the schooner John S. Richards, which was sold under him. The next year he became mate of the schooner Moonlight, and in the spring of 1889 was appointed master of the schooner A.J. Rogers. It is well to observe here that the Captain had passed the previous winters as mate of the American bark Josie D. Bueno, trading to the West Indies. In 1890 he joined the American ship Challenger as mate on a voyage from New York to Madagascar island - the 'tween decks containing a cargo of loose powder, which, in a storm which overtook the ship, got loose and shifted so that they were obliged to stay it by throwing down large pieces of wood and coal. Returning to the lakes in 1891, he became master of the schooner John Schuette, followed by a season as commander of the C.C. Barnes, which he sailed two seasons. In 1894 he was appointed by secretary J.G. Carlisle as master of the lightship station at Poe's reef, holding that office two seasons.
In 1896 Captain Henrich went up for examination as nautical expert for the position of hydrographic officer, and stood with a credit of 69-1/2 per cent, and that summer he sailed the steamer Waverly. Having acquired some funds during his busy life, he purchased Williams island, situated in Lake Superior, west of Grand island and in Alger county, Michigan, and consists of thirty-seven acres, upon which he has built a homestead. The next year he acted as pilot out of Munising, Mich., and that fall received notice from the Secretary of the Navy to come up again for examination as nautical expert, and on November 27 he passed standing at the rating of 98 per cent, the requisite being 70, and was appointed to the office at Duluth on April 13, a position he now holds, giving eminent satisfaction to the government by his intelligent suggestions and chart work. He is a close observer, and takes cognizance of every matter of interest. While in the Prussian navy he was the first to invent an instrument to measure the velocity of the wind, which is now in universal use.
He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellow, and of the Ship Masters Association, carrying Pennant No. 1033.
On July 3, 1889, Capt. Frank Henrich was wedded to Miss Eunice, daughter of Orvil and Martha Simonson. Mr. Simonson was a patriot of the Civil war, serving as a sergeant in a Michigan regiment, and was killed in one of the last battles by a minie ball.
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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.