John T. Hutchinson
John T. Hutchinson, one of the oldest and most successful vessel owners on the lakes, began the business when he was twenty-four years of age, in 1861, by the purchase of an interest in the scow Monitor, which was built at Black river (now Lorain), Ohio, and was about 265 tons measurement.
The scow was built for the purpose of carrying lumber from Lorain and Fremont to Buffalo, whence it was shipped to New York, where it went into the construction of the Monitor, which sunk the Merrimac, early in the war of the Rebellion. These planks were from forty to fifty feet long, and had to be loaded into the scow through port holes made on purpose for this method of loading. Mr. Hutchinson owned the scow until the fall of that year, when he sold her for $5,500, she having cost $5,000 to build. He was then one-third owner in the construction of the steamer Lac La Bell, his partners, being Le Frenier Bros. The construction of the boat was begun in September, 1861, under favorable auspices, but on account of raising prices the three men were for the time being ruined financially, when the boat was completed.
In the fall of 1860, Mr. Hutchinson married Miss Emma C. Camp, daughter of Mr. C.L. Camp, who died a year or two afterward, and Mr. Hutchinson then borrowed of the estate $5,000, with which he purchased the scow Ellen White, paying for that the sum just mentioned. The Ellen White went into the lumber and stone trade, running to and from all ports on the lower lakes, but little being done on Lake Superior.
This scow he owned for several years until she was burned off Port Dover, only partly insured. He bought the schooner Milan, in the year 1862, and sold her two or three years later, then buying the bark Orphan Boy, of William Kelly, of Milan, an old vessel owner, paying therefore $28,000. This vessel he kept a few years, and on selling her to Capt. Julius Morgan, he bought the schooner Winona, for the $18,000, and about three years later sold her to Capt. Frank Brown for $14,000. This vessel was afterward lost on Lake Michigan. Mr. Hutchinson then went in partnership with his brother-in-law, S.H. Foster, and built the schooner I.N. Foster, at the cost of $24,000, and after a time disposed of the vessel, and in the winter of 1872-73 built the schooner Emma C. Hutchinson, which he named after his wife, and which he still owns. This steamer was launched June 12, 1873, and had been very fortunate, no loss being charged up against her except $6,000. Her tonnage is 698, and when she was built she was one of the largest on the lakes. She was during the last three years been repaired at the total cost of $14,000, and is now practically a new vessel. The next vessels Mr. Hutchinson owned were the Rube Richards and the May Richards, the former a steamer and the latter a schooner, which he bought in the winter of 1877-78, at the cost for the two of $58,000. These vessels were of a tonnage of about 1,000. He then bought an interest in the steamer Queen of the West, the tonnage of which is 1,400; he later bought the steamer Germanic, which has a carrying capacity of 2,000 tons, paying therefor[sic] $95,000.
The vessels at present owned by Mr. Hutchinson are as follows: Steamers Germanic, Rube Richards and Queen of the West; schooners Emma C. Hutchinson and Mary Richards. Mr. Hutchinson is still carrying on a successful lake transportation business, and has his office with Hutchinson & Co., Room 412 Perry-Payne Building, Cleveland, Ohio.
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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.