Captain R. Janssen
Captain R. Janssen was born on the island of Heligoland, in the North Sea, in 1865, son of Captain Reinke and Caterina Janssen, and is perhaps the only native of that island on the lakes. At time of the his[sic] residence there the island was in the possession of Great Britain, but it has since passed under the sway of the German empire. Captain Janssen's father, after sailing the North Sea for a number of years, was appointed keeper of the life-saving station in Heligoland, and met his death while attempting to rescue the crew of a wrecked schooner. Of his five brothers, all of whom were sailors, three were drowned.
Captain Janssen attended school until he reached the age of fourteen years. In 1879 he shipped on the bark Gaty, plying between Brahma and Rangoon, and remained on her about eighteen months, after which he returned to the island and engaged in study until 1882, when he was granted a pilot's license and went into the fishing business on the North Sea. In 1883 he came to the United States and located in Cleveland, Ohio, the following spring shipping on the schooner Kate Winslow as seaman, and transferring to the schooner Thomas Gawn the same season. In 1885 he was appointed mate of the schooner Ed. Kelly; in 1886 second mate of the John Martin; the following season he was mate of the schooner J. L. Higgie, remaining on her two seasons; in 1889 he went down to salt water as mate of the Monitor No. 110, and returning to the lakes he was appointed mate of the T. P. Sheldon, after three months receiving advancement to the office of master, and sailing her until the close of the season. In the spring of 1890 he took out the schooner Alta, sailing her three seasons, and in 1893 he again went as master of the schooner Thomas P. Sheldon, which he sailed two and a half seasons, finishing the season of 1896 as master of the bark Aurania, which was laid up at South Chicago.
Captain Janssen is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He was married to Miss Rose Missner, of Cleveland, in 1892.
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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.