Captain Donald Milloy
Captain Donald Milloy, as he is courteously known among the marine fraternity, is a gentleman who has experienced a useful life in the sailing world. He is the only surviving member of a large family of stalwart sons, every one of whom made his career upon the Great Lakes. His brothers numbered nine, and he had two sisters. Milloy's wharf has become a landmark of Toronto, at the foot of Younge street; it has been so long a leasehold of Captain Millory, one of nature's finest men, intellectually and physically.
Capt. Donald Milloy was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1837, and was about six years of age when his parents transplanted him to Canada, and settled in the county of Brant. His education was well looked after in the common schools of that district and in the city of Brantford. When he was eighteen years of age, in 1855, he entered the shipping office of Messrs. M.I. Borst & Co. on Brown's wharf, foot of Church street, in Toronto. The company was at that time one of the principal firms of forwarders and wharfingers in Canada. For two years Captain Millory remained with them, then he sailed as assistant purser on the big passenger steamer Champion of which his brother Capt. Peter Milloy was commander. That vessel plied between Toronto and Oswego. Shortly afterward our subject was advanced to the position of purser on the steamer Zimmerman, sailing in the passenger and freight business between Niagara and Toronto, under charge of Capt. Duncan Milloy, another brother. That position he held for about five years, until 1862, when he conceived the idea of going into the vessel-owning business himself. His first venture as owner was in the sailing vessel Kenosha, which he bought from the late Col. Sheppard, of Chicago. At that time the Kenosha had the largest carrying capacity of any vessel sailing through the Welland canal, being capable of carrying 17,000 bushels of wheat, and Captain Milloy put her on the route between Chicago and Kingston. Finally he sold her to Christie & Kerr, and they ran her in connection with their Severn river lumber mills. Meantime, in the year 1864, Captain Milloy had leased the Yonge street wharf in Toronto, where he has carried on a general wharfinger business ever since, except during the years 1894-95.
When the American war closed Captain Milloy went to Halifax in 1867, and purchased the blockade runner Let-Her-B from Mr. Budd, a Southerner, who lived in Halifax as representative of a Charleston firm of influential merchants, who were winding up their business. The Let-Her-B was the best vessel they had to dispose of, and bringing her to Sorel on the St. Lawrence river, she was wintered there. At Quebec, Captain Milloy, in 1868, had her cut in two and then towed up through the canals to the upper lakes. After having her rebuilt and remodeled as a passenger vessel at Buffalo, he named her the Chicora, and took her to Collingwood in September, 1868, where the following season she was used by the Ontario government to carry the mails between Collingwood and Fort William, Dominion Confederation not having been accomplished at that time. She was chosen by the Sandfield Macdonald government because of her speed, which was rendered possible by the fine quality of her engines, having been particularly constructed to run the blockade. She made a fortune for her American owners on the run between Nassau, Wilmington and Charlotte during the war. The Chicora proved useful also at the time of the Red River rebellion in 1870 by carrying troops and supplies to Fort William. She took General Wolseley and his troops up to the Red river settlement, and later brought them back to Collingwood. In 1872 Captain Milloy sold the Chicora to Sir Frank Smith and the late Noah Barnhard, directors of the Northern railroad, and the former still owns her. Captain Milloy bought the steamer Silver Spray the following year and ran her from Toronto to Niagara and Port Dalhousie. He sold her the following winter to Capt. Tate Robertson, who took her to Georgian Bay. His next vessel was the steamer City of Montreal, which he bought in Chatham from the Merchants Bank. He put her under command of Capt. Thomas Leach, and ran her between Toronto and Oswego for two years, and between Cleveland and Port Stanley for one year, then, in 1877, he sold his interest in her to Hagarty & Grasett, of Toronto. That was practically the end of Captain Milloy's vessel owning, except an interest he retained in the fleet of the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Company.
After disposing of his vessel, he devoted his attention to the wharf business at Toronto for a number of years, finally buying in 1882 a magnificent farm of 600 acres near Paris, Ontario, which he has appropriately named Oak Park Stock Farm. His attention is now divided between the farm and his wharf interests in Toronto, both of which enterprises are under efficient management. Recently he erected on his farm one of the largest, if not the largest, and most complete barns in Canada and there he also has a delightful and commodious residence.
Captain Milloy is still a bachelor; in politics he is a Liberal; and in religion is a Presbyterian.
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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.