James D. Mitchell
James D. Mitchell, who holds the position of engineer on the City of Genoa, is the son of John and Harriet (Brown) Mitchell, and was born March 20, 1860. The father was born in Canada, and died in Marine City, in April, 1887, having spent most of his life as a farmer and live-stock dealer. He was employed by the government during the war as an agent for the purpose of purchasing horses. Mrs. Mitchell, a native of Marine City, is still living.
The subject of this sketch is a member of a family of eight children, all of whom are living: Martha, the eldest, is married to George Arnold, and resides in Cleveland, Ohio; John is a sailor, having held the position of mate on the George Spencer during the season of 1896; Henry officiated as second engineer on the City of Genoa, during the season of 1898; and Hattie, Susie and Millie are still single.
James D. Mitchell attended school at his native place until his eighteenth year, when he chose the marine life to which he has devoted himself since that time. His first experience was upon the D.F. Rose, acting as deckhand. Here he remained only part of a season, however, and then finished the year as fireman on the D.W. Powers. The following season was spent on the Burlington as fireman, from which vessel he went on to the V.H. Ketcham, and remained one year. He then went to Chicago, and after acting as fireman on the tug Robert Tarrant for part of a season, he obtained a license and came on the Belle Cross as second engineer, after which he transferred to the Cleveland, and where he acted as second engineer for one season, and the following year remained on shore, being employed as engineer by Roberts & Lester, of Marine City. The position of chief engineer was then given him on the C.H. Wells, and he there remained one season, coming the following year on the Temple Emery as second engineer. Upon the John C. Pringle and Siberia he acted as second engineer, and then as chief on the Nashua; next season as second engineer on the J.C. Gilchrist, and afterward was chief on the John Craig for two years. In 1892 he came to the City of Genoa, holding this position six consecutive seasons.
On December 20, 1882, Mr. Mitchell was married to Miss Eliza J. Boshaw, of Marine City. They have two children: Vernice L. and Hazel C., both of whom are in school. Mr. Mitchell is a charter member of the M.E.B.A. at Marine City, and is well known to a large number of lake faring men, having filled several positions requiring experience and a thorough knowledge of marine work, always to the satisfaction of his employers, by whom he is held in high esteem.
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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.