Captain Benjamin F. Ogden
Captain Benjamin F. Ogden, whose ancestors for many generation were marine men, being masters of both ocean and lake-going vessels, is a steamboat captain of good record, and of quick comprehension in business affairs. He is an officer of fine presence, gentlemanly bearing, and a large measure of vitality.
Our subject was born on November 19, 1861, in Chicago, Ill., and is a son of Capt. James and Hannah (Baker) Ogden. The father was a sea captain hailing from Fair Haven, Conn., and traveled all navigable waters on his ships. The mother, who was born in Ireland, emigrated to Rochester, thence moving to Chicago about the year 1855. It is said that Capt. James Ogden, the father, took one of the first tugs in use in Chicago to that port from Philadelphia by way of the Welland canal. This was in 1857, and it was one of the several purchased by the government and taken to the Mississippi river at the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion. The grandfather, Nathaniel Ogden, was a noted whaler, sailing out of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Capt. Benjamin F. Ogden's school days were passed in Chicago and Milwaukee; his parents removed to the last city about 1873, where he finished his education, and three years later he began his career on the lakes in the United States revenue service as cabin boy on the cutter Andrew Johnson, with Captains Davis and Barr, remaining in government employ three years, becoming ordinary seaman the last year. In the spring of 1879 he shipped before the mast in the schooner Napoleon. During the next eight years he knocked about in different vessels, becoming mate of the schooner Granger, on which he remained two seasons, and mate of the schooner John Scheutte one season. In the spring of 1888 he joined the steamer Lewis Phalow as mate, filling that office two seasons, when he was promoted to be master of the steamer, an appointment well deserved, owing to his correct habits and good business qualifications. Remaining with the same owners - the Delta Lumber Company, of Detroit, - until 1898, he was promoted to the command of their new steamer Ionia, which he laid up at the close of navigation, after a fairly profitable season in general freight and raft-towing business. During this period as an officer Captain Ogden has not been subject to any casualty, neither in the way of wreck nor of loss of life on his vessel.
On December 19, 1875, Captain Ogden was wedded to Miss Margaret, daughter of Samuel and Jessie Clouston, of Chicago. Two daughters, Grace and Lily, came to bless this union. The family homestead is in Del Ray, Detroit, Mich. Socially, the Captain is a Master Mason of Detroit Lodge No. 2, Royal Arch Mason, of Monroe Chapter No. 1, and Monroe Council No. 1.
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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.