Captain A. Oldorff
Captain A. Oldorff sailed on salt water during the first ten years of his marine experience, and after visitng every important seaport in the world came to the Great Lakes in 1875. He has sailed since on many well-known vessels, and has been a shipmaster since 1889.
The Captain was born in Lubeck, Germany, in 1850, son of August Oldorff, a grocer, and commenced sailing at the age of fifteen. He spent three years on the brig Anna, visiting all parts of the world in her and running away from her at New York, where he shipped on the American vessel Golden State, in which he made a voyage around the Horn to Valparaiso and Peruvian ports and return. Then he went to Buenos Ayres, returning in the bark Lord Clarendon, and joined the ship Golden Fleece at New York for a voyage to Foo Chow, China, where tea was loaded for New York again. He spent several years in the West Indies trade with the Trowbridge line, and saw service in a number of coasting vessels on the Atlantic. Afterward he made a short trip to Spain in the bark Ibis, another to Palermo and Naples in a fruit-carrying vessel, and still another in the ship Olga to London, returning thence in a Nova Scotia brig, and he then came to the lakes. This was in 1875, and his first service was with the Bradley line. He was employed successively on the schooners John Burt, John Martin, Alva Bradley and Ahira Cobb, following which service he was wheelsman for six seasons on the steamer Vienna. From 1882 until 1889, he was mate of the steamer Robert Wallace, and master of her from 1890 until 1895. In 1896 he commanded the steamer Vulcan. Captain Oldorff was mate of the Wallace, when she went ashore at Marquette in a blinding snowstorm. The only other accident of importance in which he was concerned occurred on board the first vessel in which he sailed, the brig Anna; while she was lying in the harbor at Swansea, Wales, with a cargo of gas coal, an explosion of the accumulated gas took place and the decks were blown off. No one was injured, however.
Captain Oldorff was married in 1882 to Miss Louisa Kist, of Cleveland, and they had two children, William and August. Mrs. Oldorff passed away in 1890, and he later wedded Miss Frances Faulhaber.
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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.