Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain M. L. Packer
Captain William Packer
John Elmer Padden
John M. Palmatier
Parker & Millen
Aaron A. Parker
Clarence L. Parker
Captain H. F. Parker
Captain Orlando J. Parker
Eugene Passano
Captain William Patterson
Henry G. Payne
Captain John J. Pearson
Captain E. M. Peck
Roy Lee Peck
Captain Charles K. Pederson
Captain John Peil
Captain C. A. Peltier
B. L. Pennington
Newton W. Penny
Frank Perew
Captain Andrew Peters
Captain Harvey Peters
Captain P. Petersen
Captain John Decatur Peterson
Captain Peter Peterson
Captain Peter Peterson
Captain Peter Peterson
Louis Pfohl & Son
John Phelan
William Phillipie
Charles H. Phillips
Captain H. W. Phillips
John N. Phillips
Captain A. F. Pitman
Captain G.H. Pleasance
Clarence Pomeroy
Captain Phineas Pomeroy
Captain Frederick L. R. Pope
Captain Alexander Porter
Captain Charles A. Potter
Frederick Potts
Captain Lewis Hancock Powell
Scott Pratt
Captain Fowler J. Preston
Captain Wallace A. Preston
Captain John Pridgeon
John Pridgeon, Jr
Prince, E.W.
Captain John Prindiville
Captain William J. Pringle
Captain James N. Prior
Lewis C. Purdy
James G. Purvis
James R. Pyne
Table of Illustrations

Louis Pfohl & Son

Louis Pfohl & Son carry on a large business in the purchasing of salvage, especially flour and lumber. In this operation they have handled more than 20,000 barrels of flour in a single season, and millions of feet of lumber. A sketch of their transactions will give a glimpse of not a few of the worst wrecks on the lakes during the past ten years. The firm was founded in 1888, the father having previously been connected with John Kennedy and others in the wet grain trade. It appears to have been in 1890 that the notable salvages began, though there was business enough before that. In April of that year the steamer Chenango burned and went down in Lake Erie off Erie, Penn., and next month the firm pumped out her cargo of wheat. She was afterward raised and named the Lizzie Madden. In the fall the steamer Passaic foundered off Dunkirk, and the firm bought the lumber lost off her and her consorts, the Elma, Hattie and Superior, securing in all about 500,000 feet of lumber. During the same fall they bought and saved the deck load of the barge Tailor, which was lost off Barcelona, Lake Erie. In the fall of 1892 the steamer Newburg was lost on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, nine miles west of Long Point light, going ashore on Long Point, and the firm bought both boat and cargo, which consisted of flour and pig iron. It was late in the season, and the last of the cargo was not taken out until December. The lighter used was the little Canadian steamer barge A.H. Jennie. The amount of persistence and calculation necessary to gather and manage a force of men on a lone shore, with no shelter and no road, can hardly be understood by anyone who is not in the business. In the great storm of October 1893, the steamer Dean Richmond went down off Dunkirk with all her crew, but her cargo of flour came ashore. The same year the Codorus sank in a collision at Duluth, and they also purchased her 8,000 barrels of flour; next year the cargo of ties and telegraph poles lost by the steamer Seattle in going ashore at Rondeau; there was flour from the steamer W.H. Stevens; remains of the cargo of the Northern Wave, which went ashore off Sand Beach; flour from the cargo of the China, jettisoned on Point Betsey, Lake Michigan, and the coal cargo of the F.W. Wheeler, which was lost near Chicago. The season of 1895 was a disastrous one. The firm took flour thrown off the steamer I.W. Nicholas off Caribou island, and when the J.D. Ketcham and consort Montgomery scattered fifty-five cars of lumber along the Canadian shore of Lake Huron, opposite Blackwell, that was also saved. These are a few of the salvage operations successfully carried on by the firm. Sometimes a bargain is made with the underwriters of lost cargo, and it disappears before an expedition can reach it, sometimes the task to collect barrels of flour floating about on the lake. There is adventure and usually any amount of hardship in the business. In 1896 there were no great losses on the lakes, the list of disasters being made up principally from the rakings the steel boats sustained in the shallow inter-lake passages, so that the firm did less business than usual. The beach patrolling and expeditions by water in search of lost cargo are now mainly superintended personally by George W. Pfohl, the junior member, whose energy and general business capacity makes him a valued assistant to his father.

Louis Pfohl was born in Syracuse, N.Y., March 10, 1833, and at the age of five came with his parents to Buffalo, where he has since lived. His first engaged in the flour and feed business, and then entered the grocery trade, buying wet grain at the same time, and he subsequently gave up the grocery for the grain trade. Mr. Pfohl wedded Marie J. Bucher, of Syracuse, whose parents came to America from Paris on the same vessel that brought LaFayette. George W. Pfohl was born in Buffalo February 22, 1868, and is a graduate of the commercial department of Canisius College. At the age of fifteen he went into the grain trade on Change on his own account, joining his father in the present firm five years later.


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Volume I

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.