Heritage \ Writings \

Charles O. King (1856-?)
Maritime Biography -- Born in Bangor (Bay City), MI, tug engineer on Saginaw River.
Courtesy of "Links to the Past" website. (Oct. 2005)

Note: Some paragraphs have been shortened for easier viewing of data.

History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 2 by J.B. Mansfield
Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899.



Charles O. King, a prominent marine engineer sailing out of Bay City, is the third son of Capt. G. W. and Julia (Causley) King, and was born in Banks, formerly Bangor, Mich., May 28, 1856.

The father was born near London, Ontario, in 1830, and in 1843 went to Detroit, where he was employed as bell boy in hotels for some years. His first experience as sailor was in the passenger boat Fashion as cabin boy. The next season he shipped in the steamer Hendrick Hudson, followed by four or five seasons in different vessels. In 1850 he met and married Miss Julia Causley, of Mooretown, Ontario, and the same year commenced to run a ferry between that town and St. Clair, Mich. Two years later he built the small steamer Traffic, which he took to the Saginaw and used as a ferry for nineteen years. In the meantime he purchased the Canada, John Lathrop, Tiger, Hercules, Haight, George B. Dickson and T. M. Moore. Captain King was the father of sixteen children.

Engineer Charles O. King attended the public schools of Bay City, passing through the highest grades. It was in the spring of 1877 that he determined to become a lake engineer, preliminary to which he shipped as fireman in the tug A. W. Wright, then owned by Eddy & Avery, and engaged in raft towing on the Saginaw. In 1878 he secured engineer's papers and was appointed to the tug Haight, followed by a season in the Sol Rummage.

In 1880 he was second engineer and fireman on the tug Asa Robinson, closing the season in the Edwin Eddy. The next spring he was appointed engineer on the tug Haight, and ran her five seasons, followed by a berth in the tugs George B. Dickson and James Hay. In the spring of 1887 he came out in the James Hay, transferring to the steamer Yosemite, as chief, until August, 1888, when he went as chief of the steamer Mary Pringle, which position he held until the close of 1889. The next season he went to Chicago, and brought out the Ida M. Torrent, and ran her until August, when he went as second engineer on the steamer Columbia.

In the spring of 1891 he was appointed chief engineer of the passenger steamer Laura, plying between St. Joseph and Milwaukee, until June, when he met with an accident and was compelled to go home. On recovery, he shipped as second engineer of the steamer City of Venice, but after ten days the old wound again caused him to retire. His next boat was the J. E. Owen, in which he was chief, but he closed the season as chief of the tug W. A. Avery. The next year he was second engineer of the steamer City of Naples three months. He then took the tug Avery, and ran her until the close of 1895, followed by three months the next year in the tug Howard. He was then appointed chief engineer of the steamer Manistique, and has held that berth until the present writing. He has eighteen issues of engineer's license.

On September 15, 1883, Mr. King was united by marriage to Miss Anna McDonald, daughter of Angus and Louise (Warner) McDonald, of Glengarry, Ont. The children born to them are: Lydia A., George W., Howard W., Elva E. A. and Cornelia Ruth. The Beneficial Order of Home Forum is the only fraternal society of which Mr. King is a member.

Related Notes & Pages

1867 Great Lakes Map
(click to enlarge)
Related Bay-Journal Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
King (McDonald), Anna (sp.)
King, Cornelia R. (dau.)
King, Elva E.A. (dau.)
King, G.W. Capt. (father)
King, Geo. W. (son)
King, Howard W. (son)
King (Causley), Julia (mother)
King, Lydia A. (dau.)
McDonald, Angus
McDonald (Warner), Louise
Subjects Referenced
Bangor (Banks), MI
Bay City, MI
Bene. Order of Home Forum
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Eddy & Avery co.
Glengarry, Ont.
London, Ont.
Milwaukee, WI
Moorestown, Ont.
Saginaw, MI
Saginaw river
St. Clair, MI
St. Joseph, MI

Vessel Names:
Asa Robinson
A.W. Wright
City of Enice
City of Naples
Edwin Eddy
Geo. B. Dickson
Hendrick Hudson
Ida M. Torrent
J.E. Owen
John Lathrop
Mary Pringle
Sol Rummage
T.M. Moore
W.A. Avery
Internet References
Links to the Past
Online book, "History of the Great Lakes," Vols. 1 & 2, by J.B. Mansfield.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.