Heritage \ Writings \

Capt. Joseph H. King (1871-?)
Maritime Biography -- Born in Bay City, MI.
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.



Captain Joseph H. King, is descended from a line of lake mariners, having been born in Bay City, Mich., March 31, 1871, son of Charles and Margaret (Cavern) King, the former of whom was master and owner of vessels, and sailed the schooner C.J. King, the steamer Mayflower, the barge America, and many other boats of that class in the earlier days. Charles King was born in Bay City in 1832, and died in Port Austin, at the age of fifty-six years.

The fact that Captain King obtained mateís and pilotís berth so soon after beginning his life on the lakes would seem to indicate that he inherited many of the qualities of a sailor with his desire to put them into practice. He was very young, but seven years of age, when he became what might be termed self-supporting, his occupation at that time being gill-net making and mending at which he worked five years, becoming very proficient.

It was in the spring of 1883 that he began sailing as pantry boy in the passenger steamer Favorite. In 1884 he shipped as watch in the steamer Passaic, holding that berth two seasons, and during the season of 1886 he held a like berth in the steamer J.P. Donaldson, following with a season as wheelsman in the tug Traveler. In the spring of 1888 he shipped as wheelsman in the passenger steamer Soo City, plying between Cheboygan and Sault Ste. Marie, remaining in her two seasons and transferring to the steamer Manistique in the same capacity.

In the spring of 1891 Captain King received his first issue of pilotís papers and was appointed mate of the lake tug Mocking Bird, holding that berth two seasons. In 1893 he entered the employ of Capt. B. Boutell as master of the tug Annie Moiles, in the logging trade. The next season he sailed the Waldo Avery, for the Michigan Log Towing Company, and in 1893 he brought out the tug Perfection, for Capt. James Davidson, closing that season as mate in the Ella Smith, which he sailed the next season as pilot. In the spring of 1897 he was appointed master of the passenger steamer Sailor Boy, plying between Bay City and Alpena.

Captain King was instrumental, while mate of the Ella Smith in rescuing a party of six women, and one man, who had been overtaken by a squall in Saginaw Bay; he took them off with the yawlboat.

He is a member of the American Association of Masters & Pilots of Steam Vessels, and has eight issues of license.

On January 7, 1891, Captain King wedded Miss Annie Whalen, daughter of Alva and Rosella Whalen, of Hampton township, Bay Co., Mich., and one daughter, Harriet Elizabeth, has been born to them. The family homestead is in West Bay City, Mich., but at present they reside at No. 3313 North Water street, Bay City. They have a small farm, to which Mrs. King devotes her attention during the summer months.

Related Notes & Pages

1867 Great Lakes Map
(click to enlarge)
Related Bay-Journal Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
Boutell, Benjamin Capt.
Davidson, James Capt.
King (Whalen), Annie (sp.)
King, Charles (father)
King (Cavern), Margaret (mother)
Whalen, Alva
Whalen, Rosella Mrs.
Subjects Referenced
Alpena, MI
Amer. Assoc. of Master
... & Pilots of Steam Vessels
Bay City, MI
Cheboygan, MI
Hampton Twsp.
Mich. Log Towing Co.
Port Austin, MI
Saginaw Bay
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Water St., N, 3313
West Bay City

Vessel Names:
Annie Moiles
C.J. King
Ella Smith
J.P. Donaldson
Mocking Bird
Sailor Boy
Soo City
Waldo 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.