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