Capt. Lewis E. (1862-?)
Maritime Biography -- Born in Village of Wenona (now 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 LEWIS E KING
Captain Lewis E. King, who has been principally identified with the lake marine
as master of tugs during the past eighteen years, numbers among his ancestors many
His parents were Capt. George W. and Phelemon King. The father,
whose marine life extended over many years, was eminently successful, he acquiring
many vessels during the time when the ordinary schooner could pay for herself in
freights in a short time, lumber carrying at that time being paid for at the rate
of from $7 to $9 per 1,000 feet. His first investment was in the Traffic, a small
ferryboat which he built and operated on the Saginaw River, and the first steam
ferry ever in use in that locality. Among other vessels of which he was owner were
the tugs Tiger, Hercules, Haight, T.M. Moore, George B. Dickson, the steamer
Bradbury, and towbarges Saginaw, Globe, Roscius and Montmorency. He retired from
active business life in 1894, and two years later passed to the harbor of eternity,
his death occurring at the old homestead, which was erected in 1860, in West Bay
The subject of this article, Lewis E. King, was born on the old homestead August
20, 1862, the town being then known as Winona, and here he attended the public
schools until he reached the age of eighteen, completing his education by graduating
at the high school.
He sailed with his father in different vessels during vacations
and readily learned the business. In the spring of 1880 he was placed in charge of
the tug Haight, owned by his father, and sailed her two seasons, when he was
transferred to the tug T.M. Moore as master. In the spring of 1883 he was appointed
master of the tug Dickson, the largest in the line, and sailed her five years.
Captain King then went to Detroit and entered the employ of Capt. S. B. Grummond as
master of the lake tug Oswego. In 1889 his father purchased the steambarge Mary
Pringle, and the Captain succeeded to that vessel, sailing her until she was sold.
In 1891 he went to Duluth, Minn., and was engaged by Captain Inman as master of the
tug J.L. Williams, on which he remained until August, when he was transferred to the
iron tug Record, and sailed her until the spring of 1892, using her as an ice breaker
in the bay. He also looked after a part of Capt. Alex McDougall's whaleback fleet in
winter quarters at Duluth.
During the winter of 1893 Captain King opened a ship broker's office in the
Polladis building, Duluth, associating with him J.H. Norton, and were known under
the firm name of King & Norton. This company purchased the steamer Otego, and the
Captain sailed her until August, when he became a member of the firm of Smith, Fee &
Co., who established a tug line in opposition to Capt. B.B. Inman, and operated the
tugs Pathfinder, A.C. Adams, Ed Fiske, Jr., and J.W. Eviston, the Captain acting as
manager of the line. These tugs passed into the hands of Captain Inman by purchase
after three months, and Captain King again assumed command of the steamer Otego.
the spring of 1894 he went to Cleveland, and sailed the tug Joe Harris for the Vessel
Owners Towing Company; the next year acting as night or day dispatcher at the dock.
In the spring of 1896 he returned to Duluth, and again entered the employ of the B.B.
Inman Tug line as master of the tug J.L. Williams, being transferred to the L.L. Lyon,
and sailing her until the close of the season of 1897. During the winter he again went
into the vessel brokerage business with J.H. Norton, their office being at Nos. 504
and 505 Torrey building, Duluth, and devoted their time to the purchase and sale of
vessel property. This partnership, under the name of J.H. Norton & Co., still exists,
and they now own the tugs Minnie Karl and McRey, which have been furnished with new
engines and boilers, and used in the log-towing business. In the spring of 1898
Captain King was appointed master of the lake tug Bob Anderson, in which he is still
Socially, he is a member of the Ship Masters Association, and carries Pennant No.
415, and is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees.
On August 20, 1882, Captain King was united in marriage to Miss Margarette, daughter
of John and Annie Prebster, of Bay City, Mich., and they have one daughter, Marie,
who is a pupil in the Lakeview public schools. Captain King and family reside in
Lakeview, Minn.Mrs. King's father is a millwright by trade, and with his family
still occupy the homestead in Bay City, Mich., which he built in 1862, when he settled
at that place.
1870 - Census: Bangor, Bay, Bay, MI. King, George - b. 1831, Canada
Philoman, wife - b. 1841, canada
George, son - b.1850, Canada
Fred, son - b. 1852, Canada
Charles, son - b. 1855, MI
Cornelia, dau. - b. 1857, MI
Lewis, son - b. 1862, MI Julia, dau. - b. 1863, MI
Mary, dua. - b. 1864, MI
Minnie, dau. - b. 1867, MI
William, son - b. 1868, MI
Ralph, son - b. 1870, MI
Edwards, Nancy - b. 1846, Canada
1880 - Census: West Bay City, Bay, MI. King, George - b. 1831, Canada - sailor
Philoman, wife - b. 1841, canada
Louis, son - b. 1862, MI - sailor Minnie, dau. - b. 1867, MI
William, son - b. 1869, MI
Ralph, son - b. 1874, MI
Grace, dau. - b. 1877, MI
Alace, dau. - b. 1879, MI
Kittie, dau. - b. 1880, MI
1894 - Census: Bay City, Bay, MI. King, Louis E. - b. 1862
Maggie, wife - b. 1864
Marea, dau. - b. 1883
Grummond, S.B. Capt.
Inman, B.B. Capt.
King, Alace (sis)
King, Charles (bro)
King, Cornelia (sis)
King, George W. (father)
King, George (bro)
King, Fred (bro)
King, Grace (sis)
King, Julia (sis)
King, Kittie (sis)
King, Marie (dau.)
King, Mary (sis)
King, Minnie (sis)
King, Phelemon Mrs. (mother)
King, Ralph (bro)
McDougall, Alex Capt.
Prebster, Annie Mrs.
Prebster, Margarette (wife)
Bay City, MI
B.B. Inman Tug line
First steam ferry
J.H. Norton & Co.
King & North firm
Knights of Maccabees
Lake View, MN
Lake View school
Polladis bldg., Duluth
Ship Masters Assoc.
Smith, Fee & Co.
Wenona (vil.), MI
West Bay City, MI
Vessel Names: Bob Anderson
Geo. B. Dickson
Links to the Past Online book, "History of the Great Lakes," Vols. 1 & 2, by J.B. Mansfield.