Heritage \ Writings \

Capt. Cassius M. Saph (1853-?)
Maritime Biography.

1899 biography. (Courtesy of "Links to the Past" website.)

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



Captain C.M. Saph, one of the prominent steam boatmasters sailing out of West Bay City, Mich., is a pleasant sociable companion and possesses many enduring friends. He is a son of Valentine A. and Mary (Drewyor) Saph, and was born in Newport, now Marine City, Mich., July 25, 1853. His father is an attorney-at-law in Marine City, associated with one of his sons under the firm name of V. A. Saph & Son. His mother died in September, 1870. Her father, Capt. John Drewyor, will be remembered by some of the mariners of past decades as a popular and well qualified Lake Superior pilot, sailing in the vessels of the Ward Lake Superior line.

Captain Saph acquired a public-school education in Marine City, attending until he reached the age of fourteen years, when he shipped as deckhand in the steamer William Cowie, with Capt. S. Andrews, and was with her when she put the first day mark locating Stanard rock. In the spring of 1869 he shipped in the schooner Idaho, and he passed the next eight years in different capacities on various vessels and steamers, among which may be mentioned the schooner Lizzie Belle, the Michael Groh, Forester, Florence Lester, John Ritchie and C. H. Wilkes. In the spring of 1878 he was appointed mate of the schooner Keepsake, remaining on her until August of the following years, when he took command of the schooner A. H. Brown. At the opening of navigation in 1880 he came out in the Birckhead, made one trip in the Unadilla, and was then appointed mate in the new schooner Grace Holland. In 1881 Captain Saph took out pilotís papers and was appointed mate in the steamer D. F. Rose, retaining that office four successive seasons, after which he was given command of the steamer Oswegatchie, which he sailed two seasons. In 1887 he was appointed master of his old steamer, the D. F. Rose, of which he had charge for four seasons, giving good business satisfaction, and his next steamer was the S. C. Clark, which he commanded two seasons. In the spring of 1893 he was again appointed master of the steamer D. F. Rose, which position he has held up to the time of this writing. He has been exceedingly fortunate with the vessels under his command and has won and retained the confidence and esteem of the owners.

Captain Saph was married to Miss Lorena Ellery, daughter of Philip and Delphina (Blair) Ellery, of Port Huron, in November 1888, and the children born to this union are Lee W. and Cassie M. The family homestead is at No. 401 West Midland street, West Bay City, Mich. Socially, the Captain is a member of the Ship Masters Association, carrying Pennant No. 223, and he is a charter member of the Bay City Lodge; he is also a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.

Additional Notes.

    1890 - Michigan Marriages: West Bay City.

  • Date: January 18, 1890.
  • Groom: Cassius M. Saph, age 36, vessel captain, son of Valentine Saph and Louisa Drewyard.
  • Bride: Lorena Ellery Baker, age 22, daughter of Phillip Ellery and Delpha Blair.
  • Official: Samuel S. Brigham, Justice of Peace.
  • Witnesses: William Pickett and Nellie Pickett.
Related Pages/Notes

1867 Great Lakes Map
(click to enlarge)
Related Bay-Journal Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
Andrews, S.
Blair, Delphina
Brigham, Samuel S.
Drewyard, John
Drewyard, Mary (mother)
Ellery, Lorena (wife)
Ellery, Philip
Pickett, Nellie
Pickett, William
Saph, Cassie M. (dau)
Saph, Cassius M. (subject)
Saph, Lee W. (son)
Saph, Valentine A. (father)
Subjects Referenced
Ancient Order of Foresters
Bay City Lodge
Lake Superior
Marine City, MI
Newport, MI
Port Huron, MI
V.A. Saph & Sons Co.
Ship Masters Assoc.
Stanard rock
A.H. Brown
C.H. Wilkes
D.F. Rose
Florence Lester
Grace Holland
John Ritchie
Lizzie Belle
Michael Groh
S.C. Clark
William Cowie
Ward Lake Superior Line
West Bay City, MI
Internet References
Link to the Past
Online book, "History of the Great Lakes," Vols. 1 & 2, by J.B. Mansfield.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.