Heritage \ Writings \

Capt. Alexander Johnson (1851-?)
Born in Moore, Ont., resided in West Bay City, Mich.

1892 Biography. (Added Dec., 2009)

History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 2. - by J.B. Mansfield, 1899


A well-known and popular shipmaster, sailing out of West Bay City, formerly of Detroit, is so diffident about speaking of himself that it is difficult to render justice to his hospitable, upright, conscientious traits of character and disposition in an article of this nature. He cannot however, preclude the writer, who has the pleasure of his acquaintance, from saying that he is a courteous, companionable man, of fine physique, warm, sunny temperament,and generous to a fault. He was born December 11, 1856, at Moore, Ont., a hamlet on the St. Clair river, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. He received a liberal education in the public schools of his native place, and the studious habits acquired during this boyhood days are still retained, and it is therefore unnecessary to say that he is an unusually well-informed man relative to general history, as well as the current events of the day. He has had no artificial influence to help him to obtain the position he now holds as master of a steamboat, but has secured it by his own merit.

Soon after reaching his majority Captain Johnston began his career on the lakes, his first boat the Jupiter, on which he remained but a short time. He then held various berths, from that of sailor before the mast of the office of mate, up to the spring of 1894, when he was appointed master of the steamer Isabella J. Boyce, trading between Bay City and Chicago, and from Buffalo to Lake Superior ports. In the spring of 1895 he was appointed master of the steamer Sparta, engaged in trading to all ports on the lakes, which he has sailed with good business success for four seasons, including that of 1898.

Socially, the Captain is an ardent Mason of high degree, having reached the thirty-second, and is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Ship Masters Association, and carries Pennant No. 1081.

In 1897, Capt. Alex Johnston was wedded to Miss Nettie S., the daughter of Capt. William Neal, of West Bay City. The family homestead is pleasantly situated on South Dean street, West Bay City, Michigan.

Additional Notes.

    1897 Michigan Marriages: West Bay City.

  • Date: Dec. 29, 1897.
  • Groom: Alexander Johnson, b. 1856,Canada, son of Alex Johnson and J. McLelan.
  • Bride: Nellie S. Neal, b. 1866 Canada, daughter of Wm. Neal and Mary A. Benten.
  • Official: T. A. McLean, rector Trinity church.
  • Witnesses: Mary Ann Neal and Walter Neal.

    1900 - Census: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Johnson, Alexander b. 1856 Canada lake captain.
  • Nettie, wife b. 1866 Canada.
  • Frank, son b. 1899 Mich.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
Benten, Mary A. (m-inlaw)
Johnson, Alex (father)
Johnson, Alexander (subject)
Johnson, Frank (son)
McLean, T.A.
McLelan, J. (mother)
Neal, Mary Ann
Neal, Nettie S. (wife)
Neal, William (f-inlaw)
Neal, Walter
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Buffalo, NY
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Lake Superior, MI
Moore, Ont. Canada
St. Clair River, Can.
Trinity church
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.