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Capt. James E. Lake, Jr. (1860-1893)
Born in N.Y., grew up in Bay City, where he had an excursion boat business.

1892 biography. (Added, Aug., 2010)

History of Bay County, Michigan (1892)


Pleasure-seekers of Bay City and vicinity entertain the most delightful recollections of the steam yacht “Laura,” which, during the summer seasons plies the waters of Lake Huron and brings to its passengers a pleasant release from the noise and heat of the crowded city. The “Laura,” which is a passenger vessel of twenty-two tons, is manned with a splendid crew and is owned and run by Capt. Like, as an excursion boat. The Captain is also engaged as a contractor of iron work in Wheeler's ship-yards, and is a fine iron-worker as well as a practical machinist.

Capt. Like traces his ancestry to Holland, whence, at an early day, members of the Like family emigrated to America. Grandfather Abraham Like was born in Athens, N. Y., and was a farmer at Hudson, removing from that place in 1865 to Minnesota, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits at Kasson until his death, in 1887. He possessed a fine physique, weighing two hundred and twenty-five pounds, and was over six feet in height. Nor were his mental abilities inferior to his physical development., and he was widely known and universally revered as an upright man and public spirited citizen. The blood of good old Revolutionary patriots flowed in his veins, nor was the honored name of the family ever tarnished by any act of his. He came of a long-lived family, his mother, who was a Scott, of Rhode Island, attaining to the great age of one hundred and thirteen years, while he reached the ripe age of ninety-six years.

James E., father of our subject was born in Hudson, N. Y., and became a boiler-manufacturer and practical machinist. During the Civil War he had a shop in Geneva, buts as he most earnestly desired to enlist in the service of his county, he offered a man $1,000 to take charge of his shop so that he would be free to go to the front. The Government, having a a contract with him, would not take him on draft. In 1866 he came to Bay City, where he built a shop on the corner of Eleventh and Saginaw Streets, and that place burning down in 1867, he rebuilt the following year. Some years later he sold out and built a boiler shop on the corner of Water and Ann Streets, running it under the name of Like & Company, and selling in 1887 in order that he might retire from business.

The spring of 1891 marked the removal of James E. Like, from Bay City to Minnesota, where he settled on his farm, near Kasson, and is there at the present time, engaged in cultivating its two hundred and thirty-four acres. At the age of sixty-six years he is in splendid health and having a good constitution, bids fair to attain to rounded old age. In his political sentiments he is a firm adherent of the principles of the Republican party, and the Methodist Episcopal Church claims him as one of its earnest and active members. In 1867 he was bereaved by the death of his wife, who was known in maidenhood as Sarah E. Plass, and was born in Chatham, N. Y., her father having been one of the prominent farmers of Columbus County. Our subject is one of seven children, four of whom still survive, namely: James E., Jr., of Constantine, this State; Smith Gordon, whose home is in New York, and Julia, wife of Horace Leadbetter, of Flint, Mich.

The early recollections of our subject are associated with Bay City, as he accompanied his parents hither at the age of six years. His native State, however, was New York, where he was born, in Geneva, April 10, 1860. When he came hither Bay City was a small hamlet, without a single brick block and destitute of the fine improvements which to-day place it among the principle cities of Michigan. The common-school education which he receive was brought to a close at the age of fourteen years, when he commenced to learn his trade. He soon became a practical machinist and received wages according to his ability, earning as much as $2.26 per day when a mere lad. His work was principally obtained here, although at time he was in Erie, Pa., and in other places. He became a member of the firm of Like & Company when only fourteen, and in 1887 he bought out his father's interest and closed the shop. He then came to West Bay City, where he began contracting ship work in Wheeler's ship-yards, and has since been engaged in that way. He has assisted in finishing fifty or more vessels and has an enviable reputation as a reliable man.

The residence of the Captain is located at No. 305 State Street, and is presided over by the lady who, since 1883, has been his efficient helpmate. Miss Laura Textor, as she was known in maidenhood, was born in Stratford, Canada, and is the daughter of Charles Textor, a native of Germany, who came to Canada from his native land, and later established a home in Bay City. He was one of the finest sculptors and artists in the United States, and his death, in 1890, brought testimonies of regret from the members of the profession throughout the country. Capt. And Mrs. Like are the parents of two children, Arthur and Carl.

The political belief of our subject has brought him into close affiliation with the Republican party, to which he is strongly attached. He has served as a delegate to county and State conventions, and is a member of the ward committee. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Order of Maccabees, No. 194, Bay Commandery, and is Commander of Ray Division No. 10, Uniformed Rank K. O. T. M., and also Captain of the Division.

Additional Notes.

    Surname spelling: Like (aka. Lyke)

    Genealogy of Abrahm Lyke Family (web)

  • Abraham Lyke, born 1791 in Athens, N.Y., died 1887 in Dodge Co., MN. Married Julia Schott.
  • James Edgar Lyke, son, b. Nov. 4, 1828, Hudson, NY, d. Nov. 4, 1897, Pine Island, MN.
    - Married (1) Mary Unknown, (2) Catherine Helms on Nov. 4, 1848, Hudson, Columbia Co., (3) Sarah Plass on Sep.9, 1857, NY.
    Children of James E. and Sarah:
  • James E., b. Apr. 10, 1860, Geneva, NY; d. May 3, 1893, Bay City, MI. (subject)
  • Sarah Augusta, b. Feb. 17, 1858; d. Oct. 6, 1859.
  • William H., b. Aug. 1, 1862, Bay City; d. Feb. 2, 1872, Bay City.
  • Harriet, b. Jun. 5, 1866; married John Wells.
  • Smith Gordon, b. Jul. 21, 1867, Bay City; d. Apr. 1, 1933, Bay City.

    1868 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Like, Jas. E. (Sr.), chief engineer, Bay City Fire Department.
  • Like, James E., (Like, Ellsworth & Bergan) h 306 Bowery.
  • Like, Ellsworth & Bergan, VAlley Iron Works, Saginaw, bet. Tenth and Eleventh, office S. Water.

    1870 – Michigan Marriages: Bay City

  • Date: July 17, 1870.
  • Groom: James E. Like (Sr.)– age 42, born Hudson N.Y.
  • Bride: Caroline Wafer – age 45, born New York
  • Official: Rev. J. N. Bugaham.
  • Witnesses: N. A. Jewell (Wenona) & Julia Like (Bay City).

    1871 – Michigan Deaths: Bay City.

  • Dec. 2, 1871, William H. Like, son of James E. (Sr.) and Caroline Like.

    1876 – History of Bay County, Michigan (1883)

  • James E. Like (Sr.) was a trustee of the Woodside Avenue Methodist Church, which was organized in 1873.

    1880 – Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Like, James E. (Sr.) - b. 1828 New York
  • Caroline W. – wife, b. 1822, New York
  • James E. Jr. - son, b. 1860 N.Y.
  • Harriet E. - dau, b. 1865 N.Y.
  • Smith G. - son, b. 1868 Mich.

  • Texter, Charles – b. 1821 Germany
  • Emma – wife, b. 1826 Germany
  • Bertha – dau., b. 1857 Canada
  • Richter, Laura – dau., b. 1859 Canada, married
  • Edward – son, b. 1866 Ohio
  • Albert – son, b. 1868 Mich.

    1880 – Michigan Deaths: Bay City

  • Dec. 3, 1880, death of Cora G. Bunower, age 27, daughter of James and Louisa Like.

    1884 – Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Like, James E. (Sr.) - (Like & McLellan), res 1213 N. Johnson.
  • Like, James E. Jr. - boilermaker, bds 1213 N. Johnson.
  • Like & McLellan – (James E. Like, Archibald McLellan), blacksmiths, 307 3d.
Related Notes & Pages

James E. Like, Jr.

Related Pages:
Wheeler shipyard
People Referenced
Bugaham, J.N. Rev.
Helms, Catherine
Jewel, N.A.
Leadbetter, Horace
Like, Abraham (g-father)
Like, Arthur (son)
Like, Carl (son)
Like, Cora G, (dau.)
Like, James E, Sr. (father)
Like, James E. Jr.(subject)
Like, Harriet (sis.)
Like, Julia
Like, Sarah A. (sis.)
Like, Smith G. (bro.)
Like, William H. (bro.)
McLellan, Archibald
Plass, Sarah (mother)
Schott, Julia (g-mother)
Textor, Albert
Textor, Bertha
Textor, Charles
Textor, Edward
Textor, Emma Mrs.
Textor, Laura (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Athens, NY
Bay City, MI
Bay City Fire Dept.
Geneva, NY
Chatham, NY
Civil War
Columbus Co., NY
Constantine, NY
Dodge Co., MN
Erie, PA
Flint, MI
Hudson, NY
Kasson, MN
Lake Huron, MI
Like & Company
Like, Ellsworth & Bergan
Like & McLellan
Methodist Episcopal
Pine Island, MN
Rhode Island
Valley Iron Works
Wenona, MI
West Bay City, MI
Wheeler shipyard
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.