Matteson Captains of the Great Lakes
from: "History of the Great Lakes, Vol 2" by J. B. Mansfield
Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899
Captain David W. Matteson
Captain David W. Matteson, of Marine City, Michigan, has a record
of over thirty-six years on the Great Lakes. He was born in Oswego, N.Y.
in 1839, son of Capt. Sylvanus Matteson, an expert ship carpenter, who sailed
for eleven years and then returned to work in the shipyards.
David W. Matteson spent his early years on a farm, beginning his
sailing career in 1859 in the schooner O. V. Brainard. In 1860 he was on
the schooner Lively, remaining on shore part of that season. He was in the
schooner Stephen A. Douglas when she foundered off Point Betsy, Lake Michigan,
on October 30, 1862; this vessel was lost after she had been pumped out and
floated, a false bulkhead which had been fitted in her hold to confine the
water, giving way and causing the pumps to choke. The accident occurred while
the tug Leviathan was towing her to Milwaukee, and all on board escaped with
the exception of the cook, who was lost, the crew being taken to Chicago
in the propeller Plymouth; Captain Matteson returned to Oswego in the schooner
Thornton. The next season he served in the schooner Republic, in 1864 being employed in turn on the bark Margaret R. Goff, the schooner Yankee and the schooner Idaho. The next season he helped to fit out
the schooner Eagle Wing and served in her for some time during the summer,
remaining on shore part of the season. During the next few years he served
as follows: 1866, schooner Ida; 1867, schooner Winnie Wing; 1868, brig St.
Joe; 1869, mate of the tow barge Forester; 1870 master of the Forester; 1871,
master of the schooner John F. Rust; 1872, master of the schooner C. G. King;
1873 to 1877, inclusive, master of the schooner L. C. Butts. Subsequently
he sailed the barge Gardner and the schooners Hoag, Spademan, A. T. Bliss
and Nellie Mason. He brought out new the schooner Alverson, sailing her for
two years, after which he commanded the barge Godfrey three years, became
mate of the steamer Birckhead for part of one season, second mate of the
steamer William B. Morley, and mate in the Everett and Norwalk. The season
of 1896 was his second year in the last-named vessel.
Captain Matteson in 1862 married Miss Mary Watson, of Oswego. They
have had three children, Adele, Eva and Emma, of whom Eva is the only one
now living; she is the wife of W. T. Young.
Captain E. F. Matteson
Captain E. F. Matteson is thoroughly devoted to his calling,
which he has followed during all of his active life. He was born March 3,
1856 at Oswego, N. Y., where his father first saw the light in 1833, living
there the greater part of his life; he died at Marine City, Mich., May 24, 1888.
Captain Matteson removed with his parents to Marine City when he
was seven years of age, and at that place received his education in the public
schools. In his seventeenth year he began his marine life by shipping as
seaman on the C. G. King, on which he remained one year, and in the seasons
closely following he served on the Dayton, Brainard, D. K. Clint, D. L. Young
and Charles Spademan. In 1875 he began steamboating as wheelsman on the P.
H. Birckhead, serving in this capacity one season, and he was subsequently
employed in the Bay City, J. W. Westcott and Heckley, in 1886 becoming second mate of the last named boat. Succeeding this he was on the William Chisholm for two seasons as second mate and from that boat went to
the J. H. Devereux, as mate, on the Mariska as second mate, and on the Newago,
W. H. Gilbert and E. M. Peck as mate, finally shipping in that capacity on
the Norwalk, on which boat he has remained until the present time; he was given command of her in 1895.
Captain Matteson was married, May 25, 1881, to Miss Jessie Robertson,
whose brother Henry R. Robertson, has been steward on the lakes the greater
part of his life. To this union has come three children, viz.: Susie A.,
born June 4, 1882; Verne E., born March 31, 1884; and Alta G., born August
9, 1888, all of whom attend school. Fraternally the Captain is a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the K. O. T. M.
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