The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 27 May, 1906

Full Text
Capt. David H. Westcott Dies at St. Clair River Home
Father of Capt. C. H. and J. W. Westcott, Well Known in Detroit

Capt. David H. Westcott, retired sailor and shipbuilder, father of Capt. C. H. Westcott, United States supervising inspector of the eighth district, and of Capt. J. W. Westcott, well known marine reporter and local agent of the Pittsburg Steamship Co., died at his home on the St. Clair River, near St. Clair, at 7 o'clock last night, aged 83 years.

Capt. Westcott was a native of Livingstone County, New York, and was born April 24, 1823. His parents removed to Rochester during his early childhood, and he remained there until 12 years of age. When 12 years old he was thrown on his own resources and went to live with an uncle in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. He came to Michigan in 1842, and spent three years at South Manitou Island, and from there went to Marine City. The following year he began sailing on the old steamer Huron, the first steamer Eber Ward ever built.

He bought a farm one mile below Marine City and had a dock and wood-yard there. In 1857 he rented the position of trader on the four boats of the Ward line and carried on the business for ten years. During this time he built the Wards four boats; the Saginaw and Keweenaw, side wheelers and the propellers St. Paul and the R. G. Coburn. After he stopped sailing he built the propellers Minneapolis and Northerner.

He was a man of strict integrity and detested shams. For years he served on the board of supervisors and was a member of the school board of Marine City. He married Mary Jane Ward, a native of Chatauqua county, New York, April 23, 1844, who survives him.

Quite a romance is connected with the wedding. Eber Ward, lighthouse keeper at South Manitou Islands at that time knew Westcott, and Westcott knew Ward's daughter. The romance began during the three years which Westcott spent at the Manitou Islands. In 1844 Westcott's boat stopped at the lighthouse one day and Mary Ward went aboard. The wedding took place on the steamer and the honeymoon trip was the voyage to Buffalo.

The surviving children are Capt. C. H. Westcott and Capt. J. W. Westcott, Detroit; Mrs. Susie S. Graves, wife of former Mayor Graves, of Port Huron; David W. Westcott, now sailing on the lakes; Mrs. Mary A. Young, at home; E. K. Westcott, United States inspector at Bar Point.

The funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1 o'clock from the residence and at 2:30 o'clock from Marine City cemetery, where the Masons will have charge of the ceremonies.

Media Type:
Item Type:
J. W. Westcott, son of the deceased, was founder of the J. W. Wescott Co., marine reporters, which still survives today and has been operating the "on-the-fly" delivery service to moving ships for the Detroit River marine post office since the founding of the service in 1895.
Date of Original:
27 May, 1906
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Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 27 May, 1906