The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 Jul 1895

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He Was Engaged As Pilot For the Dredge Queen.

fell out of skiff while crossing from Ogdensburg to Prescott - details of drowning.

Regrets in Kington.

No news of a drowning accident was ever received with more regret in Kingston than the sad intelligence flashed across the wires this morning. As a mariner, Capt. Saunders was a sailor among sailors, hale, hearty, and well met; on shore he was a good citizen and had hosts of friends. Few lake captains had the record of the master of the schr. Ella Murton. "He was the best vessel man we ever had," remarked B.W. Folger this morning and this is a broad assertion to make. Fearless but careful he was never found moored at a dock if the weather was at all navigable. Capt. Saunders began the life of a sailor when a mere lad, going on the water with his father, the late Edward Saunders. He was made of the right stuff and was envied by his comrades as he pushed to the front. At the age of eighteen he was master of a vessel and since that time has been in charge of various crafts. Deceased was exceptionally fortunate. When an accident did occur it was of a slight nature. The memorable trip of the schr. Ella Murton four or five years ago, when, grain laden, Capt. Saunders left Richardson's dock for Oswego in the middle of January, was a record breaker. With over twenty years' experience he could take a boat almost any place on the lakes and a shipper always felt safe with a cargo in his hands. The marine business has not been as brisk the last three or four years as it was previously and the Murton has had her share of lay-ups. This season, particularly, has been a hard one for vessels. There has been very little going but the prospects were just becoming brighter as dealers had to get their coal in. The Murton had only made three or four trips this season but had contracts ahead as soon as the coal was ready. His vessel was moored at Richardson's slip.

Capt. Saunders was about forty years of age and a staunch Protestant. He married a daughter of Capt. Beaupre, of Portsmouth. His wife and two beautiful children survive. His daughter is eleven years of age, and his son nine years.

Deceased has been an Odd Fellow for many years, being a member of Kingston lodge. He had been master of seven different vessels, viz.: Schrs. B.W. Folger, Governor, Jessie McDonald, Eureka, Oliver Mowat, Julia and Ella Murton. He sailed the Mowat for about seven years and after a couple of years in the Julia, bought the schr. Ella Murton, with Capt. John Donnelly sr., and held the controlling interest.

It was the government dredge Queen that Capt. Saunders took down to Prescott. The dredge had come down from Trenton and Capt. Matheson was unable to get a pilot here. It was ascertained that Capt. Saunders was in port and Capt. Matheson went after him in a hack.

Capt. Saunders wired his wife last night that he would be home in the morning. John Donnelly, jr., broke the news to Mrs. Saunders at their home this morning. The unfortunate woman could hardly realize that it could be true. The two children were present and it was a pitiable scene.

Capt. Saunders was to leave on his vessel for Oswego this morning. It was only after a great deal of persuasion that he was induced to take the dredge to Prescott. The captain was unable to get a pilot and it was just to help him out that the Kingston man went down.

The Charge Denied - Messrs. Bowman, keepers of Cataraqui bridge, deny totally the charge of Capt. Savage, that the injury to the schr. Annie Minnes was due to their neglect to open the swing bridge in time. They motioned to the captain to come on for the bridge would have been fully ready for the vessel's passage. The captain did not think so, though the crew did, and he changed his course, causing injury to vessel and bridge ere the boat was stopped. The schooner was not under sail, but running bare before the wind, and therefore not easily controlled. Messrs. Bowman were abused in gross language by Capt. Savage, and say they object to receive undeserved blame and abuse also.

General Paragraphs - The str. Alexandria from Charlotte to Montreal and prop. Melbourne from Toledo to Montreal called at Craig & Co's wharf today.

Did Not Reach The Place - str. Ella Ross taking excursion to Jones Falls but low water slowed trip, left at eight o'clock, got to Washburn by two o'clock, couldn't get through Washburn lock because after remodelling the Ella Ross is now too wide; party returned to Kingston.


The schr. S.H. Dunn cleared from Garden Island to Toledo, light.

The str. Lindsay is aground at Port Colborne on account of low water.

The schr. Fleetwing got away for Oswego today to load coal for this port.

The barge Peruvian is being loaded with coal at Richardson's for down the canal.

Carter Bros., tug owners, Port Colborne, sold their tug Hector to C.F. Dunbar, Buffalo.

The steambarge King Ben will be engaged most of the season carrying coal to Smith's Falls. This barge has the advantage over vessels. She is about the only bottom around here that can take any kind of a load down the Rideau with the present depth of water.

The str. America arrived in about nine o'clock last night under her own steam. The damage caused by her running on a shoal off Grand Island, yesterday morning, will not amount to much, not over $100. The steamer was put in the government drydock this morning to see that nothing was wrong with her bottom. She was found to be perfectly sound. One of the steamer's valves was broken. She will be out again tonight.

The str. North King made very fast time on her down trip on Sunday. The engineer of the boat had heard that the steamer America was laying in wait for her at Kingston, and that there would be a tussle down the river. The fires were cleared out before coming into Kingston, an unusual thing, as this is generally left until the steamer reaches Alexandria Bay. The str. North King had a full head of steam on in leaving and retained it all the way down.



Niagara, July 16th - The Cibola is now at Youngstown, but will be brought and put in the slip. There is nothing left except the iron hull. One smoke stack is still standing and one paddle box.

The third engineer, W. Hammond, was burned to death in his bunk, and the second engineer badly burned. The crew escaped in their night clothes and lost everything.

The cries of Hammond were heartrending. He appeared at one port-hole, then at another, crying for help, but help was impossible. The port holes were too small to escape through. He was doomed to die and his screams were at last silenced by death.

Hammond was an unmarried man and boarded at the Richardson house, Toronto.

The name Cibola was selected by Librarian Bain, Toronto. The Cibola was a sister province to Chicora of the old Spanish possessions in the country now known as Florida and Louisiana, and the name was chosen for the boat as a sister to the steamer Chicora.

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16 Jul 1895
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 Jul 1895