Charles Alonzo Horton Letter, Great Lakes Disaster, 1913
This is a personal letter from Charles Alonzo Horton of Vermilion, Ohio to his wife Anna Helena Baxtine Horton and son Charles Henry Horton describing the disastrous storm which killed approximately 155 sailors. Most of those deaths occurred in southern Lake Huron when the boats ran out of water with the waves growing ever higher as the hurricane force winds blew almost exactly in the same direction as Lake Huron lies.
This letter is in the collection of John Barnabas Horton, of Clinton Township, Michigan and Concho, Arizona having received it from his father John Louis Horton. John Louis Horton was born November 1914 less than a week after the first anniversary of the 1913 storm. Anna Helena Baxtine was a cousin of Philip Minch. They were both members of the Leimbach family. Philip Minch along with his wife and all of their children were drowned in the sinking of one of the first iron hulled Great Lakes freighters in the fall of 1903 on Lake Superior west of Whitefish Bay. Anna and about 21 other cousins inherited equal shares of the Minch fleet. Those shares were purchased by the Steinbrenner family through the use of well-paid lawyers, sometimes willingly but most often forced as in Anna Helena Baxtine Horton's situation, and renamed the Kinsman Fleet as the incorporation paperwork was done at a home located at 55 Kinsman Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
John Louis Horton worked in the Great Lakes fleet Marine Department for Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company forty years. His last position with Cleveland Cliffs Iron was as Assistant to the Senior Vice President. John Horton was Manager of the Cleveland Cliffs Marine Department immediately prior to the position of Assistant to Senior Vice President. John Louis Horton earned his under graduate and Graduate Degree in History at Cleveland State University following retirement from Cleveland Cliffs. John Louis Horton died 15 February 2006 of pneumonia. Charles Alonzo Horton worked from the time of this letter to about 1958 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Lines owned by United States Steel. Charles completed his career as Captain of several of The Pittsburgh Steamship Lines. Charles Alonzo Horton's last vessel was the almost brand new William A. Irvin. The Irvin has been a museum vessel in Minnesota for over a decade as of 19, July 2015.
This letter was generously submitted by John Barnabas Horton, 19382 Dixie Drive, Clinton Township, Michigan, 48035 on 19 July 2015.
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Charles Alonzo Horton Letter