Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Captain Joseph C. Babcock

Joseph C. Babcock was born the 19th of February 1843 to Joseph and Mary A. Allen Babcock in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. He married Mary J. Chapman on the 8th of April 1869 in Lake County, Ohio.

Joseph (J.C.) and Mary had three children, Hattie, Daniel I. and Robert. Hattie (1870-1956) married Elias D. Warren (1859-1932) 24th December 1889. Daniel (1872-1936) married Elizabeth Stange (1881-1941) 8th January 1902. Robert Roy (1875-1889) died at age 14. The family lived on Third Street in Fairport.

Joseph C. died on the 4th of July 1921.

The following sketch was in the Painesville Telegraph Wednesday 17 April 1901 on page 3 with a photo of the Historic Fairport Lighthouse and sketches of Capt. Rasmussen, Capt. J. C. Babcock and Daniel I. Babcock.


Fairport Ready for Season of Navigation.

Life Saving Station Opened by Capt. Rasmussen Sunday Midnight - Light House Already Opened - Daniel I. Babcock Appointed Assistant Keeper - Sketch of Life of Keeper J. C. Babcock.

Fairport harbor has been opened for the season awaiting the arrival of the first vessels, which are expected within probably a week or ten days.

The life saving station was opened by Captain Rasmussen Sunday at midnight. The Fairport light house and other harbor lights have been lighted since March 27.

Daniel I. Babcock, son of the keeper, J. C. Babcock, received his appointment as assistant keeper on Saturday. Captain J. C. Babcock the keeper received his appointment soon after the death of Captain G. L. Riker last August. Captain Babcock has been in the light house service at Fairport ever since the present light house was built in 1871 and for a short time before. For ten years after that date he served as keeper. Then the appointment was turned over to Captain Riker and Captain Babcock remained assistant keeper until he received his reappointment last fall. He was born a few rods from the light house in the old Eagle Tavern, long since torn down, and his home has always been in Fairport.

He served three years in the Civil war as a private in the 71st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Following that service he sailed the lakes for several years in various capacities being part of the time part owner in several vessels. In later years he engaged in the fishing business from Fairport being associated for a long time with Captain J. E. Post.

After his years of experience in the light house and on the lakes, Captain Babcock is perfectly familiar with his present duties and no more efficient keeper could be secured.

The Fairport light house is one of the best on the lakes and the distance at which the light can be seen is estimated at eighteen miles in clear weather. Two other lights are kept burning-the white beacon light at the end of the pier and the red inner range light some distance up the harbor-all three are lighted at sundown and are kept burning untill sunrise.

The keeper of the light house remains on watch half the night and his assistant the other half. It is also the duty of the keeper to keep a record of the weather conditions and incidents of navigation each day. The light house service is under the navy department and like other government work is bound up in red tape. The keeper must measure carefully and keep a record of each inch of wick and each gill of oil burned each night in each light. These reports are made regularly to the proper authorities and if found regular are filed and preserved. The lights this season were first lighted on March 27, earlier than most years. The date is governed by the amount of ice in the lake.

At the life saving station there are two new men this year. The following make up the crew: Robert C. Graves, of Sacket’s Harbor; Frank Fawdery, Sacket’s Harbor; A. D. Nelson, Port Ontario; J. E. Chapman, Fairport; Frank LaRose, Janette Creek, Ontario; James Shoemaker, Youngstown; Peter Cogan, Cleveland. LaRose and Shoemaker are the new men.

Submitted by Cynthia Turk

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Last updated 3 Jan 2009

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