Curtis Henderson Stanton finished school at 17 and began working for his father in the Mechanical Department of the Ward-Stanton and Company Shipyard in New York. It was through this experience that he became accomplished in repairing and installing boat engines.
The family arrived in Braidentown in the 1880s and commissioned an iron hulled steamer from the shipyard in New York naming it Manatee. Curtis helped build and install the engine himself. The vessel was launched in 1884 and Stanton served as her engineer during her maiden voyage from New York to the Gulf Coast. Once arriving, the family lived on the boat until a suitable home could be found.
After they were established in the area, the steamship line began its routine with calls at Tampa, Palmetto, Manatee and Ellenton. The Manatee remained in service through the 1920s.
Curtis also had a famous brother, Samuel Ward Stanton. In the early 1900s, Samuel became famous for his maritime drawings. On a trip back from Europe, Samuel lost his life on the ill-fated Titanic which sank in 1912. His body was never recovered.
Curtis married Minnie C. Stewart in 1887. Together they had two children. Curtis moved his family to Tampa to become Superintendent of Engineering for the Plant Marine Systems in 1890. After a trip to Philadelphia, he fell ill with Typhoid Fever and passed away in 1892.
After his death, Minnie worked as a stenographer for the Tampa Tribune and never remarried. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Tampa.
Curtis H Stanton, 1885, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections
Steamer Manatee, 1915-1917, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections
Curtis Henderson Stanton - Grave #80
All images taken by MVHP staff in 2022 unless otherwise noted.