William Nelson Page, born on 6 January 1854 in Campbell County, Va., attended special courses in engineering at the University of Virginia and became a civil and mining engineer. He took part in the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railway, directing the location and construction of the New River canyon bridge in 1871 and 1872, of the Mill Creek Canyon (Va.) bridge in 1874. In 1875 and 1876, he led the surveying party charged with mapping out the route of the double-track railway ordered by Congress to extend between the Ohio River and Hampton Roads. He was the general manager of the Hawks Nest Coal Co. between 1877 and 1880; operated the Victoria Blast Furnace at Goshen, Va., from 1880 to 1885; and located and built the Powellton bridge of the C&O Railway between 1885 and 1889.
After developing the Mt. Carbon Collieries, he organized and developed the Gauley Mountain Coal Co. between 1889 and 1917 and became a consulting coal engineer for that organization. Page served as a consulting engineer for other coal-producing firms during that time as well. In addition to his engineering achievements, Page served as a mayor of Anstead, West Virginia, for 10 years and rose to the rank of brigadier inspector general in the West Virginia National Guard. Page died in Washington, D.C., on 7 March 1932.
(Freighter: dp. 12,163; l. 395'1"; b. 55'0"; dph. 34'5"; dr. 27'0"; s. 12.0 k.; cpl. 97; a. 1 4", 1 3")
William N. Page, a steel-hulled, single-screw steamship built under a shipping board contract in 1918 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Ship Building and Dry Dock Corp., was taken over by the Navy for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS); assigned Id. No. 3844; and simultaneously commissioned at Camden on 18 December 1918, Lt. H. L. Ertel, USNRF, in command.
After fitting out, William N. Page loaded general cargo and locomotives and departed New York on 11 January 1919. She arrived at Brest, France, on the 27th, unloaded her cargo, and sailed, in ballast, for Norfolk on 8 February.
Making arrival at her destination on the 27th, William N. Page loaded cargo and underwent voyage repairs before she sailed for La Pallice, France, on 23 March. Arriving there on 8 April, she found the harbor congested and shifted to Verdon-sur-Mer the same day. There, she unloaded and took on board 995 tons of return Army cargo over ensuing days. She ultimately sailed for Norfolk on 10 May.
William N. Page concluded her last voyage for NOTS on 25 May when she arrived at Norfolk and commenced unloading. Six days later, on 31 May 1919, she was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list. Simultaneously returned to the Shipping Board, William N. Page remained in active merchant service for nearly three decades. Her successive owners and operators included the Mystic Steamship Co., the Koppers Coal Co., and Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates. She operated with the last-named firm from about 1943 until her name disappeared from period shipping registers after 1947.