Ray Flint, one of the most prominent and best qualified engineers on the lakes, is a popular companion, a man of equable disposition and of kindly nature. He is a son of Willard N. and Eliza (Raymond) Flint, and was born in Montpelier, Vt., on March 30, 1841. The father was a mechanical engineer, and possessed great talent in that direction, which has been inherited by the sons and grandsons. He removed from the Green Mountain State to Racine, Wis., in 1843, where he went into busines, Ray attending the public school in that place.
In 1870 Mr. Flint took up his lakefaring life, which has continued uninterrupted to this date. His first berth was in the tug Kittie Smoke as fireman, serving in that capacity but two seasons, the second being in the tug William Richards. In the spring of 1872 he applied for and received marine engineer's license, and shipped in the steamer Menominee as second engineer, closing the season in the steamer Chicago. The secret of this rapid advancement consists in his mechanical skill acquired under the teaching of his father. In the spring of 1873 he was appointed second engineer in the passenger steamer Oconto, plying between Chicago and Green Bay, holding a like berth in the steamer Cheboygan the following season.
In the spring of 1875 Mr. Flint was appointed chief engineer on the passenger steamer Oconto, in the employ of the Goodrich Transportation Company, retaining that office three years. He was then transferred to the side-wheel passenger steamer Corona as chief, running her two seasons. In 1880 he assumed charge of the machinery of the City of Ludington, engineering her nine consecutive seasons, seven of which the steamer plied on the Milwaukee and Manistee route and two between Milwaukee and Grand Haven. It was in the spring of 1887 that Mr. Flint was appointed chief engineer of the passenger steamer Indiana, also of the Goodrich Transportation Company, plying between Milwaukee and Chicago daily, holding that office eight consecutive years, being retained in her at this writing, thus rounding a period of over a quarter of a century on the lakes as engineer, without any serious mishap to himself or machinery.
In November, 1858, Mr. Flint was wedded to Miss Fredericka R., daughter of John and Catherine Rath, of Manitowoc. Six sons were born to this union: (1) Seneca became a marine engineer, and after receiving his license sailed with his father in the steamer Corona and Menominee, afterward being appointed chief of the steamer City of Fremont, of the Herson Transportation Company; he then accepted a position of the Wisconsin State prison at Waupun, and later was made traveling engineer and expert for the State of Wisconsin, a responsible position which he is well qualified to fill. (2) John A., the second son, was second engineer with his father in the steamer City of Ludington one season, after which he shipped as second in the steamer Atlanta, remaining eight seasons; he the corresponding secretary of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 77. (3) George is a stationary engineer now employed in the Rookery building in Chicago. (4) William was granted a master's license soon after attending his majority, and was drowned at South Chicago while mate of the tug Fisher, of the Pestigo Car Ferry Company. (5) Ray is purchasing agent for Matthews & Keith, railroad contractors. (6) Charles, the youngest son, is employed in a canning factory at Sheboygan, Wis. The family homestead is in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.