Reynolds Hill, chief engineer of the elegant steel steamer Ramapo, the property of the Union Steamboat Company, is the son of Seth and Maria (Rich) Hill, both natives of New York State. The former is a farmer, and they are now residing at Havana, Schuyler Co., N. Y. There were but four children in the family, the two now living, besides Reynolds, being Janette, wife of Chester Giles, a hotel keeper at Havana, and Maud, residing with her parents.
Reynolds Hill was born in Reading, Steuben Co., N. Y., in 1843, and there he attended school. For a short period during his early life he worked on his father's farm, and began his practical work as fireman and engineer of a sawmill in the vicinity of his birthplace. For three years he was engineer on the Northern Central railroad, and succeeding that employment he enlisted in the Union army in 1862, remaining in the United States service until June 9, 1865.
Since the war Mr. Hill has been continuously in his chosen employment until the present writing, and during his career has been engineer of the most prominent steam vessels of the Great Lakes. He has also acted in that capacity on inland lake and Hudson river steamers. He was two seasons chief engineer of the side-wheel passenger steamer Elmira, on Seneca lake, and for a short period each of the steamers Halsey and F. Holmes on Lake Cayuga, N. Y., a famous summer resort. On the Hudson river he was chief engineer of the passenger steamer Austin, running between Albany and New York. For one season on Otsego lake, N. Y., he was chief engineer of the steamer Nattie Bumpo, named from one of Fenimore Cooper's novels and owned in part and managed by Byatha Watkins. In the lake service Mr. Hill has at different times and for different seasons been chief engineer of the following named steamers: the tug Union, owned by Mitchell & Boutelle, of Bay City, towing rafts; the tug Dexter, owned by Capt. George Fields, of Bay City; the side-wheel passenger steamer George L. Dunlap; the Keweenaw, of Detroit, Capt. Eber Ward; the Nyack, a Detroit river tug; the propeller Antelope, owned by Ballentine & Co.; the propeller Northerner, of which John M. Nichol was a managing owner (The latter steamer was burned, a total loss, at Marbleshead, Lake Erie); the propeller Oscar T. Flint, of St. Clair, named from a Buffalo man and built by Simon Langel; the steamers John F. Eddy, Charles Eddy, E. C. Pope, Selwyn Eddy, W. B. Castle, Penobscot, and five years on the mail steamer Ivanhoe, owned by Hoar & Edwards. He also brought out new the steamers John M. Nichol and Eber Ward, from Wheeler's dock, Bay City, and the Roswell P. Flower, from Milwaukee, the latter owned by David Vance.
During the season of 1896 until August Mr. Hill was chief engineer of the steamer New York, at which time he brought out the steamer Ramapo, and he filled that berth during the seasons of 1897 and 1898. The Ramapo is an elegant steel steamer, and her carrying capacity is equal to that of the Chemung and Owego, of the same line, combined. She was named from a small town near Port Jarvis, N. Y., on the Erie railroad. Mr. Hill is recognized as one of the prominent and competent engineers in the lake service, and that estimate of his qualities is fully sustained by the foregoing record of his career as an engineer.
In 1869 Mr. Hill was married at Geneva, Ontario Co., N. Y., to Miss Olivia Andrus. She is the daughter (of) Elliott Andrus, who several years ago, at Seneca Falls, N. Y., built the first boiler for steam fire engines. The family residence of Mr. Hill is at Geneva, New York.
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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.