Captain John McDowell
Captain John McDowell, was born in 1848, at Brooklyn, N. Y., and received a public-school education in his native city. He was apprenticed to the Black Rock Iron Company to learn the machinist's trade, to which end he applied himself four years, and he then commenced his lakefaring life in the capacity of fireman on the tug Medina. Removing to Buffalo he entered the employ of the Hand & Johnson Tug line, with which he remained eleven years, being first appointed master of the tug Ella B., and at different times sailing all the tugs of that line, transferring to the Mary E. Pierce, Lorenzo Dimick, John B. Griffin, Compound and James Beyer, in the order named. In the fall of 1889 he came ashore and embarked in business on his own account, devoting all of his time and attention to same until the spring of 1896, when he entered the employ of the Vessel Owners Towing Company at Cleveland, Ohio, as master of the tug Cris Grover, which he laid up at the close of navigation that year. While on ferry duty at Buffalo in 1886 Captain McDowell ran into and capsized a scow. In the confusion attending the mishap, two boys who were spilled into the creek escaped observation, but the Captain, seeing their danger, swam to them and conveyed them to the shore. During his long period of service with the Hand & Johnson Tug line he proved himself a thoroughly competent tug man.
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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.