A. McMinn, who is a prominent tug man, both as pilot and engineer, was born in 1861 in Thomaston, Maine, and came to Buffalo with his parents about 1867, here attending the public schools. After leaving school he entered the employ of Knight & Sisson to learn the machinist's trade. Mr. McMinn first became connected with the tugging business in the spring of 1872, beginning as fireman on the tug Double Exhaust, and the following season served in the same capacity on the tug Sarah E. Briant. His next tug was the Post Boy, on which he was employed two seasons. In the spring of 1876 he entered the employ of Hingston & Woods as fireman on the J. F. Bean, being advanced the following season to the berth of engineer, which he held two years. In 1879 he shipped on the tug Maud S., and took her to Pequaming, Lake Superior, where he ran her that season. On returning to Buffalo in the spring of 1880 he was appointed engineer of the tug John F. Griffin, was given a similar position the following season on the A. P. Dorr, and in 1882 on the tug Alpha, continuing on her four years, after which he went to Chicago and took charge of the machinery of the tug Morford. On his return to Buffalo the next season he entered the employ of the Maytham Tug line as engineer of the Annie P. Dorr; in 1888 he was transferred to the E. C. Maytham, and in the spring of 1889 he was appointed master of the tug Adams. In 1890 Mr. McMinn went to Duluth as chief engineer of the Inman Tug line, running the iron tug Record, so named for the Marine Record, published in Cleveland, where the tug was built. He remained with Captain Inman two years and while there was recognized as a veritable "doctor" of tug machinery, saving many a repair bill to the firm by his knowledge of mechanics. In 1892 he took the tug O'Brian at Oscoda, Mich., and in the spring of 1893 was appointed her engineer, going out of Conneaut, Ohio; in the spring of 1894 he was appointed engineer of the river tug Howard, at Ashland, and the following season became engineer of the Pleasure boat Idle Hour, for W. Zeigler, at Buffalo. In 1896 he was appointed master of Maytham's tug Alpha, which he sailed until the close of navigation, and during the winter he had charge of the tug Woods, running as tender or dispatch boat on the Niagara river, in connection with the water-works crib and other Buffalo enterprises. Mr. McMinn is a member of the American Association of Masters & Pilots and of the Buffalo Harbor Tug Pilots Association. He has nineteen issues of marine engineer's license and nine issues of pilot's licenses.
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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.