Lewis C. Purdy
Lewis C. Purdy, a resident of Port Huron, secured his first marine engineer's license twenty-five years ago. He is a man of fine physique, good salient qualities, and of a distinct and unmistakable independence of character. A son of L.W. and Eliza A. (Jay) Purdy. Mr. Purdy was born in Detroit, Mich., August 3, 1850. His father was a native of Plymouth, and his mother of Indiana. Young Purdy acquired his education in the Barstow Union schools. The first industry to which he turned his attention was that of boilermaking, in the shop of Robert McGregor, of Detroit. He next found employment with the Milwaukee & Grand Haven railroad, as fireman on the pony locomotive, where, in his three years stay, he learned much as regards the structure of the engine. He then shipped as deckhand on the W.K. Muir, and it was on this board that he came near losing his life when she exploded her boilers at Stag island near Port Huron, being one of the three members of the crew that escaped death. His next boat was the lake tug Frank Moffat, on which, for two seasons, he was fireman. After taking out engineer's papers he was appointed second engineer on the Moffat, and at the end of two years was advanced to the position of chief, and engineered her for seven years. He was then appointed chief engineer on the late tug Kate Williams, which position he held two seasons, followed by a season on the J.W. Bennett.
In the spring of 1891, Mr. Purdy became second engineer on the steamer Cuba, closing the season as chief engineer on the Nellie Torrent. The next spring he was appointed chief engineer on the steamer Thomas D. Stimson, running her four seasons, and laying her up at Port Huron at the close of navigation in 1897. He is a member of the Marine Engineers Association, and of the Independent Order of Foresters. In July 1878, Mr. Purdy was wedded to Mrs. Margaret Kaiser, of Port Huron, who was well known in that city.
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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.