John L. Rawson
John L. Rawson, the well-known and popular chief engineer of the Title & Trust building, Chicago, and who was for many years identified with the lake marine, is a native of Vermont, born in 1842, and is a son of Hiram and Harriet Rawson, who followed farming as an occupation, and who spent their entire lives in the Green Mountain State. In early life he learned the printer's trade, which he followed until 1863, when he shipped in the navy, at New York, for service in the Civil War, and was assigned to the steamer Calypso. When the war was over he was honorably discharged at Philadelphia, in 1865, and in the fall of that year went to New Orleans, where during the season of 1866, he was in the employ of the Morgan line.
For twenty-three years Mr. Rawson engaged in sailing, beginning his career on the lakes of Detroit, Mich., on a tug belonging to the Strong Tug line, as assistant engineer. After four years spent with that company he entered the service of the Union Steamboat line, with which he was connected from 1871 to 1888, the first three years as assistant engineer, and the rest of the time as chief engineer on different boats. He fitted out boats, and was on the Newberg from 1871 to 1879; the Portage from 1880 to 1884; the New York from 1885 to 1886; and the Jewett until the close of the season in 1887. He then came to Chicago, and accepted the position of assistant engineer of the Rookery building, after which he was employed as chief engineer at the Western Bank Note building. On leaving there he became chief engineer of the Ellsworth building, and from there came to the Chicago Title & Trust building, and is still holding that position.
Socially, Mr. Rawson became a charter member of the M. E. B. A. of Buffalo, of which he was financial secretary in 1883 and 1884, but now holds membership in the same Order, No. 4, at Chicago; and is also a member of the National Association of Stationary Engineers, No. 1, of Illinois. He resides at 6339 Eggleston avenue, Chicago.
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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.