Dean Richmond, formerly a resident of Buffalo, who attained more than a national reputation, was largely interested in elevator property as well as in vessel property on the lakes. He was born in Barnard, Vt., March 31, 1804, and was a son of Hathaway and Rachel (Dean) Richmond. He was a direct descendant of John Richmond, who emigrated from Taunton, England, and who in 1637 was one fo the founders of Plymouth colony at Taunton, Mass. His ancestors were farmers living in and around this colony, but his father removed to Vermont, where Dean was born. In 1812 the family removed to Salina, N. Y., and there Hathaway Dean met with business reverses, which caused him to go South, and he died in Mobile, Alabama.
When Dean Richmond was fifteen years old he engaged in the manufacture and sale of salt, and was very successful, and before attaining his majority he was chosen a director of the Syracuse Bank. From the manufacture of salt he became a forwarding and commission merchant, and was largely interested in various enterprises. In 1842 he established himself in business in Buffalo as a dealer in and shipper of Western produce, residing at first in Attica and later in Batavia. His reputation for upright dealing was not surpassed by that of any resident in the lake region. becoming interested in railroads, he was a leader in the movement which at length resulted in the consolidation of seven corporations into the New York Central Railroad Company, and was mainly instrumental in securing the passage of the Act under which this consolidation was effected.
Upon the organization of the company in 1853, Mr. Richmond was made a vice-president, and in 1864 he was elected to the presidency, which position he held until his death. Though he failed to secure the advantages of early education, yet by wide and careful reading and by contact with and observations upon men and things, he became one of the most intelligent and influential men of his time in the State. He was a man of sound judgment, of broad comprehensive views, and of great force of character, being looked up to even from his boyhood as a leader among his associates, and so continued throughout his life. While a young man he espoused the cause of the Democratic party, and enjoyed the confidence of the men composing the Albany regency. A leader of his party in the State of New York, he was made chairman of the State committee, but never held or sought office of any kind.
On February 19, 1833, he married Miss Elizabeth Mead, in Troy, N. Y. Nine children were born to them, of whom four still survive, namely: H. A. Richmond, Buffalo N. Y.; Mrs. A. R. Kenny, Batavia, N. Y.; W. E. Richmond, Buffalo, N. Y.; E. G. Richmond, Chattanooga, Tenn. Mr. Richmond left at his death (which occurred August 27, 1866), at the home of Samuel J. Tilden, a fortune of several millions to his wife, who built in Batavia the Richmond Memorial Library, in memory of her youngest son, who died in 1885. Mrs. Richmond passed away April 6, 1895.
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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.