John D. Riley
John D. Riley, a young marine engineer who has gained his experience in some of the best steamers on the lakes has been in the employ of Capt. John Mitchell for many years. He is a genial and companionable officer, and is noted for the cleanliness of his engine room and the good condition of the machinery under his charge, always being ready to start when the bells ring. He is the son of Henry Riley, of Goderich, Ont., who removed to the United States when he was twenty years of age and located at Forestville, Mich. It was there that John D. Riley was born and educated, attending the public schools until his seventeenth year. In the spring of 1887 Mr. Riley shipped as fireman in the steamer City of Mt. Clemens, and he passed the next season on the tugs George Hand, Mollie Spencer and Mystic, in the same capacity. In 1889 he joined the steamer Thomas S. Christie, also as fireman, following with a season in the steamer John Mitchell. In the spring of 1891 he became oiler on the steamer R. L. Freyer, holding that berth two seasons, and in 1893, having applied for and received engineer's license, he was appointed second engineer on the steamer J. J. Hill. The next spring he transferred to the steamer Robert L. Freyer, in 1895 to the W. F. Sauber, and in 1896 to the large steel steamer John J. McWilliams, as second engineer. In the spring of 1897 Mr. Riley was appointed chief engineer of the steamer John Mitchell, which position he has held two seasons.
Mr. Riley was united in marriage on December 30, 1896, to Helen M., daughter of Daniel Smody, of Forestville, and one son, Charles W., has been born to this union. They live in Forestville, Mich. Socially Mr. Riley is a Master Mason of Cato Lodge No. 215, a member of the Foresters, the Maccabees and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
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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.