Jasper N. Crosby
This gentleman is at present in the employ of the city of Cleveland, but should still be classed among marine engineers, for the many years of his life which were spent in that capacity. He was born at Portland, N. Y., August 9, 1831. He lived at his birthplace for twelve years, and then went with his parents to Wheaton, Ill., where he lived until he reached his twentieth year. At that time he returned to New York State and went into the sawmill business at Dunkirk, N. Y., for the purpose of learning the engineer's trade. After three years in this place he began his life on the lakes, to which he afterward devoted most of his time.
The first marine position Mr. Crosby held was on the California, running out of Buffalo. He remained on her part of a season as fireman, and then went to the Owego. After working part of a season on the America as greaser he spent some time on the Pauhasset as fireman and second engineer, remaining on this boat three years in the latter capacity, he then became chief and second of the Genesee Chief, respectively, and in after years served in the capacity of chief on the Olean and Gov. Cushman. For the three years following he served as second engineer on the Elmira, and for a time as second on the New York. The next season he came on the Portsmouth as chief and in 1862 transferred to the Tioga, in which he remained four years. Upon this boat Mr. Crosby sustained several severe injuries in the explosion which occurred May 9, 1863, but has fully recovered from all of them, thus surviving one of the most thrilling experiences in the lake marine history. He left the water at this time and entered the employ of the Middlebury Coal Company, with which he remained six and one-half years, afterward coming to Dunkirk as fireman on the Erie railroad. From this place he went to Milwaukee, and for a part of a season ran the Gov. Cushman, and then the Olean, returning to Dunkirk, where he spent the winter in the railroad shops. He spent six and one-half years in the employ of the Middlebury Coal Company, five years on the Dunkirk & Warren railroad, and then engaged two years in the building of the Valley railroad, and later worked for the same length of time on the railroad bridge owned by the same company in Cleveland. He ran on the Valley road about three years after it was built. Since that time he has been employed in the shops of the Globe Iron Works and on bridges in the city's employ.
On March 31, 1852, Mr. Crosby was married to Miss Julia Bradley, of Dunkirk, N. Y., who died October 26, 1894. They had one child, Elbert W., who resides in Fort Wayne at present, and is a railroad engineer. Mr. Crosby has been a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers for thirty years.
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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.