Thomas Eagan was born in Rochester, N. Y., February 9, 1855, the son of John and Catherine (Fallon) Eagan, and the namesake of a wealthy uncle now living in Rochester, a hale and hearty man eighty years of age. His parents came to the United States in 1853, and located in Rochester for a short time, removing to Cleveland in 1865, where the subject of this sketch received his education, attending night school taught by William Dugan, who was at that time president of the board of education in Cleveland. His father enlisted in 1862, in Company C, 125th O.V.I., the regiment being assigned to the Western Army. He took part with his regiment in the engagements at Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, the battle above the clouds, receiving a severe wound in the last engagement, and was with General Sherman during the Atlanta campaign. In 1865, after the close of the war, he was honorably discharged at Camp Douglass, in Chicago. During his service in the war he contracted disease from exposure, and died at the Soldiers' Home in Dayton, Ohio, in 1870.
In 1872 Thomas Eagan entered the employ of the Globe Iron Works, as sand cutter in the molding shops, where he remained three years, after which he joined the tug Maggie Sanburn as fireman. In 1876 he took out papers and was appointed engineer of the tug Triad, with Capt. Joe Greenhalgh, the oldest Cleveland tug man. The next spring he shipped on the steambarge Annie M. Smith. In 1878 he went to Chicago as engineer for George P. Gillman on the tug Commodore, and later was on the Commodore Jack Barry, John Miller, and L. B. Johnson, alternately, remaining two seasons on these vessels. In 1880 he joined the Independent Tug line as engineer of the tug Commodore Jack Barry. The following spring he returned to Cleveland and shipped as second engineer on the steamer E. B. Hale. In the spring of 1892 Mr. Eagan was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Lena Knoblock, holding that berth four season. In 1886-87 he sailed as second engineer on the R. P. Rannney, and E. B. Hale, respectively, and the next seasson he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Ossifrage, but left her on account of wages trouble before the close of the season. The propeller Minola, of the Minnesota line, was his next boat, on which he served as second engineer, with George Mason as chief.
In the spring of 1890 Mr. Eagan went tugging out of Cleveland as engineer with Capt. Charles Stickney, on the Allie May and the tugs J. D. Cushing and C. C. Curtis, remaining in that employ three years. In 1893 he again shipped as second engineer of the steamer E. B. Hale. He was on her when she was caught out in Lake Michigan during the prevalence of an eighty-four mile gale; her backbone was broken, and the officers and crew stood in great danger but succeeded in weathering the storm. In 1894 Mr. Eagan was appointed chief engineer of the steamyacht Wilbur, owned by Captain Wilbur, of the Chicago Produce Exchange. The Wilbur was the judges' boat at the time the Priscilla, then owned by Dr. Beeman, won the yacht race against the Idler, at the Milwaukee regatta. The next season he stopped ashore. In the spring of 1896, he shipped as second engineer on the steamer Minola, closing the season as second engineer on the passenger steamer Flora. In 1897, he acted as chief engineer on the tug Favorite, which he laid up at the close of the season of 1898, after running her successfully for two seasons. During his twenty-one years' experience he has never had an accident of any description.
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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.