Captain Samuel E. Leonard
Captain Samuel E. Leonard is a marine engineer who has distinguished himself for his bravery in rescuing persons in danger, and who is now engineer of the Main street bridge in Cleveland. His birthplace was Lancaster, Fairfield Co., Ohio, having been born there in 1865. His parents were Samuel and Mary (Bowers) Leonard, the former born in 1827, in Columbiana county, Ohio, and the latter in 1838, in Pickaway county, Ohio. Mrs. Bowers, the mother of Mrs. Leonard[sic], was born in Virginia in 1815, and is still living. Samuel Leonard was at one time a farmer in Indiana, and up to the year 1872 he was superintendent of the Ohio canal. His death occurred in 1890.
The subject of this sketch began his seafaring career as fireman on the tug Castle, in 1882. Up to that time he had been employed on the Ohio canal. He was attentive to his duties and watchful of his employers' interests, and he had advanced to such a degree in 1887 that he was able to take out an engineer's license. Four years later he was in possession of a license for pilot or captain. Other vessels he has been connected with are the steamer Cyclone, of Chicago, of which he was fireman; the tug Maytham, of Cleveland, of which he was engineer two years; the H. L. Chamberlain, Florence, Curtiss, Dreadnaught, W.W. Richardson, all of Cleveland, one year each; the tug A. Miller, of Chicago, of which he was engineer one year.
Captain Leonard has been somewhat interested in owning floating property during recent years. In 1891 he purchased a half-interest in the tug Florence, but this vessel was lost in collision September 28, the same year, and the case is still pending in the United States courts. Three years later he purchased a half-interest in the tug W.W. Richardson, selling the same in 1895 to take his present position as bridge engineer. During the year 1889, while Captain Leonard was engineer of the tug Maytham, towing rafts of logs from Rondeau, Canada, to Cleveland, he was instrumental in saving the lives of five men and a woman from the schooner Lewis Ross. The schooner went ashore near Rondeau, and was seen to be rapidly breaking up. Captain Leonard took the yawl boat of the tug, manned it with a volunteer crew and made three trips to the wreck. The yawl boat capsized twice before it reached the wreck the first time, and the four men in it were thrown into the water each time. All were good swimmers except Captain Leonard, who, as he relates the story now, could not swim a stroke but managed to get into the yawl again. All on board the wrecked schooner were saved, but the vessel went to pieces an hour afterward. Captain Leonard and the men who went with him in the yawl were promised medals of honor from the Canadian government, but have never received them.
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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.