Captain Patrick Linn
Captain Patrick Linn was born in Buffalo January 4, 1849, a son of Capt. Charles and Margaret Linn, the former of whom will be remembered by some of the older lake sailors, he having been one of the old lake captains, dying in the year 1881; he was one of the best known captains on the lakes in his day.
Our subject passed his schools days studying the common branches in the schools of his native city. While sculling a ferry boat back and forth on Buffalo creek, he laid the foundation for the career which he has followed up to the present time. The first vessel he shipped on was the bark Great West No. 1, in 1859. After the bark was laid up in the fall he dropped back to his first occupation on the ferry boat. The following seasons he shipped on the schooner B.F. Wade, and followed this by some experience in the Arcturus, Invincible, Lookout, schooner Cascade, Hans Crocker and May Collins; he was mate of the schooner Minnehaha one season, at the wheel on the propeller F.W. Backus, and was also second mate of the propeller Iowa. He then turned his attention to the tugging business, being appointed master of the tug Last Witness, owned by John Brown, of Canada, who had a contract to dredge out Saginaw river and shoal spots in Saginaw bay. Returning to Buffalo he entered the employ of Mr. Dunbar on harbor tugs out of that port, sailing during his engagement the tugs A. L. Griffin, Alida, Dart, Day Spring, Daniel Boone and Tiger. After severing his connection with this line he shipped as wheelsman on the propeller Winslow, holding that berth one season, and next entered the employ of the Tonawanda Tug line, remaining with the same boat five years. During this time he sailed the tugs Ada, J.W. Cramer and F.L. Danforth, taking the latter boat up to Duluth, she being the first steam-propelled vessel entering from St. Louis bay past the present piers into the port of Duluth, the channel not being yet cut into Lake Superior.
The Captain then returned to Buffalo and entered the employ of the Hand & Johnson Tug line, with which company he still remains, now holding the position of senior master of the line, having been in this line since 1879, the year it was established. He has had the honor of bringing out all of their new tugs since J.B. Griffin (of which he was master) was launched. The list includes the J.B. Griffin, John Johnson, Buffalo, James Byers, R.H. Hibbard, Cascade No. 1, and Cascade No. 2, of which he is now master. During his life on the water Captain Linn has saved at least twenty persons from drowning. His first rescue was during his early boyhood, when he was ferry boy, two women being saved through his efforts. Another time, in the night, a man walked off the dock into the creek, and the Captain saved him, and after working with him a long time succeeded in reviving him. The man walked away without even saying "thank you," and Captain Linn has never seen him since. He has also saved a great deal of property that has been wrecked, being more than ordinarily successful in that line. He is a member of the American Association of Masters & Pilots of Buffalo.
In 1873 Captain Linn was married to Miss Ellen Farrell, and they have had five sons and three daughters: Mary Ellen, Mathew T., Alonzo, Johnnie, Etta, Jennie, William and James. Of the sons, Mathew T. and Alonzo, follow the lakes, the former as engineer and the latter as mate.
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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.