Eliakim F. Ransom
Eliakim F. Ransom was born in Claridon, Geauga county, Ohio, October 14, 1829, son of John and Annie (Ames) Ransom. The father was a farmer part of his life, and at one time owned a foundry and furnace near Plainville, Ohio. He died at Claridon in 1830. John Ransom, the grandfather of our subject, was of English birth, and was master of salt- water craft, owning vessels which plied between New York and China in the tea trade. He lost his life at sea many years ago on a trip in one of his own vessels. The father of our sujbect died when the latter was less than a year old.
Eliakim F. Ransom received a common-school education, in Livingston county, N.Y., beginning to study when he was about seven years old, and for three years succeeding his school life was located on a farm. When he was seventeen years of age, he came to Buffalo, and for eleven years following he was employed at the old Shepard Iron Works, learning his trade and building steam engines. In 1859 he began his sea-faring life as fireman with his brother, Giles T. Ransom, who was chief engineer of the Monticello. This brother died of yellow fever while in the employ of the government on a gunboat on the Mississippi river during the Civil war. It was through him that Eliakim Ransom first served as second and chief engineer with the following lines from 1857 till about 1892, when he was compelled to retire from the lakes on account of ill health; the Union Steamboat Company, Anchor line, Western Transportation Company, Davidson's line (of Bay City), Michael McComb's line of Buffalo, the old Commercial line, the New York Central line, and also with a lumber firm of Toledo, Ohio. Upon retiring from the lakes he was for a time engineer of a stone crusher for the Barber Asphalt Paving Company, but was compelled to give that up also for the reason above mentioned. During his experience on the lakes he met with but one accident of moment. When he was engineer of the Siberia she lost her rudder on Lake Superior, and drifted about eighty miles to White Fish Point, where she was picked up by a wrecking tug.
In 1852 Mr. Ransom was married in Buffalo, to Miss Mary Jane Sharkey, of Chicago, who died in 1863. They had eight children, three of whom are living, namely: Giles, in business in Toronto; Eliakim, deceased; and Frank, steward of the Seneca. In 1878 Mr. Ransom married Eliza Ann Drake, of Rochester, N.Y., and they reside at 160 Massachusetts street, Buffalo, New York.
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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.