Frederick Rehbaum, another one of the prominent and well-known engineers of the lakes, was born in Saxony, Germany, December 27, 1840, a son of Frederick and Christina (Habenstreit) Rehbaum. The family emigrated to this country in the year 1851, coming direct to and settling in Buffalo, N. Y., where the subject of our sketch entered and completed his education in the public schools of the city.
When about twelve years of age he started to work, learning the machinist's trade with the firm of Sutton Bros., and for the next twenty years his services were solicited by the various machine shops of the city, among which were the Shepard Iron Works (now King's), David Bell's, Knight & Sissons, Rugers, Farrar & Trefts, the King Iron Works, and the Buffalo Steam Forge Company, being also employed in the same line in Chicago and Louisville. While in the employ of these concerns he put in the machinery of several boats, and was very often urged by owners and masters of steamboats to take to the lakes. He finally entered the service of the Union Steamboat Company, with which he remained for twenty consecutive seasons; starting as second engineer of the Potomac, he remained for half a season, and then went back to the King Iron Works, to return again to the water the next season as second on the Dean Richmond. Next season he shipped on the old Tioga as her chief, and the seven succeeding seasons was chief of the St. Louis. The next two seasons he acted as chief of the Avon, and then brought out new the Jewett, on which he remained six seasons, subsequently going on the Portage, of which he was chief until September of that season, when he brought out new the Owego, running her on her trial trip. The next season he was back on the Jewett, and at the end of it left the employ of the Union. He then put in the machinery and brought out the America, running her most of the season, which he finished with a couple of trips on the E. P. Wilbur. Next season he ran the Owego, and the following one fitted out the Schlesinger, and then brought out new the Maruba, of which he was chief for half of that season, the remaining half being put in on the Armour. He next put in the machinery of, and ran for one season, the excursion steamer Idle Hour, and then went with the Anchor line as chief of the Wissihickon, which berth he has held for the last five seasons.
In April, 1858, Mr. Rehbaum was married to Agnes Roth, of Switzerland, and they have had ten children, six now living, viz.: Emily, Robert, Fred, Jr., John, Hannah and Elizabeth, of whom Emily, Robert, John and Hannah are married. Robert is a second engineer on the lakes; Fred, Jr., has also six issues of license, being second on the Gordon Campbell; and John is greaser on one of the Rockefeller boats.
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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.