Ralph H. Reynolds
Ralph H. Reynolds, second engineer of the J. C. Gilchrist, is the son of Charles W. Reynolds, who was born in Buffalo, and spent twelve years of his life as a marine engineer on the Great Lakes, serving also on the gunboat Louisville as first assistant during the Civil war. He died in 1874.
Ralph H. Reynolds was born August 21, 1872, at St. Joe, Mich. When he was three months old his parents moved to South Haven, same State, where he lived till he was seven years of age, at that time removing to Chicago. The early years of his life were spent in school, and at the close of his school days he entered the shop where he served his time until 1888. In that year he began the active life of a sailor, first shipping on the Alfred P. Wright, on which he acted as second cook the first few trips, and then became watchman, remaining one year as such. For the three years following he was greaser on the same boat. During the World's Fair he took charge of an electric launch for four months, and then spent the remainder of the season as lookout on the Arthur Orr. He then served three months as fireman upon the C. H. Bradley, and for a short time was second engineer, then going on the Marina as greaser for the remainder of the season. At the close he entered the shipbuilding shops at Chicago, where he had previously spent several winters, and remained until the spring of 1895, when he went on the Fred Kelley as second, remaining six months and finishing the season on the Zenith City as greaser. He then entered the shops again, continuing there until in August, 1896, he came on the J. C. Gilchrist to the position which he now holds.
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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.