William Tomlinson, chief engineer of the American Glucose Starch Works, is a sturdy Scotchman, having been born in Glasgow, Scotland, February 12, 1849. His parents, Joseph and Mary (Spears) Tomlinson were from the North of Ireland, and the father at one time was an engineer on salt water.
In 1869 the younger Tomlinson came to America, stopping first in Toronto, Canada, and a week later arrived in Buffalo, which latter place he has ever since considered his home. Previous to coming to this country he spent three years at the machinist's trade in Glasgow, in which city he also received all of his common-school education. In the spring of 1869 he began his life upon the lakes, shipping from Buffalo upon the steamer Thomas A. Scott, of the old Anchor line, as greaser. After two years in this capacity he went as second engineer on the China for a couple of seasons, with the same chief, and followed this with one season in the Philadelphia, one season as second engineer and acting chief of the W. T. Graves, and the following season as chief of the old Ararex, seven years in all. In 1876 he took the position of chief engineer of the Grape Sugar Works, where he remained ten years, and continued with the company when it was reorganized and changed its name to the present, the American Glucose Starch Works, where he still remains, having been with the new company ten years also, and twenty-one years in August, 1898, in substantially the same employ. Mr. Tomlinson has been a member of the National Association of Stationary Engineers for seven years, and is in such good standing that he was nominated as delegate to the State Convention, which took place in Albany, January 15, 1897. Socially, he is a third-second-degree Mason, and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
On July 15, 1875, Mr. Tomlinson was married to Ellen Barrett, of Canada, and they have one son, James W., now (1898) twenty years of age, who occupies the position of bookkeeper to the superintendent of the Courier building.
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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.