Edward Tyrrell, who was born at Toledo, Ohio, April 14, 1844, was a son of Thomas and Kate (Cummerford) Tyrrell, of Syracuse, N.Y., who were among the early pioneers of Toledo, having located at that port in the fall of 1837, when there were but a few houses in the settlement and the present prosperous city still in embryo. The father, being a carpenter and contractor, soon bettered his condition in the rapidly growing town.
After attending school until he reached the age of sixteen years, Edward, the subject of this sketch, was appointed to learn the machinist's trade in Mr. H. Moore's shop, where he remained three years, and since that time has been employed steadily not only in machine shops, but in the engine rooms of the best lake steamers, so that he has been known as one of the most finished and capable machinists in Toledo. Immediately after finishing his trade, he entered the employ of the government, and worked in the shops at Cincinnati and Parkersburg, W. Va., during the last year of the Civil war, the year of 1865 closing while he was engineer of a switch locomotive on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. In 1866 he returned to Toledo and went to work in the Wabash railroad shops as machinist, remaining there two years.
Mr. Tyrrell commenced his lake-faring life on the propeller Sun, plying between Port Sarnia, Ontario, Buffalo and Chicago as first assistant engineer, his chief being the well-known marine engineer, Frank Lang. After serving in that capacity on the Sun two years, he stopped ashore at Toledo and entered the employ of Messrs. Horton & Kinesser, but in the spring of 1871 he again shipped as first assistant engineer this time on the propeller St. Louis, of the Union Steamboat line, remaining until October, when again he went to work as machinist in the Wabash railroad shops in Toledo. The following spring he was appointed second engineer of the steamer P.H. Birkhead, and on July 4 he received chief's papers from Thomas Fitzpatrick, then local inspector at Cleveland, and took charge of the machinery of the Birkhead. That fall, after laying his steamer up, he went to work in the machine shop of David & Shaw, of Toledo, where he remained until July, 1873, when he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Mary Pringle, and at the close of the season he entered the employ of the Novelty Works, remaining until April of the following year, when he accepted a place as chief engineer of the Mitchell & Rowland sawmill. The next three years were passed in the shop of Johnathan Smith, as machinist, and in 1879, he again entered the employ of Mitchell & Rowland Lumber Company, remaining with them until the concern was destroyed by fire, after which he went as chief engineer with E.H.H. Smith & Halderman until March 17, when he left and took charge of the Brush Electric Light Company. This was the first electric light plant in Toledo. The following year he returned to the shop of Smith & Halderman, and remained there four years as machinist. This was followed by three years in the same capacity in the shop of Mr. E. McClery. After being employed a short time in the machine shop of George Hartley and Mitchell & Rowland, he again returned to Smith & Halderman and remained with them until 1895, when he entered the shop of the Ohio Railroad Company.
In the spring of 1896 Mr. Tyrrell returned to his lake-faring life as chief engineer of the steamer Mary Pringle, on which he closed the season. After giving universal satisfaction in all of his many occupations, he is now taking a well-earned rest. He is an ardent member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, and a charter member of the Machinists National Association and of Machinists Association No. 105.
Mr. Tyrrell was united by marriage to Miss Jennie Finerty, of Sandusky, Ohio, in 1872. Four children - Carrie, Catherine, William and Francis - have been born to this union. The family homestead is at No. 1118 Washington street, and is filled with all the comforts of home life.
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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.