Henry C. Dilgart
Henry C. Dilgart, who is now holding the important position of engineer of the Cherry street bridge, spanning the broad Maumee river, at Toledo, Ohio, was born in 1850 on a farm in Springfield township, Lucas Co., Ohio, where he attended school the usual number of years allotted to the youth of that day. He is the son of John C. and Adelema (Thompson) Dilgart, the former of whom, now over seventy-five years of age, still lives on the old homestead farm and is one of the pioneers of Lucas county, having located at Springfield township, three and one-half miles west of the present site of Maumee, in the year 1833, when but eleven years old. After reaching Maumee the head of the family, Henry C. Dilgart (for whom the subject of this sketch is named), procured an ox-team and started for their destination, three and a half miles into the woods. By reason of the obstructions offered to the pioneer of that day it took the travelers three and a half days to reach their new home. The woman of the family returned to Maumee at the close of each day to sleep. Mr. Dilgart's mother, who is a daughter of Hon. R. C. Thompson, was also a pioneer, her family going into the depths of the woods and locating in Blissfield county, Mich. The father made the journey with an ox-team, the women of the family going by rail over the old Michigan Southern railroad, which had recently been completed to that point, the rails used being of old-style strap-iron pattern. Both conveyances starting at the same time, the ox-team reached the future home of the pioneers before the railroad train. Some years later Mr. Thompson represented the Blissfield District in the Michigan State Legislature.
Henry C. Dilgart, after finishing his education in the public schools of Toledo, entered the employ of H. C. Moore & Co., to learn the machinist's trade, and remained with that firm five years. In the spring of 1874 he commenced his marine life as second engineer on the tug Satellite, owned by L. B. Gunn, of Detroit, and the following spring he shipped as second engineer on the old Northern Trans- portation line steamer Prairie State; after laying her up he finished the season in the tug Johnnie Stephens. In the spring of 1876 he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Survey, afterward known as the Julia, owned by Mr. McElroy, of St. Clair, Mich., and on the close of navigation Mr. Dilgart entered the employ of the Smith Bridge Company, in Toledo, later engaging with the Fontaine Engine Works. He also worked two years in the Wabash railroad shops. In 1885 Mr. Dilgart was appointed engineer on the Cherry street bridge, where he remained six years. He then went to Detroit and ran a planer in a shop on Larned street, but was soon appointed engineer of the yacht Foam, on St. Clair Lake, which was then plying in the interest of the old Club House. In the spring of 1892 he became chief of the sand steamer Mulette and after running her four months went to work for the Toledo Metal Wheel Company. In 1895, the city administration of Toledo going his way again, he was appointed to his old berth on Cherry Street bridge, where he has remained up to this time.
Mr. Dilgart was united in marriage on November 22, 1875, to Miss Abbie M. Rogers, daughter of Capt. George F. and Clarissa Rogers, of Marine City, Mich., formerly of Sodus Point, N. Y. The children born to this union are Leo J., Rose A. and Daisie M. The family residence is at No. 420 Manhattan avenue, Toledo, Ohio.
Mr. Dilgart is a member of the Engineers Beneficial Association, the Stationary Engineers Association, the Machinists Union, the Knights of Maccabees, Lucas Tent No. 50, and the Scotch Division No. 3, Uniform Bank.
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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.