Robert S. Hay
In this age of steam power upon the Great Lakes the equipment of the big freighters and passenger palaces with engines and machinery is a most important part of their construction. Perhaps no engineer could be found who has had a more extended experience in that delicate and skillful work than Mr. Hay, who for many years was an engineer upon the lakes, but since 1886 has had charge of large machine shops and as superintendent has fitted out a number of modern fleets.
Mr. Hay is a native of Scotland, born January 15, 1840, the son of Alexander Scott and Margaret (Cockburn) Hay, natives of the same country. The father was by occupation a farmer. After coming to America, Mr. Hay was engaged at his trade of machinist until 1861, when he began his nautical career as assistant engineer of the steamer Cataract. Subsequently he served as assistant engineer on the steamers Nile and Mary Stewart, and as chief engineer on the following vessels: Akron, Buckeye, Brooklyn, Champlain, Selah Chamberlin, E. B. Hale, Henry Chisholm and Republic. Mr. Hay's experience upon the lakes terminated in 1886, when he was called to a more important and lucrative position, having been appointed superintendent of the Globe Iron Works Company, of Cleveland. While thus engaged Mr. Hay placed the engines in several steamers for the Minnesota Iron Company - the Marina, Masoba, Maruba, Matoa, Manola, Maritana and Mariposa; in the following eight for the Northern Steamship Company: North Wind, Northern Wave, North Star, Northern King, Northern Queen and Northern Light, and the two passenger steamers North West and North Land. He fitted out in a like manner the passenger steamers Virginia and Atlanta, of the Goodrich line; the steamers Roman, Saxon, German, Briton, Norman and Grecian, of the Menominee line; the Castalia and the Charles Sheffield, for H. H. Brown; the Republic, for the Republic Iron Company; the Parks Foster and the Ira Owen, for the Owen line; the Olympia of the Wilson line; the two lighthouse tenders Lilac and Columbia; the revenue cutters W. Q. Gresham, Algonquin and Onondaga; the yacht Comanche; the Carolia, Corsica, Corona, Cambria and Globe, of the Mutual line; the Wilbur, Seneca, Saranac, Cuyahoga and Tuscarora, of the Lehigh Valley line, and the steamers R. Rhodes, James Pickands, Missoula and Yakima. Mr. Hay severed his connection with Globe Iron Works Company July 1, 1898, to take charge of the machine shop of the Cleveland City Forge Company, where he is at present serving as superintendent.
In 1863 Mr. Hay was married at Cleveland to Miss Mary J. McKnight, and they have had eight children, five daughters and three sons, all living but one son. Mr. Hay has excellent health, supplementing his mental vigor and activity with a robust constitution which has enabled him to accomplish a vast amount of work. He is interested deeply in marine affairs, and as an engineer and machinist is well known among lake men.
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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.