George B. Kelley
George B. Kelley is a well-known lake engineer of great strength and endurance, wherein he exemplifies the motto of his native land, the Isle of Man, which asserts that "However you throw me I alight on my feet." He was born in Douglass, on February 14, 1851, and received his public school education in that city. His parents were William and Anna (Jones) Kelley.
Our subject left home in 1865, and came to the United States, locating in Milwaukee, where he shipped on a steamboat for a short time, but afterward travelled through Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In 1869 he again took up steamboat life, shipping on the S. D. Caldwell, plying between Chicago and Sarnia, and during the winter months between Milwaukee and Grand Haven. The next spring he transferred to the city of Freemont as fireman, followed by a season on the passenger steamer City of Madison, of the Peoples line, and the Norman. From 1872 to the close of 1876 he served as fireman on the steamer Annie L. Craig, Buckeye, tug St. Albans, and steamer Inter Ocean.
In the spring of 1877 Mr. Kelley joined the lighthouse tender Warrington as oiler, and remained on her three years, during which period the tender was in service at Stannard Rock, Lake Superior, while the lighthouse was being constructed. He then took out an engineer's license, and was appointed second on the lake tug Vulcan, owned by Alger & Smith, and while on her assisted in rescuing the crew of the steamer Marine City, for which act of heroism the citizens of Detroit gave each member of the crew a handsome medal. In 1882 Mr. Kelley was appointed second engineer of the new steamer Samuel F. Hodge, and the next season he served in the same capacity on the Manistique, transferring to the Schoolcraft in 1884. This was followed by engagements as engineer, in 1885, on the Thomas W. Palmer; 1886, on the passenger steamer Saginaw Valley, plying between Cleveland and Bay City; 1887, on the William H. Stevens, of the Ward line; 1888, on the Frank L. Vance, closing the season on the tug Music; 1889, on the steamer Helena; 1890, on the Schoolcraft; 1891, on the John Harper, and 1892, again on the Schoocraft.
In the spring of 1893 Mr. Kelley served on the E.M. Peck, remaining on her till the close of the season. The next season he joined the George Hadley as second, and in the spring of 1895 was appointed second engineer of the John Pridgeon, in 1896, of the John Craig, in 1897, of the Caledonia, and, in 1898, of the R.J. Hackett, which he laid up in the fall. He has twenty-one issues of chief's license, and is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
In December, 1880, Mr. Kelley was united in marriage with Miss Annie, daughter of William Corcoran, of Detroit. The children born to this union are William A., Ada B., George B., Nellie and Ralph. The family homestead is No. 824 Lafayette avenue, Detroit, Michigan.
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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.