John S. Ranney
John S. Ranney is at present acting as engineer of the new Detroit High School, but was formerly closely identified with the lake commerce, as an engineer. He was born at Ogdensburg, N. Y., May 1, 1850, and at the schools of that place received his education.
When nineteen years of age he shipped on the Sheckilma, a tug and freight boat, and acted as assistant engineer two years, having previously served two years to the machinist's trade. He then went on the Sarah Daly, of Ogdensburg, and there acted as chief two seasons, after which he entered the N. T. line, and acted as assistant engineer on the Maine. Upon leaving this boat he came to Buffalo, and put the machinery in the Joseph Mack and ran her one season. After one year on the Lowell as assistant engineer, he acted as chief on the Maine, and the Sparta, the old Granite, and the Empire State, then coming on the Belle Cross and the propeller Glasgow. He then spent five years as chief engineer of the S. C. Baldwin, after which he was on the Governor Smith, the Walter L. Frost, Oregon, Alcona and Aurora, then remaining on shore, acting as assistant engineer of the Edison Light Company. When he returned to the lakes he acted as chief of the Canisteo and Weston, and then in 1895 accepted the position in the High School which he still holds.
Mr. Ranney is the son of John S. and Eliza (Loucks) Ranney, and is the only son in a family of seven children. John S. Ranney, the father, was born in Scotland, and spent the geater part of his life in America as a pilot on the St. Lawrence river, dying in 1870. He was survived by his wife, who passed away in 1872.
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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.