Charles E. Ager
Charles E. Ager had his first nautical experience on the far-famed Hudson river. He was born at Burghill, Trumbull Co., Ohio, but grew to manhood in New York State, his parents having moved to a point on the Hudson river, in 1856, when he was but two months old. His father, Capt. Henry Ager, was a prosperous merchant and vessel owner, having a fleet of from fifty to seventy-five boats, which were engaged in trading up and down the Hudson.
When fifteen years of age Charles E. Ager shipped on the Newburg & Fishkill ferry- boat, with which he remained two and a half years, his next position being on the steamer Mary Powell, then known as the fastest boat in the United States, having a record of twenty-six and a half miles an hour. He remained on this vessel some time, and on leaving the river took up farming, at which he was employed five years. Removing to Erie, he shipped on the steamer Fred Kelley, and at the close of the season came to Cleveland, entering the works of J.H. Morley & Co., where he was employed as foreman for eighteen months. He afterward became fireman on the steamer David W. Rust, was employed in a similar capacity on the steamer Selah Chamberlin for a season, and as second engineer on the R.P. Ranney two seasons, at the close of his service in this boat finding employment with Strong & Sons in their marble works. Later he was engaged as engineer of the National Flour Mill one year, and then went back to steamboat life. After one season as second engineer of the Spokane, he became chief of the S.E. Sheldon, Oneida, Nahant and Queen of the West, in turn and then entered the employ of the Cleveland Ship Building Company. Mr. Ager has spent five years in their establishment and seven years with the Globe Iron Works Company, and for two years he was employed in the construction and operation of the first coal dump built in Cleveland. Two years ago he was chief engineer of the steamer Keystone.
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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.