William G. Angell
William G. Angell, of Cleveland, Ohio, is an engineer who has sailed on the lakes and ocean for over forty years, and has had charge of the machinery in some of the best vessels on the lakes in their day. He was born in New York city in 1839, a son of George Angell. After leaving school, at the age of seventeen, he became cook of a schooner and after serving on her a short time shipped on another schooner, the Montebello, trading to the West Indies. A year later he joined the ship Palmyra, carrying timber for Richmond, Va., and after six months sailing in that boat shipped on the Susquehanna at Philadelphia for the lakes, completing that season on the lake schooner Kate Robinson. The next season he sailed on the schooner George Steele, and a year later he was fireman on the steamer Wanderer, on the St. Lawrence river. Following this he shipped on the schooner Eureka for a time. In 1861 he enlisted in the Eighty-first N. Y. V. I., and served through the war, participating in the McClellan campaign from the Peninsula until that general was suspended. He was wounded in the first engagement under Grant, at Cold Harbor, June 4, 1864, a ball passing through his right wrist. Up to this time he had never been in the hospital nor off duty.
When Mr. Angell returned to the lakes, in 1866, he became fireman on the steamer P. P. Pratt, and after two years he received his first papers as engineer, in which capacity he has been engaged ever since. He was on the steamer Fulton part of one season; the P. P. Pratt four seasons, the Oneida one season; the passenger steamer Kincardine one season; the City of Cleveland one season; the passenger steamer Oswego Belle one season; the steamer Saxon two year; and the S. S. Ellsworth four years. The Ellsworth was burned at the foot of Lake Ontario in 1879, and the thirty-three passengers were rescued with all their effects, but the members of the crew lost all they had on board. The machinery of the vessel was taken out a year later and placed in a new hull, Mr. Angell directing the work of overhauling the engines. He then ran the boat two years longer. After this he came to Cleveland and ran the tug Patrick Henry for a time, going to Alpena that winter to put machinery in the new tug Ralph, which he operated the following season. On his return to Cleveland he joined the fleet of Capt. Patrick Smith, with which he connected for three years, and he has since been engaged on the Bradley fleet. He was engineer of the tug Forest City four seasons, of the steamer S. E. Sheldon three seasons, of the Maurice B. Grover four and a half-seasons, and of the Superior two seasons. Mr. Angell did not sail in 1896 on account of his wrist, which was injured during the war, and which caused him much trouble.
On March 7, 1864, Mr. Angell married Miss Maria Byrne, of Oswego, N. Y. Their children are George L., who is a bookbinder in Pittsburg, Penn.; William R., a marine fireman; John A., an engineer in charge of a public building in Cleveland; Peter J., who is following the lakes; Lizzie; and James L.
Mr. Angell has had some very unpleasant and exciting experiences. He once made a trip in the fishing tug Butcher Boy as an accommodation to the regular engineer, and the boat was lost at Chagrin river on that trip. In 1878, while on the Ellsworth, before that vessel was burned, she was lost at Presque Isle with a load of barley. When the wreckers got her up and started with her for Oswego, a fresh breeze blew up, and the pumps choked so that they were obliged to make for the nearest harbor. When they arrived there the hull set so low in the water that she could not get in, and it was necessary to pump her out again; this time she was towed into the harbor and docked without further trouble. At one time the tug James Amadeus took fire and burned out on the inside while the craft was fifteen miles off shore. Mr. Angell and the rest of the crew being rescued by other tugs. He was also on the tug Forest City when she collided with the tug John Gregory while racing for a vessel and was lost of Avon Point in July, 1884. The Forest City sank and the crew were picked up by the other tug.
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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.