Fred M. Harmon
Fred M. Harmon is one of the many reliable engineers who have succeeded by exact knowledge of the mechanism of the modern type of engines, and skill in handling them, in winning the confidence of the owners of large steel steamers. He is the first son of Capt. Frank and Mary Harmon, and was born in 1860 at Erie, Penn., where he attended school until he was fifteen years old. He was brought in touch with the life of the sailor on his father's tugs, and after filling the position of clerk in a grocery store he shipped on one of them, the Mary A. Green, in the capacity of fireman. He retained this position one season, and in 1876 was promoted to engineer, serving as such on that boat for six years, and then transferring to the tug Cal Davis, towing at Toledo harbor, on which he remained one season. He next shipped as second engineer on the steamer Horace B. Tuttle, and afterward brought out new the tug Birckhead, engineering her one season. This service was followed by his appointment as engineer on the iron tug A.W. Colton, and he was on her four seasons, operating at Toledo harbor. In 1887 he became second engineer on the Lackawanna, the first steel steamer launched by the Cleveland Ship- building Company, remaining on her one season. In 1889 he brought out new the wooden steamer Elphick, as chief, remaining throughout the season, and the next shipped as chief in the steamer E.B. Hale, for one year. In 1891 he was appointed chief of the steel steamer Joliet, of the Lake Superior Iron Company's line, holding this berth two years. From this time it is evident that Mr. Harmon's success in handling the most modern machinery was being closely watched by prominent owners and builders, and he has since been selected to bring out new the best class of steel steamers. The two seasons of 1893-94 he passed in the employ of Capt. Thomas Wilson, as chief of the Olympia, and in 1895 he was chosen by the Globe Iron Works Company to engineer their new steel steamer Globe, which he terms the clipper freight boat of the lakes. She was sold during the year to John Gordon, of Buffalo, and in the spring of 1896 Mr. Harmon was made engineer of the steamer W.D. Reese, of the Wilson Transit Company, which he laid up at Duluth at the close of navigation. He was chosen to bring out the new Wilson line steamer built by the Cleveland Ship Building Company.
Mr. Harmon was united in marriage to Miss Tillie Williams, of Cleveland, Ohio, and four children have been born to this union: Emory J., Fred J., Marie B. and Bernette L. The family residence is at No. 41 Ward street, Cleveland. Socially, Mr. Harmon is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees and the C.M.B.A., and he is a charter member of the Toledo lodge of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, his home lodge, however, being in Cleveland.
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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.