Adam Hartman, managing owner of Hartman's Tug Line, at Tonawanda, N. Y., is a native of Prussia, born in that country April 6, 1834. He is a son of Valentine and Katherine (Kuntz) Hartman, the latter of whom died when the subject of this sketch was but seven years old. There were seven children in the family, and two came to America besides Adam; Michael, now deceased, who was a tailor at London, Canada, and Katherine, wife of Nicholas Osman, a farmer residing at Tonawanda, New York.
Adam Hartman was reared on his father's farm, and attended school from the time he was seven until he became thirteen years of age. At the age of eighteen he came to America, in 1852 locating at LaSalle, on the Niagara river, near which place he worked on a farm three months. After that he lived a while in Tonawanda and then went to reside permanently at Grand Island, where he worked in the woods in the winter and sailed on the river in the summer. His first sailing was during the season of 1853, when he shipped as deckhand on the old side-wheel steamer Minas, commanded by Capt. Harvey Booth. The succeeding season he was with the same captain on the lake tug William Peck in the capacity of fireman, and for the next four seasons he was fireman on the old propeller Pittsburgh, of the Peoples line, owned by Ensign & Holt. During 1859 he acted in the same capacity on the propellers Acme, Mohawk and Free State, the latter owned by the Western Transportation Company, and during his service on her Peter P. Miller was chief engineer. In 1860 Mr. Hartman made one trip as fireman on the propeller Empire State, and then abandoned the lake service to engage in hauling wood from Grand Island to Buffalo, in which business he continued about twelve years. He then bought a one-third interest in the tug Allen M. O'Brian, ran her awhile and later sold her to parties on Lake Michigan. Next he purchased a half-interest in the tug Addie with Patrick Everett, and at the end of a year bought his partner's interest, and then owned and ran her about nine seasons in conjunction with the Idaho, ferrying the Niagara river between Tonawanda and Grand Island. In 1873 he abandoned the hull of the Addie and built the tug John Nice, fitting her out with the Addie's old machinery.
In 1879 Mr. Hartman moved to Tonawanda, and he has since confined himself exclusively to the tug business at that harbor. He has had several competitors, but has outlived them all, and is now considered the only tug man about the aforesaid harbor, excepting perhaps the owners of a couple of canal tugs. He is the sole owner of the tugs A. A. Balanger, William A. Gratwick and Tonawanda, and possesses a two-thirds interest in each of the tugs Charles S. Parnell, Michael Davitt and J. H. DeGraff. Mr. Hartman is a member of Local Harbor No. 41, of the American Association of Masters and Pilots, and also of the Buffalo Harbor Tug Pilots Association.
In 1860 Mr. Hartman was married at Buffalo to Miss Caroline Levi, by whom he has had five children, four now living, namely: Frank, master of the tug Tonawanda; Louis, master of the tug Gratwick; Caroline, wife of George Heneberger, a resident of Tonawanda; and Mary, one of the Sisters of St. Francis at the convent at Hamburg. The family residence is at No. 158 Morgan street, Tonawanda, New York.
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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.