Thomas Higgins was born March 24, 1861 in Buffalo, N. Y. where he acquired his education in the public schools. In the summer of 1870 he took the ferry boat in Buffalo creek, and carried passengers for three seasons, besides running an engine on the docks. This work was followed by service in various capacities on the tugs D. P. Dye, J. C. Parker, Annie P. Dorr, Bruce, Rambler and Crowle, and as engineer of the James Adams. In the spring of 1883, he was appointed engineer of the tug Alpha; 1884, of the James Ash, and in 1885, of the George R. Hand. He was instrumental in saving the Captain of the Lillie May, which was waterlogged, and at anchor in a sinking condition off Dunkirk; and that same fall, with the assistance of the tug Williams, he brought into Buffalo Harbor the barge Hoag, which was in distress. In the spring of 1886, he was transferred to the tug T. M. Moore. The following season he brought out new the tug George R. Donaldson, and in 1888 he took the engines of the E. C. Maytham and ran her two seasons, with the exception of a short time at the close of 1889, when he took the Genevieve, owned by Hingston & Woods. In 1891 he went to Cleveland and ran the tug Chamberlain one season, returning to Buffalo the next spring to go on the Alpha as engineer. He continued in the employ of the Maytham Tug line until the close of 1896, engineering in 1893 the tug O. W. Cheney, 1894, the Alpha, 1895, the Acme, and in 1896 the John Kelderhouse. He is a member of the Buffalo Harbor Tug Association and of the American Association of Masters and Pilots.
Mr. Higgins was wedded to Miss Elizabeth Conway, of Buffalo, in 1888. Three children have been born to this union: Thomas E., Gertrude E., and Nellie. The family residence is as at 149 Vandalia street, Buffalo, 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.