Charles Beatty, one of the prominent marine engineers who have sailed out the port of Buffalo in past years, but now lives retired from active duties in that line, was born of Scotch-Irish descent in Londonderry, Ireland, March 15, 1837, a son of Richard Beatty, a mason and contractor, and his wife, Margaret (Doty) Beatty. His education was acquired at the public schools in Ireland and also in the United States at Milwaukee, Buffalo, etc., in the winter seasons.
Mr. Beatty came to the United States early in the fifties, and made his home in Philadelphia, where he had kinsmen. Being a lad of adventurous nature he shipped out of Philadelphia on one of the steamers of the Sanford Independent Steamboat line, plying between that port and New York, also between Portland, Bangor, Boston and Norfolk, and remained in that employ four years, working his way up to the position of second engineer; he sailed on the Kennebec, Delaware, Mineman, Sanford and Cape May. In the spring of 1857 he went to Cleveland, and was appointed engineer of the tug George H. Notter, which he took to Milwaukee in the employ of Elias and Thomas Simms, on contract work.
While in the employ of the Simms Brothers he did considerable wrecking with their large wrecking tug, and also did towing with her in the summer of 1860. During the winter he found employment on the railroad ferry boats between Milwaukee, Wis., and Grand Haven, Mich., as engineer. He then went to Buffalo and entered the employ of the Pease Passenger line, between Buffalo and Chicago, as second engineer during the seasons of 1862-63-64 on the Winona, Idaho and Galena. In the spring of 1865 he went as second engineer on the steamer Pacific and remained with her one season, the fall of that year purchasing a half-interest in the tug Mixer, which he engineered in Buffalo harbor two seasons and then sold. He then took the steambarge Oakland four months, finishing the season as chief engineer of the passenger steamer Atlantic. In 1868 he bought a half- interest in the tug C.W. Jones, which he ran himself in Buffalo harbor, and after selling her he built and was half owner of a new one, to which he gave the same name, C.W. Jones; he also bought an interest in the tug Compound. About this time he owned and operated the Mary E. Pearce. After running the new tug Jones one year he sold his interest and there engineered the Compound for five seasons, after which he built the tug Thomas Wilson, named for Capt. Thomas Wilson, of Cleveland, who had been Mr. Beatty's playmate in boyhood and lifelong friend. In 1892 he sold his other tug property and built the tug Townsend Davis. In 1892 while this tug was operating out of Buffalo harbor he made a visit to his old home, and spent three month very pleasantly in England, Ireland and Scotland.
Mr. Beatty has been quite prosperous in his marine ventures, and by the exercise of good judgment and industry during his younger years has acquired considerable property. He has held money in interest in the Hand & Johnson Tug line in Buffalo for over thirty years, and in the Wilson Transit line in Cleveland for ten or twelve years. He also holds a good block of stock in a brickyard, operating in Lancaster, N.Y., with an office in Buffalo. Mr. Beatty is treasurer of this company. During his active marine life he never had trouble with his machinery, owing, no doubt, to his thorough knowledge of the marine engine, and it is gratifying to him to know that he has never had a man injured on his boat. He is a member of the F. & A.M., DeMolay Lodge, of Buffalo.
Return to Home Port
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.