Henry Beck, the only surviving son of John O. and Eliza (Langman) Beck, was born October 20, 1859 at Elmore, Ohio, from which place he moved to Buffalo in 1864, and in the latter city obtained a common-school education while he was between seven and eleven years of age. He learned his trade at the respective machine shops of David Bell and the C. & B. Holmes Iron Works on Chicago Street.
In 1883 Mr. Beck began sailing the lakes as greaser in the steamer Philadelphia, remaining in that capacity one season, and for the two successive seasons - 1884-85 - was engineer of the same steamer. In 1886 he purchased the tug Lone Star at Ithaca, N. Y., and after bringing her to Buffalo harbor sold a half-interest in her to Capt. John Owens; she has been used as a harbor tug steadily for ten successive seasons, during which period Mr. Beck has been her engineer. He and Captain Owen also own a half-interest in the tugs Trenton and E. E. Frost. For the seasons of 1897-98 he has been engineer of the tug Trenton, one of these boats. He is a member of the Canal-boat Owners Association of New York City.
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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.