James B. Blair
James B. Blair was born August 4, 1861, at Buffalo, N.Y., and in that city he has always made his home. He is a member of a family of eight children born to James C. and Margaret (Foster) Blair, both natives of Scotland. Hugh, the eldest child, was born in Scotland, and died in infancy; John is connected with the Standard Oil Company at Marquette, Mich., at the present time; Lizzie is married to Frank Miller, chief engineer of the steamer Boston; William E. and Frank follow the machinist's trade and reside in Buffalo; Alexander is a physician, residing in Buffalo; and Charles Arthur died in October, 1896, after one season spent on the steamer Clarion, as oiler.
James B. Blair attended the public schools until he was fifteen years of age. At that time he entered the printing office of Baker, Jones & Co., working in the press department, and remaining about two and a half years. He then entered a planing-mill owned by Haigh & Blair (the later member of the firm being his brother John) and acted as fireman. After a time he was made engineer, and in that capacity remained until 1883, when he entered the employ of L. S. & M. S. railroad as fireman. In the fall of 1884 he left the railroad and went on the steamer Vanderbilt, as oiler. Upon this boat, however, he remained only one trip, going on the Chicago, of the W. T. line, in the same position, where he finished that season and spent the following one. During 1886 and 1887 he acted as first assistant engineer on the Chicago, and the following year accepted the same position on the Albany, of the W. T. line, where he remained until 1891. At that time he left the lakes, and accepted a position of chief engineer of the City Elevator B, at Buffalo, where he has since remained.
On August 4, 1885, Mr. Blair was married to Miss Lizzie Genner, daughter of John Genner, of Buffalo. To them three children have been born: Jessie C., May 22, 1886; James B., October 27, 1888; and Edward William, April 20, 1891.
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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.