H. J. Blaney
H.J. Blaney, a well-known and highly respected citizen of Chicago, who spent several years of his early life upon the lakes, and has since had charge of stationary engines, is the present chief engineer of the Stock Exchange building, having held that position since 1894.
Mr. Blaney was born in Canada, in 1843, a son of Daniel and Nelly (Nichol) Blaney, both natives of Glasgow, Scotland, who at an early day emigrated to Canada, where they made their home throughout the remainder of their lives. By trade their father was a weaver. Our subject was reared and educated in Canada, and on leaving home went to Detroit, Mich., but since 1863 has resided in Chicago.
In 1861, at Detroit, Mr. Blaney secured the position of engineer on tug boats on the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, and during that year and the year following was in the employ of the Winslow line. In the latter part of the season of 1862 he came to Chicago, and the following year accepted the position of second engineer of the steam propeller Water Witch, which was engaged in passenger trade, and which was lost in the fall of that year in Saginaw Bay, while sailing from Chicago to Sarnia in the interests of the Grand Trunk Line. From 1864 until 1868 he remained ashore as stationary engineer, but in the latter year was made second engineer of the propeller line of the Grand Trunk line, and was on her two seasons. In 1869 he located permanently in Chicago, and during that year and 1870 he was engineer of a dry-goods house; from 1872 until 1882 was chief engineer of a building at the corner of State and Madison streets; was chief engineer of the Ayer building in 1882; from 1884 until 1888 was chief engineer of the Royal Insurance building; for the following four years held a similar position at the Auditorium; and since January, 1894 has been chief engineer of the Stock Exchange.
In 1867, Mr. Blaney was married in Canada, to Miss Margaret McMillan, and to them have been born the following children; Charles J.; Mary Elizabeth; William H.; Frances; George W.; Walter A.; Maud; Mildred; and Lillian. Socially Mr. Blaney was a member of the old M. E. P. A., No. 4; the Home Lodge No. 508. F. & A. M., and also belongs to the Royal League and the Independent Order of Foresters.
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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.