John Reif, a well-known and prominent marine man, was born in Winnetka, Cook county, Ill., in 1855, a son of John F. and Catharine (Reese) Reif, natives of Germany, and who became residents of Winnetka in 1853, and in April, 1863, removed to Chicago, where they still reside. Reared in his native county, our subject began his education in the public schools of Winnetka, which he attended for a year and a half, and upon his removal to Chicago entered that city's schools where he completed his literary course.
As early 1872 Mr. Reif began sailing out of Chicago and in 1874 was made fireman on the tug Mansler, after which he was connected with various tugs for some time, and since 1876 has been filling the position of engineer. In that city Mr. Reif learned engineering. In 1877 he sailed out of Chicago on the Charles Reitz, engaged in the lumber trade as assistant engineer, remaining on her until the fall of that year. The next season he was engineer of the Mary Grow, also engaged in the lumber trade from Chicago to Ludington, Mich., and was afterward engineer of various boats until 1890, when he accepted the position of chief engineer for the W. P. Dunn Publishing Company, No. 167 Adams street. In 1878 he took out his first license as engineer.
He is one of the most prominent and active members of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, of Chicago, which numbers about 130 members in good standing, and was the honored president of that body for two years, being first elected in 1895.
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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.