Patrick Brennan, who for the past fourteen years has been the efficient chief engineer of the Buffalo Water Works, was born in Ireland, May 1, 1837, and ws brought to America at about the age of one year. His father, Andrew Brennan, worked as a teamster after coming to Buffalo; he died about twenty years ago. The mother's maiden name was Elizabeth McNely.
At the age of seventeen Patrick Brennan began learning the machinist's trade at the Buffalo Steam Engine Works, where he served four years. During the year 1858 he placed a Corliss engine in the steamer Chicago, of the American Transportation line, and was made her engineer. He continued in the employ of this company two years, part of the time as engineer on their steamer Mohawk. About this time he also served a couple of seasons with the Dole line, on the steamer St. Louis, and a year in the New York Central line, on the steamer Idaho. He was also chief engineer on the steamer Missouri, in all acting about ten years as chief engineer in the merchant service on the lakes. On June 20, 1866, he was appointed, by President Andrew Johnson, chief engineer of the Revenue service of the United States, and for six successive years following this appointment was in charge of the machinery of the steamer Commodore Perry, stationed at Erie, Penn. He superintended the building of the government steamer Gallatin, also acting as her chief engineer, and in 1872 was engineer of the United States steamer Hamilton, stationed at New York, Boston and Philadelphia, respectively. In 1873 he resigned from government service to take charge of the tug line at Erie, Penn., for a couple of years, and later, in 1875, was made inspector of hulls at Buffalo for the Phoenix Insurance Company of New York. In 1876-77 he was chief engineer of the Detroit river and harbor tugs, while the following two years he was master and pilot of Buffalo harbor tugs belonging to the Hand & Johnson and Maytham's lines. In addition to the service above mentioned Mr. Brennan has superintended the construction of machinery of several government and merchant vessels.
In February 1883, Mr. Brennan was appointed chief engineer of the Buffalo Water Works, and still retains that responsible position. When he assumed charge the water works had one ten and two fifteen million-gallon engines, making a pumping capacity of forty million gallons of water daily. At the beginning of the year 1897 they had ten million, three fifteen million and one thirty million-gallon engines, making a pumping capacity of one hundred and forty-five million gallons of water daily. The last mentioned engine is one of the largest in the country. The pumping plant is the largest combined capacity in the world, and has a capacity of one hundred and eighty-seven million gallons per day.
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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.