Hiram Philip R. Brey
Hiram Philip R. Brey, a marine engineer of good report sailing out of the port of Buffalo, is possessed of many of the sturdy characteristics of his German ancestors, although his parents, Conrad and Elizabeth (Royer) Brey, and his grand- parents were born in the United States, Hiram was born in Green Lane, a village in Montgomery county, Penn., on July 31, 1861, where he attended school until he reached the age of thirteen years. After working on the farm until he was sixteen, he became tired of the independent farmer's life, so he ran away from home and sought a panacea for all the ills that mother earth imposes on a farmer boy, by the adoption of a life on the lakes.
It was in the summer of 1882 that Mr. Brey made this momentous step, shipping as a deck hand on the steamer Japan, and when the steamer reached Duluth he transferred to the fire-hold. The next spring he joined the steamer Arctic as fireman, and with the purpose of becoming an engineer he remained in that berth three seasons, followed by two in the steamer A. Weston. In the spring of 1888 Mr. Brey transferred to the D. W. Powers, and after eighteen months he shipped in the steamer Calumet. It was in the spring of 1890 that he received engineer's license in Buffalo, and was appointed second in the steamer A. Weston, followed by a season in the Manistique in the same capacity. In the spring of 1892 he was made second assistant in the steamer Chemung, being promoted to the office of first assistant the next year. In 1894 Mr. Brey was appointed chief engineer of the tug Annie Moiles, going as first assistant in the steamer Pascal P. Pratt the next season. In 1896 he became second engineer in the steamer John Harper, and after a year employed ashore he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer Inter Ocean, in which position he gave eminent satisfaction.
Mr. Brey was united by marriage to Miss Catherine, daughter of Martin and Catherine Nicholas, of Buffalo, N. Y., the ceremony being performed on January 6, 1889. One daughter, Elizabeth Ethel Brey, has been born to this union. The family homestead is at No. 13 Edson street, Buffalo, New York.
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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.