Samuel Smith, first mate of the Chicago, is the second of five sons born to James and Annie (Nelson) Smith, of County Down, Ireland. The other sons at present reside with the parents, who are farmers, in their native place.
Samuel was born November 9, 1866, attended school and did chores around the place of his birth until about fourteen years old, at which time he started to work in a tailor shop. He was thus engaged for two years, after which he had charge of a general store, resigning that position after three years and emigrating to the United States by way of Canada, settling in Buffalo, N. Y. In the fall of 1885 he commenced steamboating, firing on the Nyack, and he was subsequently on the China and India, in a like capacity, for a season each. In 1888 he was lookout on the Gordon Campbell and 1889 on the Annie Young. The following season, 1890, he wheeled on the Winslow, on which he continued part of the next year, leaving her after six years of service in the Anchor line to finish the season as lookout on the Chemung, one of the Erie railroad's fine new passenger boats. For the succeeding season he was lookout, wheels- man and second mate of the Vanderbilt, of the Western Transit line, in 1894 going onto the Mohawk as second mate, and holding that berth three seasons, until he was promoted to first mate's berth on the Chicago. Here he served for the season of 1897, thus rounding out six seasons of service in the Western line.
During the winter of 1890 Mr. Smith paid his parents a visit, spending four months on his native soil. He was married, January 9, 1895, to Miss Maggie Collins, of Ireland, and they have one son, William James, aged two years. Mr. Smith is a member of Branch No. 8, M.E.B.A., and of Division No. 1, A.O.H. The family reside at No. 393 Elk 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.