William J. Swain
William J. Swain, chief engineer of the Codorus for the seasons of 1895-96-97, is a Canadian by birth, having first seen the light April 5, 1857, at Toronto, Ontario. He received his schooling at Collingwood, same Province, and began his first practical work in a machine shop at Collingwood, where he served the usual three-years' apprenticeship.
At the end of that time he went into the steamer Chicora, oiling one season and then transferred to the City of Winnipeg as second engineer to Mike Chalk, the present boiler inspector at Duluth. He was employed on her for two seasons, and then spent about a year each in the Frontier Iron Works shop at Detroit and the Bay State Iron Works, of Bradford, Penn. In the spring of 1882 he returned to steamboating, going as second engineer of the Juniata, and the two following seasons was in the Clarion in a like capacity. The season of 1885 he was promoted to chief of the Conemaugh, remaining in her two seasons, and then went to the Lehigh for the season of 1887. For the seven succeeding seasons, including 1894, he was chief of the Clarion, and since then has been chief of the Codorus, which is considered one of the finest boats of the Anchor line. Mr. Swain has seventeen issues of the chief's license, and it will be noted that for sixteen years of the time he has been in the employ of the Anchor line. He was one of the charter members of the Erie No. 39, M.E.B.A., was a member of the No. 3, Chicago Branch of that order, and is also an Odd Fellow and Mason in good standing. He makes his residence during the winter season at the "Wilcox House," Erie, Pennsylvania.
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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.