Charles S. Welch
Charles S. Welch is a well-known engineer of Chicago, who spent several years on the lakes, and is now chief engineer of the Occidental building. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1858, a son of Sylvester and Eliza (Hess) Welch. The father, a native of Vermont, was a tug owner in Buffalo, and for a number of years ran a line of tugs at that place, where he still makes his home, having retired from active business. The mother died in that city.
Charles S. Welch grew to manhood in Buffalo, and there obtained his education. When quite young he began sailing on tugs, and was a licensed engineer at the age of twenty-one. In 1876 he secured a position on a tug at Buffalo, and until 1879 served in different capacities on such boats. Receiving his first license in that latter year, he was appointed second engineer of the steamer Leland, running from Traverse bay to Chicago and Escanaba, in the iron ore trade, and was on her two years. In 1881 he accepted the position of engineer on the Monohansett, an ore barge, owned in Milwaukee, and was with her for one season. He was then chief engineer of the Emma Thompson, engaged in the lumber trade from Chicago, and was engineer for other lines until 1882, when he became interested in the wrecking business as engineer on a tug. After being employed thus for some time he was appointed second engineer in the fire department, a position he held for one year, when he was transferred to the fire boat as engineer, remaining on her until June, 1890. He was then appointed engineer of the H.J. Jewett, of the Union line, for the season of 1890, and until August of the following season was the engineer of the barge Massachusetts, of the Inter Ocean line. His next position was as chief engineer of the Armour elevator on Goose island, and for four years he remained in the employ of the Armour Company. Returning to the lakes, he was for a part of a season engineer of the steamer Massachusetts, running from Chicago to Escanaba, then joined the J.W. Moore, of the Lackawanna Railroad line; and closed the season on the Fred Kelley, engaged in the grain trade. As chief engineer he was then employed at the Electric Alley Plant; subsequently was chief engineer of the National Lead Works; and was next appointed to his present position as chief engineer of the Occidental and Ottawa buildings on Madison street, Chicago. He has made his home in that city since 1883, and is widely and favorably known, both on land and water, being held in high regard by all with whom he comes in contact, either in business or social life. He has nineteen issues of license.
Return to Home Port
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.