Daniel W. Chipman
Daniel W. Chipman was appointed United States local inspector of boilers for the Milwaukee district on April 18, 1890, retaining that position at this writing. He has had a varied and interesting, as well as useful life, and has won the office he now holds in the government service not only by merit of fitness, but by the honorable part he took during the Civil war. He has been a resident of Milwaukee over half a century and highly esteemed as a citizen and energetic business man. Although there were intervals when he was absent from the city, he always held it to be his home.
Mr. Chipman was born on July 10, 1836, in Essex, Chittenden county, Vt., and is a son of Hiram and Levonia (Searles) Chipman, both natives of Vermont and descendants of the Chipman family of Mayflower fame, noted for its warriors, statesmen and judges, some of its members participating in the French and Indian wars, the Revolution, the war of 1812, the Mexican war and the war of the Rebellion. In the Civil war, Daniel W. and his two brothers, Alonzo S. and John Q. A., were engaged. Alonzo served as an engineer in the United States Navy on board the gunboat Galena, and was in the engagement of Fort Darling on the James River. John Q. A. enlisted in the Twenty-sixth New York Artillery, and saw much active service, and was with General Banks on his Red river expedition, and also participated in the battles of Prairie Grove, Spanish Fort and Blakeley. Soon after his term of enlistment expired he re-enlisted in the United States Army for five years, and served most of the time on the Plains. He died in 1895.
Daniel W. Chipman removed with his parents to Milwaukee in 1846 and became a regular attendant at the public schools for five years, and in 1851 entered the employ of a Milwaukee dredging firm as engineer. The next spring he went by stage to Portage and helped fit out the steamer Star, going with her down the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers to Rock Island, where she was put on a route on Rock River to Sterling. He left her there that fall and returned to Milwaukee. In the spring of 1853, he shipped as porter on the propeller James Wood, afterward going to the Niagara River where he was employed as second engineer on the steamer tug Potent, his brother Alonzo being master, and engaged in towing on the Chippewa and Grand Rivers to Tonawanda. That fall he joined the steamer General Taylor as porter with Captain Fayette. The next spring he became second engineer on the steamer Rossiter, and that fall was employed as engineer of the wrecking pumps in the interest of the insurance companies, for two seasons, working winters in railroad and machine shops and running the engine in an elevator. In the spring of 1856, he helped to put the shaft pipes in the propeller Allegheny, but did not sail that season. Like many young men at this time, he contracted the gold fever and started for California, leaving New York on March 20, and going by way of the Isthmus of Panama, reaching San Francisco about April 20. He went up into the Placer county mines, where he acquired some claims and finally engaged as cook for a company of miners. After two years of fairly good success, Mr. Chipman went up the Frazer river to Port Hope for the purpose of mining, but, as it was too early in the season, returned to Victoria, and together with his cousin, Frank Dustin, engaged in the wood trade with a small boat-among other deliveries being one of forty cords to a steamer in Esquimaux bay about to engage in the Frazer river trade. This was the second steamer of Frazer river. That fall Mr. Chipman returned to San Francisco and joined the full-rigged ship Anglo Saxon as steward, bound for the Sandwich Islands for a cargo of oil and bone consigned to New Bedford making the passage around Cape Horn and arriving at her port of destination on April, 1859. The ship Anglo Saxon was captured and destroyed by a Confederate privateer during the Rebellion. Mr. Chipman then went to Buffalo where he shipped as second engineer of the propeller Mayflower. On reaching Chicago he went before the board of local inspectors at that port and received his license as engineer, remaining in the Mayflower the balance of the season. In the spring of 1860 he was appointed second engineer of the steamer Mendota and the next spring second of the Wenona, retaining that berth until September, 1862, when he shipped as chief of the propeller Baltic, which was equipped with wide-wheel screws.
Mr. Chipman came out in the spring of 1863 as second engineer of the steamer Galena, and in August transferred to the Idaho as second engineer, and went to New York at the end of the season, where he passed an examination for naval service, and was appointed second engineer and ordered to the United States steamer Proteus, commanded by Capt. R.W. Shufeldt. At the end of a year Mr. Chipman passed examination and was appointed first assistant engineer, was assigned for duty on the United States steamer Proteus, remaining until the spring of 1865, when he was honorably discharged. During the time he was in the Proteus she cruised in the waters made doubly historic by the events of our war with Spain. While on the blockade the Proteus captured the blockade-running steamers Ruby and Jupiter and several small schooners, and Mr. Chipman, as engineer of the prize crew, took the Ruby into Key West. One small dilapidated schooner which was captured in the Gulf of Mexico had on board a barrel of blue mass and other valuable medical stores. Among the trophies falling to the lot of Mr. Chipman was a copper stencil plate bearing the name of Miss Ruby Mallory, daughter of the secretary of the Confederate navy, used to print visiting cards, and a box containing Parisian finery for the young lady.
On returning to the lakes in 1865, Mr. Chipman was appointed chief engineer on the steamer Mendota, but in August he transferred to the Wenona as chief. The next year he went to the Mississippi river and took charge of the steamers Northern Illinois, Iowa and Pine Bluff, plying on the Mississippi river and running the upper rapids in connection with the Western Union railroad from Dubuque to Rock Island. In the spring of 1867 he returned to the lakes and was again appointed chief engineer of the steamer Wenona, which office he held two seasons. In 1869 he was transferred to the steamer Fountain City as chief. That fall Mr. Pease sold his vessel property to the Western Transit Company, and in the spring of 1870 Mr. Chipman purchased an interest in the steamer General Payne and ran her on Traverse bay. That winter he built the tug Dick Davis and took her to Michigan City, running her under charter to the government. In 1872 he became chief engineer of the steamer Ironsides and the following winter he, with F. C. Maxon and M. O. Parker, built the tug F. C. Maxon and established a tug line at Milwaukee composed of the tugs Dick Davis and F. C. Maxon, which he conducted successfully two years, when he sold his one-third interest in the Maxon and purchased the other one-half of tug Dick Davis, thus becoming sole owner.
In 1875 Mr. Chipman started in commission business, dealing in wood, cedar posts and bark, and traded the Dick Davis for the tug G. W. Tift, which he afterward sold to Scofield & Co., of Sturgeon Bay. The next year he associated with C. S. Raesser, under the firm name of Chipman & Raesser, in the wood and lumber commission business. This partnership remained in force for ten years, when it was dissolved, Mr. Chipman continuing in the business until 1890, when he was appointed to the office of the United States inspector, which he now fills. During the time that he was in the commission business the firm owned the schooners L. J. Conley, Leo, Christy, R. P. Mason and Pierrepont, and built the Susie Chipman (of which they were five-eighths owners), rebuilt the G. T. Burroughs and Lydia E. Raesser, also owned the M. N. Dunham (afterward used as lightship at Milwaukee), and had an interest in the schooner Lomie A. Burton and Napoleon. His appointment as inspector necessitated the sale of the vessel property, and Mr. Chipman has invested much of his capital in Milwaukee real estate, his family homestead being at No. 348 Madison street.
Socially, he is a thirty-second-degree Mason, a companion of the Council, and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; an honored member of the Old Settlers Club; a member of the E. B. Wolcott Post, G. A. R., and was the first president of the Milwaukee Lodge No. 9, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
In January, 1861, Daniel W. Chipman was wedded to Miss Susan M. Consaul, of Milwaukee. The children born to this union are Daniel W., Jr., chief engineer of the steamer Niko; Bertha L., who died at the age of seven; George Perkins and Charles Richmond, twins, the latter dying young, and the former being chief engineer of the steamer G. W. Westcott; Susan Mary, now wife of G. D. Francey. Mr. Chipman's wife died in 1878, and on December 23, 1891, he contracted marriage with Miss Helen Tutkin, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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.