Frank Coons, who is one of the most prominent engineers sailing out of Milwaukee, and who is a very skillful machinist, was born in Ogdensburg, N.Y. on July 31, 1848, a son of Ralph and Ellen (Morrison} Coons. His father during the last thirty years has been employed as engineer on dredges by the Brown Dredge Company, at Port Dalhousie, Welland canal, and Thorold, Canada; also at times filling the office of master. The mother died in 1873 at Port Dalhousie, and it was there that Frank acquired his education in the public schools, after which he worked in machine and boiler shops. It was in 1866 that he commenced his lakefaring career, shipping as fireman on the tug American Eagle, going to Manistee, Mich., the following year, and in 1868 he entered the employ of Captain Starke as engineer of the tug Buhl. The next spring he was appointed engineer of the tug Robert Emmett, employed on government contracts, three years, after which he again entered the employ of Starke & Co. Tug line, of Milwaukee. He went to Buffalo after the tug Starke, took her to Milwaukee, and ran her as engineer until September, when he took the tug J. J. Hagermann, bringing her out in 1872 and running her seven years. In the spring of 1879 he joined the tug H. F. Bues, waiting on dredge, a position he held until 1893, when he was appointed engineer of the tug Calumet, running her five seasons, and in 1898 he was appointed chief engineer of the steamer E. A. Shores, Jr., owned by the Starke estate. Mr. Coons, being a man of thrift and industry, employed his time during the winter months at work for the company, and for the Sheriff Manufacturing Company, working at times in the boiler shops.
In September, 1876, Mr. Coons was wedded to Miss Margaret D. Putnam, of Milwaukee. The children born to this union are Frank, Fred, Harry P., and Guy Hager. The family homestead is at 468 American avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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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.