N. L. Crawford
N.L. Crawford, one of the early engineers on the Great Lakes, and now chief engineer of the Maas, Baer & Co. building, Chicago - a position he has most creditably filled since 1894 - was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1848, a son of Charles and Letitia (McDole) Crawford, natives of New York. The father, who was a veterinary surgeon, died in Buffalo, in October, 1872, and his wife passed away October 1, 1877.
In his native city, Nathaniel L. Crawford passed his boyhood and youth, receiving his education in its schools. He commenced sailing at the age of sixteen, and two years later was granted an engineer's license, continuing his connection with marine affairs until coming to Chicago in 1884. In 1868 he went as engineer out of Buffalo on the tug D. P. Dye, on which he remained for two seasons, and in 1871 was employed as engineer by the Light House Survey Company, with Capt. Grace L. Dunning. He served in the same capacity on the Harts Bailey for the same company, after which he was on tug boats as second engineer. He was next on the propeller Pittsburgh, running from Buffalo to Bay City, Mich., in the lumber trade; was second engineer on the propeller Plymouth, a wooden transport; then became engineer on the A. M. Ball, which he took to New York City, running her in 1876-77-78, for the New York Central & Hudson River railroad, to which she belonged. Returning to Buffalo, he was connected with the fire department of that city until 1880, when he removed to Toledo, Ohio, and there ran the tug for the Dammon Dredging Company. The following three years were spent in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was employed as engineer on the tug Forest City, of the Bradley line, and on leaving their employ came to Chicago, where for one season he was engineer on the tug A. Miller, followed by two seasons on the tug Protection, belonging to the Vessel Owners Towing Company. For the next six or seven years he was engineer for the North Chicago Cable Company; was then engineer of the vessel Parnell for three months, and second engineer of the Rhoda Emily, of Chicago. For three years he was with the West Chicago Street Railway Company, following this was chief engineer of the Chicago Stamping Works, and on leaving their employ went to New York City, where he accepted a position as engineer with the Broadway Cable Company. Returning to Chicago, he engaged as engineer on the Metawa, in the Lake Superior Iron trade, for one season, and then accepted his present position.
In 1870, at Buffalo, N. Y., Mr. Crawford was married to Miss Agnes Purcell, a native of that city and a daughter of Edward Purcell, who was foreman in the Hale & Shaw stove works for over thirty years, and is now a resident of Chicago. Both parents are still living. Of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Crawford, three are living: Edward C., who was on the lakes in the capacity of third and second engineer for a time, but is now connected with the Storage Battery Railway, of Chicago; Nathaniel L., a bookkeeper; and Harry, who works for the Crane Manufacturing Company.
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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.