John M. Cronenweth
John M. Cronenweth believes that he is the oldest active engineer on the lakes. He was born in Detroit, February 25, 1831, his father being John M. Cronenweth and his mother formerly Miss Anna Heffner.
In 1846 he started to learn machinist's trade in the shop of Bartley & Kinney. In 1849 he shipped as second engineer of the propeller Odd Fellow, and in 1850 he held the same position on the steamer Bell. In 1851 and 1852 he was chief engineer of the propeller J.W. Brooks, and from that time till the spring of 1860 he worked as a machinist in the DeGraff & Kendrick shops, excepting for the season of 1857 when he was second engineer on the propeller Montgomery. During the season of 1860 he was chief engineer of the propeller General Taylor, and for 1861-62-63 he had charge of the engine of the propeller Mineral Rock. From 1864 to 1868, both inclusive, he was chief engineer of the propeller Meteor, and from that fall till spring of 1873 he was on shore running a stationary engine. During the season of 1873 he ran the engine of the tug River Queen, and in 1874 and 1875 he had charge of the tug John Martin. For the seasons of 1876-77-78-79-80 he was chief engineer of the propeller J.W. Wetmore, and since then he has been chief engineer of the tug Torrent, towing rafts for Alger, Smith & Co.
In 1855 Mr. Cronenweth was married in Detroit to Henrietta Atkinson, a native of New York. She died in 1873, and in 1876 he married Lillian Wenner. She died in 1890 leaving him a widower with six children: Jessie, Katie, Mintie, John, Herbert and Russell Alger.
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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.