William F. Cullen
William F. Cullen, who for many years has been engineer on various lake steamers, was born in County Wexford, Ireland, in 1844. His father was a farmer in Ireland whence he moved to the United States in 1847 and took up his residence in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Mr. Cullen our subject, attended the Bellefontaine schools for several years and then served his time learning the trade of machinist in railroad shops. During the war he worked in the Union Navy Yards at Bridgeport, Alabama.
After the war, Mr. Cullen came to Detroit, Mich., where he has since resided. He worked for a while with the Detroit Locomotive Works, and later with the Lighthouse Construction Company. In 1871 he superintended the putting in of the machinery at Spectacle Reef Lighthouse. As two years as foreman of the Detroit Bridge & Iron Works, Mr. Cullen went on the lakes, first time as engineer of the Evening Star, one of the first boats of the well-known Star line, of Detroit. For four years he was engineer of the Canadian Southern Car Boat Transfer, and then left the lakes to be foreman of the Industrial Works in Bay City, Michigan. After a short stay in Bay City, he returned to Detroit and superintended the erection of the engines for the Iron Age, the Jesse Farwell, A. J. Gordon, A. L. Hopkins, Middlesex, the tug Swain and several other boats. In 1882, he returned to the lakes and was engineer of the steamer Flora, the Nashua, Riverside, the Oconto, which was sunk in the St. Lawrence River on July 7, 1886, finishing the season on the steamer Porter Chamberlin with Captain H. S. Robinson. The winter of 1886-87 he was the chief engineer on the tug M. F. Merrick for the Grand Trunk railroad at Ft. Gratiot, and that year entered the employ of Adams & Farwell, as chief engineer on steamers P. E. Spinner and Jesse H. Farwell. In winter of 1894 he resigned on account of sickness in his family, but in 1897 he entered the employ of Capt. James Danielson, of Bay City as chief engineer of the wrecking tug Martin Swain. During the two years 1895-96 when he remained ashore, he was engaged in fitting out and running steam and electrical plants, and has been quite interested in electrical and mechanical engineering, giving many evidences of his mechanism in the various plants, etc. he has fitted out.
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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.