Clarence E. Curtiss
Clarence E. Curtiss, at present chief engineer of the Real Estate Exchange (now the Mutual Life Insurance Building of New York City), located on Pearl street, Buffalo, N. Y., was born in Titusville, Penn. November 19, 1863. He is the son of Thomas E. and Mary (Southworth) Curtiss, the former of whom was born in Utica, and the latter at Port Byron, N. Y. The mother's people were farmers, and the old family homestead near Port Bryon is still owned by some of its members. Thomas E. Curtiss and his two brothers, Charles G. and Lyman L., were forty years ago the owners of several freight and packet canalboats on the Erie canal. They were also heavy oil operators about the year 1862, at Titusville, and in 1873 the first-named, Thomas E. Curtiss, was engaged in business at Conneaut, Ohio, as wholesale and retail grocer, butcher, furniture dealer and owner of a fish-packing establishment. He subsequently removed to Buffalo, and still resides in that city, although not engaged in business.
Clarence E. Curtiss, the subject proper of this sketch, received part of his common-school education at his place of birth, and the balance at Conneaut, Ohio. He learned the machinist's trade at Collignon's machine shop, Buffalo, and he was also employed in the Brooks Locomotive Works at Dunkirk, N. Y. for two years. For two winters he was with the T. R. Baily Manufacturing Company, at Owosso, Mich., and was one winter with the Erie Railway Company, at Buffalo. In 1885 Mr. Curtiss shipped as oiler on the steamer Syracuse for one season, and was her second engineer the following season. In 1887-88 he was second engineer on the Albany, and in 1889 was in the same capacity on the steamer Chicago for that season only. He became chief engineer of the Fountain City in the spring of 1890, remaining with her until August of that year, and in October he was made chief engineer at the "Spaulding Hotel," at Duluth, Minn., continuing in that employ until the latter part of October 1893, while during balance of the season he was chief engineer of the steamer Columbia, on which he served for about two months. In 1894 he was in the employ of the Troy Laundry Machine Company as erecting engineer until July, and then returned to the lakes as second engineer of the Adella Shores for the balance of the season. During the season of 1895 Mr. Curtiss was first assistant engineer of the North Land, of the Northern Steamship Company, and on January 10, 1896, was appointed chief engineer of the Real Estate Exchange building (now the Mutual Life Insurance Company Building of New York City), on Pearl street. Mr. Curtiss is corresponding secretary of the National Stationary Engineers Association, Keystone No. 50, of which he has been a member since its organization. He is also a Knight Templar and a Noble of the Mystic Shine.
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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.