Captain Joseph Day
Captain Joseph Day was born in Buffalo, August 3, 1839, received his common-school education in the public schools of that city, and his early marine education on the Niagara river. His parents were both natives of France, the father, Peter Day, having been born in Alsace, and the mother, whose maiden name was Ann Barnard, in Lorraine. The father was a fisherman by occupation, and came to this country when he was about sixteen years of age, or in about the year 1825.
After Joseph Day left school he learned the machinist's trade at Pitts Agricultural Works, where he worked three years, and after that was employed in Frank Calligan's Steam Engine Works for about a year. From 1857 he fished more or less for about twenty-five years, and during that period was owner, master or engineer of the following named tugs and steamyachts that plied the waters of Niagara river and Buffalo harbor; Tug William A. Woods, steamyachts Hattie Brown, Eliza Fox, Sarah Day, Blanche Shelby, Mary Anne, Mary Day, George Stauber No. 1, and George Stauber No. 2, and Sprudel. He was master and owner of the latter during the season of 1896, having in tow the barge Fritz, and still owns both barge and yacht. In 1865 Mr. Day was on the tug Eliza Fox, at Saginaw, towing barges and rafts, and he has had pilot's papers for Buffalo harbor and Niagara river for twenty-one years.
Mr. Day was married January 1, 1860, to Sarah Crossley, whose father, Joseph Crossley, and four of her brothers were all blacksmiths by trade. They have the following named children: Charles J. Day, now (1898) aged twenty-three years, who was engineer of the State tug Queen City during the season of 1896; Joseph Day, Jr., aged thirty-three, chief engineer for W. W. Oliver on Niagara street; John Day, aged twenty-one, employed with his father; and Thomas Day, aged nineteen, employed in Pierce's Bicycle Works.
Mr. Day recalled the Franklin as the first screw tug in existence in Buffalo harbor, she having been brought through the Erie canal by horses in 1845, and that the first screw tug was built by T. P. Burton, in 1846. Mr. Day remembers very well when, back in 1857, Kate, the sixteen-year old daughter of Jacob Schaefer, a resident of Grand Island, was wheelsman and engineer of the tug Relief, which plied between there and Buffalo. The tug was so constructed that the engine room and wheel house were combined about midship, and the girl was thus able to manipulate the wheel and handle the throttle while the father acted as fireman.
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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.