Captain George L. Dewolf
Captain George L. DeWolf, United States local inspector of hulls for the Cleveland district, is an officer who is held in high esteem by all candidates for government licenses and others bearing relation to affairs maritime. He is an officer of great force of character, conscientious and upright in the performance of his duties. He is the son of Otis and Minerva M. (Tyler) DeWolf (who were natives of Oswego, N.Y.), and was born in Conneaut, Ohio, in 1837, where he attended the public schools, finishing his education in the Conneaut Academy. His parents removed from Oswego to Conneaut in 1833, where the father founded a shipyard and built the schooners Mary M. Scott and Indianola, and rebuilt many other vessels. In 1854 he went to Erie, Penn., where he constructed the St. Paul, St. Anthony and Milton Courtright; also doing general rebuilding and repair work. His maternal grandfather, Edward M. Tyler, and his brothers were old sea captains, sailing out of New Bedford, Conn., and other New England ports.
Capt. George L. DeWolf commenced sailing on the lakes in 1853 as boy on the brig H.G. Stambach, with Capt. Andrew Lent, closing the season on the schooner Snowdrop, both built in Conneaut. The next year he shipped with Capt. Charles Blodgett on the steamer Ocean of the Detroit & Cleveland Steamboat line; in 1855 on the propeller Charter, plying between Cleveland and Buffalo; and in 1856 on the schooner Falcon, remaining on her two seasons. His next berth was on the schooner Andrew Scott, transferring to the Potomac in the spring of 1859, and closing the season as second mate of the bark S.B. Pomeroy, staying with her the following season as mate. During 1861 and 1862 he sailed on the Monitor and Kate Darley. During the winter months of the foregoing years the Captain worked in the shipyard with his father and became a practical ship builder, knowledge which is of great utility to him in his present office. In 1863 he was master of the schooner Indianola a part of the season. During the last two years of the war of the Rebellion the Captain was in the employ of the government, building monitors and transports for service on the Mississippi river. He helped to construct the transports that took Gen. A.J. Smith's army from East- port, Miss., to Mobile, Ala., and accompanied the expedition. Three of the Captain's brothers also enlisted, one in the navy and two in the army, one being killed in the battle of Pittsburg Landing. After the Captain's return to the lakes in the fall of 1865 he sailed the steamer B.F. Wade.
In 1866 Captain DeWolf entered the employ of George W. Bissell, of Detroit and soon gained command of the schooner L.H. Cotton, which was destroyed by fire off Cleveland in 1868, as she was starting to Liverpool with a cargo of gasoline, Captain DeWolf being in command. He then transferred to the bark James F. Joy in the same employ, and sailed her two season. During the winter of 1870-71 he superintended the construction of the steamer W.L. Wetmore for the firm, and when completed he took command and sailed her for fifteen years.
It was in 1886 that Captain DeWolf was appointed inspector of hulls for the Cleveland district, an office he is eminently qualified to fill. Socially he is a Royal Arch Mason of Conneaut Chapter, and a Master Mason of good report.
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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.