Edward T. Dixon
Edward T. Dixon, an industrious and competent engineer, has been in the employ of the United States Government during the past two seasons in charge of the machinery of the tug Graham, giving the best satisfaction. Being a good mechanic and industrious, he always finds employment in the shops after laying up his boat.
Mr. Dixon was born December 21, 1844, at Ottawa, Ontario, and is the son of Thomas and Catherine (Cleary) Dixon, natives of Ireland, who came to Canada about the year 1838. They moved to Harrison Corners in 1846, where the father died soon after, and the mother on July 26, 1894. After the death of his father Edward went to live with his uncle, James Cleary, of Moulinette, Ontario, where he worked on a farm, drove team and attended school. In April, 1863, he came to the United States, stopping at Peshtigo, Wis., and went to work in a sawmill owned by the Peshtigo Lumber Company, and the next spring fired a locomotive on their private road, used for transporting lumber, and worked in the machine shop conducted by the company. In 1865 he was made engineer of the locomotive Copper Clark, the first ever built on American soil, and run in the interest of the Boston & Amboy railroad. During the time he was in their employ he also ran an engine on a pile driver and tug Reindeer, taking out his first license for this privilege in 1867, and it was during this year that he served in the capacity of engineer on the steamer Union, owned by the G. B. & M. T. Co., and run from Green Bay, Wis., to Marinette. That fall he went to Chicago, and secured employment as engineer of a pile driver and steam shovel on the C. B. & Q. R. R.
In the spring of 1876 Mr. Dixon was appointed second engineer of the steamer Trader, Jeremiah Collins, now assistant boiler inspector of Milwaukee district, being chief, closing the season on the side-wheel steamer Huron. The next year he became second engineer of the steamer Norman of the People's line, plying between Duluth and Marquette. That fall he took her to Chicago, and laid her up, the chief being sick. He then entered the employ of the Goodrich Transportation Company as second engineer of the steamer Muskegon, transferring to the steamer Truesdell during the winter of 1878-79, and the next spring as second on the Sheboygan, closing the season on the Amazon. He then went to Milwaukee and was made first assistant engineer in the Kearn flooring-mill.
In the spring of 1881 Mr. Dixon moved his family to Marinette, Wis., to take a position as superintendent of a post and tie mill, remaining there until the firm discontinued business, in March, 1883. He then went to Duluth and took charge of the tug Siskiwitt for Cooley & La Vaque, closing the season on the tug Eliza Williams. The next year he ran a pile driver for the Winston Bros., of Minneapolis, who had the contract for building the bridge across the St. Louis Bay. In the spring of 1885 Mr. Dixon chartered the tug John McKay, and engaged in towing logs from Fon du Lac to the Duluth mills. The next two years he was engineer of the steam road-roller for the city of Duluth, and in 1889 he was appointed engineer of the yacht Picket, that winter serving as assistant engineer in the Imperial mill in Duluth. During the construction of the Emerson school building, in Duluth, he assisted in putting in the machinery, and worked ashore until the spring of 1893, when he was appointed chief engineer of the Sheboygan. Having removed with his family to Milwaukee, he was appointed chief engineer of the yacht chartered by that city to carry supplies, etc., to the waterworks crib, holding that berth two years. In the spring of 1896 he joined the tug Robbie Dunham as engineer, she being engaged on government work; transferring the next year to the tug Graham, and remaining on her as engineer on government work until she was laid up in the fall of 1898.
Edward T. Dixon was wedded to Miss Margaret Frances Dolan, of Winona, Minn., the ceremony being performed on February 26, 1878. The children born to this union are Agnes M., who is teaching school in Milwaukee; Edward F., a sailor; Mary Julia, and Margaret Clare. The family residence is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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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.