John T. Farnham
John T. Farnham, now chief engineer of the Armour Elevator, Chicago, was born in Oswego, N. Y., in 1855, a son of L. B. and Delia (Hunt) Farnham, the former a native of New York, the latter of Ireland. The father was also an engineer, and as such was on a dredge for some time, and later became a tug owner. In 1878 he removed to Grand Haven, Mich., where he still continues to make his home, and there his wife died in 1885.
John T. Farnham, until fourteen yers of age, lived in Fulton, Oswego Co., N. Y., and after the removal of the family to Grand Haven, Mich., learned engineering at that place in the machine works. He now has twenty-one issues of license, having received the first in 1876. He commenced his lakefaring life in 1870, sailing out of Grand Haven as engineer on the tugs St. Mary and Shepard for one season; the next season was engineer on the tugs Jerome and Claude; was then on the yacht Minnie Sutton, the tugs Miranda and Waukazoo, and the yacht Centennial, all from Grand Haven. During the season of 1880 he was second engineer on the steamer Tempest, engaged in the lumber trade, and was chief engineer on the same vessel for two seasons. He was then chief engineer of the M. D. Neff, also engaged in the lumber trade, and the following year was engineer of the steamer Charles A. Street, engaged in the general carrying trade. His next berth was as engineer on the steamer Ionia, engaged in the iron and grain trade, and after spending two seasons on her was for a part of a season on the Mary H. Boyce, which was also engaged in general trade. For one season he was engineer on the steamer Pentland, followed by a season as engineer on the government dredge at St. Joseph, Mich., after which, in 1895, he accepted his present position - that of chief engineer at the Armour Elevator, and has since made his home in Chicago, his present place of abode being at No. 204 Seminary avenue. Socially, he is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, No. 76, of Grand Haven.
At Chicago, in 1884, Mr. Farnham was united in marriage with Miss Catharine A. Furlong, by whom he has four children: Mary Delia, John Furlong, Rose Van Patten and W. Vincent. Mrs. Farnham is a native of Grand Haven, Mich., and a daughter of Capt. John and Mary (Walsh) Furlong. Her father was a lake captain for many years, and also sailed on salt water to nearly all the important ports; he was a member of the well-known firm of Kirby, Furlong & Co., the "Co." being Senator Ferry. Their vessel property consisted of seventeen barges, two lake tugs and two harbor tugs. Mr. Furlong died in Chicago in 1884 and his wife in 1890.
Return to Home Port
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.