Captain Patrick Finn Shields, Catherine (Wife Of Captain Patrick Finn)
Captain Patrick Finn, who is one of the patriarchs to the younger generation of shipmasters and men interested in maritime affairs, and a successful one, has, by a lifetime of right living, commanded the respect and admiration of his business associates and others who come within the circle of his acquaintance.
Although he is approaching closely to the allotted age of man, he has a strong and sturdy bearing and the vigor and energy of younger vitality. He was born in Newtown Barry, County Wexford, Ireland in December 1832, a son of Richard and Margaret Finn. After his father's death he came to the United States with his mother and other members of the family, locating in Oswego, N. Y., in 1846. He attended school and worked on a farm alternately until 1850, when he shipped with Capt. Nate Hamilton on the schooner Pulaski. The next spring he joined the schooner Hudson, commanded by Captain Taylor, transferred to the schooner Texas, which was sailed by Capt. Joseph Kimball, and finished the season on the schooner Cherokee with Capt. George Vickery. He joined the Cherokee again in 1852, Capt. Robert Nicholson having succeeded to the command. The next season he shipped on the notable schooner Plymouth Rock, with his old captain, Joseph Kimball, who always designated young Finn as his boy. He remained on that schooner until April, when he transferred to the Queen of the West, sailed by Captain Moore. In the spring of 1854 he joined the Cherokee, with Capt. Robert Hayes, but closed the season on the brig Champlain, with Capt. J. Higson, of Chicago.
Captain Finn obtained his first office in 1855, having been appointed mate of the brig Buffalo by Capt. John T. Davidson, sailing the next season as mate of the brig John T. Harmon. In 1857 when the new schooner Eli Bates went into commission, he was appointed mate of her, with John T. Davidson as master, followed by a season on the schooner Emen with Capt. R. Nicholson remaining on her until 1860, when he was made master of the schooner North Star, which he sailed two seasons. The Captain then purchased an interest in the schooner Theodore Perry, and sailed her until the close of navigation of 1864. The Willard Johnson was his next command, he owning a third- interest in her. She was lost on Point au Rock, the first season. At this time, his vessel property began to multiply. It was in 1867 that he purchased the schooner Rising Star, which he sailed with good success financially for five seasons, and in the spring of 1872 added the schooners Trinidad and Kate Kelley to his fleet by purchase. He sailed the Trinidad two seasons, and then bought the schooners H. W. Sage and Lew Elsworth. He assumed command of the former, still retaining his other interests. After four years as master of the H. W. Sage the Captain retired from active life on the lakes and engaged in the vessel and insurance agency business, in which he has continued for some time with marked success. In connection with his marine affairs, the Captain is owner of real estate to which he devotes a portion of his time.
In December, 1850, Captain Finn married Miss Catherine Shields, and the children born to their union are the Rev. Thomas B., who is professor of rhetoric at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., Maggie E., who is now Mother Esperance, in charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph convent in Hastings, Minn.; the Rev. James T., a member of the faculty of Woodstock University, Maryland; Nicholas R., of the Chicago Bar; John T. employed as a general salesman by John V. Farwell & Co.; William P., of the Chicago water office; and Joseph H., of the Chicago Chronicle's staff. The family met with a sad bereavement in the death of Mrs. Finn, in June 1898. The Finn homestead is a fine modern structure at No. 622 Jackson boulevard, Chicago, on the site of which the Captain has resided for twenty years.
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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.