Captain John Foley
Since his thirteenth year, Capt. John Foley has been identified with marine workers on the Great Lakes. He was born at Hamburg, N. Y., June 24, 1842, and was one of six children born to Patrick and Anna (Crongham) Foley, who were natives of Ireland and China, respectively. The latter was a daughter of an English general, who fought and was wounded in the Crimean War. Patrick Foley and wife, deceased, were survived by their children: Mary, who is married to Captain Bradley, a sailor of wide experience who has visited Africa, China, South America and the West Indies, and now resides in Buffalo; Frank, formerly a marine-man, resides in Buffalo; Elizabeth, unmarried, also resides in Buffalo; Maggie M., who was married to George Plumley, and died August 7, 1895; and Annie S., who is married to James Pixley, a marine engineer of Buffalo.
When Captain Foley first went sailing, he shipped with James McKee, a marine engineer of Hamburg. Before the first season closed he was in a shipwreck near Buffalo, and had a narrow escape from drowning, being carried to shore by a Newfoundland dog. He returned to the water the following spring, however, and sailed in minor positions until the age of nineteen years, when he was given command of the schooner Aldbaren, remaining on her several years, after which he sailed the New York. His next boat was the schooner A. B. Morris, following this with service as mate on the Huron City, H. D. Coffinberry, Monitor and Wild Helden. He then came on the J. S. Shrigley as mate, and in that capacity served until 1893, when he was made master, a position which he filled for some seasons.
On November 15, 1878, he was married to Miss Sarah Ann Mitchell, daughter of Henry and Mary (Taylor) Mitchell, natives of England, and residing in Buffalo. Captain and Mrs. Foley have had three children: William, born December 10, 1879, who died in infancy; John, born in December, 1880, and died in infancy; and Charles John, born February 20, 1881, who is attending school at the present time.
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.