Captain Andrew Kelly
Captain Andrew Kelly is a good officer and a man of fine physique. He was born in 1849 in County Cork, Ireland, a son of Thomas and Margaret Kelly, the former of whom was a pilot on the coast of England and Ireland. The family removed to the United States when our subject was but eighteen months old, and located at Buffalo, New York.
Andrew Kelly attended school but a few years, while he was very young, commencing work as a ferry boy in 1860 at the age of eleven years. He has evidently improved every opportunity since then to acquire knowledge. In 1862 he shipped as boy on the schooner St. James, of Erie, in the iron ore trade between Erie and Marquette, and remained eight years, the last six receiving seaman's wages. In the spring of 1869 he was appointed mate of the schooner St. Andrews, of Erie, Penn., with Captain Shea, and remained on her until August, 1871, when she was sold. He finished that season on the brig Resolute, as mate with Captain Mullins. They lost the Resolute off Long Point, November 14, in a northwest snowstorm; one sailor and a woman cook were frozen to death on the brig, but the rest of the crew swam ashore. In 1872 he went as mate of the schooner B. Parsons, and in 1873 shipped before the mast on the Jane Bell, which was frozen in at Grand Island and Captain Kelly kept ship that winter. In 1874 he shipped out of Cleveland on the propeller Mineral Rock. Having been eighteen months away from home, he left the ship and went to Buffalo, whence, after a brief visit, he shipped as second mate on the bark Charles K. Nimms, which was sometime afterward lost by collision in Lake Erie. In 1875-76 he went as mate of the schooner Monitor, in 1877 as mate of the schooner Maria Martin, and in 1878 as mate of the bark William H. Vanderbilt, Samuel Watson owner. The Vanderbilt left Chicago April 11 with grain consigned to Buffalo, and on the 13th she was dismasted on Lake Huron in a squall from the west, the foremast, mainmast and jib- boom mizzen going overboard. She was towed down to Buffalo by the river tug Mocking Bird, was refitted and made into a fore-and-aft schooner. In 1879 Captain Kelly sailed the schooner Golden Rule for the same owner. In 1880 he shipped as mate of the Thomas P. Sheldon; 1881, second mate of the steamer H.D. Coffinberry; 1882, mate of the steamer C.H. Starkey; 1883, second mate on the New York, one of the Union Steamboat Company's boats; 1884, master of the barge Stevenson; 1885-86, master of the barge Farwell; 1887-88, mate of the steamer Schoolcraft. In 1889, he superintended the building of the schooner Mary N. Bourke for the Nestor estate of Detroit, and sailed her until the fall of 1893. In the spring of 1894 he was appointed mate of the steamer Wyoming, of the Lackawanna Steamship line, and in 1895-96 sailed the steamer Grand Traverse, owned by the same line. This steamboat was lost October 20, by collision with the steamer Livingston. The season 1897, and also of 1898, he spent in the Wyoming.
Captain Kelly has been concerned in several creditable rescues. While lying in the harbor at Marquette in 1871 he jumped overboard and saved a ten-year old boy from drowning. On another occasion he, with two other men, lowered the yawl boat and took the crew of seven men off a lumber scow which had broken in two on Lake Erie. He has been a member of the Ship Masters Association for five years, and carried Pennant No. 382. He is also a member of Local Harbor No. 41, of the American Association of Masters and Pilots.
In 1876 Captain Kelly was united in marriage with Miss Mary Neville, of Buffalo, and they have had eight chidren, six of whom are now living, namely: Julia M., Ellen M., Andrew J., Mary F., Daniel and Stephen. Robert and Thomas are deceased. The family residence is at No. 137 Kentucky street, Buffalo, New York.
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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.