James Kennedy, in the spring of 1895, entered into a contract with the Lake Carriers Association for the handling of all the grain that comes into the port of Buffalo. A contract of this kind became necessary in order that there might be system and economy in the handling of grain. Previous to the making of this contract the grain coming into Buffalo was handled at each elevator by a boss shoveler, which method became unsatis- factory for the reason that each boss shoveler would take care of the grain that came easiest, paying little attention to what was to come afterward, thus sometimes leaving a considerable portion in bad shape. In consequence there was a great deal of fault- finding at the different elevators, and the entire matter was unsatisfactory to most of those concerned.
The Lake Carriers Association represents about four-fifths of the carrying capacity of the lakes, and in attempting to devise means to remedy the difficulties under consideration, conceived the idea of making a contracts for the handling of all the grain coming into the port, with some one man, and holding him responsible for the proper condition of the work. This association advertised for bids. Mr. Kennedy was among those who answered the advertisement, his bid being the lowest responsible one, and, as he was able to furnish satisfactory security for the proper performance of the work, it was accepted. He offered to do the work for $3.50 per 1,000 bushels, and to trim the canal boats for $0.75 per 1,000 bushels. He had handled the grain for two seasons - 1895 and 1896 - in a manner satisfactory to all concerned. He employs from 700 to 1,000 men, and during 1895 handled 121,000,000 bushels of grain, and in 1896 about 162,000,000 bushels.
In January, 1897, after a good deal of the discussion at the meeting of the Lake Carriers Association in Detroit, the contract was again to let Mr. Kennedy, at the old rate of $3.50 per 1,000 bushels; but later in the spring, through a committee of the association, the rates were reduced to $3.35 per 1,000 bushels.
The contract for the handling of grain for the Lake Carriers Association is a renewable contract, and for the season of 1897 Mr. Kennedy was awarded the contract and handled over 200,000,000 bushels of grain of all kinds. For the season of 1898 the contract was awarded to W.J. Conners, but through a mutual arrangement Mr. Kennedy is interested in the execution of the contract, and has the control of the work.
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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.