J. D. Kirby
J.D. Kirby is a marine engineer who served his apprenticeship in the old Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company's works, in Cleveland, entering the establishment about thirty-five years ago. He was born in Cleveland on February 29, 1844, a son of James and Jane (Cole) Kirby, the former of whom was a moulder. After spending three years at his apprenticeship Mr. Kirby entered the employ of the Globe Iron Works, and in that establishment and in the shops of the Cleveland Ship Building Company he has been employed, off and on, for over thirty years. His first sailing was done in 1873, when he went out as second engineer of the Selah Chamberlin, and following this he was second of the D.W. Rust one season and chief of her for six seasons. Then he was engineer of the E.B. Hale one year and fitted her out the next, leaving her in the spring of the second year to assume charge of the machinery of the propeller Robert Wallace, on which he remained two seasons and fitted her out for the third. On leaving her he became chief engineer of the Superior street viaduct in Cleveland, and after having engaged thus for two years he served as foreman in the shops of the Cleveland Ship Building Company four years. He then became interested in the Chase Machine Company, where, however, he remained but one summer, returning to the Cleveland Ship Building Company, and later becoming superintendent of the Ohio Brass & Iron Manufacturing Company; he retained this position for one year, when the works were burned, and he again entered the employ of the Cleveland Ship Building Company, where he has remained since.
In 1868 Mr. Kirby was married to Miss Mahrina H. Lamb, of Cleveland, who died in March, 1873, leaving one child. In 1877 he married Miss Sylvia A. Bigelow, of Cleveland, and they have two children living, James Blaine and Walter. Three children died in infancy, Vina Maud, Frank J. and Hattie.
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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.