Captain Frank L. McCabe
Captain Frank L. McCabe, who for several years has been in the employ of the Western Transit line, is the son of Patrick and Katherine McCabe, natives of Ireland. Patrick McCabe was for many years in the employ of Bidnell & Banty, shipbuilders of Buffalo in the early days. It was during his employment with them that they built the great side-wheel steamers City of Buffalo and Western Metropolis - noted at that time - which plied for many years in the passenger service between Buffalo and Cleveland. He also sailed the lakes for several years. In this family were five children, the three now living being the subject of this sketch. Joseph, in the elevator business at Buffalo, and Mary, a resident of Buffalo, who is the widow of Owen Gologley, a former lake pilot.
Frank J. McCabe was born at Buffalo in 1845. After attending the public schools for a short time, and at the age of ten years, he began the work of his life as a ferry boy on Buffalo creek, at which occupation he remained three seasons. In the spring of 1858 he made his first trip on the lakes in the capacity of cabin boy on the propeller Iowa, under Capt. Robert Jones, in a few months, however, returning to his original employment as ferry boy, and thus closed that season. The following season he acted as cabin boy on the propeller Galena with Captain Steel part of the time, and closed it in the same employ as that of 1858. For the succeeding two seasons he was cabin boy on various steamers, and in 1861-62-63 he shipped as boy before the mast on the schooner Metropolis with Capt. James Murray. The next two seasons he went before the mast on the schooner William O. Brown with Capt. Harry Bonner, and from that time until 1869 he was first mate of several first-class vessels. For the seasons of 1869-70-71 he served in the capacity of master of the schooner Watts Sherman, and for that of 1872 he was master of the harbor tug C. W. Evans, at Chicago, owned by a son of Edward Madden, an ex-alderman. After a couple of seasons spent on different vessels he returned to Buffalo, and during 1875 was one of nine members of the harbor police. This was previous to the building of the Michigan street bridge, and when the patrolling was done in small boats propelled with oars. After an interim of several years in steam and steel vessels, he, in 1888, entered the employ of the Western Transit Company as mate of the propeller Albany, which was sunk in 1893 in collision with the Philadelphia. Remaining in that vessel but one season, he was mate of the Hudson for the season of 1889, and in the spring of 1890 was given master's berth in the propeller Chicago, which position he has held continuously since (1897), thus establishing himself as a careful navigator. Captain McCabe has been a member of the Ship Masters Association since the fall of 1890. He held the office of second vice-president during 1894, was first vice-president during 1895, and one of the delegates to Washington, and during 1896 was its president.
In 1878 Captain McCabe was married at Buffalo to Miss Mary Murphy, at that time a teacher in Public School No. 34. They have three children: Matie, a teacher in Public School No. 33, Elizabeth and John F. The family residence is at No. 393 Elk 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.