John T. Mead
John T. Mead was born in Painter Hollow, Crittenden Co., Ky. His father was of old Puritan stock, which landed in Jamestown in 1628, afterward moving to Massachusetts, and his mother was of Scotch descent, and a member of the Lee family.
Mr. Mead received a common-school education in the wilds of his native state, and early in life went as stoker or assistant engineer on a steamboat plying on the Ohio river. He followed the Ohio river service until he was twenty-one years of age, when he enlisted in the navy, with which he served until August, 1865, on the steamers St. Clair and Mound City in the regular gunboat service on the Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, participating in all the skirmishing which occurred in that latitude at that time. The Mound City was particularly active in patroling the Tennessee river, and many times shots were exchanged between her crew and Forest's cavalry.
Mr. Mead received his first papers as engineer in 1865, and accepted an appointment as chief engineer on a steam passenger canal boat plying between Chillicothe and Portsmouth, Ohio, on the Ohio canal. Later he received appointments on Ohio and Mississippi river steamers, on which he was employed for eight years. He then went to Cleveland and acted as engineer of harbor tugs out of that port for four years, after which he engaged as engineer of the Broadway flour mills. In 1877 Mr. Mead entered the employ of John Thomson as steamfitter, and remained with him nineteen years, during which time he invented what is known as the Mead & Thomson feedwater purifier - which has found a place on many first-class lake steamers - and the Giant flue scraper, and did general steamfitting work. In June, 1895, Mr. Mead united with Messrs. Stevens and Presley to form the Buckeye Steam Fitting Company, who are at present doing business at No. 117 River street, Cleveland.
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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.