William Meade is of English parentage, and is a son of Cornelius and Elizabeth (Maidment) Meade, the former of whom was a machinist. Their family consisted of two children: William, the subject of this sketch, and Harriet, wife of David Sullivan, who is also a machinist.
Mr. Meade was born January 11, 1852, in London, and emigrated to Canada in 1869, locating at Toronto. He has been at work at his chosen calling since twelve years of age, and before leaving his native land was employed in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, where they manufactured and still manufacture heavy guns and carriages on a large scale. He learned his trade, however, at McKicknie & Bertram's tool works in Dundas, Canada, and also worked in other Canadian shops a couple of years, beginning when about twenty years of age, and serving an apprenticeship of four years in the first named place. Since coming to America he has worked in a large number of shops during the winters of his sailing career. Mr. Meade was not above beginning at the bottom round of the ladder, and unlike many other engineers who graduate from machine shops into steamers in the lake service, he commenced his sailing as fireman on the Canadian steamer Armenia in 1878. During the two succeeding seasons, however, he was second engineer of the Armenia and Chicora, respectively, the latter of which was an old blockade runner during the Civil war in America. At this period he changed to American vessels, and in 1881 shipped out of Buffalo as second engineer of the passenger steamer Pacific, of the Union Steamboat line. The next season he was second of the steamer Japan, of the Anchor line, and in 1883 he was chief engineer of the H.D. Coffinberry. During 1884-85 he was second of the H.J. Jewett and Winslow, and for the seasons of 1886-87- 88 he was chief engineer of the Lycoming, of the Anchor line. For those of 1889-90 he was chief of the Susquehanna, and for 1891 of the Nyanza, owned by McBrier, of Erie, Penn. In 1892 Mr. Meade brought out the steamer Uganda new, and held chief engineer's berth in her for that season and also those of 1893-94-95-96. For the season of 1897 he received his appointment as chief of the Savona, formerly the Emily P. Weed. For season of 1898 he was appointed chief of the T.W. Palmer. Mr. Meade is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association No. 1, of Buffalo, and in fraternal affiliation he is a Freemason, belonging to DeMolay Lodge No. 498. He was married at Buffalo in 1881 to Miss Agnes McCabe. They reside at No. 209 Potomac avenue, 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.