Louis Moss, a well-known engineer of the Great Lakes, was born in Prussia, Germany, February 17, 1848, a son of Louis A. and Regina (Kephant) Moss, who were also natives of that country and emigrated to the United States in 1857, locating in Buffalo, N. Y., on May 11, of that year. There the mother died in 1887, but the father, who is a tile manufacturer, is still living and now makes his home in Michigan.
The subject of this sketch was nine years old when, with his parents, he took up his residence in Buffalo, where he was reared and learned the machinist's trade at Sutton Brothers' Vulcan Iron Works. He began sailing from that port in 1862, as engineer on the yacht Grace Trecott, on which he remained until his removal to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1867. There he took charge of the tug Lidy Fox; in 1868 was on the tug Nelson, of Cleveland, and in 1869 was assistant engineer on the steamer Winslow, plying between Cleveland and Duluth in the passenger trade, and belonging to the Anchor line. In 1870 he was assistant engineer under D. P. Stewart, on the steamer Alaska, which made all lake ports, and remained on her until she was laid up in the fall of 1876. The following year he came to Chicago and took charge of the Chicago Starch Works, serving as superintendent of that establishment for two years and seven months. From the fall of 1879 until March, 1882, he was superintendent of the Arkenberger Starch Works, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and then again resumed steamboating as engineer on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers between Peoria and St. Louis. In 1883 he accepted the position of chief engineer for Halliday Brothers, at Cairo, Ill., having charge of all their boats until 1892, when he returned to Chicago and resumed steamboating on the lakes, as engineer with the Van Buren line. The following year he was made chief engineer of the Stiles building, where he remained for three years and seven months, after which he was assistant engineer of the "Brevoort Hotel", but has since returned to the lakes. He ran the first compound engine on the lakes, and is now one of the oldest and most highly respected engineers of Chicago.
In 1867, in Buffalo, Mr. Moss was married to Miss Mary Fleeman, a native of that city, and a daughter of Adam Fleeman, an early and prominent business man of Buffalo. Six children were born of this union, namely: Minnie, now Mrs. Blust, of Peoria, Ill.; Mrs. Mamie Arter, of Chicago; Mrs. Lillie Powers, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Carrie, who died in 1895; Louis C. whose sketch appears below; and Charles.
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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.