Charles Rice, marine engineer, of Cleveland, Ohio, was born July 10, 1858, in Newry, Ireland. The same year he was brought to the United States by his parents, who made their home in Sandusky, Ohio, and he attended the common schools there until he reached the age of fifteen years. His first experience in the marine line was acquired by a season's service as fireman on harbor tugs out of Sandusky. He then went to Cleveland and ran an engine on a pile-driver for the Smith Tug line for six months, dividing his time between Cleveland and Meadville, and after the completion of this contract he shipped on the tug Shoe Fly out of Cleveland harbor. Engineers in those days were not compelled to carry license when the property on which they engaged was not licensed, and he did not take out papers until October 22, 1873. In 1874 he shipped on the R.K. Hawley, and on leaving her he went to Chicago and fired on the tugs G.W. Wood and Harrison, closing the season as engineer on the A. Van Dalson, which he laid up. Going to Kenosha, Wis., he entered the tug Martin Green, under contract by the city, towing dredges and remained all season. In the spring of 1876 he returned to Cleveland and went as assistant engineer of the tug Levi Johnson to deliver her at Milwaukee to the Maxon Tug Line, by which she had been purchased. He left the tug at Port Austin, Lake Huron, and with a letter which carried him by lake and rail free of expense he went on to Michigan City, where he shipped as engineer of the tug American Eagle. When he laid this tug up he took a place on the steam fishing boat Jim Sheriffs, continuing on her through the winter and until May. In 1877 he returned to Cleveland and ran the tug Maggie Sanborn a short time, afterward going to Chicago and shipping as second on the tug O.B. Green, which he took to Cheboygan, Mich., after dredges, leaving her at that place. His next position was on the steamyacht Minnie F. Sutton, plying on the inland mail route between Petoskey and Mackinaw Island, Mich., and after finishing the excursion season on her, he went to Grand Haven, and was employed in steam fitting a short time; he closed the season on the revenue cutter Andrew Johnson, laying her up in the fall of 1878. That winter he went to Sandusky and in the spring to Cleveland, where he was appointed engineer on the tug Maggie Sanborn, remaining until July. He then took the tug Mollie Spencer at Ashtabula, laying her up at Charlotte, N.Y., the latter part of October, and returning to Cleveland made one trip as second on the steamer Birchey to Bay City.
In 1879 he shipped as engineer on the tug Thomas Dowling, on which he was engaged two seasons. In 1881 he fitted out the tug Dreadnaught, and engineered her until July, when he went to Chicago and took a berth on the J.C. Ingraham, closing the season on the tug J.C. Hackley. The next season he served in the tug Patrick Henry until July, transferring from her to the tug Brady, and closed the season on the steamer Jarvis Lord. The following year he filled engineer's berth on the Horace B. Tuttle, and then took a like position on the steamer Kasota, which he brought out new, and he remained with her four seasons. In 1889 he went as engineer of the steamer Missoula for one year, and was on the Kaliyuga the following season until July, when he took the yacht Peerless down to the coast, laying her up at Philadelphia. In 1891 he went back to the lakes, shipping at Buffalo, on the steamer Pontiac, on which he served as second engineer until the close of navigation. The following season he shipped on the Cayuga but did not sail, and went to work for the Smith Tug line by the year. In 1893 he engineered the steamer Iron King until she was laid up in ordinary, finishing the season on the steamer A.L. Hopkins. In 1894 he went on the Margaret Olwill, plying durng the winter between Cleveland and the Islands, and continued on her until August, finishing the season on the Corona. In 1895 he went to Chicago and brought the excursion boats Duluth and Superior to Cleveland, remaining with them during the excursion season, and finishing the year on the steamer S.F. Hodge, which he laid up in Milwaukee. He opened the season of 1896 as engineer of the steamer H.D. Coffinberry, and finished on the G.W. Morley, laying her up at Chicago.
In 1880 Mr. Rice was united in marriage with Miss Mary Monkman, of Cleveland. He is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.
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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.