William F. Riley
William F. Riley was born in Cleveland in 1866, son of Peter Riley, who was a successful marine engineer. He spent several years in a machine shop, and in 1882 commenced sailing, acting as cabin boy on the steamer City of Rome for one month. Returning to shore, he was employed in the machine shop of Smith & Olwell for a year and a half, and spent the season of 1885 as fireman of the tug Amoretta Miller, and in 1886 worked in the shipyard of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company. The next season he was oiler on the yacht Peerless, and the year following was with the steamer Corona. Then he spent another year in the shipyards, in 1890 going as second engineer of the Joliet. The years 1891 and 1892 he spent on shore of the employ of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company, of Cleveland, and for a part of this time was engaged in putting in the engines of the steamer Cadillac, at Chicago. He was in Chicago again in 1893 installing the engines of the steamer Manitou, and during 1894 was for a time in the employ of the Cleveland waterworks department, later running as second engineer of the Pontiac. He was with the steamer Gladstone for part of the season of 1895, and during 1896 was in charge of the pipe-fitting department of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company.
On February 18, 1890, Mr. Riley married Miss Nellie Grau, of Cleveland, and they have three children: Mary, Peter and William.
Return to Home Port
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.