F. B. Smith
F.B. Smith, the popular engineer of the Joliet, was born in Geneva, N. Y., October 19, 1850, and is a representative of a family of English origin. His ancestors came to Canada early in the nineteenth century. His father, James B. Smith, was a native of New York State and there spent the greater part of his life. He served through the Civil war in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth N. Y. V. I., and was killed soon afterward near Castleton, N. Y. Francis B. Smith received his early instruction in the public schools of his native city, completing his education in the academy of Ogdensburg, N. Y., of which his step-father, John H. Sigourney, was at that time principal. During his youth he was employed in different stores in Geneva, but in 1868 he went as porter on the Buckeye, of the Northern Transportation line, where he remained for one year. The following year he was wheelsman on the Empire and he served in the same capacity on the Evergreen City, of the Union Steamboat Line of Buffalo. Going to Philadelphia, he and his brother, James L. Smith, started the point Breeze Oil works, of which he was distillman and general manager. Some time later he returned to the lakes and for one season was mate on the City of Sandusky, but at the end of his service we again find him in Philadelphia, serving an apprenticeship to the plumbing and steamfitting trade. Mr. Smith was next engaged as engineer on the Volunteer, Mary Groh and Forest City, and then became connected with the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad, being promoted to a position in the auditor's office at Cleveland, where he remained for eight years. On account of ill health he was forced to resign and returning to the lakes he became chief engineer of the Joseph S. Fay. For several years he was connected with the Mallory line of salt-water vessels, sailing between New York and Florida ports, and later went as chief engineer on the Wadena from Cleveland, on her trip to Alexandria, Egypt. Leaving the boat there, he traveled extensively through Europe and then returned to Cleveland, where he has since made his home, now residing at No. 1 Mona street. He was for a time chief engineer on the Choctaw and has since served in the same capacity on the Joliet.
On May 20, 1872, Mr. Smith wedded Miss Mary McIntyre, of St. Thomas, Canada, and they have become the parents of four children -- Minnie F., Francis L., Alfred B. and Jennie Bell. The sons are both learning the machinist's trade, the older with the Cleveland Ship Building Company, and the younger with the Standard Tool Company. In his social relations Mr. Smith is a Knight Templar Mason.
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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.