Lafayette S. Sullivan
Lafayette S. Sullivan is, perhaps, one of the best known men in marine circles. He was born in Holland, Lucas Co., Ohio, in 1858, in a log house, and his present prominent position has been obtained by his own energy and good business methods, and he may be correctly designated as a self-made man, as there was no money or influence to assist him. He is a son of Dennis and Hannah (Devine) Sullivan. His father was a ship carpenter by trade and removed to Toledo, Ohio, in 1863, where Lafayette acquired his public- school education, also attending the Jordan Business College.
His first employment was in the office of the Toledo Blade, in the mail and editorial rooms. In the spring of 1870 he shipped on a scow with his father, who was engaged in the sand trade between Amherstburg and Toledo, remaining in that berth two years. In the spring of 1872 he entered the employ of John Stevens & Co., in the ship brokerage and vessel agency business, remaining with that firm nine years, and laying the found- ation for his business life. In 1881 Mr. Sullivan established a ship brokerage business on his own account, which, together with his tug business, he has followed ever since. He soon commenced to purchase vessel property, his first venture being the steamyacht Sally, which he used as a ferry boat. As a nucleus for his tug business he purchased the tug William E. Rooney, and followed this by the purchase of the tugs Syracuse and Roy, the latter being crushed by ice December 16, 1895, between Monroe and Stony Point, and has not yet been located; the Doan, Birckhead, A. Andrews, Jr., and an interest in the powerful tug S.C. Schenck. He also has interests in outside steamboats and schooners - D.W. Ruse, C.C. Barnes, John Schuette, Chicago Board of Trade, and H.H. Badger. He lost the schooner Pulaski off Good Harbor, Lake Michigan, in 1888.
In 1882 Mr. Sullivan succeeded to the management of the Toledo Harbor Tug line on the retirement of M.T. Huntley. This tug line was established in 1870, and is now composed of his own and outside tugs. He is at the head of the coal shipping trade out of Toledo, is a stockholder in the Vulcan Iron Works, and is a member of its board of directors, vice-president of the Lake Carriers Association, and has been on the board of directors since it organization. He is also an honorary member of Toledo Lodge No. 9, of the Ship Masters Association. Mr. Sullivan opened the first branch shipping office of the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, which, after the first year, turned enough on its books to enable it to pay its own way.
In 1883 he wedded Miss Alice Pallister, daughter of William and Hannah Pallister, of Detroit, Mich. Four children, Lafayette W., May Hannah, Alma Ruth and Alice Marguerite, have been born to this union, and they consider them the chief ornaments of their home. The family residence is at No. 1524 Huron street, Toledo, where Mr. Sullivan has resided thirty-one years.
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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.