James T. Byers
James T. Byers, son of Capt. R. L. and Nellie (Hines) Byers, was born in Buffalo N.Y., September 14, 1864. He attended the Buffalo schools until he was fifteen years of age, and in 1880 west to learn the machinist's trade in Mr. Tift's shops.
In 1882 he shipped as assistant engineer on the steamyacht General Wetzel, on the Sault Ste. Marie river, in the employ of J. Heckler, who had a contract to dig a new channel into the Neebish; he remained on this yacht five months. In the spring of 1883 he shipped as oiler on the steamer Nyack for the season; in 1884-85 he sailed on the Dean Richmond and Russia, respectively, in the same capacity, remaining a season on each boat; in the spring of 1886 he again shipped on the steamer Russia, this time as second engineer, holding the berth three years. In September, 1888, he went with Captain Henry Murphy on the Grand Traverse as chief engineer, continuing in that position for two years. In September, 1890, he entered the employ of the Hand & Johnson's Tug line, in Buffalo, and was appointed chief engineer of the tug R. H. Hebard with the night crew. In 1891 he went as chief of the tug Danforth, and the following season he was returned to the Hebard, in which he remained two seasons. In 1893 he again took the Danforth, holding this berth two years. During the winter of 1896-97, he engineered the winter boat with Capt. Patrick Linn as master, and in the season of 1807-98 was engineer on the Grace Danforth. Mr. Byers inherited his father's interest in the Hand & Johnson's Tug line, which has been increased somewhat by good management and better business, and during the years of his service with the line he has given universal satisfaction. He has eleven issues of license.
In 1890 Mr. Byers was married to Miss Nellie G. Sullivan of Buffalo, and two children have been born to them, Irene F. and James Irving.
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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.