Captain William H. Hazen
Captain William H. Hazen, at present superintendent of the Rochester & Pittsburg Coal & Iron Co.'s dock, at the corner of Ganson and Michigan streets, Buffalo, N. Y., is a son of Capt. David D. Hazen, the present owner and master of the tug Puritan, and the oldest tug captain in Buffalo harbor.
The Captain was born at Buffalo, October 26, 1854, and received his education in the public schools of that city. His being a marine man all his life was undoubtedly due to the fact that his father followed that calling, but he also seems to have had a special adaptation for marine work, for when handling tugs he was usually called upon to take hold of the difficult jobs. He began as deckhand on the Buffalo harbor tug Daniel Boone in 1867, and in 1868 became engineer of the tug Itaska, in which he remained three successive seasons. The following season, 1871, he became engineer of the tug R.R. Hefford, owned by O. W. Cheney, was with her a season and a half, becoming master during that time, and in 1873 went on the Jos. Ash, as engineer, with Capt. O. W. Cheny as captain and owner, and was in her four years. During the season of 1873 the boiler of the tug R. R. Hefford blew up just as she came out of Commercial slip into Buffalo river, with three canal-boats in tow. She belonged to what is now known as Hand and Johnson's line, but at that time was owned by Capt. O. W. Cheney and J. H. Jones. Her engineer, Edward Day, and master, James Hand, were both killed, the latter of whom was the only son of George Hand, an owner. A stranger named Wenheimer, who was enjoying a ride, was also killed, being blown over Brown's elevator.
In 1882 our subject was made master of the tug A. P. Dorr (O. W. Cheney, owner) for the six successive seasons following. At the close of the season of 1884 the Dorr was burned at the dock as she was being laid up. She was subsequently rebuilt, however, and a new boiler put in, but on November 26, 1888, was lost off Dunkirk in rough weather, having sprung a leak. In 1889 Captain Hazen, O. W. Cheney and Thomas Maytham built the tug H. B. Abbott. Our subject was master of same for about half of that season, and during the remainder thereof was in that capacity on the steamer Periwinkle, formerly the United States revenue cutter Commodore Perry. In 1890 the Abbott was sold, and the Captain and Mr. Cheney build the tug O. W. Cheney, Captain Hazen running her until the close of that year, when she was sold to Thomas Maytham. In 1891 Captain Hazen took charge of the dock belonging to Messrs. Bell, Lewis & Yates, coal dealers, and remained their superintendent four years consecutively. In 1894 he and Mr. Cheney built the tug Cascade, which was subsequently sold into Hand & Johnson's line. In all Captain Hazen has been engineer, master and owner of Buffalo harbor tugs for eighteen consecutive years. In 1895 he became superintendent of the Rochester & Pittsburg Coal & Iron Co.'s docks, and he still retains that position. He has been a member of the Ship Masters Association since 1890, and was one of the charter members; has been a member of the Buffalo Harbor Masters and Pilots Association since 1892.
Captain Hazen was married at Ransomville, Niagara Co., N.Y., February 14, 1877, to Miss Venelia D. Thompson, daughter of John Thompson, of Ransomville, and they have three children: Lina D., aged fifteen years; David D., aged thirteen, and Howard O., aged three years. Our subject has also several brothers, one of them, James S. Hazen, being master of the tug Byers; Charles is now assistant engineer in the Buffalo City Hall building; John, engineer on a fuel scow at the Rochester & Pittsburg Coal & Iron Co.'s docks; Frank, watchman at the freight depot of the Lehigh Valley railway, and Frederick, engineer of a scow. Capt. William H. Hazen has been more than ordinarily successful in marine work. He was known as a plucky captain, and never turned back. He is one of the self-made men of Buffalo harbor.
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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.