Thomas J. Kelly
Thomas J. Kelly commenced sailing in 1880, on the steamer Nebraska, but was soon offered more pay to aid the tug Gen. Burnsides. Her fire hole having no ventilators, it was so hot there that no man could stay in her more than a few minutes without having to go on deck for a breath of air. Mr. Kelly was not charmed with the life of the next three years, employed in locomotive works, so in 1884, having concluded to try the lakes again, he went out as oiler on the steamer Winslow, of the Anchor line. In 1885 he shipped as engineer on the tug Betsy, but in the fall went as second on the Porter Chamberlain. In 1886 he went on the F. E. Spinner as second engineer, and during the seasons of 1887 and 1888 he served in the same capacity on the Jesse Farwell. During the next season he was made chief engineer of the Spinner, and held that position until the close of 1892. Later that fall he had rather an exciting experience. He overhauled the steamer Oneida, disabled by the blowing out of a cylinder head, and concluded to pick her up. But it was a difficult task, as the spinner had two barges in tow, and it was snowing and blowing very hard; the task was accomplished, however, after a considerable time, much to the relief of all concerned. In 1893 Mr. Kelly was chosen one of four mechanical foremen of the machinery hall at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and remained in that position until February, 1894, when everything was removed, and then he went to the Michigan Central car ferry Transfer for the balance of the winter. In the following summer he took charge of the engine and machinery of the barge Banner Laundry, in Detroit, which position he still holds.
Mr. Kelly was married in 1897 to Miss Anna Smith, of Detroit, and they have one son, Francis, born in July, 1898 on the day on which the naval battle Santiago was fought.
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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.