Captain James T. Kenny
Captain James T. Kenny is a son of Thomas and Helen (Doyle) Kenny, the former a salt-water sailor. There are four children in the family besides James: Peter J., a lake captain for many years, now deceased, who brought out several steamers among them being the Florida, Wyoming, and Robert Mills; Jane, wife of Felix Haden, a Kansas farmer; Sarah, wife of Patrick Flannigan, a St. Louis police justice; and Ann, wife of Edward Hallihan, a farmer near Port Huron.
The subject of this sketch was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, May 8, 1845. In 1855 he moved with his parents to Buffalo, where he remained a year in school. During the next three years he attended school at Cleveland, Ohio, and then returned to Buffalo, where he completed his education and began the work of his life, as fireman on a tub. The commencement of his lake career was in 1863, when he shipped as boy on the schooner Empire State. He remained three seasons on that vessel, rising to mate's berth before leaving her. The next two seasons he was at sea and for three years beginning with 1868 he held the office of deputy sheriff and turnkey for Erie county, N. Y. The year of 1871 he was again at sea, and in 1872 he was part of the time on the Erie canal and the remainder at sea between New York and Mexico. In 1873 he returned to the lakes as second mate of the brig Waucoma. In 1874 he filled mate's berth on the schooner Frank Morrell, and the following three seasons he occupied the same berth on the bark Vanderbilt. During the winters of the years last mentioned he checked baggage on passenger trains on the New York Central and Lake Shore railways.
For the seasons of 1878-79 Captain Kenny filled master's berth on the schooner George W. Holt, for those of 1880-81-82 on the schooner Thomas Parsons, and for 1883-84 on the bark City of the Straits. In 1885-86 he was engaged in the grocery and butcher business on the docks at Buffalo. In 1887 he filled mate's berth on the Anchor line steamer Gordon Campbell, and for the seasons of 1888-89-90 he was master of the steamer John C. Prindle (owned by the Hollister Transportation Company, of Rochester, N. Y.), and the old Araxes. During the latter part of 1889 the Araxes grounded on Point aux Barques and became a total loss; her consorts, the L. W. Blake and American Giant, also went ashore, but were subsequently taken off and rebuilt. Captain Kenny wrecked the barges, first sending their cargoes of lumber to Tonawanda. In 1891 he was master of the steamer Clyde, of the Lehigh Transportation Company; 1892-93 of the steamer William H. Barnum; and 1894-95 of the steamer Samuel Marshall. Since the latter season he has remained on shore engaged in other lines of business, but he still maintains a deep interest in all lake matters. He is a member of the Ship Masters Association, carrying Pennant No. 109, and is also a member of Local Harbor, No. 41, of the American Association of Masters and Pilots.
Captain Kenny was married, in 1880, to Miss Katherine Darcy, by whom he has four children: Peter J., Edward C., Elizabeth and Helen. The family residence is at No. 854 West avenue, Buffalo, New York.
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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.