Eugene Passano is one of the prominent engineers sailing out of the port of Toledo, and one who is well qualified for the duties of his responsible position, having, at this writing, charge of the machinery of the fine passenger and pleasure steamer F.S. Sterling. He is a son of Rany and Olive (Porria) Passano, the former of whom, a man of considerable substance, was supervisor of Chippewa Island. His grandfather took a prominent part in the war of 1812, during which he was taken prisoner. His paternal grandmother passed quietly away in May, 1896, while sitting at the table with her daughter. She had reached the ripe old age of 101 years. The family is of French descent.
Eugene Passano was born in Toledo, Ohio, April 14, 1857, and obtained his education in the public schools of his native city. In the spring of 1874 he turned toward the lakes for employment, and shipped as fireman on the Anchor line steamer J.H. Prindiville, remaining three seasons in that berth. In the spring of 1877 he went tugging, shipping in Buffalo on the Orient, which one day struck the pier so violently that she sunk, and Mr. Passano was so seriously scalded by the escaping steam that he lay in the marine hospital eight months. Soon after his recovery he went to Cleveland, where he fired on the tugs Babcock and G.W. Gardner, and later, in Toledo, he was on the tugs Col. Davis and A. Andrews in the same capacity, thus covering a period of five years in this occupation. In the spring of 1882 Mr. Passano took out his marine engineer's license and was appointed to the tug J.R. Earnest as chief, transferring the next season to the tug Maggie Ashley, also as chief. In 1884 he shipped on the H.C. Schnoor. While laboring in a gale of wind with two barges in two, she rolled her spars out and the mate proposed to cut the barges adrift, but Engineer Passono[sic], who is a determined man, would not permit him to do so, saying that it was contemptible to give the crews up to almost certain death when there was good prospect of saving them. The tow-line was not cut. The next spring he was appointed chief engineer of the Wabash line steamer A.L. Hopkins, finishing the season on the excursion steamer F.S. Sterling. In 1886 he took charge of the machinery of the tug Mary A. Green, and the next season shipped on the steamer Douglas, on which he remained three years. In the spring of 1890 he was appointed chief engineer of the steambarge Ohio; in 1891, chief of the steambarge Ida M. Torrence, holding that berth two seasons; in 1893, chief engineer of the F.C. Schenck, then the most powerful tug on the lakes; in 1894, chief of the steamer Desmond, of Cleveland; in 1895, chief of the steamer Douglas, holding that berth eighteen months and finishing the season of 1896 as chief of the steamer F.S. Sterling. In the spring of 1897 he fitted out the steamer Douglas, but as she was laid up early he took out the excursion steamer F.S. Sterling, of which he is now chief engineer. He is a member of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and of the Stationary Engineers Association.
Mr. Passano wedded Miss Minnie Cordukes, of Port Huron, Mich., in the year 1879. The family residence is at No. 619 Magnolia street, Toledo, Ohio.
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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.