OBITUARIES 


Many thanks to Richard Palmer who has generously contributed these obituaries on the "old sea captains," and those who were connected with the maritime history of the Great Lakes, from Oswego County.  Following is a website that is devoted entirely to the Great Lakes maritime history:  http://www.hhpl.on.ca/greatlakes/

This site has a search engine for more than 1,000 entries from Oswego newspapers, related to maritime activities on Lake Ontario, dating back to the very early 1800s. These postings include shipwrecks, obituaries, shipbuilding, genealogy, etc.,  - much on old sea captains from Oswego. This is added to on an almost daily basis.---by Richard Palmer. 
Richard tells me "his "mission" is to create an awareness of Oswego's maritime heritage, which seems to have been forgotten over the ages.  There are as many "sea stories" right here in Oswego as there are on the ocean, and  I have barely scratched the surface - I only wish I could find someone to assist me typing these articles."  If anyone would like to help Richard, please contact him at:   richardp@dreamscape.com

The Harbours And Ports Of Lake Ontario, in a Series of Charts -    Off Site Link on Maritime



Oswego Palladium Nov. 20,1895 
Contributed by Richard Palmer

OBITUARY of  Abner C. Mattoon 

Abner C. Mattoon, one of Oswego¹s oldest and best known citizens died at the family residence in West Second street a few minutes before noon to-day in the eight-first year of his age. 

Few men in this country had a more eventful career than Mr. Mattoon.  Starting at the bottom round in the ladder when a mere boy in his native city Rochester, he climbed steadily and surely, overcoming obstacles that to many would have appeared insurmountable, reaching the top in the prime of is manhood and winning for himself a seat in the State Senate as a representative of the Oswego district. 

Mr. Mattoon was born in Rochester N,.Y. In October 1814. His father died while he was still a child and his mother found it necessary ot provide for her family of children. In those days there were few railroads in the State. The old canal was the usual mode of travel between principal points. All traffic was regarded as sure to continue by canal and the ambition of every boy was to command a packet or canal boat. It was natural therefore, that good sturdy strong-limbed boy, full of health and vigor, should turn his attention to the canal for a livelihood. 

In that way A.C. Mattoon started in life and became a driver and the youngest at that time in the line out of Rochester being only thirteen years old. He worked faithfully and became a favorite with his employers. His earnings were carefully saved and with the close of navigation turned over to his mother in Rochester. During the Winger months he attended school in Rochester and the same determination to ge ahead that
afterwards characterized his business life was noticeable in his youth and he carefully took advantage of every opportunity to store in his mind with knowledge and useful information. A boy with the tendencies and ambition of Mr. Mattoon could not long remain a driver and in his fifteenth year he was promoted and made a tally-man. 

When he was seventeen or eighteen years of age he determined to go South and engage in the transportation business then in the height of its activity upon the Mississippi. On his first trip down the river an opportunity presented itself. The purser was taken sick and there was great confusion in taking and unloading freight at the various landings. * 

*The paper is cut off here 

Board of Education formed in Oswego May 11, 1853, under the free graded School act. 

In 1853 Mr. Mattoon was Alderman for the Third ward under Mayor James D. Colver. In 1863-4 he represented Oswego in the Assembly and in 1868-9 in the Senate. In 1862 Mr. Mattoon was a member of the Military Committee for the organization of military companies to help put down the rebellion Elais Rood was chairman and the other members of the board were D.C. Littlejohn Henry Fitrzhugh, Delos De Wolf, Willard Johnson T Kingsford, E. B. Tanbott, D. G. Fort , R. K. Sanford, B. E. Bowen, A.F. Smith, all prominent and influential citizens. Mr. Mattoon was also one of the original incorporators of the Oswego Water Works Company. While in the Assembly he succeeded in getting the first appropriation for the Oswego State Normal and Training School and always afterward while at Albany looked after favorable legislation for that institution. 

Mr. Mattoon had the distinction of bing the builder of the first steam tug West of the Hudson river, the Hattie Howard. While working in New York he completed the erection of the first derrick ever seen upon the docks of that famous harbor. It was erected in Coeyman¹s slip and at the time revolutionized the method of handling freights from vessels barges and canalboats. For years Mr. Mattoon was active in the forwarding
business from Oswego and owned many canalboats. He became wealthy and afterwards lost a large amount of money in the shrinkage of values in real estate. In his habits of life Mr. Mattoon ws very temperate, seldom in ever using liquor, tobacco or stimulants in any form. 

During his early life he took an active interest , with other young men of his time in the Volunteer Fire Department. He was also prominent in athletics and was a noted referee and umpire in baseball and cricket matches and an official in local boat and yacht races. 

In 1894 Mr Mattoon was elected President of the Old Volunteer Firemen¹s Association of Oswego and took an active part in the State Convention held here that year. He was in delicate health at the time but insisted upon taking an active part in the business arrangements. Shortly afterwards he was taken sick and for the past year nearly confined to the house. For a man of his years he was particularly active and retained all of his faculties in a remarkable degree. 

Mr. Mattoon is survived by a widow and thee sons, one brother and a half brother. His sons are Doctor Edward A. Mattoon of Salida Colorado, surgeon for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad; John Henry and Willard N. Mattoon of this city. His brother is Charles C. Mattoon and his half brother is George L. Munroe. Of this city. Mr Mattoon was for years a prominent member of the First Presbyterian church



Oswego Palladium, Tuesday May 27, 1873
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

A vessel Captain Drowned.
 Obituary of Capt. John Gillan

This morning about seven o¹clock Capt. John Gillan of the schooner Converse, was drowned in the lake about on mile off from Little Sodus Piers. The vessel left Sodus for this port a short time before the accident, with the wind from the south, and stood out on the lake until she cleared the land, when in jibing the mainsail, the mainboom struck the captain knocking him overboard. An effort was made to save him, but without success, as he sank almost immediately, having probably been stunned by the blow. The body was not recovered and the vessel came to this port. 

Capt. Gillan was an old and well known seaman, with many warm friends. He leaves a wife and several children living on East Tenth between Seneca and Cayuga streets, to mourn his sudden taking off.

Mr. Patrick Gillan, brother of Captain Gillan desires us to announce that he will pay a reward of $50 for the recovery of the body.


Oswego Palladium, Oct. 10., 1903.
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Obituary of  Thomas Navagh of Oswego

Thomas Navagh, a prominent and well-known resident of the First Ward, died suddenly in his work shop in Water between Schuyler and Van Buren Streets, some time between three and 3:30 o¹clock yesterday afternoon. He was found on the floor of his shop by David Hourigan who is employed as a water boy by the Rathbun Company.

It had been know among Mr. Navagh¹s friends, for a year or more, that he has suffered with heart trouble. While engineer of the tug John Navagh, of which he was the part owner, he had two fainting spells, but recovered. This Spring his physician told him that he must leave the tug and he sold out is interest to Captain William Scott and employed his time building boats, in his workshop in Water Street. Hourigan, who is about fifteen years old, has been in the habit of carrying water past the boathouse and in doing so has always stopped for the purpose of giving Mr. Navagh a drink. He stopped yesterday afternoon for that purpose and found him lying face downward on the floor. Hourigan immediately notified F. P. Farrell with whom Mr. Navagh had talked at three o¹clock and, who knowing Mr. Navagh¹s condition immediately telephoned for a physician and Doctor Callech responded. IT did not take but one look for the doctor to see that his services were not required and that Mr. Navagh was dead. Coroner Vowinkel was at once summoned and after an investigation decided that death was due to heard disease and ordered the body removed to the home at the corner of Montcalm and Lake Streets.

Thomas Navagh was born in this city forty-nine years ago yesterday. He left his home in the afternoon and told his wife that he had not felt better in some time. Mrs. Navagh went down town for the purpose of purchasing a birthday present for her husband, and was so engaged when word was sent to her that he had been suddenly taken ill, and she immediately went home. When she arrived the news of her husband¹s death was broken to her.

Mr. Navagh was a member of local lodge B. P. O. Elks and had a large circle of friends and acquaintances who were shocked when they learned of his sudden and untimely death. He had the respect and esteem of all who knew him and was a sober, industrious faithful man. He is survived by his widow, formerly Miss Minnie Culkin, to whom he was married a few years ago, a stepmother, and two brothers and one sister, Fred W. Navagh, of Buffalo, Charles H. Navagh and Mrs. Thomas M. Hennessy of this city.


Watertown Daily Times, June 28, 1935 
Contributed by Richard Palmer 
 
 

Death of Capt. Hinckley Long on Lakes

Death at Parishville ends colorful career 

Stayed alone on beached ship 

When barge sprung Leak and It Was Put on Ledge of Rock He Sent Crew Ashore in Boat and He Stayed Aboard-He Did Much Salvage Work. 

The death of Captain Augustus R. Hinckley, 79, at his farm home at Parishville, St. Lawrence county on Tuesday, brought to a close a long and colorful career on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence river. Captain Hinckley for 66 years had plied the lakes and river with his boats, meeting all manner of adversities, ship wrecks and storms. More than once his life was endangered when a barge went down or a terrific gale arose. 

Widely known up and down Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence for his daring marine (?). 

Captain Hinckley was one of the few remaining skippers of the old school. His was a spectacular life packed with as much nautical excitement as would ever come to a Gloucester fisherman. An iron will combined with a determined mind set him apart as one of the most able and at the same time courageous captains that ever piloted a ship on the lake or river. 

His long and stormy career began 66 years ago. He was born on Wolfe Island Aug. 11,1856, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Even as a boy his whole heart was set upon sailing. At an early age he took great interest in all things nautical and he was only a lad when he took up sailing in a serious manner. 

It was only after a brief apprenticeship before he was master of his chosen vocation. He displayed, as a youth, as much courage as he did in later life when he was faced with still more dangerous situations. His friends and family thought many times that either the lake or river would take the captain¹s life. But fate apparently sailed on his side through those long 66 years of his career. He died not on a battered schooner plowing against strong headwinds, but on a quiet farm in the heart of his own north country. 

Captain Hinckley at one time had a fleet of four vessels. They were the ill-fated Hinckley, Isabella H. Pentland and Phelps. All but the Phelps met a tragic end. The Phelps is still being operated, now owned by Eldridge and Robinson. The craft was rebuilt for service on the barge canal. 

One of the most thrilling episodes that ever befell Captain Hinckley took (place about 1889)* 

when the Hinckley went to pieces between Henderson Harbor and Stoney Point. After years of service and several wrecks the barge was caught by a stiff northwest gale. It had been a week previous that Captain Hinckley and his crew were forced to beach the ship on a shelf of rocks in Gravely bay after it had sprung a leak. At that time the crew went ashore in the only boat, leaving Captain Hinckley behind by his own order. Later a storm arose and Captain Hinckley donned a life preserver and swan 300 feet to the beach. 

When the storm came up, the ship which had been beached, began to crack up. Salvage of the coal aboard her went forward but the ship was doomed. 

The Hinckley was built at Chaumont in 1901 and her hull was taken to Oswego where her boiler and machinery were installed. She was 114 feet in length, drew 11.7 feet of water and had a capacity of 332 tons. ** 

The Isabella H. foundered at the entrance to Oswego harbor and the Pentland, largest of the fleet went out of service and was eventually disposed of. 

In later years Captain Hinckley did much salvage work. Many of these undertakings were hazardous and not always altogether successful. It was while doing this work that he came into possession of the Pentland after wrecking companies had abandoned efforts to raise the craft. He paid $600. For the sunken ship and in three days had it floated. It was reported that he later refused an offer of $30,000 for the ship. Through his efforts the sunken steamer George T. Davis of the Montreal Transportation company which went down in 80 feet of water in the St. Lawrence was raised. 

One of his unsuccessful ventures in ship raising was the attempt to float the steamer Richardson which foundered on Lake Erie but the craft was mysteriously blow up after all preparations for floating it had been made. 

The last cargo carrier owned by Captain Hinckley was the little steamer Kendall. He used this ship for handling buoys for the government on Lower Ontario and St. Lawrence. The Kendall sank in the Cardinal canal and was abandoned. 

During the past five or six years Captain Hinckley had been in the marine contracting business in Cape Vincent, Henderson Harbor and Alexandria Bay. He told friends just before he died he was going to bid on work for the coast guard station planned for the Galloups Island this summer. 

In 1917 Captain Hinckley purchased a farm of more than 100 acres at Parishville on the St. Regis river. On this land is a lot of timber which he expected to cut and use in his marine work. Captain Hinckley maintained his residence in Oswego for many years, the family home being at East Fourth and Mohawk Streets. 

Besides his widow, he is survived by a daughter Mrs. Harry Place of Rochester. 

The afternoon funeral services for the captain were held at his White Hill home near Parishville. Rev F, Nichols, pastor of the Parishville Baptist church, officiated. Burial was made in the Parishville cemetery, far from the sight of either Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence which in life knew him so well. 

* paper is creased on this line.   I think that was 1887 History of the Great Lakes Beers. 

** This is another Hinckley. This Hinckley was built in 1862. History of the Great Lakes Beers. 



Oswego Palladium Thurs. July 15, 1875 
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Obituary of Nathan Robins, Sr.

Yesterday¹s New York papers print a notice of the death of Nathan Robins, Sr. which occurred after a brief sickness, at Metuchin, N.J. Tuesday afternoon. These tidings have struck the acquaintances of the deceased in Oswego with profound sorrow. Mr. Robins was for many years a prominent and greatly respected resident of this city, where he was engaged in the ship chandlery trade- the firm being Robins & O¹Leary, in the store where Mr. J. M. Barrow now does business. He was very active in politics, being a Democrat in political opinion, and was alive to every question of public interest. He was once of those men whose presence and influence are magnetic with kindness and good feeling, and his death seems like a personal affliction this old associates. We know of no better tribute to the worthiness of the dead than that they are remembered with affectionate kindness by their survivors beyond the circle of the family. Such a man was Nathan Robins. The death notice states that the funeral would occur at 2 p.m. today and the internment is Greenwood cemetery tomorrow morning.



Oswego Palladium,  Monday, Nov. 20, 1872
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Capt. J. H. Gibbs Drowned

   Saturday night, a telegram was received from Port Sallinac, Lake Huron, saying "Capt. Gibbs was drowned on the morning of the 15th. I started for Port Huron with the body - What shall I do with it." Later John Dunn Esq., rceived a despatch from Winslow, that the bark Twilight was wrecked on Rock Galls and Capt. Gibbs was drowned. Rock Falls is on Lake Huron about half way between Point Au Barques and Port Huron.

    Capt. J. H. Gibbs was one of the oldest captains out of this port having been master for nearly thirty years. no man on the whole chain of lakes was more respected than he; kind and fatherly to his crew; careful and judicious in the management of his vessel, and exemplary in his character either ashore or afloat.  He died as he lived, respected by all. It is indeed a sad blow to his family, so suddenly  bereft of a kind father and
an affectionate husband. The body will be brought here for interment.



Oswego Palladium, Monday,  Dec. 8, 1890
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

OBITUARY.
Captain William Williams

Died - In Oswego, N.Y.,  Dec. 7th, 1890, Captain William Williams, in the 82d year of his age.

    After a long, and, at the last a painful illness, Captain Williams died at his home in West Seneca street at 9 o'clock last night. For nearly two years the friends of Captain Williams have seen the inroad which disease, a bronchial affliction, was making upon him, and this, with the weight of years, made the result apparent. He bore up wonderfully, however, and it was not until two weeks ago that he finally kept his room. His last days were full of physical suffering, which he bore with heroic fortitude, surrounded by loving kindred and devoted friends. 

   Captain Williams was born in Bromley, Kent, England, April 5, 1809, he received a good common school education and in 1820 was sent aboard the old training ship Solebay on the Thames, off Deptford. in 1823 was entered as apprentice on board the East India Company's ship Hythe of London, bound for China. Again sailed in the Paliana of London, for China, calling at Pico, one of the Western Islands, and on the return at St. Helena, made another cruise to China and was only ship that ever brought a cargo of tea direct from Canton to Quebec.

    At latter place left ship and went before the mast in brig Sir Francis Burton, bound to Halifax. Returned to Quebec and shipped for Liverpool. In the latter place shipped in the brig nancy for Leith, Scotland, thence in the barque General Elliot bound to Rega, Russia. in a heavy storm the ship was driven ashore on Rega Bar and was lost. The crew were saved and went to Leith in a Scotch brig. 

    At the latter place shipped in the brig Maine bound for Charleston, S.C. made five voyages from Charleston to Liverpool in different ships. Sailed in brig Bragen from Baltimore to Marseilles, France, and afterwards in the brig Lady Adams from Baltimore to Buenos Aires where the crew left the ship on account of ill usage by the captain. Was six months aboard a Monte Video gunboat and shipped from Antwerp and Liverpool.

    From the latter port made voyages to various ports in North and South America, Russia, Norway, and in May, 1833 arrived in Quebec from Liverpool as second mate of barque Morsey. Made another voyage to Liverpool and returned. Came up the St. Lawrence river to oswego and shipped on steamer United States as steersman, Capt. Joel Tyler, sailing master. Capt. JamesVanCleve took command of the United States and Capt. Williams was second mate. In 1837 during the Patriot War, the steamer was seized by the government, taken to Sackets Harbor and laid up. in 1840 Captain Williams was made with Captain  VanCleve on the steamer St. Lawrence of Oswego.

    In 1843 he commanded the steamer United States; the last year she was in commission. She was hauled out at the foot of Second street in this city and eventually burned. He went back to the St. Lawrence, Captain VanCleve as mate.  In '46 the propeller Syracuse was launched and the command was given to Captain Williams. In 1852 he was master of the propeller St. Lawrence. In 1855 was captain if the propeller St. Nicholas. In 1858 went into the employ of Fitzhugh & Littlejohn and superintended the building of four propellers - the Kentucky, Cincinnati, Louisville and the Dayton - the latter being commanded by Captain Williams.

    The line did not succeed, and the subject of our sketch became of the propeller Lady of the Lake of the Northern Transportation Co. line. he was transferred to the Propeller Prairie State of the same line in 1863, and soon afterward commended the side wheel steamer State of Minnesota, which was wrecked in Lake Michigan in 1864, since which date and up to the time of his failing health, about a year ago, he had been in the employ of the Inland Lloyds as Marine Inspector.

    In 1830, Captain Williams and Miss Jessie Geekie were married in Ogdensburg and came to Oswego in 1837. The surviving immediate family are Mrs. Williams, Captain William H. Williams of Detroit, Mich., Miss Elizabeth J. and Miss Helen M. Williams. Telegrams of condolence and sympathy from friends  at various lake ports have been  received by the family today. 

    Captain Williams was one of the best known and most popular of the many good and true men who are connected with the marine history of Oswego. He had all the attributes of the warmhearted and generous sailor, with none of the weaknesses that sometimes mar the lives of men who "go down to the sea in ships." In his mature years he had the rare advantage of physical comeliness, and this, with his frank, hearty, open and
guileness nature, made him welcome wherever he went.

    For over half a century he has been a familiar figure in Oswego. His friends equal in number his acquaintances, for none know Capt. Williams without being drawn towards him. His warm heart beat true to his friends, and they will miss the cheery sound of his voice and the warm grasp of his hand for many a day.

    He never intentionally did wrong to any man.  His life was graced by many noble acts of friendship, which none but the recipients knew of. His life was along, active, earnest and honest one. His work is done, and he is gone, leaving to his children a spotless name, and to his friends a tender and lasting memory.
See the obituary for Helen Mar Geekie, niece of Captain William Williams. 



Oct. 17, 1891 Whig p.1
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

CAPT. TROWELL AT REST

        He Died At His Residence Last Evening

    Capt. John Trowell died last night at his residence, Wellington street. He had been in declining health for several years. He suffered from Bright's disease and had been confined to bed for eleven weeks. He was a bluff, but kind-hearted sailor, identified with the marine interests for over half a century, and a man who had no enemies. He was born in 1813 in Milford, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, and in 1827, when only a boy, he went on board the coasting brig Colstock, which sailed about the coast of England carrying ore, copper and other material between Swansea and Cornwall. He remained two years on this boat and then went aboard the schooner Maria and Eliza, of Cardiff. He was apprenticed on the vessel. The boat traded with different points in the Mediterranean. She called at Cork and at many points on the English and Irish coasts, and at ports in France, Germany and Spain. Mr. Trowell remained on the schooner four years as an apprenctice. He left her in Cardiff and went home. After an illness of several weeks he aboard the Erin-go-Bragh. She was a troller. He remained on her two months. He then went aboard a schooner called the Ebenezer and made a voyage around the English coast. He took small-pox and left the boat at Shields. He was then engaged on the brig Columbus, and on her sailed to Quebec. She had a general cargo, and on her way out experienced rough weather. He ran away from the boat at Quebec and came to Kingston.

    His first vessel here was the schr. Kingston in the timber trade between here and Niagara. He was on her for several months without salary. He afterwards sailed on the schooners Farmers' Delight, Red Rover, John Watkins, Peacock and Matilda. This was between 1833 and 1838. He afterwards was sailing master or mate of the schooners Fanny, Toronto, Henrietta and Peacock.

    In 1847 he was master of the schr. Clyde for one season. The year 1848 found him on a vessel called the schr. Thames, of Hamilton. He was master. The latter part of the season was spent by the captain in the sailmaking business. In 1849 Capt. Trowell shipped on the schooner Ottawa. He was captain. During a snow storm the boat sunk while going into Port Stanley. She struck the west pier and went ashore. In 1850 Capt. Trowell boarded the schooner General Wolfe, as captain. He stopped on her a season and a half. In the fall of 1851 he was master of the prop. Vandalia, of Hamilton, which, in a collision with a schooner, was sunk. The accident occurred near the head of Lake Erie. The Vandalia was the first propeller afloat on the lakes and was built in Oswego. Capt. Trowell spent part of two years in Hamilton in the sailmaking business, and in 1852 took charge of the schooner Laura Elgin. The year following the captain was on the prop. St. Lawrence. In 1854 he was master of the schooner Emblem, for part of a season, and then he was transferred to the prop. Banshee.

    In 1855 he joined the steamer Passport, then owned by Hon. John Hamilton, and remained on her seven years. In 1862 Capt. Trowell was on the Shanley one season, when she was owned by O. Gildersleeve. This boat plied between Kingston and Cape Vincent and Kingston and Montreal. In 1863 Capt. Trowell was mate of the steamer Banshee, owned by Capt. Bowen & Co. She ran between Hamilton and Montreal. For eight years he sailed as chief mate on the steamer Magnet when she was owned by the Inland river navigation company. He was captain for short periods on the propellers City of Montreal, Chatham, Bristol, Hamilton, and R.W. Stanley, Hamilton. In 1874 he assumed command of the steamer Algerian, belonging to the Richelieu and Ontario navigation company. He held that position until the close of navigation in 1889, when he resigned and retired, after sixty-three years of life on the water. 

   Capt. Trowell was attached to the Anglican church and a prominent member of St. John's Lodge, A.F. & A.M.  He was twice married, to Miss Mary Jane Holmes, of Toronto, in 1836, and to Mrs. Jane Wilson, of Port Robinson, in 1855. Five daughters and one son survive, Capt. J.V. Trowell, Toronto; Mrs. W.A Geddes, Toronto; Mrs. James Minnes, Hamilton; Mrs. John Parrott, Watertown, N.D.; Mrs. T. Richardson, Winnipeg, and Miss Belle Trowell, at home. Three children preceded the captain to the grave.



Oswego Palladium-Times, Friday, Oct. 15, 1937
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Captain George L. Donovan

     Captain George L. Donovan,  60, well-known vessel master, died at the family home, 132 East Seneca street, at 11:30 o¹clock Friday morning following several months of ill health.    Captain Donovan was born in Oswego the son of the late Captain Timothy and Catherine Riordon Donovan. He was educated in the schools of this city. For many years he sailed the Great Lakes and was captain and last surviving member of the crew of the tow barge John R. Noyes which foundered with the steamer John E. Hall December 13, 1902 during a gale.
     His father, who was captain of the Hall, and brother, Jerome Donovan, the mate, went down with the entire crew. 
     Mr. Donovan was a member of St. Paul¹s Church.  Captain Donovan had been retired for some time.
   Surviving ae his widow, one brother, John S. Donovan, and a sister, Miss Ella J. Donovan, and a niece, Miss Catherine Donovan. 
     Funeral Monday morning from the residence at 9 o¹clock and in St. Paul¹s church at 9:30 o¹clock.


Oswego Palladium, Sat., April 9, 1892
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

 Luke Ratigan

   Luke Ratigan, one of the oldest and most respected residents of the First ward, died at his residence in West Eighth street about 11 o¹clock last night. Mr. Ratigan has been afflicted for the past six months with gangrene in his right foot, and his death was due to exhaustion, caused by long continued suffering.

   The deceased was born near Dublin in Ireland, March 24th, 1821. When a small child, he moved with his parents to America and settled in Oswego. he passed sixty-five years of his life a resident of the First ward. When a young man, Mr. Ratigan mastered the ship-carpenter¹s trade and worked at it until 1859. 

   He helped to build a number of vessels, which in their day were prominent in the traffic of the lakes. All of them have passed out of existence. In 1859, Mr. Ratigan engaged in the meat business with Mr. Thomas Kehoe. The firm of Kehoe & Ratigan continued in business in the old Fitzhugh House block for fifteen years. Mr. Ratigan was married in 1853 to Miss Catharine Maguire of Oswego.

    He was a staunch Democrat and in 1864 held the office of  Harbor Master. From Ś63 to Ś66, he  represented his ward in the Common Council and from Ś82 to Ś84 was City Tax Collector. He was for many years prominent in Volunteer Firemen¹s circles and for awhile was Assistant Chief of the department. Mrs. Ratigan with fours sons, Edward J., Cleveland, Ohio, Frederick J., of Oswego, Luke and William
S., of Syracuse, survives him.


Oswego Palladium, Monday, July 18, 1929
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

     Albert G. Kramer

   Funeral services for Albert G. Kramer, 86, whose body was found in his home, 114 West Seneca street, Saturday afternoon by city authorities after neighbors had reported the aged man had not been seen for 24 hours, will be held Tuesday morning at 10 o¹clock from the undertaking rooms of P.J.  Cullinan¹s Sons.

   Mr. Kramer had lived alone for several years, and had consistently refused all aid offered by friends and neighbors, or advice that he enter an institution, or take other means so that he could properly be cared for. In His home he had his workshop, where for a number of years he had turned out exquisitely fashioned ship models. Long before models of ships were considered smart in decorative motifs, Albert Kramer was fashioning full rigged ships, battleships, men-of-war of many nations, each being complete in every detail.

   On some of his models he worked for more than a year, patiently carving every detail in rigging and fittings, and the experiences of his youthful years when he was a sailor before the mast on salt water went into the intricate rigging of a number of his ship models.

   He was born in Sweden, and as a boy went to sea, sailing to almost every port in the world. He spent several months ashore in Capetown, South Africa, and in 1869, on reaching New York on one voyage, came to Oswego to work in the lumber business, as his uncle, on whose ships he had sailed, had operated lumber mills and lumber ships in Sweden. he had been a cadet in the Swedish navy, and for many years received remittance from his family, who were of the nobility. 

   He served several enlistments in the U.S. Revenue Service on cutters on the Lake Ontario station. For 20 years or more his only work had been in carving models, many of which were sold for high prices. Scattered here and there throughout his house, which he built himself, are models he built for himself. One is a four-foot replica of the Andrea Doria of the Royal Italian navy, and others are of various sailing ships.

   He was a widely read man and in his lifetime had collected many valuable books. He is survived by a son-in-law, Charles Little, and four grandchildren. 


Note: (Capt. Robertson was the father of Morgan Robertson {30 Sept. 1861 - 24 Mar. 1915} who was a fairly noted author of sea stories, especially for such periodicals as McClures, Saturday Evening Post, Harper's and Atlantic Monthly. One of his most notable writings was "The Wreck of the Titan," in 1898, which became popular after the loss of the "Titanic" in 1912, as it was regarded as almost a prophecy. His books included "A Tale Of A Halo," "Spun Yarn, "Futility," "Where Angels Fear To Tread," "Masters Of Men," "Sinful Peck," "Down To The Sea" and "Land Ho!" He also wrote a play in 1913 called "Chivalry." In 1914 his works were published in an edition of eight volumes).

Oswego Daily Times, Tues., March 16, 1897
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

OBITUARY.

 Andrew Robertson

   Captain Andrew Robertson, an old lake vessel captain and well  known citizen, died at his home, No. 68 West Eighth street, at an early  hour this morning. Captain Robertson was taken ill about a year ago with  a complication of diseases and although he has rallied at times his  family feared that he was short lived. Theimmediate cause of death was  heart disease with which he was stricken about three weeks ago. Since
 that time he sunk very rapidly until 6:30 o'clock this morning when death came.

   Captain Robertson was by nationality a Scotchman, having been  born at Argyleshire, Scotland, 1827. His boyhood and a portion of his  manhood was passed at his birthplace. At the age of twenty-seven he cross the seas, coming to this country and after a year or two passed along the  sea coast came to this city where he has since made his home. His first  voyage on the Great Lakes in the capacity of a seaman was as first mate  on the schooner Titan commanded by Captain John Palmer. He quickly  learned the great chain of lakes and in his day was considered one of the  best and most careful mariners plying a schooner on the lakes. He commanded, among other schooners, the Kingsford, Samana, Lucy J. Latham,  Jamaica and Albion. In 1876 he was made harbor master and successfully  filled that position for a term. 

   About twelve years ago he retired from active service. Since then  he has commanded the steam yacht Aida, owned here, which made shore pleasure trips in and about this port.

 Captain Robertson was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden  name was Ruth Glassford, died some 27 years ago. To them were born two  sons, Morgan Robertson of New York and William Robertson of Cleveland,  Ohio, and one daughter, Mrs. William Sheldon of Ashtabula.

   In 1876 the  deceased married Anna Lent, who with one child, Clara Robertson, survives  him. The deceased was a member of Oswego Lodge F.& A.M. and the Old  Volunteer Firemen's Association. By Mr. Robertson's death Oswego loses a  good citizen, and an old and widely known lake captain.

 ********

 Oswego Daily Palladium, Tues., March 16, 1897

 OBITUARY.
 ______
 Captain Andrew Robertson

  One of the oldest and best known vessel masters on the chain of lakes  passed away this morning in the person of Capt. Andrew Robertson at his  home, No. 68 West Eighth street.  For a year past Captain Robertson had been ill with a  complication of diseases, but it was not until three weeks ago that his condition became critical. His family were not greatly surprised when he  died at 6:45 o'clock this morning. Death was caused by heart disease.

  Captain Robertson was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, seventy-one  years ago this June. As a boy he early developed a liking for a sailor's  life, and when quite young learned to sail boats. At the age of  twenty-seven years he decided that America offered more inducements for a  young man, and immigrated to this country, landing in New York, where he  remained for a short time, or until he came to Oswego. Ever since he has
made this city his home and was always proud of the country and city of  his adoption.

   Being a competent seaman, he immediately began to sail the Great  Lakes, his first trip out of Oswego being as mate in the Titan, commanded by the late Captain John Palmer. Later he became master and went as captain in the Jamaica, Albion, Lucy J. Latham, Kingsford and other first class vessels. His last command was the schooner Samana, from which he  retired about twelve years ago. Since that time he has not done much
active work, but has had charge of numerous steam yachts and small boats,  among them the Aida and the George H. Hazleton. In his trips through the  Great Lakes he became known to hundreds of vessel men and captains from the St. Lawrence to Duluth, among whom he was universally beloved and  respected.

    In 1876 Captain Robertson was elected harbormaster at this port  and served for two years. He never held or coveted any other public  office. He was twice married, his first wife, whom he married  thirty-eight years ago, having died twenty-two years ago.  She was Miss  Ruth Glassford, who is survived by three children, Morgan,  of New York;  Mrs. William Sheldon, of Ashtabula, Ohio, and William J. Of Cleveland,  Ohio.

   In 1876 Captain Robertson was married to Miss Anna Lent of this  city, who with one daughter, Clara, survives. A sister in Scotland also  survives him. He was one of the oldest members of Oswego Losge No. 127,  F. And A.M., and of the Volunteer Firemen's Association. The funeral  arrangements have not yet been announced. In the death of Captain  Robertson, Oswego loses a good citizen and his family a devoted husband and father.



Oswego Daily Palladium, Sat., Nov. 18, 1871
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Death of Darius S. Cole. 

Under the proper heading today will be found the announcement of the 
death of Darius S. Cole, of Fair Haven.

    Mr. Cole was well known in Oswego, where he had business, and intimate social relations with many of our people. His death occurred at his residence in Fair Haven, Cayuga County, yesterday, in the 74th year of his age. 

    He was an active, useful and honorable life. He came into this part of the country half a century since with his axe upon his shoulder, and commenced life in the wilderness. Of indomitable courage, great energy, rigid integrity and untiring industry, his influence and example were felt in this locality. He was a brother of Lewis A. Cole, of Oswego town, and father of Mrs. Oscar A. Shepard, of this city. He had been in
failing health for the past year, and his death was caused by a third stroke of apoplexy.



Oswego Palladium, Friday, March 26, 1875
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

The Late Captain Child.

Captain Throop, of Pultneyville, in a letter to W. B. Phelps of this
city, recites Captain Child’s connection with steamers as follows.

Captain Child commenced his steam boating as commander of the steamer
Telegraph, running between Ogdensburg and Genesee River in the year
1837. He was running this steamer at the time Bill Johnston raid on the
steamer Sir Robert Peel in 1838, which steamer was burned in the upper
narrows, five miles above Alexandria Bay during the patriot war. While
he was in command of the Telegraph it was employed by our government
with United States officers and troops, watching the St. Lawrence River,
among the Thousand Island, for the capture of Bill Johnston and his
associates.

During the season of 1839, after the burning of the Sir Robert Peel, he
commanded the steamer Oneida, which boat took the place of the Telegraph
in the employ of our government watching among the Thousand Islands.
These boats while in the employ of the government were actively employed
under immediate command of Colonel, since General W. H. Worth who then
had charge of the active military operations on the St. Lawrence, and
whose headquarters were at Sackets Harbor, where his regiment the 8th U.
S, Infantry, were stationed.

In 1849 the Oneida went on to the lake and river route as a passenger
boat, between Ogdensburg and the Genesee river running as far as the
Niagara river after 1842. He continued in command of the Oneida until
1845 when the steamer Niagara came out under his command.. HE continued
in charge of the Niagara until the steamer Northerner came out in 1850,
remaining in command of that steamer until the close of the season 1857,
which was the last year of their operations of the Ontario.& St..
Lawrence Steamboat Company. IN 1858 Captain Child ran the steamer New
York on the direct line through the lake from Lewiston to Ogdensburg.

During the season of 1859, the first season of the Ontario Steamboat
Company he commanded the steamer Bay State from July to the close of the
season, which ended his connection with steamers on the lake and River
St. Lawrence. Before he commenced steamboating he had charge of a number
of sail vessels, but I was only personally acquainted with him as
Captain of the schooner Emily of Oswego.



Oswego Palladium, July 15, 1884
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Obituary of John K. Post

The announcement comes with startling suddenness of the death of our well known fellow townsman, John K. Post, which occurred at his home, corner West Fourth and Cayuga streets at 7:30 o’clock this morning. It was quite generally known that Mr. Post was in ill health as he had been unable to attend to his business for several weeks past, but few persons
were aware of his true condition. He suffered from a complication of diseases, brought on by overwork, and in the hope of obtaining relief he went to Clifton Springs a short time ago.

But help came not and he was brought home in a special car on Thursday last. He continued to sink until this morning, when he passed quietly away in the presence of the members of his immediate family.

The deceased was born in Pickering Ontario, 1819 and came to Oswego 47 years ago. He formed a co-partnership with Albert F. Smith in the lumber business. This co-partnership continued for a quarter of a century when Mr. Smith retired. The business was continued under the firm name of John K. Post & Company. The firm were the leading importers and shippers here and employed large numbers of men in handling their lumber, often loading as many as fifteen and sixteen canal boats in a single day. Mr. Post also acquired other interests and was engaged in many local enterprises. So closely did he confine himself to business matters that he found no time to mix in public affairs, though often urged to do so. Besides their large lumber interests the firm owned and operated the Eagle Planing Mill, corner of East Cayuga and Second streets. Mr. Post was also secretary of the Riverside Cemetery association. Secretary and general manager of the Oswego Tug Association, secretary of the Local Board of the Normal School, President of the House Electric Light and Gas company, Director of the First National bank, and President of the Blies Box company of Syracuse. Under the strain which these varied interests and relations heaped upon him, nature gave way. The deceased leaves a wife and four children, Mrs. Dotten formerly of Detroit, Miss Fanny Post, Henry II and John.

It is said that the deceased carried in the neighborhood of $100,000 life insurance.

Mr. Post had long been one of our foremost citizens and no man was held in higher esteem than he. He was a devout member of Christ Episcopal church and his every day life was a model of what Christian living should be. He will be greatly missed in the church, among a large circle of acquaintances that extended far from Oswego , and especially in the
commercial world, where he had been a prominent figure.
 



Oswego Palladium , March 26,1877 
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Capt. Morgan Wheeler

Oswego Boy Rose Through Merit to High Positions
With Limited Education He Became One of Largest Great Lakes Ship Owners

While in a measure prepared for the mournful event, our city is today deeply saddened by the death of Captain Morgan M. Wheeler which took place at 6 o¹clock this morning.

Although still comparatively a young mane Captain Wheeler had reached the front rank among the business men of this city, and no man among us was more highly respected for his enterprise, integrity of character and genial social qualities, and the death of no citizen of Oswego would be met with more genuine regret.

It is rarely we find a better illustration of the possibilities within the reach of every American boy who possesses integrity of character, good habits, enterprises and intelligence than is illustrated by the career and success of Morgan M. Wheeler. And it is proper that such an example should be placed prominently before the mind of every American youth.

He was born May 10, 1835, in the town of Lyme, Jefferson, County in this State, and came to Oswego with his mother and step-father in 1845, or when he was nine years of age. The only advantages young Wheeler possessed for
acquiring knowledge were such as were offered by our public schools, and the scanty time his limited means allowed him to attend then. In 1846 he commenced learning the milling business with Lewis & Beardsley, then one of the lading firms, of the place, and in this business he continued six years. He then entered the service of Albert F. Allen a salesman in a grocery and provision store, in which he continued one year.

Builds up Oswego Fleet.

In 1853, he entered the service of Messrs. Dodie & Manwarren, tug and vessel owners, and continued in their service until 1850, as a clerk, agent, business manager etc., when he purchased from his savings, the steam tug J. H. Bloore, the running of which he made a business success. The Bloore was succeeded by the Fred D. Wheeler, and soon after Captain Wheeler commenced investing his earning in vessel property until he became the owner of a very valuable fleet of lake vessels, and he himself became known along the entire chain of the Great Lakes as one of the most successful lake vessel proprietors of the day.

Perhaps his most distinguished traits were his energy and his reliability Clear headed and intelligent he certainly was, and he understood his business thoroughly and having once made a contract, his energy knew no rest until is part of the business was accomplished. Such traits of character as he possessed, with his integrity of character which secured him the respect
of all classes of people would have made his life a success, no matter what field he had entered.

Capt. Wheeler was thoroughgoing Republican, and in his politics, as in his business he was earnest and devote, but never offensive. He recognized the duty of ever good citizen owes to the public and some eight years ago although not desiring the position, he allowed himself to be elected to the Common Council from the Third Ward. In the Council his traits of character did not desert him. He made one of the most energetic and efficient Alderman the city has ever had. He was twice re-elected making his entire term six years, and he would have continued in the council until the present day except for his absolute refusal to again be a candidate. Capt. Wheeler was not politically ambitious, and always had the full confidence of his party. He serval times refused the nomination for Mayor, and he might have represented his city in the legislature had he given his consent.

Capt. Wheeler was as public spirited as he was enterprising in his own business. He was one of the founders of Grace (Presbyterian) Church in this city and has always taken an active interest in its prosperity.

It was during his term in the Common Council that our City hall was built, and he took an active interest in its construction, and to his efforts and the members of the Council with whom he acted was it due that the edifice was constructed to economically and with such fidelity to the interest of the city. And from the time he entered upon an active business life no man in Oswego was more interested in its prosperity and well being.

Still in the very prime of life Capt. Wheeler has been cut down in the midst of his usefulness . Such are the inscrutable ways of Providence. He has left as a legacy to his race the example of his integrity, his energy and his personal traits of character which made him the useful successful and respected citizen that he was. He leaves a devoted wife an interesting
family of children a large circle of other relatives and the whole community to mourn his loss.



Rochester Daily Union
October 29, 1855 
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Death of Charles Bicknell

SAD EVENT Lost overboard-- On Saturday last intelligence reached our townsman, Caleb Bicknell, that his adopted son, Charles Bicknell, has been lost overboard from a vessel on Lake Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Bicknell went to Buffalo immediately and learned from Capt. Close, of the schooner Hurricane, all the particulars of the sad affair. On Friday night, when off Grand Traverse Bay, during a fierce gale, while all the crew were on deck the mainsail jibbed the boom striking Mr. B. with such violence as to throw him overboard. Notwithstanding the storm and the heavy sea running, Capt. Close lowered a boat and endeavored to rescue the young man. The night was dark and the weather so bad that it was impossible to find him, Capt. Close thinks that the blow must have killed him.

Mr. Bicknell was nineteen years old, two months and sixteen days old. He left this city only a month since to go into lake service. His sudden death has much afflicted his father¹s family.
 



Kingston Whig-Standard, May 25, 1938
Contributed by Richard Palmer 

Capt. E. Beaupre, Notable Mariner, Buried Tuesday

One of Kingston's pioneer marine men who gained a high position in the marine business, passed away at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston on Saturday in the person of Captain Edward Beaupre, former general manager of the Albany-Troy Steamship Company. The funeral was held on Tuesday morning from the residence of his sister Mrs. George Sullivan, Union Street West, to the Church of the Good Thief, Portsmouth, where requiem mass was sung at nine o'clock by Rev. Dr. W.T. Kingsley in the presence of a very large number of friends of the deceased. Many beautiful floral tributes and spiritual offerings were placed on the casket. Following the requiem mass in the church, interment took place in St. Mary's Cemetery, Rev. Dr. Kingsley officiating at the grave. The pall-bearers were Deputy Warden George Sullivan, Frank Beaupre, Chris Baiden, Alfred Beaupre, Justin Sullivan and Bert Beaupre.
 Captain Beaupre, who was 84 years of age had been ill for some months. He was born in Portsmouth, the son of Captain Edward Beaupre, and was educated at the Mills private school and St. Mary's School, which was then the Christian Brothers' School at the corner of Clergy and Brock streets. 

 From his youthful days Captain Beaupre followed the water and was one of the youngest men to obtain captain's papers. He sailed in vessels which he had helped his father to design and build, one of which was the Oliver Mowat, a craft noteworthy of the marine history of this district. He designed the last of the old schooners, so familiar in the ports of Kingston and Portsmouth, and he sailed in one boat on which had sailed seven members of the Beaupre family at one time. He also sailed in the old Hyderabad which was owned by Gunn and Company. Another vessel in which he sailed was the Grantham, also a well-known craft.

 Following several years of sailing, Captain Beaupre became superintendent of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company which was operated by the Folgers in Kingston and it was he who installed the first searchlight on the river boats. He had been told of powerful flashlights having been used in another river trade and he brought the idea with him and perfected it into the searchlight, that being the start of the old famous searchlight excursions which used to leave Kingston with decks crowded to the limits.

 Following his employment as superintendent of the St. Lawrence Line, he went to Albany as general manager of the Albany-Troy Steamship Line. He attained great success in that capacity and later became president of the company for which he drafted and designed boats. He was with that company for thirty-five years when he retired and came back to Kingston. With the exception of a short period he had remained in Kingston since. 

 The late Captain Beaupre was one of the best known marine men in this part of the country and was particularly adept at designing vessels. He was a man highly regarded for his ability and character and retained a keen memory even in his advanced years.

 Captain Beaupre is survived by his wife, formerly Ena Jones, New York; three daughters, Mrs. Charles Van Slyke of Buffalo; Mrs. Fred Van Slyke of Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, N.Y., and Miss Olive Beaupre of Albany; three brothers, William Beaupre of Seatle, Peter M. Beaupre of Portsmouth and Frank Beaupre of Detroit, Mich.; two sisters, Mrs. C.W. Powers of Whing, Indiana, and Mrs. George Sullivan of Portsmouth.

Oswego Palladium-Times
Friday, May 27, 1938  page 9 column 6

Captain Edward Beaupre

One of Lake Ontario's pioneer marine men, who gained a high position in the marine business, is dead in Kingston, Ont, in the person of  Captain Edward Beaupre, 84, former manager of the Albany-Troy Steamship Company.

From his youthful days Captain Beaupre followed the water and was one of the youngest men to obtain captain's papers. He sailed in vessels which he helped his father to design and build, one of which was the schooner  Oliver Mowat, a craft  noteworthy of the marine history of this district. He designed the last of the old schooners, so familiar in the ports of Lake Ontario and he sailed on one boat  on which had sailed seven members of the Beaupre family at one time.
 
 


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