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Monday, October 21, 2013

Madden Bros., Inc - part 2

The Madden Brothers had some interesting patents.  Most are in the name of the youngest brother Carl, both he and Frank were engineers.  All three brothers were involved in Coordinated Transportation, Inc.

One invention was the Rail Truck
You can read the complete brochure here
You will find the patent here Convertible railway freight car US 2009895 A

Some other patents filed by Charles L. Madden some jointly with AL Hershey, et al.

Convertible railway freight car - US 2063434 A
Tractor - US 2064205 A
Trailer train US 2844108 A
Spotlight US 1457120 A
There are many more - use Google Patent search to find them you can get full page images of the patent from the US Patent Office

Monday, October 14, 2013

Madden Bros, Inc. - part 1

The three sons of Thomas and Eliza Madden inherited the shipping business from their father.

Throughout their childhood the business had been run by their uncle, Michael Lynn.  By 1910 the company was pretty much defunct and Michael was selling boat supplies.  Thomas 17 and his younger brothers were all living at home and their occupations were listed as none.(1)

In 1920 the brothers are still living together in the family home.  Thomas is listed as a wholesale fruit dealer, Francis and Charles are listed with no occupation both had attended school within the last year. (2)  Their Aunts Mary Lynn and Lena Schramm are living with them.

By 1930 Thomas with wife Helen was living in Edina, Hennipen, MN and is listed as the manager of a Transportation Company.(3) Francis (Frank) is living in Duluth, MN with wife Isabel and his four children and is listed as the Vice President of a Transportation Company. (4)  Charles is living in Minneapolis, MN with wife Helen and three children and is listed as owner of a trucking company. (5).  Each brother will be covered in a future post.

Madden Bros. Vs. Railroad and
Warehouse Commission of Minnesota et al
In The Case of the Railroads versus the Highway Truckers in the competitive field of L.C.L freight transportation, Charles gives the history of Madden Bros., Inc.  "In April, 1928, the three Madden brothers organized Madden Bros., Inc. of St. Paul, Minn.  This company was formed to exploit our 

Supreme Court Commission
patented trailers in trucking new automobiles from the factories in Michigan and St. Paul, Minn., to points in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.  As we were the first company to transport automobiles over the highways, the Northwest railroads objected and we were forced to carry the controversy to the U.S. Supreme Court.  After this court decided in our favor, we expanded Madden Brothers from strictly an interurban trucking company to also a forwarding company, and a transportation research and development company.  This expanded company made a transportation survey for the Automobile Traffic Managers Transportation Committee.  Also, surveys for the railroads, such as Great Northern, Milwaukee Road and Northwestern Line.  These surveys resulted in Madden Brothers and the Railway Express Agency making joint contracts with the railroads.  Our survey and recommendation were used in zoning the city of Chicago for the railroad store door automobile movement and was later adopted for L.C.L. freight and for U.S. parcel post.  Because of the success of the trucking division, the forwarding division and the research and development division; Coordinated Transportation, Inc. was organized in March, 1935 to take over the research and development division of Madden Brothers and to exploit the resultant patents from building special railroad equipment; Mutual Transit Corporation was organized in April, 1937 to take over the forwarding division of Madden Brothers; and in May 1937 the interurban trucking division (Madden Brothers) was sold to a Detroit company that was specializing in the hauling of Ford Automobiles.

"Mutual Transit Corporation was organized in April, 1937 as a forwarding company of new automobiles from the factories in Michigan to various points in the Northwest.  The stock was held by the three Madden brothers and the majority of the Twin Cities automobile distributors and dealers.  The movement was in conjunction with the Great Lakes package freight lines and the Northwest railroads.  Mutual Transit ceased doing business in July, 1942 as there were no new automobiles being manufactured to transport.

Jim Madden (Francis) talked about the Poker Fleet travelling the Great Lakes during his childhood. The Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten, owned by the Minnesota-Atlantic Transit Company were used by the Mutual Transit Company to transport cars.  This picture shows (standing - Jim (Francis), Tom (Francis), Tom (Tom), seated Tom, Mary Pat (Francis) and Jane (Francis) on the Ace which was based in Duluth.  Not only were there no more automobiles being built in 1942, but this fleet which had originally been designed for salt water use in WWI was sold, the Queen and Ten to Brazil and the other three to the US Maritime Commission.

(1) 1910 US Census Bay Ward 2, Bay,Michigan; Roll: T624_636; Page: 1A; ED 38
(2)  1920 US Census - Bay Ward 2, Bay,Michigan; Roll 755; Page: 7B; ED 57
(3) 1930 US Census - Edina, Hennepin, Minnesota; Roll: 1088; Page: 14B; ED 277.
(4) 1930 US Census - DuluthSt Louis,Minnesota; Roll: 1126; Page: 13B; ED 42
(5) Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota; Roll: 1092; Page: 17B; ED 70.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Family - Mary (Silbereisen) & Michael Lynn

Bay City Times
30 Mar 1902 p12c3
After the death of Thomas Francis Madden the shipping business was managed by his brother-in-law Michael Lynn.  Like his brother in law Michael was active in the community, running for office at least once.  Michael died 19 Aug 1927 in Grand Rapids, MI.  Mary died 30 Jul 1941

"Michael J. Lynn, 68, brother of Daniel E. Lynn, 2638 Military Street, died Friday at his home in Grand Rapids.

Mr. Lynn was born in Port Huron, but had not lived in the city for many years. He is survived by his widow, two daughters, Mrs.James Schafer, Grand Rapids, and Mrs. Alec Schwall, Bay City;and three brothers, Daniel E. Lynn (Port Huron), George Lynn, Cleveland, and Edward Lynn, Cleveland.

Funeral services will be held at St. Stephen Church Monday 10 a.m., burial will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery."  [Port Huron Times Herald 20 Aug 1927]

Mary and Michael had two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine.  Both girls attended the academy in Monroe. (1)

  • Elizabeth married James Schafer on 8 Jun 1915. They had  two children.  
    • Mary Catherine (1916-1996) m. Merel Rowe (1922-2002).  They lived in Fresno County, CA.
    • Elizabeth Ann died in 1919 at the age of 3 months.
  • Catherine (1890-1971) m. Alec Schwall.  In 1930 she was widowed and she and her two children were living with her mother and Aunt Lena in Bay City. She was still there in 1940. Catherine had two children  
    • Mary E 1914
    • Lynn Alexander 1916 PA - 2000 FL

(1) Bay City Times 2 Jan 1904 p3

Monday, September 30, 2013

Family: Martin Silbereisen and Catherine Resch

The family bible states that Martin (1823 Bavaria - 1860 Bay City, MI) and Katherine (1828 Bavaria - 1907 Bay City, MI)  were married in Bavaria on 12 Aug 1856 and Elizabeth was born in Feb 1859 so if the marriage information is correct they emigrated sometime from the fall of 1856 November of 1858 when Martin  bought land from Jacob Wisheintner.  He signed an indenture for $102 for lot 5 block 220, village of Portsmouth (later incorporated into Bay City.)  A brew master by trade, he built  and was a half partner in a brewery on the land.

In February of 1860 Martin signed a petition to become a citizen, but he did not live long enough to complete the process.  Martin died on 22 Sep 1860 at the age of 37.

He left his widow and two small daughters his half share in the old brewery, which was worth only the land it stood on.  He also owned a 3/5 share in a new brewery on lot 4 block 109.  His estate was estimated at a worth of $700.

Catherine retained personal possessions valued at $80.80 which included furniture, bedding, a milk cow and a horse.  A dwelling on the original lot was worth $175 and tools of the brewing trade, including wagons and stock for delivery were worth $168.70.(1)

Shortly thereafter, on 14 Jan 1861, Catherine remarried another Bavarian brew master, John Martin Schramm.  Their daughter Magdalena was born in 1865.

Great granddaughter Mary Rowe remembers her grandmother, Mary, talking about the Indians who used to come to the brewery on ponies with their manes tied up in rags. After an afternoon of drinking they would sleep it off on the floor of the  brewery.  As Mary was a toddler when her father died, it would seem logical that she was remembering the brewery of her step-father Martin Schramm.

Catherine outlived her second husband, who died in 1903.  In 1905 she was living with her widowed daughter Elizabeth and daughter Lena, who never married.  Katherine died on 8 Aug 1907 in Bay City.

Martin and Catherine are buried in St. Patrick's cemetery in Bay City.

Martin Silbereisen and Catherine Resch had two daughters

Mary married Michael Lynn 
Elizabeth married Thomas Francis Martin

Catherine Resch and Martin Schramm had one daughter Lena.  Lena helped raise her three nephews when her sister, Elizabeth, died in 1911.  She died 4 May 1943 at the age of 78.(2)

(1) Petition for the Appt. of an Administrator Bay Co MI, 21 Dec 1861 -- State of Michigan, County of Bay, Probate Court in the matter of the Estate of Martin Silbereisen, deceased, Aug 21st 1907, 18 Sep 1907, 19 Sep 1907 (daughters had reached majority).

(2) "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 04 Sep 2013), Lena F Schramm, 1943.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Family - Elizabeth Silbereisen

22 Feb 1859 Bay City, MI - 19 Jan 1911

Elizabeth Silbereisen was the daughter of Martin Silbereisen and Catherine Resch immigrants from Bavaria.  Her father died when she was a year old and her mother married John Martin Schramm.

Little is known about Elizabeth's early years.  Her father and her step-father were brew masters so it is likely that she spent time in the brewery.

She was married on 18 Oct 1882 to Thomas Francis Madden.  The information on the wedding date comes from the bible that belonged to Merril Rowe (a descendant of Elizabeth's sister Mary).  There is a gap of nearly ten years between the marriage and the birth of the first known child of Thomas and Elizabeth.

Thomas's death certificate lists four children, three still living.  This was filled in by Elizabeth who would know with certainty,  so it is probable that there was an infant or stillbirth  in those early years.

When Thomas died in 1903, Elizabeth was left with three children, the youngest just four years old, and a shipping company to run.  She left the day to day operations of the business to her brother in law Michael Lynn.

Among the items found about life in those days was this notice in the Bay City Times announcing the family trip on the lakes on the Lizzie Madden in 1906.

Eliza's sister, Mary, her husband Michael Linn (Lynn) and their two daughters were living with Eliza in 1910.  By that time Elizabeth had already been diagnosed with uterine cancer, she succumbed on 19 Jan 2011 and was buried in St. Patricks's Cemetery in Bay City.

Picture taken by Jane Madden Marqueling

Monday, September 16, 2013

Connections: Jerry Madden of Menimonee, Michigan

The connections with other Maddens around the Great Lakes are intriguing.  Among those nebulous connections is Jerry Madden.   As I explored his family, I found it led back to the same family as Capt. Michael Madden.  He was the subject of an earlier blog.  Michael and Jerry were cousins, the sons of Jeremiah and John, respectively.  They in turn were the sons of Mary who was born in Ireland about 1795. I did not find the name of their father.

In 1861 John was living in Ellice, Perth, Ontario, Canada with his wife Louisa, six children and his mother Mary.(1)  By 1871 John has moved to Wisconsin.  Mary was now living with her son James and his wife Ellen.(2)

While I did not find Michael's father Jeremiah in the same household with Mary, the proximity in Ellice and naming patterns of children make it very likely that he is another son.

I found an obituary for Jerry's father John.  It states he was born in Bauden, County Cork in 1826 and traveled to Canada when he was fourteen.  So much for a close connection to my James (or else, perhaps James was not from Limerick).  The obituary also states that he lived in Kingston for 25 years before moving to Clay Banks in Wisconsin.  We know that this is incorrect as the census record in Ellice, which is Perth County, is definitely his.

Son, Jerry, was living in Menominee, MI by 1900 and remained until at least 1921.  He was the owner of a lumber mill and by 1921 he was president of Commercial Bank.

Jerry died in Chicago, IL on 29 Jul 1923 shortly after James H. Madden died there.  It was James' obituary that set me on this hunt as his obituary was copied to Menominee, where as far as I knew he had no family.

Click here for more information on this family. 

(1) 1861 Census Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1064-1065.  Upper Canada pg 23

(1) Census of Canada, 1871. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds C-9940 p 23 Family 72 Ellice, Perth, Ontairo

Monday, September 9, 2013

Family - Sarah Jane Madden

June 1861 Albany, NY - Between 1920 & 1930 New York, NY

Sarah was the youngest daughter of James and Mary.   In 1884 she married Winfield Scott Morris and they settle in New York City where Winfield was listed as a furniture buyer and later a commercial traveler dealing with furniture.

Little information has been found about Sarah and Winfield, beyond the fact that they continued to live in New York City.  I have no pictures, no stories, no memories.  Perhaps locating the family of Winfield would help.  He is the son of Isaac (bn Germany) and Martha (bn NY) and he had two younger sisters Elizabeth (Eliza) and Frances (Franke).  His father died in Albany sometime between 1870 and 1880.

Sarah died sometime between 1920 and 1930 when Winfield  a widower is paying $150 rent for an apartment at 35 Wadsworth Ave in New York and his sister-in-law Helen (Nellie) is living with him.

United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623 Roll: 1116; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0802

"New York, State Census, 1905," index and images, FamilySearch( : accessed 04 Sep 2013), Winfield S Morris in entry for Isaac Schiff, 1905.

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. 1020; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0482

Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. 1224; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 1425

Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.1930. T626 Roll: 1579; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 1093 (Winfield widower)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Family: Ellen (Nellie) E Madden

circa 1937/8 Jane, Aunt Nell, Tom, Pat and Jim
(Children of Francis Martin Madden)
1858 Albany, NY - 1945 Minneapolis, MN

Besides their three sons, Thomas, John and James and the three children that did not live more than a few years each, Willie, Marie and Margaret, James and Anna had two daughters.

The oldest, Ellen E Madden, better known as Nell, was born in 1858 according to childhood census records.  As she aged the year of birth moved a little later in time.

Nellie and  Betty Madden circa 1942/5
In 1880, Nellie is living with her father and two youngest brothers and keeping house.(1)   Nellie is listed in the Albany City Directories at least until 1883 as a dressmaker living at 165 Colonie which was the family house.  It seems probable that she lived with James up to the time of his death in 1893.

There is a possible listing in New York City in 1894 for Nellie.  Her sister Sarah was a resident at that time.

In 1900 she was living with her brother James and his wife Lillian. A common name and some fudging her age over the years makes it difficult to find Nellie in census records.  In 1903 she was still living in Ashland, whether in James' house or elsewhere is unknown.  It seems possible that she was living in Chicago on her "own income" in 1910.  In 1930 she is living in New York City with her widowed brother-in-law Winfield Morris Scott. No other records have been found until shortly before her death..  I'm sure they exist but are in the "hidden world of missing links."  We do know that she visited family and perhaps for extended stays.

Photo taken by Grand-niece Jane Madden Marqueling

On 7 Mar 1943 Nell moved into St. Otto's Home, which was run by Franciscan Nuns in Little Falls, MN.  She remained there until the day before her death,  26 Jun 1945.  She died in the home of her nephew Carl Madden, 5433 Clinton St., Minneapolis on 27 Jun 1945.(2)  Nellie is buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Bay City, MI.

(1) Tenth Census of the United States, 1880.   Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.  Micropublication T9-805, pg 375A, Albany, NY.

(2)Minnestora Death Index Online 1908-2002, St, Paul, Minnesota Historical Society 2001 #020705 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Family: James Madden

New York State Census - Albany page 49 Eastern District 7th Ward  
28 Jun 1855

1815/1824 Ireland - 1894 Albany NY

James Madden was born about 1818 in Ireland. Or maybe his birth year is 1824, or 1815.  Pick a record and get a different date.  The 1855 NY census lists his age as 33 (1822).  The 1875 NY census says 60 (1815).  This concurs with the 1860 and 1880 US census which list his age respectively as 45 and 65, but the 1870 census says 52 (1818).  James' death certificate (18 May 1894) gives his age as 76 which agrees with the 1818 birth date.  Complicating the issue is his Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen. Filed in 1854 it lists his age as 30 giving a birth year of 1824.

The declaration gives us further information, stating that he sailed from Limerick and that the had been living in Limerick.  This is in conflict with family tradition that states he was from County Clare.

There are multiple possibilites.....

First it is possible that the Declaration is not for our James Madden.  The information is scanty even if the timing is logical.  There might have been another James Madden arriving in Albany between 1850 and 1855.

There is one record for a James Madden sailing from Limerick.  James Madden age 30 on Lady Peel from Limerick to NY 10/17/1850.  This adds another birth year (1820).  This most likely is the immigration of the person who filed the Declaration of Intention in 1854, but the birth years are off by four years.  Is it my James??

When was James born and where in Ireland was he from?  Calling Great-Great Grandpa....please give me a hint!!

Clare and Limerick both border the Shannon River.  James' wife Anna was a Fitzsimmons and the largest concentration of Fitzsimmons families are found in Limerick, but they are very close to the river, leaving the possibility open that James is from Clare.

Unfortunately, I have not found christening or marriage records for the emigrating James in either county.  Compounding the commonness of his name is the fact that his father's name is equally common and the only name we have for the wife of the first ancestor is Mary.

Adding to the confusion is the search for the immigration of Anna Fitzsimmons Madden.  I found a very promising record for an Anna Madden sailing on the Vandalia from Liverpool in September 1851.  I liked this record because she was sailing with William (age 4) and Catherine and Patrick Fitzsimmons. [Willie Madden is listed on his parents tombstone, but found in no US records] However, in examining the complete passenger list we also find James Madden on the page before her entry.  This might still work, but that would mean that the Declaration of Intention found that states he sailed from Limerick might not he his.  Or, did the ship originate in Liverpool and stop in Limerick to pick up additional passengers.  Records are not comprehensive.  If James did not board in Limerick, we are back at square one as he could be from anywhere!

Oh, I love research!!!!

All that said, I'm still looking.  The US and NY census records found are for the right James Madden, and the death certificate is certainly his, but the ships records and Declaration might not be. Somewhere there is a linking record, a tie to Irish records....I keep searching.

James, Anna and their children Willie, Marie and Margaret are buried (or memorialized) in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, Albany, NY.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Family - James Howard Madden

(6 Mar 1865 Albany, NY - 20 Apr 1923 Chicago, IL)

My father was named James Howard, but it was a surprise when I found that his great uncle also had the middle name Howard. In fact, my father knew little of his family background.  His Madden grandparents died when his father was still a child and both Madden Great-Uncles died before my father was born.  Aunt Nell might have been able to fill in family detail, but my father had no fond memories of family chats and no family details seem to have been passed on to others.

James was the youngest child of James Madden and Anna Fitzsimmons.  Like his brothers he grew up working on the docks on the Hudson River.  He left Albany and joined his brother Thomas in Bay City sometime in the early 1880s. In 1886 he is listed as a lumber inspector with  Dolsen, Chapin & Co. He is boarding at 223 S. Monroe, the same address as Thomas.

By 1893 he had moved on to Ashland, Wisconsin, the 1893 directory lists his occupation as logger.   All indications are that he and Thomas and most likely John did at least some business together throughout their lifetime.  There are referrals in some records to the "Madden Bros."  However, on the death of his brother Thomas, James did not step in to run the shipping business, the working together seems to have been on specific projects and not in joint ownership of a business.

James married Lillian McGillen in 1898.  She was the daughter of James McGillen and Johanna Ketinge.  I have found records for three children.  Virginia Ketinge was born Nov 1906 and died in Chicago in June of 1911.  Judith Elnor was born in Wisconsin in 1912 and died in Duluth in August of that year.  Betty A was born about 1915 in Duluth.  She is living with her parents in Chicago in 1920 and with her mother in 1930 and 1940.  I have found no further records that I can prove are hers.

Like his brother John, James became involved in politics.  In 1906 he ran for Congress in the 10th district in Ashland.  He lost the nomination by just a few votes. As the newspapers of the time pointed out, the cost was considerable.

By 1910 the family had moved to Duluth where James continued in the lumber business.  This was another connection to my father, his grand-nephew, as he grew up in Duluth, again totally unaware that family had lived there before.    In 1920 James was listed as the head of a lumber company in Duluth.  The family was living at 721 First Street.

James died on 20 Apr 1923 in Chicago.  He had been living at 358 Garfield Avenue there.  The newspaper notice included a posting to Meninomee, Michigan.  I don't know why, so I explored just a bit and found a Jerry Madden, born in Canada, father born in Ireland who is the owner of a lumber company.  Is this another connection.  Or is this just a coincidence.  (I'll save this for another post)

James was buried in Appleton, Wisconsin on 22 April 1923.   Lillian lived in Chicago for another eighteen years.  She died there on 13 Mar 1941.


  1. Bay City Directory for 1886-1887: Embracing A Complete Alphabetical List Of Business Firms And Private Citizens, A Directory of the "City And County Officers, Churches And Public Schools, Benevolent, Literary And Other Associations, And A Complete Business Directory of Bay City, to which is added a complete directory of West Bay City and Esserville. (Detroit: R.L. Polk & Co., 1886). Madden James H, lumber inspector Dolsen, Chapin & co, bds 223 S Monroe
  2. Provo, UT:, 2000. Original data: Ashland, WI, 1888-89. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1888. Ashland, WI, 1890-91. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1890. Ashland, WI, 1891-92. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1891. Ashland, WI, 1893. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1893: James H Madden City: Ashland State: WI Occupation: logger - boards Chequamegon Hotel
  3. 1905 Census - : accessed 24 Dec 2012, J H Madden household
  4. The Daily Northwestern 6 May 1906 and 16 Nov 1906
  5. Bureau of the Census RG29 Micropublication T624 --1784 rolls, Thirteenth Census of the United States 1910, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration), Duluth, St. Louis, MN Roll 725 SD 5 ED 155 pg 14B and 15 A
  6. Bureau of the Census RG 29 Micropublication T625 Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration) Duluth, St. Louis MN, Roll858; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 103
  7. Chicago Death Records MADDEN  JAMES  HOWARD   M/W 6012435 1923-04-20 COOK  CHICAGO  23-04-23
  8. Chicago Tribune 22 April 1923: Vol 82 No. 16 pg 10
  9. The Daily Northwestern Tues 24 Apr 1923

Monday, August 12, 2013

Collateral Family: The STRONG Connection

With two daughters married to Maddens, at least one a relative and common interest in vessels on the Great Lakes, it seemed prudent to investigate the Strong family of Tonawanda, New York.  Here are the basics.

The patriarch, Thomas Nicholas Strong, was born about 1820 in Ireland. He died in 1886 at the age of 66 in Tonawanda, Erie, New York and is buried in St. Francis Cemetery (1).  He married Eliza Hammond who was born on 25 Aug 1831 in Liverpool, England. She died on 23 Jun 1907 at the age of 75 in Tonawanda and was buried in St. Francis Cemetery.  Thomas is listed as a sailor in the 1860-80 census.(2)

They had the following children

A. Belinda Caroline Strong was born in 1852 in New York. She died on 29 Jan 1925 at the age of 73 in Tonawanda.  Belinda married John Rhadigan, a sailor born in Canada, about 1879.  In 1880 they were living in Port Huron, MI. (3) They had three children.  John bn about 1881 married (1) Delsia Brighton and (2)Catherine.  He also followed a maritime career.  William married Pearl and had at least one child. Belinda married Raymond Ball and had children.  

B. William H Strong was born in 1854 in New York. He died in 1908 at the age of 54. He was buried in 1908 at St. Francis Cemetery. By 1880 William had followed his father into the maritime business. He is listed as a sailor in the census.

C. Thomas N Strong Jr. was born in 1856 in New York. He died in 1865 at the age of 9 in New York, United States. He was buried in St. Francis Cemetery

D. Eliza A Strong was born in 1859 in New York.. She died in 1881 and is buried in St. Francis Cemetery.  Eliza married .... McInnis.  No further information has been found to date.

E. Clara Strong was born in 1862 in Tonawanda, New York. She died on 12 Mar 1936 at the age of 74 in Tonawanda.  Clara married William L Misner who in 1900 is listed as Clerk of Canal.  They had James, William, Rosette and Matthew.  The Misner's had an interest in at least one of the Strong vessels plying the Great Lakes. Clara and William sued other Strong family members over interest in the Emory. (Misner research). 

F. Isabella "Belle" Strong was born on 22 Oct 1863 in Tonawanda, New York.  She died on 2 Jul 1946 at the age of 82 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan and was buried on 4 Jul 1946 in Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, United States. Isabella "Melle" Strong and Michael Madden were married about 1884 in Tonawanda.  See Great Lakes: Captain Michael Madden of Saginaw

G. Emma Strong was born in 1866 in Tonawanda, New York and in 1934 at the age of 68. She was buried in 1934 at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kenmore, Erie, New York.  Emma married Philip Heppner who was born in 1864. He died in 1917 at the age of 53 and is also buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.  They had Elizabeth 1895-1976, who married David Reid 1895-1976 and Mary E. 1896-1985. Also see  Family: John J. Madden for information on Capt. Heppner being injured in 1905.

H. Dora Strong was born on 24 Aug 1870 in Tonawanda, New York.  See Family: John J. Madden

(1) All Cemetery Links for St. Francis Cemetery and Mt. Olivert Cemetery are found on FindAGrave
(2) 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.  TonawandaErieNew York; Roll: M653_750; Page: 566; 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. TonawandaErieNew York; Roll: M593_931; Page: 565A; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. onawandaErieNew York; Roll: 827 pg 174A

(3) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 605Page: 323A

Monday, August 5, 2013

Other Maddens found on the Great Lakes


  • Michael Madden - Captain - 
    1857 Oliver Cromwell; 
    1899 chief engineer Minnie M (Arnold Line) 
    1900   Ossifrage; 1901 Chippewa.  This might be two separate men and the first might be the owner of the Girl of the Period below.  There was one listing for a Capt. Michael Madden in Bay City that might also be this Michael.
  • Jerry Madden - Marine Engineers of Coasts and Rivers - 668 1/2 Royal St. New Orleans LA
  • J.H. Madden - Captain after 1900 d. 1930 - care of JA Calbick and Co. Chicago. (1)
    • 1900 FE Spinner
    • 1901-1902 Panther
    • 1904-6 Helen C
    • 1907-11 Alva
    • 1910 Pere Marquette No. 5
    • 1915 Edwin L Booth
    • 1917-18 Richard Star
    • 1920-29 Joe S Morrow
  • John Madden - Marine Engineers Beneficial Assoc.  Spring and Linden, Troy, NY (1-p303)
  • James Madden 1903 WP Rend (1903 RedBook)
  • Michael Madden -Engineer  (Jul 1867 Canada - ) Michael emigrated with his family in 1885.  He married Anna Bridget Foy who had also been born in Canada in 1870.  In 1900 they are found in St. Ignace, Mackinac, MI. Michael and Anna had at least six children: Michael Fergus Aug 1894 - 9 Mar 1913 St. Ignace, Rose M Mar 1896, Anne Nov 1897, Loretta 1901, Thomas 1905, Margaret 30 Dec 1912 - 20 Nov 1913 St. Ignace (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623-726 p8A, ED0102;  United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910.  T624_658, p10A, ED0170) 
  • Thomas M Madden - Master - 1905 Charles H. Hackley  ( August 16. - Steamer CHARLES H. HACKLEY left her dock at Rush Street Bridge, Chicago, to take an excursion party to view yacht races off Chicago Harbor, Lake Michigan, taking on the party at the foot of Randolph street.  Upon landing at Randolph street, Captain Barry, master, was called ashore upon urgent personal matters and left the ship in charge of Thomas M. Madden, master, and Joseph Oliver, also licensed as master; these two men being the only licensed men employed on board the vessel having authority to navigate the ship.  Case reported to proper authorities.    --   August 20. - Complaint was made, alleging that while on duty Thomas M. Madden, a licensed pilot on steamer CHARLES H. HACKLEY, was intoxicated. Upon investigation it was found that Mr. Madden, while able to handle the vessel properly, had been drinking and his license was suspended for 30 days.) REPORT OF THE STEAMBOAT INSPECTION SERVICE CASUALTIES, VIOLATIONS OF LAW, AND INVESTIGATIONS YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1905  EIGHTH SUPERVISING DISTRICT LOCAL DISTRICT OF CHICAGO, ILL., p.379

  • Girl of the Period - Built for Captain Madden launched last week for Caroll Bros. of Buffalo   Cost 5500 50 x 11.6 and 5ft 6in hold  20 May 1873 Detroit Free Press
  • Satisfaction - 1899 John Madden of Sheyboygan (Port Huron) burned for loss of $25000
  • Uncle Charley-  25 16 56x12 tug Jerry Madden of Menominee

Information on any of the Maddens listed above is welcome.

  1. 1903 Blue Book of American Shipping:   Statistics of Shipping and Ship Building in America. Lists of Ship Owners, Ship, Engine and Boiler Builders, Naval Architects, Vessel Masters, and members of various organizations made up from the Navy and Merchant Marine. Particulars of American and Canadian Steam and Sail vessels with names and addresses of owners. Cleveland OH: Marine Review Publishing Co. 1903 

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Ships - Fred Meyers

Originally built by the Detroit Dry Dock Company for the J. Emory Owen Transportation Co, the freighter was launched (US 76731) in 16 May 1888.  With a screw propulsion and three sails the ship was 256.4' long 38.5' beam and had a hold depth of 19.8'.  Gross tonnage was 1739.53 and capacity was 2700 tons.

It burned near Manitowoc, WI on Lake Michigan on 5 Dec 1903.

Rebuilt as a steam-barge, it's dimensions changed only in it's depth which was now 15.8' and gross tonnage, down to 1264.  Renamed the F.A. Meyer, it was  purchased by William H. Strong and John J. Madden in 1905.  The listed owner was William H. Strong Transportation Co.

In June of 1906 the Meyer struck the steamer Ruth while in the Buffalo dock.  In August of that year it carried a record load of 1,500,000 board feet of lumber from Duluth to Tonawanda.

On 18 Dec 1909 the FA Meyer was sunk by ice.  The ship had been sold in the interim and was owned by Adam Hartman at the time it sank.  Bound from Boyne City, Michigan to Buffalo, New York the crew was rescued by the propeller MAPLETON.  Attempts were made to raise the ship through 1910, when it was finally abandoned.

Great Lakes Maritime Database
Maritime History of the Great Lakes - The J. Emory Owen (images 1) (images 2)

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Ships - Tracy J. Bronson

The TRACY J. BRONSON was built in 1857 by Jones & Bissett at Cleveland, OH U.S.A wood hulled schooner with 2 masts, a length of 137 feet, and a width of 26 feet. It displaces 381 tons. The ship was remeasured in Erie, PA on 25 April 1865 and the dimensions listed as 137.25' by 26.5' with a hold depth of 11.5'.  Gross tonnage was listed as 277.22. (1)

In 1899 the schooner was owned by John Murphy of Cedar River Michigan.  The 1900 & 1901 issues of BlueBook of American Shipping, Marine and Naval Directory of the United States lists the owner as John J. Madden of Tonawanda. (2) And in 1902 the owner was listed as Dora S. Madden. (3)

The vessel was removed from service with the following notation: Final enrollment surrendered at Buffalo, NY, March 18, 1903, and endorsed "Out of Commission."  The Blue Book continues to list the vessel for years listing the owner as Buffalo Dredging Co., Buffalo, NY, out of Commission. (4)

(1) Historical Collections of the Great Lakes , BGSU, Wisconsin's Great Shipwrecks
(2) Blue Book of American Shipping, Marine and Naval Directory of the United States 1901

(3) Blue Book of American Shipping, Marine and Naval Directory of the United States 1902

(4) Blue Book of American Shipping, Marine and Naval Directory of the United States 1905

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Ships - TUG Thomas F. Madden

Built by O'Grady and Maher in Buffalo NY, the tug Thomas F. Madden was 47" long, 13"wide and had a hold depth of 6.33".  Built of wood with a gross tonnage of 17.85 and a net tonnage of 8.93 she was first enrolled (US 145582) on 23 April 1891.

There is no evidence that the TF Madden was ever owned by Thomas F. Madden or any other Madden.  It is listed here as another of the mysterious connections with shipping on the Great Lakes.
  • Around the Lakes 1894 (1) lists the owner of the Thomas F. Madden as Pat Tirnan of Tonawanda.
  • 1901 BlueBook of American Shipping, Marine and Naval Directory of the United States lists the owner of the TF Madden as JB Donnelly of Buffalo.
  • In 1902 there was a company Madden and Donnelly in Saginaw MI.
  • In 1903 (2) the Blue Book shows no owner for the TF Madden.
  • The final enrollment was surrendered at Buffalo on 2 April 1906 and endorsed "laid up."  No other enrollments have been discovered and the TF Madden was dropped from the List of US Merchant Vessels in 1914.

Great Lakes Vessels Online Index

  1. Around the Lakes 1894, Detroit Dry Dock Co. Cleveland, OH: Marine Review Print 1894
  2. 1903 Blue Book of American Shipping:   Statistics of Shipping and Ship Building in America. Lists of Ship Owners, Ship, Engine and Boiler Builders, Naval Architects, Vessel Masters, and members of various organizations made up from the Navy and Merchant Marine. Particulars of American and Canadian Steam and Sail vessels with names and addresses of owners. Cleveland OH: Marine Review Publishing Co. 1903 p176

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Ships - A.W. Wright

The schooner A.W. Wright (US 105891) was built by John E. Dixon in East Saginaw in 1880.  Officially enrolled on 27 April 1880 in Port Huron the A.W. Wright was 169" long, 33.25" wide and had a depth of 10.66.  Built of wood she had a gross tonnage of 530.60 and a net tonnage of 507.73.  It seems possible that the A.W. Wright, built as a tow barge for lumber was named for the A.W. Wright Lumber Company of Saginaw.  The owner at the time of enrollment was C. Sager et. al. and the vessel was originally towed by the steamship Glascow. (1)

On 2nd Oct 1915 Lena F. Schramm as administratrix de bonis non (2) of the estate of Thomas F. Madden sold to James H. Madden the guardian of Francis M and Charles L Madden for $1.00 one sixth share in the schooner, A.W. Wright.  The estate owned a 1/4 share with the other 3/4s being owned by William Sharp. Although we only have the one bill of sale, it is assumed that the other 1/12 if the vessel that was owned by the estate was sold to Thomas Madden, who was no longer a minor.  The bill of sale noted that the sale was made with agreement of the probate court.

According to the bill of sale the ship's master was S.T. Williams and the description of the schooner claimed one deck, two masts and plain head and a square stern with dimensions as listed above.  Of interest for those of us without a marine background was the tonnage, the same as that listed above with the added information that, the capacity of the under deck was 507.73 tons and enclosures on the upper deck held another 22.87 giving a total capacity of 530 tons.  So net tonnage as listed in all the books means below deck capacity.

In 1918 the vessel was still owned by Wm Sharp. It is unknown if the Madden brothers, now all of age also still owned 1/4. (3)

The Vessel was abandoned in 1925.
You can find a picture on the  Historical Collections of the Great Lakes website.
(1) The  Catalog for the Milwaukee County Library gives the following information.  
Official no.105891.
Barge built in 1880 by E. or John Dixon at East Saginaw, Mich. for C. Sager, et. al., of East Saginaw as a tow barge for the lumber trade.
First towed by the steamship Glascow, later the J.P. Donaldson. Abandoned in 1925. Last owned by H.N. Jex of Toledo.  (  items in folder : ill., photos. ; 22 x 28 cm.)

(2) DE BONIS NON. This phrase is used in cases where the goods of a deceased person have not all been administered. When an executor or administrator has been appointed, and the estate is not fully settled, and the executor or administrator is dead, has absconded, or from any cause has been removed, a second administrator is appointed to to perform the duty remaining to be done, who is called an administrator de bonis non, an administrator of the goods not administered and he becomes by the appointment the only representative of the deceased. (A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.)  Elizabeth Madden was the original Executrix of her husbands estate.  She died in 1911 

 (3) American Bureau of Shipping, Record of American and Foreign Shipping. New York: 1919 p33

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Ships - The HJ Webb

Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (1)
The H.J. Webb, a wood hulled schooner with 3 masts,  was built in 1869 by Isaac W. Nicholas at Vermilion, OH U.S.  167 feet long, and 28 feet wide, It had a gross tonnage of 431, and a load capacity of 410 tons. At launch the owner was CP Minch and under Captain WJ Trainer the vessel plied the ore trade between Escanaba to Cleveland.

  • In 1871 the HJ Webb, Schooner, lost her rudder post on Lake Huron. Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1871, Capt J.W. Hall 
  • 1874 Captain Dayton began sailing the steamer Seneca, afterward the H. J. Webb, of which he was also owner, remaining with her until December, 1877, when she was burned in the Bloody Run slip in Detroit river, taking fire from sparks from a planing-mill, and becoming a total loss.
  • In 1894 the owner of HJ Webb was listed as John Madden of Bay City. (Around the Lakes 1894, Detroit Dry Dock Co. Cleveland, OH: Marine Review Print 1894)
  • In 1895 HJ Webb is listed in Annual List of Merchant Vessels as being based in Albany NY. 
  • In 1895 John F. Madden is listed in the Bay City Directory(2).  He is not found in any other available volumes.  Thomas F. is listed with occupation of lumber. 
  • In 1899 the Captain of the HJ Webb was John Ryan.
  • In 1900 the HJ Webb with home port listed as Albany, NY was owned by John F Madden. Our John is John J.  so who is John F. It doesn't seem feasible that the name is listed incorrectly in the ship's registry, so it doesn't seem likely that John F. is the same man as John J.  Yet, I can't find other evidence of John F as a ship's Captain in either Bay City or Albany.  Ideas and comments are welcome!!
A year later the vessel was removed from service with the following notation: Stranded on Larch Island, North Channel, Georgian Bay, November 11, 1901 and became total loss. The photograph above shows the H.J. Webb under way on the Great Lakes. 

  1. Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
  2. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Bay City, Bay, Michigan 1895