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William F. Cullen (1844-?)
Born in Ireland, sailor and foreman of Industrial Works, Bay City.
Maritime Biography. - Courtesy of "Links to the Past" website.

History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 2 by J.B. Mansfield
Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899.



William F. Cullen, who for many years has been engineer on various lake steamers, was born in County Wexford, Ireland, in 1844. His father was a farmer in Ireland whence he moved to the United States in 1847 and took up his residence in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Mr. Cullen our subject, attended the Bellefontaine schools for several years and then served his time learning the trade of machinist in railroad shops. During the war he worked in the Union Navy Yards at Bridgeport, Alabama.

After the war, Mr. Cullen came to Detroit, Mich., where he has since resided. He worked for a while with the Detroit Locomotive Works, and later with the Lighthouse Construction Company. In 1871 he superintended the putting in of the machinery at Spectacle Reef Lighthouse. As two years as foreman of the Detroit Bridge & Iron Works, Mr. Cullen went on the lakes, first time as engineer of the Evening Star, one of the first boats of the well-known Star line, of Detroit. For four years he was engineer of the Canadian Southern Car Boat Transfer, and then left the lakes to be foreman of the Industrial Works in Bay City, Michigan. After a short stay in Bay City, he returned to Detroit and superintended the erection of the engines for the Iron Age, the Jesse Farwell, A. J. Gordon, A. L. Hopkins, Middlesex, the tug Swain and several other boats. In 1882, he returned to the lakes and was engineer of the steamer Flora, the Nashua, Riverside, the Oconto, which was sunk in the St. Lawrence River on July 7, 1886, finishing the season on the steamer Porter Chamberlin with Captain H. S. Robinson. The winter of 1886-87 he was the chief engineer on the tug M. F. Merrick for the Grand Trunk railroad at Ft. Gratiot, and that year entered the employ of Adams & Farwell, as chief engineer on steamers P. E. Spinner and Jesse H. Farwell. In winter of 1894 he resigned on account of sickness in his family, but in 1897 he entered the employ of Capt. James Danielson, of Bay City as chief engineer of the wrecking tug Martin Swain. During the two years 1895-96 when he remained ashore, he was engaged in fitting out and running steam and electrical plants, and has been quite interested in electrical and mechanical engineering, giving many evidences of his mechanism in the various plants, etc. he has fitted out.

Additional Nots.

    1868 - Michigan Marriages: Dearbornville, Wayne Co.

  • William Cullen, age 26 years, born in Ireland, marriage on October 11, 1868, to Margareth Callaghan, age 22 years, born in Ireland.

    1870 - Census: Detroit, Wayne, Mich.

  • Cullen, William - b. 1842, Ireland.
  • Johanna, wife - b. 1845, Ireland.
  • Francis, daughter - b. 1867, Mich.

    1902 - Michigan Marriages: Detroit, Wayne Co.

  • William F. Cullen, age 58 years married on June ll, 1902, to Catherine Brickman, age 38 years, daughter of Francis Brickman and Ellen Deveraux.
Related Pages/Notes

1867 Great Lakes Map
(click to enlarge)

Related Pages:
Industrial Works
People Referenced
Brickman, Catherine (2-wife)
Brickman, Francis (f-inlaw)
Callahan, Margareth (1-wife)
Cullen, William F. (subject)
Cullen, Francis (dau.)
Deveraux, Ellen (m-inlaw)
Danielson, James (Capt.)
Robinson, James (Capt.)
Subjects Referenced
Adams & Farwell Co.
Bay City, MI
Bellefontaine, OH
Bridgeport, AL
Canadian So. Car Boat Trans.
County Wexford
Detroit, MI
Detroit Bridge & Iron Works
Detroit Locomotive Works
Ft. Gratiot
Grand Trunk RR
Industrial Works Co.
Lighthouse Construction Co.
Spectacle Reef Lighthouse
Star Line of Detroit
St. Lawrence River
Union Navy Yards
A.J. Gordon
A.L. Hopkins
Evening Star
Flora, steamer
Jesse Farwell
Iron Age
Martin Swain, tug
M.F. Merrick, tug
P.E. Spinner, steamer
Portor Chamberlin, steamer
Swain, tug
Internet References
Links to the Past
Online book, "History of the Great Lakes," Vols. 1 & 2, by J.B. Mansfield.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.