Return to Ships of John Gregory
Chicago Tribune, March 16, 1880
STURGEON BAY MATTERS
STURGEON BAY, March 14.—Three new tugs are on the stocks at this point. One, to be named the A. W. Lawrence, is being built by John Gregory, of Chicago. She will unquestionably be one of the finest tugs on the lakes. The machinery of the old tug Reindeer, owned by the Prestigo Company, is to be placed in her.
Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1880
STURGEON BAY MATTERS
STURGEON BAY, Wis., March 29.—Capt. H. H. Campbell, of Green Bay, is to command the new tug A. W. Lawrence, now building for the Sturgeon Lumber Company. Mr. John Gregory, the builder of the Sturgeon Bay Lumber Company’s new tugs, is hurrying up matters.
Chicago Tribune, May 30, 1880
Special Dispatch to The Chicago Tribune.
STURGEON BAY, Wis., May 29.—While launching the new tug A. W. Lawrence (US No. 105948) this evening, the stern blocks on which the boat was resting held fast, and the craft swung around at the bow, the ways broke and she tipped over on her side, in which condition, she now lies. Capt. John Gregory, the builder, was standing on one of the ways at the time she fell off as it broke, and injured his back, though not seriously.
The A. W. Lawrence was a 50 ton tug built by Captain John Gregory of Chicago at Sturgeon Bay, WI, for Sturgeon Bay Lumber Co. While attempting to launch her on 29 May 1880, the stern blocks on which the boat was resting held fast, and the craft swung around at the bow. Capt. Gregory was standing on one of the ways at the time she fell off as it broke and injured his back, though not seriously. Successfully launched on 3 June 1880.
On 30 Nov 1882, the tug John Gregory took tug Lawrence and new tug launched to Sturgeon Bay.
The tug received a new engine and boiler from the Ben Drake (US No 2143) in March of 1883. She was to be used to tow logs to and from Sturgeon Bay Lumber Co.’s sawmill.
On 30 October 1888 she was about 3 miles off North Point awaiting sailing vessels in need of a tow when she exploded her boiler, killing four of six occupants. Those who died were Capt. Sullivan, Engineer John Sullivan, Fireman Edward Sullivan, and Lineman Thomas Handley. The tug J. B. Merrill (US No. 75363) rescued the survivors, Frank McGowran the Cook and a visitor, Thomas Dooley, but the Lawrence sank to the bottom. The tug was valued at $4,500 and the owners were John McCoy and James Bannan, both of Milwaukee.
Chicago Tribune October 31, 1888
A TUGBOAT BLOWN TO PIECES
Fatal Accident Near Milwaukee—Four Lives Lost.
MILWAUKEE, Wis., Oct.30—The boiler of the tug Lawrence exploded off North point about 8 o’clock this morning, instantly killing killing Capt. John Sullivan, the engineer, the fireman, and the lineman. The tug was so effectually destroyed that nothing was left larger than pieces big enough for firewood. Those killed were:
JOHN SULLIVAN, engineer.
EDWARD SULLIVAN, fireman.
THOMAS HANDLEY, lineman.
Frank McGowan, the cook, and a young man named Thomas Dorley, who were taking a ride on the tug, were saved by the tug Merril, though badly cut up.
At the time of the accident, the Lawrence and Merril were steaming down the lake. The Merril was in the lead, and Capt. Driscoll says he heard a report like a pistol-shot. Then some one called out that the Lawrence was gone. The Merril was put about and picked up McGowan and Dorley, but could find no trace of the other members of the crew nor of the tug, beyond some small bits of wreckage.
Capt. Sullivan was one of the best known tugmen on the river. He was about 40 years of age, and married a sister of Ald. McCoy two years ago. His wife and a young child survive him. He was in the employ of the Milwaukee Tug Company for the last five years. This season he took command of the Lawrence when she was brought here by John McCoy and James Barnum. The Lawrence was purchased to tow a sand-scow owned by the parties named. Besides this she did some towing in the river. The Lawrence was counted one of the stanchest tugs on the lakes. She was built but a few years ago for the Sturgeon Bay Lumber Company, and nought this spring by McCoy & Barnum. The boiler was but two years old and was thoroughly inspected on the arrival of the boat here. The craft was valued at $4,500.
Tugs were out this morning cruising at the scene of the incident in hopes of discovering some of the bodies, but the search was unsuccessful.
Duncan C. Reed, the Government Boiler Inspector, says he inspected the boiler of the Lawrence in May last. It was in good condition and stood the cold-water pressure up to the required test. In speaking of the cause of the expolsion he said: “There is little doubt that the Lawrence and Merril were racing. I have often warned tug captains against the habit of racing, and have though there might be an accident of this kind. The engineer must have had the feed cut off, and when he turned it on with a big head of steam the boiler exploded at once.
Captains of the A. W. Lawrence were John Gregory, Joseph Harrington, Sullivan, John Driscoll & Frank F Bannen.
Diver Jerry Guyer believes he may have found her remains in 1999.