Green Bay State Gazette, July 6, 1878
The Tug John Leathem.
On the morning of the Fourth, as the steamer Welcome was entering Sturgeon Bay with the party of excursionists, she was met by a new tug crowded with people. The sight attracted the attention of the party, but it would have been attended with more novelty for them had they known that the tug had been in the water scarce half an hour. It was the tug John Leathem, just completed for Scofield & Co. She was launched with steam up and immediately upon entering the water started off with her load of passengers, as if she had had on steam always. Launching a boat under such circumstances is certainly a novelty in these waters.
Green Bay Advocate, July 11, 1878
A Plucky Steamboat.—The new steam tug John Leathem which has been rebuilt from her predecessor the Tifft (US 10317) by Schofield & Co., at Sturgeon Bay during the past winter and spring, was launched on the morning of the Fourth with a head of steam up, and with her engineer and fireman at their posts, and her Captain at the wheel. The fast steamer Welcome just at that time made her appearance at the mouth of the Bay, some few miles off, with flags flying and decks covered with a distinguished party on its way to celebrate the opening of the Canal, and nothing was more natural than that the John Leathem, elated somewhat at just getting into the water, should run to the entrance of the bay and throw down the gauntlet to the Welcome. It was a plucky challenge, and handsomely given; and nit does not detract from the gallantry and fame of the newly-launched steamer that superior weight of machinery was too much for her, amd that the broom went up on the pilot house of the Welcome.
Green Bay Advocate, July 16, 1878
The “John Leathem.”
Steam having been gotten up while the tug was yet on the stocks, the craft was allready to make her maiden trip; but this part of the programme was not a success owing to some slight accident to machinery, and she only made a short run, when she returned to her dock, where she is receiving her finishing touches.
The Leathem was christened after John Leathem, one of the members of the firm of S. & Co., and (like him) is a staunch, powerful and commodious craft. She was built by Messrs. S. & Co. from designs and specifications furnished by Capt. John Gregory, of Chicago, one of the best ship-builders on the lakes, and under whose immediate supervision she was constructed. The boat has been built with especial reference to strength and speed, both these essential requisites have undoubtedly been secured to the fullest extent. The material employed in her build is the best obtainable, and nothing has been spared in this direction; while the beauty and symmetry of her model as she sits on water like a thing of life, will convince the most casual observer at once that this desideratum has been obtained.
The hull of the new vessel is 74 feet keel and 84 ft. over all; 16 ft. breadth of beam, and 9 feet depth of hold. The motive power comprises two locomotive engines—cylinders 20×39½ inches each—of a combined power of 275 horses; and the boiler is of a sufficient capacity to furnish the necessary steam at all times. The wheel is 7 feet in diameter. All of the machinery was taken from the old (George W.) Tifft (US No. 10317), and is nearly as good now as the day it was set up in the old craft.
The Leathem made a trip to Red River last Sunday, during which she gave satisfactory evidence of the speed which is in her. The distance is fully thirty miles which she traveled in three hours and fifteen minutes, with not over 65 lbs. of steam at any time. That this time will be improved about 25 per ct., when she gets down to business, there is not the least doubt. Then look out for fun.—Door Co. Advocate.
Chicago Tribune, March 21, 1881
Scofield & Co. are inquiring for a good Captain to take charge of the tug John Leathem, which will tow between here (Sturgeon Bay) and Chicago.
Chicago Tribune, April 7, 1880
STURGEON BAY MATTERS
Sturgeon Bay, Wis., April 5.—While cruising about the bay on Thursday the tug W. C. Tillson ran on middle-ground. She got off in a couple of hours with a broken wheel.
A. M. Spear started for Buffalo, N.Y., on Thursday on urgent business connected with the tug John Gregory, recently purchased by George O. Spear.
The ferry scow Ark commenced running across the Bay on Friday.
Our people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Goodrich boats, as it si now next to impossible to get any freight to this place, on account of the horrible condition of the roads.
Some people entertain queer ideas as to who furnished the money to build the Sturgeon Bay Canal. Your correspondent recently overheard a lake Captain remark that he “understood that Ayer, the pill man, had spent a pile of money on that canal.” “Ayer, the pill man,” probably never heard of this short cut.
Sturgeon Bay will certainly have a fine fleet of tugs stationed here. The following-named craft will comprise the fleet:
The repairs on the schooner America, laid up here, are finished, and she commenced loading lumber this morning.
The proposed vessel-loaders’ union, spoken of in a former letter, has resulted in a fizzle, the chief mover in the affair having cleared for parts unknown.
Schofield & Co. think they made a very good purchase when they bought the tug W. C. Tillson for $2,500, as they have been offered $1,000 for their bargain since.
Navigation opened several weeks earlier this season than usual. This is caused by the canal cut being open.
It is probable that Capt. Gaylord, of Green Bay, will have command of the tug John Gregory the coming season.
The mouth of the bay is full of rotten ice yet, but the probability is that it will move out soon. Parties from Little Sturgeon report no ice visible on Green Bay off that place.
Here is a question for discussion among tugmen:
The Captain and owner are on board a tug. The owner tells the Captain to run over a certain tract of water. The Captain remonstrates, telling the owner that the water is very shoal, and that it is not safe. The owner says, Go ahead. The officer obeys, and the tug gets aground. Who is to blame? The owner says the Captain had no business to listen to any one in regard to run the tug. Of course the commander disagrees with him. This occurred on the tug W. C. Tillson, spoken of above.
Capt. C. B. Packard, of Sheboygan, arrived here yesterday to take command of the tug John Leathem, owned by Schofield & Co.
Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1880
The Sturgeon Bay tug Walter B. Leathem (sic) assisted in towing the Favorite’s barges to this port. She left to return to Menominee with them last evening. The Leathem has a clean-cut Gregory model.
Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1880
RESCUE OF THE TUG LEATHEM.
Special Dispatch to The Chicago Tribune
STURGEON BAY, Wis., Oct. 31.—The tug John Leathem, which went ashore last Sunday at Whitefish Bay while working at the stranded schooner City of Woodstock, was finally released last night by the powerful tug John Gregory and towed to this port. Part of the Leathem’s upper works were carried away, her steering-gear demolished, and her engine and boiler shifted out of place. The damages is estimated at $1,000. The insurance agents having intimated their unwillingness to pay damages if the Leathem was wrecking at the time of the mishap, the owners will employ marine counsel in case the companies refuse to foot the bills. The policy does not prohibit wrecking, and a higher per cent is paid on the Leathem policy than is paid on the tug Gregory with wrecking privileges, both being insured with the same agents and company.
ALSO THE CITY OF WOODSTOCK.
The tugs Tornado, Tillson, John Leathem, and John Gregory have been working at the stranded schooner City of Woodstock during the past week. The tug Leathem grounded and was thus disabled. The Tillson dredged a channel to the schooner about 300 feet long and nine feet deep, and got fast within ten feet of the vessel’s bows, and it took the efforts of two tugs to release the Tillson. The Tornado, Gregory, and Tillson have been working at the Woodstock to-day, and she was pulled off this afternoon. The Woodstock has the Sturgeon Bay stem-pump on board. She will be towed to Manitowoc tomorrow.
On 31 July 1883 the tug John Leathem lost a raft carrying 200,000 feet of logs.
In 1888 new boiler, firebox boiler, 6′ 3″ x 16′, 130 pounds steam, built by National Boiler Works, Chicago.
The Manistee Iron Works Company, of Manistee, Mich., has closed two contracts for marine work during December 1891. A 380 HP fore and aft compound engine 14 x 28 x 26 inches, will be built for the tug John Leathem of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and the engine in the barge Francis Hinton US No. 120754), belonging to Truman & Cooper of Manitowoc, will be compounded. The latter is to be a steeple compound with low pressure cylinder on top. This company’s upright independent air pump and condenser will be placed in both these boats. The engine for the John Leathem was built by Manitstee Iron Works of Manitstee, Michigan.
The barge Mike Dohearty (US No. 162498) made her maiden voyage under the tow of the John Leathem on 23 Sept 1899.
1900, Nov Caught fire, Lake Michigan.
The tug George Nelson (US No. 85946) had a spurt with the tug John Leathem on 11 June 1902. The crew of the John Leathem then gave the George Nelson a fresh coat of paint on 14 June 1902.
October 8, 1903
Rescue of the Tug John Leathem by the Dornbos at Grand Haven, Michigan.
Charles F. Hathaway took this photograph from the Grand Haven south pier head on October 8, 1903 after the Leathem had lost its rudder in heavy seas. Preparing to bring an empty stone scow back to Sturgeon Bay it went into the lake to fill its water tank when this occurred. The life savers launched a surf boat that stood by but it wasn’t until some time later the Dornbos (US No. 96562) was able to get up steam that it left the harbor and after some ponderous and very wet going was able to get a line to the Leathem and bring it through the piers, as shown. Will Ver Duin sued Leathem & Smith Towing & Wrecking for salvage fees, and in typical Leathem & Smith style they refused to pay. Ver Duin, a persistent Dutch man, took Leathem & Smith to court and in March 1905 he received his $110.
She was owned by the Edward Gillen Dock, Dredge & Cons. Co. of Racine, Wisconsin in 1914.
She was renamed Holliswood in 1921.
New York Daily News, October 15, 1925
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER RESCUES FIVE MEN
H. Beuthe keeps the light at Bergen point, N. J., and his friendly beacon has served to guide many a mariner. They gave Beuthe a new round of praise yesterday. In a frail boat he put off from the light and saved Capt. E. Sims and his crew of four men when Sims’s tugboat, Holliswood, towing two barges, went aground. When the keeper saw the men clinging to the sinking tug he pushed off in his little boat at the risk of his own life and brought all five to safety.
1879 Enrolled at Milwaukee, WI.
1888 New boiler, firebox boiler, 6′ 3″ x 16′, 130 pounds steam, built by National Boiler Works, Chicago.
1892 New engine, Fore & Aft Compound, 14 + 18 x 26″ stroke, 380hp at 115 rpm, built by Manistee Iron Works, Manistee, MI.
1900, Nov Caught fire, Lake Michigan.
1909, Mar 20 Owned Central Dredge Co., Cleveland, OH.
1910, May 14 Edward Gillen Dock, Dredge & Construction Co., Racine, WI.
1918, Feb 28 Owned Hubert Riley, Buffalo, NY.
1918, Dec 19 Owned Harry B. James et al., New York, NY.
1919, Jul 18 Owned William H. Weeks, Jr, New York.
1920, Jul 6 Renamed HOLLISWOOD.
1920 July 21 Owned Tugboat Holliswood Inc., New York, NY.
1925, Jul 1 Owned James H. McKillop, Brooklyn, NY.
1925, Oct 27 Documents surrendered, “lost”