The O. B. Green was the one of the first tugs built for Oliver B. Green by shipbuilder John Gregory. According to the 1874 Chicago Directory he was operating a dry dock which meant he would need tugs to bring in broken ships to repair. In May, 1865 the 40.71 ton O. B. Green (US No. 18913) was launched.
Chicago Tribune, July 7, 1865
Collision.—On Wednesday last the schooner Arkitack, in tow of the tug O. B. Green, ran into the machinery set out on the North Pier for the purpose of launching the crib for the Lake Tunnel, breaking two of the weighs and causing other damage. The vessel herself was so much injured that she sunk on reaching the dock at Van Buren street bridge. Amount of loss not ascertained. The vessel was proceeding at the very unsafe speed of nine miles an hour at the time of the collission.
O. B. Green
Chicago Tribune, October 31, 1865
FIRE ON A TUG BOAT.—Shortly after eight o’clock last evening, persons passing over Wells street bridge, discovered thick volumes of smoke issuing from the cabin windows of the steam tug O.B. Green, then lying at her dock near the Northwestern approach to the bridge. An alarm was given and several men with buckets set to work to quench the flames, which by this time were visible through the windows of the cooking room, but after an hour’s unsuccessful labor, the fire continually gaining ground, it was thought expedient to call in the aid of the engines. A messenger was accordingly dispatched to give the alarm, which soon brought several steamers to the scene, and a few revolutions of the pumps of the Frank Sherman were all that was required to do the work.
The fire is supposed to have been the result of carelessness on the part of the cook, who went off, leaving a fire in the stove, some of the coals from which fell upon the floor and ignited. The damage done is not great, amounting to $50, which is fully covered by insurance.
The O.B. Green is owned by the gentleman after whom she is named, and was built this season.
She had some large repairs done in 1872.
Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1874
Tug Martin Green, O. B. Green/ to T. H. Smith and others, one-half for their $7,500.
Chicago Tribune, November 9, 1878
Shortly after 2 o’clock yesterday morning a dispatch was received by Police-Supt. Seavey from Theodore Smith, City Marshal of Michigan City, Ind., asking him to arrest the Captain and the crew of the Chicago tug O. B. Green on her arrival here from that place on the charge of murder. The telegram was sent to Capt. O’Donnell, and Officers Casey, Meehan, Madigan, and Kipley were detailed to attend the matter. The tug arrived about 7 a.m., and went up to Singer & Talcott’s stone-yard with the two scows which she had towed down. The officers followed her up, and, on her return to LaSalle street, arrested Capt. Edward E. Napier, Charles McCarie, engineer, Frank Walker, linesman, and a boy. The prisoners were taken to the Armory, and subsequently Detectives Heinzman and Aldrich found Thomas Hoddy, one of the firemen on the Green, at a saloon on the corner of Kinzie and Kingsbury streets, and took him into custody, and also locked him up at the Armory. William Dalton, another fireman on the tug, was not apprehended. A Tribune reporter learned that an officer had been killed at Michigan City in a melee Thursday night, in which the prisoners were engaged, and which was the cause of the arrest.
Capt. Napier was interviewed, and informed the reporter that on the previous evening he was in company with Capt. J. A. Manning, who has charge of the harbor work for the Government at Michigan City,—for which the Green has been carrying stone,—and Capt. Campbell, of the tug Waters, and they had stepped into a restaurant to get some oysters.While thus engaged the engineer, McCarie, came in and informed him that some men were endeavoring to arrest Roddy and himself without showing any authority. Capt. Napier immediately started out to learn the cause of the difficulty, and found two men in charge of Roddy, neither of whom would show him his authority for detaining Roddy and McCarie, nor would they give the Captain to understand that they were acting under the authority of the law. Hot words led to blows, and a large crowd gathered around the excited group. During the wordy warfare some one near the Captain struck some one else, and a free fight ensued, in which the Captain received a few blows, and was forced to fight his way out of the crowd and to the tug. His crew also succeeded in getting away from the scene of the fray, but were pursued by a number pf infuriated men. The engineer was suffering from a severe wound on the left side of the head, just above the eye, and was unable to attend to the engine. One of the firemen took his place, and the boat left for Chicago. On the way, Roddy stated that he had used a railroad coupling pin in the fight, and had struck several, including McCarie, with it, and injured him severely. The Captain also said he saw no one hurt with a weapon of any kind, and did not think the affray was as serious as it afterwards appears to be. He thought at the time of the attempted arrest that the matter could be quietly settled, and he endeavored to get his men to remain peaceable and go back to the boat. Capt. Napier has the reputation of being one of the bravest tugmen in the harbor, and has saved vessels and crews in distress by his pluck and skill on several notable occasions. His arrest caused considerable surprise in marine circles.
Thomas Roddy, the fireman arrested, is said to be the person who wielded the coupling pin with such alleged terrible effect as to fatally injure one of the Michigan City officers and severely hurt another. He was interviewed, and stated he was arrested by two men, who would not show their authority, and when the engineer appealed to the Captain, and the latter came on the scene, a free fight ensued, in the course of which he picked up a coupling pin to defend himself, and, seeing a man present a revolver at the back of McCarie’s head with evident intent to fire, he struck the former with the coupling pin, and the blow missing its mark, fell upon the head of his friend, and wounded him as above reported. He said he struck no one else, but was knocked down during the fihht, and, although hotly pursued by several men, managed to reach the tug. He said he had been drinking some, but was not drunk at the time of the melee.
Charles McCarle, the engineer, informed the reporter that the Captain of the steam-barge Trader had caused the arrest of Roddy by a man who would not state whether he was an officer or not, and on his (McCarle’s) interfering in the matter he, too, was seized by another man, but managed to get away and inform Capt. Napier, who also questioned the men as to their authority for making arrests, for the reason that he was required to leave port that night and would need the engineer and firemen. But the men questioned refused to show their badges or stars, if they had any, and when the fight began, one of them held him (the engineer) around the waist with both hands and arms, and while in that position, Roddy struck him on the head and laid the scalp open with some kind of weapon which he did not see at the time. He broke away from the man who had held him, and, after a struggle, reached the boat. His wound was dressed by a surgeon after his arrest here.
Walker, the linesman, and the small boy arrested along with the others were not in the melee, being left in charge of the tug by the Captain.
Dalton, one of the firemen accused of having a hand in the fight, was along with McCarle and Roddy when the trouble began.
Capt. Manning arrived by train from Michigan City yesterday forenoon, having left there art 7:00 a.m., and stated to the reporter that Policeman Heiser and Constable John Taylor had been injured—the latter severely—in the fight with the tugmen the night before, but he had heard of no one being killed. He was on the outside of the crowd that gathered during the affray, and took no part in it, nor did he see any weapons used. Taylor had been rendered insensible by a blow he learned after the fight was over, but he had not understood that he was dangerously injured.
In the afternoon a press dispatch was received from Michigan City, stating that Taylor was not dead at 3 o’clock, but was dying. Upm to that hour, Supt. Seavey had not received any further word from Michigan City, and was in expectation of the arrival of officers from that place.
Thomas Roddy, the young man said to be the principal in the alleged murder or manslaughter, is of Irish birth, 21 years of age, and formerly lived at Baltimore. He is a short, thick-set person, with dark red hair, and a smooth, freckled face. So far as known yesterday he had not been arrested before for any crime or misdemeanor. He had been employed as fireman on tug-boats for several years in this harbor and on the lakes.
Those of the prisoners wanted by authorities of Michigan City will probably be delivered up by Supt. Seavey on the presentation of the necessary requisition from the Governor.
City-Marshal Miller, of Michigan City, arrived in this city last evening to look after the case, and reported at once to at police headquarters. It is designed to take the entire crew back to Michigan City, and the Mayor W. R. Hutchinson, has already taken steps to get the proper requisition papers. The Marshal knew but little concerning the affair, except the story that was prevalent about his home, and, as it agrees in the main with that already related by Capt. Napier and his men, it is doubtless true. Briefly, during the absence if Capt. Napier from his vessel while in port, the steam-barge Trader kept her screw in motion, thereby disturbing the water and shifting about the scows which the tug had had in charge. One of the men, supposed to be Ruddy, halloed to the Trader to stop, but, receiving no reply, went over and had some words, if not a fistic encounter, with her Captain,. At all events, the Captain and his friends and Constable John Taylor appeared on the tug a little later, and Taylor pretended to arrest Ruddy. The tugmen objected, and it was finally agreed that the party go up town to find Capt. Napier and Capt. Manning, the agent of the Government. On the words with the Constable, and by the time that the two Captains had been found in a restaurant so the main street war raged hotly between them. A police officer named Henry Hozier came up to them while in front of the restaurant, and demonstrated with McCarle for using such filthy, abusive, and disorderly language, and for creating such a disturbance, as it was then after 11 o’clock. Hot words passed between all the participants, and the fight was begun by some tugman, Dalton, presumably, striking a citizen. This citizen, Matt Sulzer, is the man responsible for this Michigan City story. He also states that Capt. Napier knocked down the Constable, that McCarle jumped upon him and beat and kicked him severely, and that Ruddy used a railroad coupling pin freely. When the tugmen retreated to their boat and left the port it was found that Taylor was seriously and perhaps fatally injured. His skull was fractured in several places, his chest was badly caved in, the collarbone broken so badly that he is unable to swallow. His condition was pronounced dangerous in the extreme by the physicians. The policeman, Hazier, was badly wrecked, and suffered some severe contusions and a broken jaw on the left side of the head, and Matt Sulzer received a deep gash upon the head. The Marshal will report at police headquarters this morning.
Chicago Tribune, November 12, 1878
Detective Heinzman and Capt. Napier, of the tag O. B. Green, returned home from Michigan City last evening. During the few hours they were in town the charges against the tug-men were changed from murder to ordinary assault and battery, upon which Capt. Napier was fined $25, the engineer $13, and Roddy $5. They were immediately rearrested upon a similar charge preferred by a citizen, and Capt. Napier was again fined $10. The trial of the others was progressing when they left. And thus fizzled Michigan City’s murder.
Capt. Napier is positive that his party would have been honorably discharged had they chosen to make a defense, but they pleaded guilty in order to get out of the trouble at once.
On Nov 28, 1878, she raced another John Gregory-built tug, the Alert (US No 105414) and won.
Chicago Tribune, August 7, 1879
The tug O. B. Green had her shaft straightened in Doolittle’s dry dock, and was floated out yesterday.
Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1879
The tug O. B. Green’s whistle is a peculiar one, but it isn’t ear-splitteing, like those of other boats.
Chicago Tribune, November 8, 1879
The musical whistle of the tug O. B. Green has been changed for a new one, which will be better associated by those who have to listen to it.
Chicago Tribune, November 12, 1879
Capt. John Prindiville notified all the tugmen yesterday to blow their whistles when the second salute was fired. The now famous whistle lately taken off the O. B. Green bas been temporarily replaced, so that nothing can rival her in making as big a demonstration in honor of Gen. Grant as is possible for any noisy thing to do, cannon not excepted. The fifty-three tugs in the port will will display colors from their bows and sterns, and most of them will probably be decorated with small flags. Those tugs that can be spared may steam out on the lake to a point opposite Park Row, and join in the jubilee.
Chicago Daily Telegraph, March 21, 1881
The tug O. B. Green, with a crew of six men, became imprisoned in an ice-field Saturday afternoon, and since that time has been drifting up and down the lake.
The closing of one of the ports at the crib on Saturday morning, by the heavy ice-fields brought down upon it by the furious northeast gale, caused City Engineer Cregier to order the tug O. B. Green to go out and attempt to clear away the obstruction. Under ccommand of Capt. Napier the tug began its perilous journey, but after battling against the ice until 4 o’clock in the afternoon it was still half a mile away from its goal. The occupants of the crib saw that the tug was motionless and drifting slowly toward the south with the ice. Capt. McKee, crib-keeper, at once telephoned to Mr. Cregier, and the tug A. Mosher was sent out to the relief of the imprisoned bot. It had reached the end of the north pier, when it encountered a solid wall of pack ice, and further progress was utterly impossible. A sharp, lookout was kept for the missing craft, but nothing could be distinctly seen, and at nightfall the Mosher returned to its dock.
The crew taken out by the O. B. Green was as follows:
- Captain Edward Napier, eldest son of the late Captian Nelson W. Napier, of the wrecked steamer Alpena
Engineer, George Shaw
Fireman, William Preston
A deck-hand, name unknown
During yesterday (Sunday) morning, various rumors were in circulation, but at last it was definitely ascertained by lookouts that the O. B. Green was securely hemmed in by the ice, about two miles from the shore opposite Hyde Park.
At 8 o’clock the tug Mosher was again made ready to go to the relief of the O. B. Green. Capt. Bline, of the Union Towing Association, one of the owners of the Green, Capt. James Sinclair of the Mosher, Capt. Andrew Green of the tug Campbell, a number of reporters, volunteers, and the regular crew of the Mosher, including Fred Biedhouser, a lineman, much better known as “Dutch Fitz,” were on board when the start was made. A small hunting boat or “dinghy” was taken along, together with two baskets of provisions. When the end of north pier and the breakwater was reached, the same solid field of pack ice which had resisted the efforts of the tug on Saturday was again encountered, and after fruitlessly attempting to force a passage the Mosher was obliged to return. A second start was made at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, with the same people on board. Coal for three days’ trip was taken along. This time the efforts of the tug to get out of the harbor were more successful. Steaming carefully and slowly along in a south-easterly direction, the Mosher, at 8:30 o’clock, reached a point in the lake opposite the foot of 39th street, but here the ice-field became too solid for further progress. Heavy cakes, loaded with deep snow, could be seen in every direction, and for a time they closed in behind the Mosher in such a threatening manner that a return was impossible. For two hours the tug butted the ice in the vain attempt to approach the O. B. Green, which was sighted about four miles away, and about five miles out from the foot of 59th street, in Hyde Park.
Finally “Dutch Fritz,” who has heretofore won distinction by his daring adventures on the lakes, volunteered to take the little boat with the two baskets of provisions, and go across the ice-fields to the O. B. Green. The “dingy” was placed on the ice snd “Dutch Fritz” got out and began his perilous journey. Pushing the boat before him he proceeded slowly through the deep snow until he came to a rift in the ice, when he launched it and rowed it to the other side. This operation had to be repeated a great number of times, and, with the deep snow to contend against, his progress was not over half a mile an hour. The men on the Mosher pier. At the crib the ianxiously watched the brave fellow, but after 5 o’clock it began to snow heavily, and “Dutch Fritz” was lost to sight. In the meantime the ice behind the tug opened, and it was deemed advisable to try and reach the crib. This was done, the Mosher stopping on its way to land some of its passengers at the north pier. At the crib the Mosher and the movements of “Dutch Fritz” were closely watched with marine glasses. When darkness set in Fritz appeared to be very close to the O. B. Green, and the opinion is that he reached it in safety. Capt. McKee telephoned to Mr. Cregier last night that the Mosher had tied up at the crib, and that it would try and reach the Green tomorrow. If the ice will not permit, it will return to the city
Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1881
Capt. Edward Napier has resigned the command of the tug O.B. Green in order to superintend the completion of O.B. Green’s new tug now on the stocks of Mr. Gregory’s yard on the North Branch.
To-day the name and papers of the old tug O.B.Green are to be changed. She will thereafter be known as the Commodore. Mr. Green’s new tug is to bear the name O.B. Green. Hence the change, which was arranged by mutual consent.
Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1881
UNION LINE OF TUGS.
The list of tugs that will form the Union Line the present season is now about complete. As will be seen by the array of names appended, the combination is a formidable one:
Negotiations are pending for the purchase of another powerful to be added to the fleet. Should they be consumminated the fleet will consist of eighteen boats, all but four of which range from medium to the largest size harbor tugs.
Commodore in 1882 or 1885 at Manitowoc, WI1>
She was also known as the “Old One” among the sailors, probably because a second O. B. Green was built.
Inter Ocean, May 2, 1901
Tug Strike Not Serious.
The Hausler & Lutz Dredging and Dock company has put on non-union men in the places of the men who struck yesterday on the company’s tugs, Commodore and Frank R. Crane. An officer of the company said yesterday that no time had been lost, and that everything was running along smoothly. He stated that the trouble was not a question of wages, but due to a misunderstanding.
The Sault Star, April 29, 1914
The tug Commodore owned by the Lake Superior Pulp and Paper Company has been completely overhauled during the past winter. Capt. Ramsay will sail her during the coming summer. The Geo. Emerson, owned by the same company, is being fitted out at Cohen’s dock. Capt. Thomas Jones will be he captain.
The Sault Star, May 4, 1922
Tug Commodore Aground.
The tug Commodore of the Spanish River & Paper Mills, Limited, ran on the rocks above the St. Mary’s Rapids in the fog this morning, and apparently drove a hole in herself. The tug Reliance has taken up a diving scow to examine the extent of the damage.
Sault Daily Star, August 23, 1926
Michipicoten Harbor, Aug. 19.-The Prairie Club, of Chicago, are enjoying the fishing and bathing of Michipicoten.
The Tug, G. R. Gray, left Wednesday with a raft of over 7,000 cords of pulp wood, the largest raft that has been towed down the lake this season.
The Tug, Commodore returned from Brule Harbor, Saturday, after rounding up a raft for Tug Gargantua.
Nig Gerard, chief engineer on Tug Commodore, works with his sleeves rolled up. Wonder if that new wrist watch is the reason.
The Province, June 5, 1945
Planes Help Rescue Trawler.
R.C.A.F. planes and the Straits Towing & Salvage Co. tug Commodore co-operated to save a United States trawler and her six-man crew in trouble in bad weather in Hecate Straits.
The 76-foot American vessel, Genevieve H2, out of Astoria, Ore., broke down and radioed for help.
The tug Commodore went to the rescue, but was unable to locate the helpless trawler in the gale.
Her master notified the air force and planes went out.
They located the Genevieve and directed the Commodore to the spot.
The Genevieve, commanded by Roy, S. Hugev, was towed to Prince Rupert.
G. R. Gray and Commodore
G. R. Gray and Commodore
1865 Built for & owned by O.B. Green of Chicago
1872 Underwent large repairs
1880 September Sold to George P. Gilmore
1881 May Name changed to COMMODORE
1885 Rebuilt at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, could have been lengthened to 69.9′
1887 September Caught fire & burned near Muskegon, Michigan, Lake Michigan, owned by Barry Brothers
1899 Owned by Chicago Dock & Dredge Company, Chicago
1946 Located at boneyard in Thessalon, Ontario, Lake Huron
1950 Still located in boneyard at Thessalon, Ontario
Chicago Tribune, December 31, 1906
Oliver Bourne Green, -a retired civil engineer, who would have been 81 years old tomorrow, died yesterday at his residence, 403 La Salle avenue. He had been ill for two years.
Mr. Green was president of the Green Dredging company, which built the Sturgeon Bay ship canal and many other lake and river improvements, and was a brother of the late Andrew H. Green of New York, known as the “father of Greater New York.” For many years he had been chairman of the board of trustees of New England Congregational church.
He was born and educated in Worcester, Mass., and was civil engineer on the first surveys of the New York Central lines and the Mississippi Central rallroad.
Mr. Green came to Chicago in 1855 and for several years carried on his business alone. Later he organized the Green Dredging company and remained its active head until 1898, when he retired from business. He left a widow and three children-Miss Mary Pomeroy Green, , Andrew Hugh Green, and Mrs Wyllys W. Baird.
The funeral will be held at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning at New England Congregationa church.
Inter Ocean, December 31, 1906
Oliver Bourne Green died at his home, 403 La Salle avenue, at 9 o’clock yesterday morning of general breakdown, due to his advanced years. Next Tuesday, New Year’s day, would have marked the close of his eightieth year, he having been born at Worcester, Mass., Jan. 1, 1826.
For forty years, from 1858 to 1898, Mr. Green was prominently identified with dredging and general harbor work in Chicago and the great lakes. During that period there was little work of any importance here or on the chain of lakes with which he was not identified. His most pretentious work was the building of the Sturgeon bay ship canal, several miles long, connecting Green bay with Lake Michigan and shortening the distance between Menominee and Marinette and Lake Michigan points. Mr. Green oparated a number of dredges under the firm name of the Green Dredging company.
Much Given to Charity.
In spite of his extensive engineering operations, Mr. Green left only a moderate fortune because of his liberality. He gave freely to charities and to educational and philanthropic institutions. He was especially interested in minor institutions. His method of giving corresponded with his manner of living. He’ was a modest man and endeavored to avoid notoriety of any kind.
During the entire period of his residence in Chicago Mr. Green was an active member of the New England Congregational church. He was also a member of the Western Society of Engineers.
Taught School In Youth.
Mr. Green had the educational advantages of the infant, primary, and classical schools of Worcester, Mass. Before he engaged in engineering work he taught school for two years in the rural districts.
On Aug. 28, 1885, he married Emily Louisa Pomeroy of Chicago, who survives him.
Three children were born to them, all of whom are still living—Mary Pomeroy Green, Mrs. Willis W. Baird, and Andrew Hugh Green.
Funeral services will be held at the New England Congregationa) church at 11 o’clock
Tuesday. The place of interment has not yet been decided upon.
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