The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
W. M. Eagan (Propeller), 16 Apr 1887

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The Steamship W.M.EAGAN
      Captain W.M. Eagan came out as master of the OCEAN WAVE, built by Peck & Masters, in 1854, and he is now a vessel owner and broker in Chicago. But his namesake, the fine steamship W.M. EAGAN, will come out in 1887. The W.M. EAGAN will be launched at Radcliffe's yard on Saturday at 3 p.m. The inception of this steamer was with Captain George Berriman, who has watched her progress closely during the winter bur her fine model and staunch build attracted the attention of Captain Eagan on a visit to Cleveland early in the spring and a dicker was made by which he and Fitzgerald and others became the purchasers for $125,000.
      This new steamer is 268 feet over all, 250 feet keel, 39 feet beam, and 21 foot depth of hold, with a capacity of 2,100 tons. She has double decks 11 feet in the lower hold, and 10 feet in the upper, and an iron boiler house, steel arches 16 and 1 inch, inside and out with steel cord. Her extra floors extends from the forward to the after cants. She will carry three spars.
      Her machinery, fore and aft compound, was built by the King Iron Works, H.G. Trout & Company, Buffalo. The cylinders are 28 by 45 and 52 by 45, duplicate of the GEORGE T. HOPE's machinery, and expected to develope 560 horse power. The boilers were built by the Lake Erie Boiler Works, Hammond & Coon, Buffalo, and are 16 by 9 feet of three-quarter inch o.d. steel. Her 12 feet wheel was made by Trout of Buffalo.
      The rigging outfit will be furnished by Grover & Sons; the iron work has been done by Ward & Jackson, shipsmiths; the plumbing and fitting by Fred Saal's Son steam fitting by John Thompson. Messrs Bassett & Presley, iron merchants have supplied all the iron entering into her construction. She has a pony engine on deck for hoisting cargo, making sail and working pumps; and steam windlass and steam steering gear.
      The W.M. EAGAN has been pronounced by experts to be the finest model and as well finished and staunch as has ever been launched at Radcliffe's yard, and the equal of anything ever turned loose on the lakes. She will go into the grain trade.
Captain Fred LaSalle, an experienced sailor and a genial gentleman , who was in command of the Lehigh liner, TACOMA four years, has been appointed master. Chief engineer, Wise; assistant engineer, Mr.Fred Gilbert; mate, Mr. Lou Powell.
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. April 14, 1887

      . . . . .
      The finest modeled steamboat ever turned out by Mr. Radcliffe was launched on Saturday, with many spectators present. The new boat is named FRANK L.VANCE, and she will go into the line of the Milwaukee Steamship Co., which has headquarters at that port. Quite a number of people witnessed the launch, among whom were the owners. She combines in her construction all the fine points of the other vessels of the line, launched during the summer, the ROSWELL P. FLOWER, built at Milwaukee; the WILEY M. EAGAN, built at this port (Cleveland); and the R.P. FITZGERALD, built at Detroit. The addition of the FRANK L.VANCE to the others gives to the Milwaukee Steamship Co., four of the finest steamers on the lakes.
The contract for her construction was made with Captain George Berriman, but the purchase of the steamer WILEY M. EAGAN, and the satisfaction she gave to the Milwaukee Company, led them to make overtures to Captain Berriman for the second boat, and their proposition being accepted by Captain Berriman, she was named the FRANK L. VANCE, after one of the owners of the line, and launched in that interest.
The dimensions of the FRANK L. VANCE are as follows:- Keel 255 feet, over all 272 feet, beam 39 feet, hold 22 feet. She has three steel arches, two on the outside 12 x threequarter inch. Her machinery is a fore and aft compound engine, cylinders 28 and 50 inches, with a 45 inch stroke, built by H.G. Trout of Buffalo, and two fire box boilers 9 x 15 feet, built by the same firm. She carries three masts, and is fitted out with all the modern improvements, steam steerer, and Providence steam windlass, and capstan from the American Ship Windlass Co., Providence R.I., and an iron boiler house, built by A.T. Van Tassel & Co. These gentlemen are making a specialty now of iron boiler houses, having built one on the ROBERT R. RHODES, SAMUEL MATHER, HORACE A. TUTTLE, and FRANK L. VANCE. The house on the VANCE is 24 x 25 and 18 feet high, of No.10 plate, built on T and angle iron, and the owners of the above mentioned boats are well pleased with them. The Van Tasel & Co., also did the tanks, plumbing and general outfit.
      It is said that the FRANK L. VANCE has as fine a fitout as any freight boat on the lakes, which has been done under the supervision of captain Marion Tinney, who brought out the R.P. FLOWER, this season. Captain Tinney will command the VANCE, Joseph Schumacher, chief engineer; John Gilbert, first mate; E. Harrison, second mate. The cost of the VANCE is $130,000. She will be ready for sea next week
      The Marine record
      Thurs. Sept. 29, 1887 p. 4

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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W. M. Eagan (Propeller), 16 Apr 1887