The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
W. & J. Connell (Tug), 5 May 1894

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Messrs. O'Grady and Maher, the well known tug builders of this city, have just completed a fine new tug to be called the W.&J. CONNELL for the Connell Bros. of Oswego, for harbor work at that port. The dimensions breadth of beam, 15 ft. 6 inches; depth of hold, 9 ft., with engine 19 x 19, and boiler in length and diameter. The new tug is to take the place of the REDFORD, lost last fall, her captain Featherstonehaugh, being drowned; the thrilling experience and narrow escape of the engineer and deck hand is still fresh in the minds of the citizens of Oswego. The Connell Bros. are to be congratulated upon their commendable enterprise in so soon recovering their loss. The new tug leaves Buffalo Harbor flying a flag of the Buffalo Harbor Tug Pilots' Assoc.
She leaves for her destination during the coming week with Capt. Sidney Parish, well known in this city and Tonawanda, in command, and John Connell, as engineer.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      May 5, 1894 3-5

      The New Tug Connell.
      The new tug W. & J. Connell, built by O¹Grady & Maher, of Buffalo, for the Connell brothers and Robert Downey of this city, arrived here yesterday. The Connell is a handsome boat, seventy feet long, fifteen and a half feet beam and drawing eight feet of water aft. The machinery was built in Buffalo, the engine being a nineteen square. She has a 110 horsepower boiler. The Lloyd register valuation of the boat is ten thousand
The tug will be used for lake and harbor towing. The boat is exceptionally high-sided. She was designed that way for a purpose. When sent on lake towing her coal bunkers will be filled with fuel and the draught of water materially increased. When doing harbor work the bunkers will be empty and the Connell will be able to run to any dock in the harbor. She is finished off in fine style. Her cabin is large and commodious and has
accommodations for eight persons.
Captain Sidney Parish, of Tonawanda, is master and John Connell is engineer. On her trip from Buffalo here the Connell gave all the evidences of being a fast boat. leaving Buffalo they got a great send off from all the tugs in the harbor. When the Connell was sighted coming down the lake yesterday she was watched by hundreds of people from the banks and the piers.
She entered the harbor with the Stars and Stripes flying and her whistle returning the salutes from the boats of the Oswego fleet. The Connell was taken to pier five in the East Cove, where she was inspected by a large number of citizens. It has not yet been decided whether or not she will go into the association. If she does not it is safety to say that she will do nearly all of the towing connected with the Ontario & Western trestle.
      Oswego Palladium
      Monday, May 15, 1894

Also, Pat Labodie provides this bit of extra information:

      W & J. CONNELL was later AMERICA, LAFAYETTE (c.1908), and SODUS (1916-17); she burned in 1928 under the last name, but I have no details. 1899 Great Lakes Register says her engine was built 1890 at
Kingsford Machine Works in Oswego and was used when it was installed in the CONNELL, as was the boiler.

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new vessel Buffalo
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William R. McNeil
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W. & J. Connell (Tug), 5 May 1894