The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daniel Lyons (Schooner), U6780, sunk by collision, 18 Oct 1878

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Chicago, October 19. - Yesterday morning the schooner DANIEL LYONS, owned by Lyon & Goble, of Oswego, N.Y., and valued at $15,000, with a wheat cargo on board, was sunk on Lake Michigan by collision with the schooner KATE GILLETT. Capt. Holland and crew were saved by being taken on board the GILLETT. They arrived here this afternoon.
      (The LYONS cleared from Chicago on Wednesday, October 16, with a cargo of 20,000 bushels of wheat, bound for Black Rock, Lake Ontario. The cargo was insured for $10,500. The vessel was built sometime previous to 1874, cleared A 2, and was of 317 tons register. - Ed.)
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Monday, October 21, 1878

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Friday morning the schooner DANIEL LYON, owned by Lyon & Nonle of Oswego, was sunk in Lake Michigan by collision with the GILLETT and Capt. Holland and his crew were taken aboard the KATE GILLETT and arrived at Chicago Saturday afternoon. The LYON was loaded with wheat.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, October 21, 1878

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      Caused By A Collision With The KATE GILLETT.
      The schooner DANIEL LYONS, Captain M.M. Holland, laden with wheat for Buffalo (or rather Black Rock), was sunk in Lake Michigan early on Friday morning by collision with the schooner KATE GILLETT, Captain McCarthy, from Green Bay for Chicago, with cedar posts. Captain Holland and his crew got aboard the GILLETT and arrived here on her Saturday afternoon.
      Captain Holland saved some of his clothes and the ship's books, but not her papers. The crew saved only a portion of their effects. The small boat was taken in tow by the GILLETT, and, this, with a line or two, is all that was saved to the vessel's outfit.
      It was the mate's watch on both vessels. The statement of Captain Holland is as follows:
      "The LYONS left Chicago at 1 o'clock on Thursday morning, with 20,000 bushels of wheat, shipped by D.W. Irwin & Co., of Chicago, and consigned to J.B. Griffin & Co., of Black Rock. Wind West. At 3:20 o'clock on Friday morning (it was a clear, fine night), when we were about abreast of Wolf River (Ahnapee), and five or six miles off the land, we saw both lights of a vessel. At this time the wind was about Northwest, and we were on the port tack, steering by the wind, making about a north by east course. The other vessel (which proved to be the schooner KATE GILLETT soon shut out her red light and showed only her green, until she got abreast of us, to the leeward. Then she shut in her green light and showed her red. Seeing this Mr. Madden put his wheel down, but before the LYONS went in stays the GILLETT came into us, head on, striking us half way between the main and mizzen rigging, on the starboard side, cutting half way through on deck. The collision occurred at 8:45 o'clock. The two vessels remained foul about fifteen minutes, when the LYONS went down stern first. The captain and crew remaining on board until the last moment, and then climbing up the head-gear on board the GILLETT. The GILLETT had the wind fair, and was coming along with her booms out. She was broken in some on the starboard bow, lost her jibboom and head-gear, and commenced leaking badly. The two crews took turns at the pumps until arriving in Chicago, at 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon.
The statement of Captain Jerry McCarthy of the GILLETT, does not concede that the GILLETT was to blame, but still does not conflict materially as to the positions of the two vessels and the courses they were sailing.
      The LYONS' cargo is insured for $10,500 in the Chicago cargo pool, being about one of the first cargoes written by the new pool. It is thus seen that the loss to any one company is not large. The vessel is insured in the Orient for $4,000 and the Detroit Fire & Marine for $4,000. Whether there is any more insurance than this on the hull or whether the freight list is insured is not known. The vessel ought to be insured for about $12,000 at least. She measures 318 tons, came out in 1873, being built by Goble at Oswego, classed A 1, and was valued at $15,000. She was owned by Lyons & Goble, of Oswego, and was a very fine vessel.
      The GILLETT is advanced in years. She is owned by J.V. Taylor, of Chicago, and Captain McCarthy, the latter owning a one-third interest. Captain McCarthy is a good, careful navigator, and always has good men with him as mates and seamen. He has a lot of friends, all of whom express great regret at his bad luck.
      In the event of a suit against the owners of the GILLETT, the vessel, of course, is all that can be recovered, and she will not bring one-seventh of the loss on the LYONS and her cargo.
      The dispatches announcing that the topmasts of a vessel are above the water in the neighborhood of Ahnapee allude to the LYONS.
      Racine, Wis., Oct. 19. -- Captain Councer, of the schooner SKYLARK, which arrived here this morning, reports a large schooner sunk, crosstrees under, about eight miles north of Ahnapee and about five miles from shore. Captain Councer hauled up to her, and judges from the lay of the spars that there had been a collision, the fore-mast being carried away. He says her topmasts, from the topmast rigging up, are painted white, with gilt balls on the top, flying a red and blue fly, apparently new.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      Monday, October 21, 1878

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      THE SINKING OF THE DANIEL LYONS. - The following, relative to the sinking of the schooner DANIEL LYONS, is from the Chicago Tribune of Yesterday: " A serious collision occurred on Lake Michigan last Friday evening, by which the schooner DANIEL LYONS, owned by Messrs. Lyons & Goble, of Oswego, was sunk by the schooner KATE GILLETT, and, with a cargo of 20,000 bushels of rejected wheat, is a total loss. The total value of the lost vessel and cargo is about $25,000. Fortunately, the officers and crew, consisting of the captain, mate, and six sailors, were safely taken from the vessel, and arrived here Saturday evening on board the KATE GILLETT. The disaster happened about 5 miles abreast of Wolf River, near Ahnapee, on the west shore. Captain M.M. Holland, who was in command of the DANIEL LYONS, reports that his vessel left this port last Thursday morning, at 1 o'clock, bound for Black Rock, N.Y., with a cargo of wheat consigned to G.B. Griffin & Co., and shipped by D.W. Irwin & Co., of this city. The GILLETT struck the LYONS stem on, on the starboard side, between the mainmast and the mizzenmast, and cut into her several feet, opening a gap that caused her to sink in 15 minutes afterwards. The collision occurred at 3:45 o'clock. The GILLETT's jibboom was thrust through the mainsail of the LYONS, and was broken off, and the former also has a good sized hole knocked in her starboard bow. Immediately after the collision, Capt. Holland and his men got off the LYONS and were taken on board the GILLETT. The injured vessel began settling down aft after the GILLETT struck her, and careening over on the port side, sank in 18 fathoms of water. Capt. Holland and his crew had barely time to get their clothing and small effects from the vessel before she went down.
The GILLETT came on to this port shortly after the disaster. She is commanded by Captain McCarty, and at the time of the unfortunate occurrence was bound to this port with a cargo of cedar post from Cedar River. She is owned by J.V. Taylor, of this city. The DANIEL LYONS was an A 1 canal schooner, of 318 tons, and was built by George Goble, one of the present owners, in 1873, at Oswego.
Her valuation was placed at $15,300 some time ago. The Orient Mutual Insurance Company is said to have a risk of $4,000 on the hull, and the Detroit Fire and Marine Company a similar amount. Capt. Holland does not know just how much insurance there is on the vessel. The cargo is insured in the Marine Insurance Pool for $10,500, all the companies having risks according to their number of shares in that combination. From the fact that the LYONS was sailing by the wind, which was northwest, and heading northeast, and the GILLETT free, and the latter having struck the former - stem on - and on, the starboard quarter, when the LYONS was on her port tack, it is said by mariners, qualified to speak, that both vessels must have luffed up just before they came in contact..
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Tuesday, October 22, 1878

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LYONS, DANIEL schooner of 318 tons, built Oswego by Geo. Goble in July 1873. Owned by Lyon & Goble. Home port, Oswego. Value $19,000 Class A 1. --- 3 masts.
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Vessel Classification List, 1875

Schooner DANIEL LYONS. U. S. No. 6780. Of 317 tons. Built Oswego, N.Y., 1873, by George Goble. 3 masted schooner. Lost by collision on Lake Michigan, 1878.
      Herman Runge Notes

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $15,000
Cargo: $10,000
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 44.60889 Longitude: -87.43259
William R. McNeil
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Daniel Lyons (Schooner), U6780, sunk by collision, 18 Oct 1878