Muskegon, Michigan - The steamer JOHN V. MORAN, owned by the Crosby Transportation Co. was wrecked in the ice on Lake Michigan yesterday afternoon about twenty miles off this shore. The ill-fated steamer left Milwaukee February 9 at 1 p.m. and that evening sprung a leak which is supposed to have been caused by the ice crushing a hole in her hull.
The news was brought to this city early this morning by Capt. Thompson of the car ferry MUSKEGON, who sighted the steamer about 5 o'clock yesterday evening. Noticing her condition he ran up to within fifty feet of her and found that she had been abandoned and appeared to be sinking rapidly. The Crosby steamer NAOMI could be seen about three miles away and Capt. Thompson's supposition was that the crew of the MORAN had escaped to her. When he left she had sunk aft to the guard rails and her bow was higher out of the water. As long as he could see her she was still floating.
The NAOMI left Manitowoc at the same time the MORAN left Milwaukee. Thursday evening they came together in the lake and proceeded in company. A short time later the MORAN was found to be leaking badly and the water rushed in volumes too great to be pumped out. As the boat was filling rapidly, the NAOMI pulled up alongside and at 12:30 Thursday night the crew of the MORAN was transferred to the NAOMI. Friday morning the MORAN was still afloat and the NAOMI went back to her and tried to tow her. They proceeded five or six miles toward Muskegon, but it became evident that it would be impossible to save her, so she was stripped of all the things that could be taken from her and abandoned to her fate. Late yesterday afternoon the NAOMI left her and started for Grand Haven, arriving at about 5 o'clock this afternoon with all the MORAN's crew safe on board. The MORAN was heavily ironed to withstand the work of crushing against heavy ice. She had a capacity for carrying more than 100 full carloads and when she left Milwaukee she was loaded with a cargo of package freight, mostly flour.
Bowling Green Newspaper Scrapbooks
February 11, 1899
" Mentioned the steamer JOHN V. MORAN sprang a leak and foundered February 10, 1899 about 12 miles off the entrance to Muskegon Lake" --- condensed extract.
Chicago Inter Ocean
April 26, 1899
Steamer JOHN V. MORAN foundered off Grand haven February 16, 1899. Owned by Crosby Transportation Co., Milwaukee. Value of vessel, $1,500. Approx. value of loss, $50,000.
Casualty List for 1899
December 21, 1899
JOHN V. MORAN. Built Aug. 16, 1888 Package Freight Propeller -Wood
U. S. No. 76748 1350 gt -1035 nt 214' x 37' x 22.2'
Sunk by ice off Muskegon, Mich., Lake Michigan, February 7, 1899.
Frank Wheeler & Co., West Bay City Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes Research