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Daniel J. Morrell 1906 - 1966

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Built by West Bay City Ship Building Co. of West Bay City, MI as hull # 619. Launched on August 22, 1906 as DANIEL J. MORRELL for the Cambria Steamship Co. of Cleveland, OH. Dimensions: 600 loa x 58 beam x 32 depth; 7239 GRT, 5419 NRT. Powered by a 1,878 ihp triple expansion steam engine. Departed Bay City on September 24, 1906 on her maiden voyage.

The DANIEL J. MORRELL was managed by Hanna from 1906 to the end of the 1926 sailing season. Management changed to Bethlehem Transportation Corp. from 1927 to 1966. Two new Babcock & Wilcox coal-fired water tube boilers were installed in 1945 to replace the original boilers. Tonnage changed to: 7,763 GRT, 6,216 NRT. In 1956 the vessel was repowered with a 3,200 ihp three cylinder Skinner Uniflow steam engine.

On the night of November 28-29, 1966 while sailing in-ballast from Buffalo, NY to Taconite Harbor, MN the DANIEL J. MORRELL encountered a gale on Lake Huron that was generating winds up to 57 knots. At 2am on November 29, 26 miles northeast of Harbor Beach, MI the DANIEL J. MORRELL broke in two and sank. Of the 29 man crew there was one survivor, watchman Dennis Hale.

 

Daniel J. Morrell 1906 - 1926
(Cambria Steamship Co.)

Postcard view of the launch on August 22, 1906.
(From the William Forsythe collection)

Another postcard view of the launch August 22, 1906.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

Daniel Johnson Morrell (1821-1885), photo circa 1870. American iron merchant and politician in Johnstown, PA from 1837-65, with Cambria Iron Company and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1866-1870.
(Courtesy of J. Belliveau)

Postcard view of Daniel J. Morrell and L.C. Hanna at Dock #10 at Ashtabula, OH.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Postcard view circa 1910. Detroit River with the J.W. Westcott Company preparing to deliver Mail-By-The-Pail via row boat as was done at the time.
(From the William Forsythe collection)

Stern view showing her Cambria Steamship stack. New
(Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress collection)

Stuck in the ice on the St. Marys River. New
L-R: Daniel J. Morrell, Charles S. Hebard, 3 unknown, Admiral
(Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress collection)

Closer view of the Morrell and Hebard. New
(Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress collection)

Another view of the beset fleet. New
(Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress collection)

Closer view of the Morrell and H. R. Hanna. New
(Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress collection)

   
Daniel J. Morrell 1927 - 1929
(Hanna Mining)

Upbound at Mission Point Coast Guard lookout station early in her career.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Colorized Detroit Publishing Postcard version of previous picture. Mission Point area of the St. Marys River is noted as Hay Lake Cut.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Very early postcard view with a double-high pilothouse in Hanna colors.
(From the William Forsythe collection)

 
Daniel J. Morrell 1930 - 1966
(Bethlehem Transportation Co.)

At dock 1931, man standing on anchor.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Man standing on anchor 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Man on deck looking aft 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Man changing a sign just aft of the pilot house 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

On deck looking aft 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Mending hatch tarps 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Patching hatch tarps 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Man with children 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Sitting on a ladder on deck 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Man standing on forward superstructure with double deck pilot house in background 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Unknown ship passing 1931.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre III collection)

Daniel J. Morrell, 1936 Soo Canal.
(I am in front of the ship at age 11 - Eric B. Johnston)

Downbound and loaded.
(From the Russ Plumb collection)

Downbound August 12, 1941.
(Photo by C.G. Depot from the Tom Manse collection)

The Morrell over taking the William P. Cowan while the Col. James Pickands goes through the middle at Marine City, MI. New
(Matt Miner collection)

Circa 1940's.
(From the William Forsythe collection)

In the Soo Locks.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Loading at the Chicago & Northwestern Dock in Ashland, WI. Date unknown.
(From the Chris Mazzella Collection)

Downbound at Mission Point.
(From the Chris Mazzella Collection)

Downbound at Mission Point.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Passing downbound in the St. Mary's River.
(From the Ron Beaupre collection)

Sailing in-ballast.
(Photo by Father Peter Van der Linden from the Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

At the P&O Dock at Whiskey Island, Cleveland, OH. Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV from the Fred Bultman V collection)

At the P&O Dock at Whiskey Island, Cleveland, OH. Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV from the Fred Bultman V collection)

At Cleveland, OH. Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV from the Fred Bultman V collection)

At the Erie Dock on the back channel of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH. Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV from the Fred Bultman V collection)

In the St. Clair River 1957.
(Photo by Sterling Berry, courtesy of MHSD)

Upbound.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Sailing in ballast.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

Under the Bluewater Bridge in the early 1960s.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Downbound at the Soo Locks, September 1961.
(From the Rich Weiss collection)

Upbound and light.
(From the Rich Weiss collection)

Sailing loaded, location unknown.
(From the Jim Hoffman collection)

Upbound at Mission Point in ballast.
(From the Jim Hoffman collection)

Sailing in ballast with coal smoke.
(From the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Upbound at Port Huron.
(Photo by Paul Michaels from the Jim Hoffman collection)

Upbound at Mission Point.
(From the Jim Hoffman collection)

In the Detroit River with mailboat J. W. Westcott II alongside.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

St. Clair River 1965. Note: Watchman Dennis Hale on watch at bow.
(From the Father Peter Van der Linden collection courtesy of John Belliveau)

Zoomed in view of previous picture with Dennis Hale on watch.
(Photo signed by Dennis Hale from the John Belliveau collection)

Upbound in the St. Clair River 1965.
(Photo by Emory Massman from the Steve Haverty collection)

Stern view. It is not certain that this picture was actually taken in November 1966, but is was developed in November of '66.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

Downbound on Lake Huron November 25, 1966 at 11:00am.
(Photo by Thomas A. "Andy" Sykora, submitted from the William Forsythe collection and courtesy of GLHS)

Downbound St. Clair River opposite the Pine River just below the St. Clair Inn on November 25, 1966 at 5:00pm. This is the last known photo for the Daniel J. Morrell.
(Photo by Emory Massman)



Waterline & full hull scale profile drawings of the Daniel J. Morrell.
(Drawings by John Belliveau)

     

Survivor Dennis Hale speaking at Welland Canal Gathering October 18, 2002.
(Boatnerd archives)

Dennis Hale enjoying the Mission Point Picnic during Engineer's Weekend at the Soo, June 2006.
(Boatnerd archives)

Dennis Hale signs a book for a customer at the Great Lakes Authorama, November 21, 2009 at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. Hale's wife, Barb, looks on.
(Boatnerd archives)

Daniel J. Morrell life ring, located in the museum at the Point Aux Barques Lt. The Morrell went down off the point
(Photo by Galen & Kelly Witham)

Dennis Hale at Mission Point, Sault Ste. Marie with copies of his latest book "Shipwrecked" June 2010 - Engineer's Day weekend
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

     

 

For illustrative purposes of the sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell, these six photos show the sinking of the Michipicoten {2} in 1972 (6 years after the loss for the Morrell) while on scrap tow in the Gulf of St Lawrence. The Michipicoten {2} was launched as the Henry C Frick one year prior to the Morrell by the same shipyard in August 1905. She broke very similar to the Morrell as Dennis Hale attested to.
(From the William Forsythe collection)
   

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the Daniel J. Morrell
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Unknown 1906 - 07
P.L. Millen 1908 - 17
Mathew A. Anderson 1917
P.L. Millen 1918-19
Bert M. Landfair 1920 - 31
Unknown 1932 - 35
Jere B. Sullivan 1936 - 37
Unknown 1938 - 39
Jere B. Sullivan 1940 - 45
William J. Colson 1946 - 50
George J. Brunelle 1951
J. Kenneth Pruder 1952 - 53
John Sagen 1954
George J. Brunelle 1955
John Sagen 1956 - 58
Edward Fitch Jr. 1959 - 60
Unknown 1961 - 63
Thomas J. Connelly 1964
William L. Hull 1964 - 66
Arthur J. :Red: Crawley 1966
Unknown 1906 - 07
Grant G. Donaldson 1908
James Balfour 1909 - 14
Patrick J. Ahern 1915 - 23
La Forest Benson 1924 - 31
Unknown 1932 - 35
La Forest Benson 1936 - 37
Unknown 1938
La Forest Benson 1939
Valentine "Val" Kraemer 1942 - 51
Raymond E. Wells 1952 - 54
Anthony Yokawonis 1955
Clifford L. Cheney 1956
Herbert A. Maas 1957 - 58
Henry Balcer 1959 - 60
Unknown 1961 - 63
Joseph F. Perrine 1964 - 65
John H. Schmidt 1966

 

Crew Roster of the Daniel J. Morrell November 29, 1966
Arthur J. Crawley Captain Valmour A. Marchildon First Assistant Engineer
John H. Schimdt Chief Engineer Alfred G. Norkunas Second Assistant Engineer
Phillip E. Kapets First Mate George A. Dahl Third Assistant Engineer
Duncan R. MacLeod Second Mate Wilson E. Simpson Oiler
Ernest G. Marcotte Third Mate Donald E. Worcester Oiler
Charles H. Fosbender Wheelsman Arthur S. Fargo Fireman
Henry Reischmiller Wheelsman Chester Konieczka Fireman
Stewart A. Campbell Wheelsman Leon R. Truman Coalpasser
Albert P. Whieme Watchman Saverio Grippi Coalpasser
Norman M. Bragg Watchman David L. Price Coalpasser
*Dennis N. Hale Watchman Stanley J. Satlawa Steward
Larry G. Davis Deckwatch Nicholas Homick Second Cook
John M. Groh Deckwatch Joseph A. Mahsem Porter
Arthur E. Stojek Deckhand Charles J. Sestakauskas Porter
John J. Cleary Jr. Deckhand *Denotes Survivor  

 

DEATH OF THE S. S. DANIEL MORRELL
{with 28 of her 29 man crew}

They slipped an Erie harbor in the silent night
With no thought of danger under bright moonlight
The S.S. Morrell set her course on the inland seas
Bearing up heavy in a cold rising breeze
As she steamed 'full ahead' toward a fatal scene,
On Huron's deeps, a nor'wester raged over her beams
God save our ship were the belated pleas
To the hand who stilled a storm on old Galilee,
Hurricane blasts wrecked her pilot house on the bow
A 29 man crew 'stood alert' in dark terror now
Caught in low trenches, then heaved up 20 foot waves
The hull split Morrell sank, with 28 men to her grave!

Harry J. Dean

{the sole survivor, Dennis Hale of Ashtabula, Ohio}

This Historical Perspective Gallery is dedicated to the brave men who sailed on the final voyage the Daniel J. Morrell


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Last updated: November 3, 2012.

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