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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

QUAYLE, THOMAS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

QUAYLE, THOMAS (9 May 1811-31 Jan. 1895), with his partner, John S. Martin, an important Cleveland shipbuilder, and Democratic city councilman, was born on the Isle of Man where he learned ship carpentry. Coming to the U.S. with his parents in 1827, he became an apprentice ship carpenter and entered into his first shipbuilding partnership in 1847 with John Cody. In 1850 he took on a new partner, Luther Moses, and the business prospered, with sometimes 7 ships under construction at once. But it was the partnership of Quayle and Martin (1854-1874), that enjoyed the greatest success, building as many as 12 or 13 ships a year and by 1865 turning business away. Quayle continued building ships after Martin's death, taking on 2 of his sons, Thos. E. and Geo. L., as partners in Quayle & Sons. Quayle's firms built some of the largest wooden ships on the lakes, such as the 2,082-ton Commodore in 1875, reportedly the largest ship on the lakes at the time. They were considered pioneers in the development of the large wooden propellers. When the elder Quayle retired from shipbuilding in the early 1880s, a third son, William, joined the firm and the business continued as Thos. Quayle's Sons for the next decade, until steel vessels replaced wooden ships on the lakes. Quayle married twice. His first marriage was to Eleanor Cannon (d. 1860) in 1835; they had 11 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood: Thomas, William, George, Charles, Matilda, Kate, Mary, and Caroline. In 1867 he married Mary Proudfoot. Quayle died in Cleveland and was buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 05:11:37 PM

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