Greene Line Documents


I reformatted this so the most interesting parts of the brochure could be showcased in one composite.


Delta Queen poster.


RIVER QUEEN in a 1964 press release

RIVER QUEEN in an 8 x 10 press release photo from 1964. Written on the back was the boat's previous name, the GORDON C. GREENE. This may have been used with a news item regarding the towing of the RIVER QUEEN from Hannibal, MO to St. Louis MO.

Lilac Tow


The H.K. Bedford and a montage of six of the photo illustrations from J. Mack Gamble's story on the H.K., Bedford. Pictured here are Captains Mary and Gordon Greene, Captain J. Mack Gamble, Captain Jesse Hughes & Mr. & Mrs. Bevan.

Sternwheel Packet (1885-1912)
Way's Packet Directory Number 2491
Captain Gordon C. Greene (1890); Captain Henry R. Kraft, Charles and C. Augustus Frantz (1898)

Captain A.T. Armstrong (master, 1886); W.W. Parminter (clerk); Captain Gordon C. Greene (master, 1897); Captain Henry R. Kraft (master, 1912); Captain Mary B. Greene (master, 1897); Monroe Greenwood (clerk, 1897); Robert M. McCall (clerk, 1897); J.A. Voegtly (clerk, 1892); Tim Penwell (clerk, 1890); A.J. Slayen (clerk, 1886)
1885 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards. Home port or owner's residence circa 1885, Wheeling, West Virginia.
Original price, $5,600.
Built for the upper Cumberland River. In the fall of 1886, she ran low water trades out of Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1890, after purchase by Captain Greene, she entered the Pittsburgh-Wheeling trade, the beginning of Greene Line Steamers, Incorporated. She later ran Pittsburgh-Charleston. A texas was built on her in 1897 but was removed in 1898. In 1897 she was under charter to the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company with Captain Mary B. Greene as master--the first time a woman had been in charge of an L and C packet. After being sold in 1898, she ran Pittsburgh-Parkersburg. On February 3, 1910 she collided with the towboat Little Fred at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while backing out of the Monongahela River. Damage to her was $150. On June 12, 1910 she collided with the Sunshine while both were ascending the Ohio River above Freedom, Pennsylvania at the foot of Wallary Bar. The only damage was a portion of the H.K. BEDFORD's guard torn off, value $60. In early 1912, she was laid up by ice at Marietta; she started for Pittsburgh, but was cut down by ice at Bean's Landing, Ohio at Carpenter Bar not far above Marietta, on February 27, 1912. The wreck was removed during low water in 1914.

Captain A.T. Armstrong (master, 1886); W.W. Parminter (clerk); Captain Gordon C. Greene (master, 1897); Captain Henry R. Kraft (master, 1912); Captain Mary B. Greene (master, 1897); Monroe Greenwood (clerk, 1897); Robert M. McCall (clerk, 1897); J.A. Voegtly (clerk, 1892); Tim Penwell (clerk, 1890); A.J. Slayen (clerk, 1886)


Attached today's arrival . . . letterhead and envelope from the GORDON. C. GREENE scanned with the best of my 8 different "real photo post cards" of the boat. Rather modern styling for the steamboat "logo" art. She was withdrawn from service in 1951, this could date from the last years she was operated by Greene Line Steamers.


1927 stock certificate for the DELTA QUEEN & DELTA KING

Unused stock certificate for The California Transportation Company Incorporated March 31st 1927 Photographic vignette of the DELTA QUEEN or DELTA KING featured in the upper third of the certificate.



Attached scan combining half the cover with rates from inside on an early brochure for the RIVER LINES running the DELTA KING and DELTA QUEEN between San Francisco and Sacramento on the Sacramento River. This dates from 1939 per promotion within the brochure for the Golden Gate International Exposition "A Pageant of the Pacific" which a World's Fair held at San Franciso from February to December 1939. Also attached an enhanced photo of the DELTA QUEEN promoting the "Delta Route" inside the brochure.


I bought this 18 x 24 inch poster in the DELTA QUEEN's gift shop in Sept '93 and over a span of days en route from Memphis to Cincinnati I took it around and requested folks employed on the boat to sign it for me. It's too clumsy to scan in pieces and reassemble so I photographed it instead and finessed it in Photoshop to enhance it a bit.



We have Captain Charles J.R. Peterson's photo in my collection but thought you'd also enjoy having his thank you note to Erba and Elizabeth Heckel of Riverside, CA.

The sisters sent him the photo one of them had taken of him in August, 1938 during their voyage on the DELTA QUEEN.

The Captain advised them not to take too seriously a news article written by then Chief of Naval Operations (Peterson refers to the office as "the Bureau of Navigation"). William Daniel Leahy took an enviable inspection tour of all boats that navigated on the Mississippi tributaries then wrote a "spoof" article about it. Will have to look for that, it sounds like it would be a "hoot." Surely Fred Way knew about it. I also have a letter from Elizabeth to Erba and one from the girls' mother to Erba, both of which were written aboard the DELTA QUEEN on the same stationery during a 1937 cruise.


Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy (May 6, 1875 - July 20, 1959) was an American naval officer who served as the senior-most United States military officer on active duty during World War II.

He held multiple titles and was at the center of all the major military decisions the United States made in World War II.

In 1933, Leahy came ashore in Washington as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation for two years.

He went to sea as a vice admiral, and Commander Battleships Battle Force. In 1936, he hoisted his four-star flag in California as Commander in Chief Battle Force.

He was appointed Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), took the oath of office in January 1937 to serve until August 1939 when he was placed on the retired list. On that occasion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "Bill, if we have a war, you're going to be right back here helping me run it."

As Chief of Naval Operations from 1937 to 1939, he was the senior officer in the Navy, overseeing the preparations for war.

After retiring from the Navy, he was appointed in 1939 by his close friend President Roosevelt as Governor of Puerto Rico. In his most controversial role, he served as the United States Ambassador to France 1940-42, but had limited success in keeping the Vichy government free of German control.

Transcript of Peterson's hand written letter:

Sept. 18 - (19)38 [ON BOARD] Delta Queen

Misses Erba & Elizabeth Heckel Dear Friends

I have just received your letter, pictures & clipping. I appreciate them all very much and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for them. The pictures are very clear which speaks well for a good camera.

The clipping is the creation of a joke by Capt. Leahy of the Bureau of Navigation, Washington D.C. when he was on an inspection tour of all vessels on the Mississippi river and its tributaries, there is no serious thought connected with it.


Just as I was sitting here writing this letter to you a crowd of 350 people came aboard the Delta Queen at Sacramento from the Western Pacific Rail Road depot to see the boat. I took them around and showed them everything and they all seem to enjoy it. We are still carrying big crowds and the weather is ideal for traveling. The boat is sold out tonight and what a noisy crowd they will be.

Hoping this finds you well and happy.

I am truly yours
Chas. J.R. Peterson
528 Grove St S.F.
or str. Delta Queen Pier 3.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.