Ephemera - Grave Markers


Captain John Mason. J. M. Converse

Greetings Steam Boat Dave

Thought you might like this one. The attached picture is of a new grave marker for Steam Boat Captain, John Mason Converse, my great, great, grandfather.

Its located in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis. As you know many of the old Steam Boat Captains are buried there.

Captain Converse didn't have a grave marker so I decided to install a new one for him. So even in 2017 the memories of those old steam boat people are still remembered. Thank you for all the work you did to record everything possible regarding the inland waterway Steam Boats and the related people.

Larry Leiper
Shiloh, Illinois

John Mason Converse was a steam boat captain on the Mississippi river. He died in a steam boat boiler explosion on the Mississippi river near new Madrid, Mo, in 1859.


Photo taken in 1949 by Paul Piaget for the HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey) of the gravestone of Captain William Hauk in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. Found a clue about Hauk online . . . that he died in Vicksburg, Mississippi and was transported (probably by steamboat) to St. Louis for burial. So far haven't discovered Hauk's date of birth and death.


The following comes from a caption under the same photo in MISSISSIPPI PANORAMA, a 1949 catalogue made for a spectacular exhibition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis comprising art work, artifacts and models depicting the Mississippi River and its steamboats. This catalogue is a real treasure and a must for the library of any enthusiast of Mississippi River commerce, plenty of neat illustrations.

Captain Claiborne Greene Wolff's Monument, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis photographed by Paul Piaget in 1947

Capt. Wolff, called George by his friends, was born in Louisville in 1829 and died October 18, 1881.

"He sleeps amid the peaceful shades of Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, and his ashes repose beneath a monument erected by his many friends. Carved thereon, in enduring marble, is the representation of a Mississippi River steamboat, fitting symbol of his chosen and idolized vocation."


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.