Steamboat Paintings by Ralph Law

steamboat illustration
Original Ralph Law painting of the QUINCY which often frequented Hannibal, Missouri. A much photographed boat, I must have more photos and postcards of the QUINCY than any other. Width of painting seen here about 18 3/4 inches.

Some history gathered from Riverboat Dave's site:

The QUINCY was launched 1896 at the Howard Yard for the Diamond Jo Line Dimensions 264.7' X 42' X 6.8' Ran St. Louis to St. Paul, Upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers 1906, July, sank and raised at Trempealeau Mountain, Wisconsin. 1917 ran St. Louis - New Orleans

1918-19, remodeled extensively and renamed the "J.S." DELUXE after Capt. John Streckfus. Some of her original equipment came from the GEM CITY.

painting detail

Here's a detail of the Law painting which may be worth including. Hairs from his brushes stuck to the illustration board here and there. I saw Law's painting of the SPRAGUE in Nauvoo many years ago but it was 10 time what I paid for the QUINCY.


Vintage photo of folks on the river bank posing in front of the Quincy's paddlebox.


Ralph Law watercolor of the DUBUQUE

A colorful watercolor by Ralph Law of the DUBUQUE with diamond shaped "Diamond Jo" emblem under the name board on the pilot house. Above the sternwheel the name board reads "DUBUQUE of ST. LOUIS."

The last steamboat to be named DUBUQUE was originally named the "PITTSBURGH" when it was constructed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1879.

The boat was purchased by Joseph "Diamond Jo" REYNOLDS in 1881 and operated as part of his steamship line until a storm destroyed much of her upper deck. The PITTSBURGH was towed to Eagle Point. At the Diamond Jo Boat Yards repairs were made under the direction of Captain John F. Killeen. Renamed the DUBUQUE, the boat returned to operation until purchased by the Streckfus line and converted to an excursion boat named the CAPITOL.

In her final years of operation, the CAPITOL ran as far north as Stillwater, Minnesota, and then moved south near New Orleans during the winter.


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.