Steamboat People, page 2

Mark Twain & D.T. Gov's Office Jeff City 2007 no margins

Humble self in the Missouri State Capital in the Governor's office with the portrait depicting Sam Clemens in the pilot house of the MARK TWAIN, a St. Louis harbor boat that was renamed for him in time for his last visit to the Mississippi River in 1902.

I have to confirm the artist's name, I think it was Gari Melcher but we'll have to confirm that (we have a photo of the painting elsewhere in my wing of the museum and the painter's name is in the caption). I am working from a substitute computer while my main one is in the shop and I'm not set up to browse your museum without losing this message.

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Photos of Dan Martin on the left (Weatherbird and Postcards from Mound City Cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and Dave Thomson on the right, taken in September 1991 in the pilot house of the LONE STAR at LeClaire, IOWA. Included at center is the cover of Dan's Weatherbird book and a drawing he made in Dave's copy of the book.

"We had just completed a round trip from Le Claire to Galena, Illinois aboard the JULIA BELLE SWAIN and toured the old STAR together when we got back to LeClaire. Thankfully the LONE STAR is now under protective housing on the same site where she's shielded from the elements. I haven't had a chance to visit the STAR in her new accommodations but they look excellent from the few photos I have seen."

KETC Living St. Louis
Interview with Dan Martin, by Patrick Murphy of the St Louis Post Dispatch
April 3, 2008

From KETC, Living St. Louis Producer Patrick Murphy tells the story behind the famous Post-Dispatch Weatherbird, which first appeared in newspaper in 1901. Dan Martin is the sixth artist to have drawn the bird—having created more than 6000 different cartoons.

More info. on Dan and his book: Dan Martin and the St. Louis Cartoon Connection by Jim Allen
The Story of the First 100 Years of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Weatherbird: The Oldest Continuously Running Daily Cartoon in American Journalism, by Dan Martin

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Fred Way Jr. aboard the Washington, autographed.

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Dave Thomson's colorized photograph of Captain David M. Cook on the third Corps of Engineers boat called the MISSISSIPPI.

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Verne Streckfus 1989 pilot house of Natchez at New Orleans (above).

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Captain Gabe Chengery (left), master of the Delta Queen, and Captain Norman Hillman in 1993. Capt. Hillman is the author of One Man and the Mighty Mississippi

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Captain Hillman's book: One Man and the Mighty Mississippi (click to see it at



From La Crosse's "River People" category came this charming photo of one of the QUEEN CITY's roustabouts with the steamboat's beloved mascot, a female dog named QUEEN. There are a number of other photos of pets on board boats and this one is particularly good. The lens flare lower right is too difficult to be corrected.


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.