Steamboat Photos, page 10


BELLE OF THE BENDS (Packet, 1898-1918)

Sidewheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 0531

Built in 1898 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard for Vicksburg and Greenville Packet Company J.J. Powers president and D.C.B. Robinson supervised construction. Original price $33,500; home port or owner's residence circa 1898 was Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Captain A.F. Nimtz (1900); Charlie Kain (clerk, 1901); Harry Bumgartner (clerk, 1901); Henry McFarland (clerk, 1901); Billy Newbill (pilot, 1901); Joe Delahunt (pilot, 1901); Mike O'Keefe (engineer, 1901); George Meir (engineer, 1901); James McGowan (steward, 1901); Captain Sam G. Smith (manager and purser, 1907); Captain Maurice Killeen (master, 1913); Captain Milt Henry (1914); Tom Parker (pilot, 1914); Captain George F. Carroll (master, 1914); Captain Frank Gill (master, May 1914); Captain Steve E. Greenwell (1915); Ed. Hellings (engineer, 1914-15); Captain Morrissy (1910); J.O. Tayon (pilot)

Mississippi River; Cumberland River
One of the more handsome of medium-sized sidewheelers; had all the Anchor Line grace, double stages and all. Ran Greenville-Vicksburg for many years--from 1899-1904 or later made twice weekly mail runs between those two cities for the packet company of that name. Was flagship of the parade celebrating the opening of the canal at Vicksburg when the Yazoo River mouth was diverted on January 17, 1903 - quite an occasion inasmuch as Vicksburg had virtually been cut off the river since Centennial Cut Off which happened April 26, 1876. Sank at Peeler's Landing, 40 miles above Vicksburg, September 1909, and was raised. Sank at Fitler's Landing, 20 miles below Lake Providence during a snowstorm in February 1910 and was raised.

Another version states that she was caught in a heavy snowstorm while proceeding up the Mississippi River shortly after leaving Hayes Landing, Mississippi on February 10, 1910 and ran aground at full speed on a sand bar; estimated damage $10,000. Then operated by Captain Morrissy; ran excursions at New Orleans in the winter 1910-11. Used in the Nashville grain trade after 1904. Was converted into an excursion boat and renamed LIBERTY in 1918. In 1940 her roof bell was at the Altheimer Plantation near Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Steamer CITY OF ST. JOSEPH at Memphis landing at Sunset

Detail Detroit Publishing photo of the CITY OF ST. JOSEPH at Memphis, Tennessee landing at sunset. Was able to brighten the starboard side of the boat which had been in shadow. From Library of Congress.


Steamer G. W. HILL 1909 - 1922

Way's Packet Directory Number 2188
Sternwheel Packet/Excursion boat
Built in 1909 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards, for the St. Louis-Calhoun County apple trade.
Original price $28,850. Named for Granderson Winfrey Hill of Alexandria, Missouri.
Owned by Captain D.W. Wisherd and Sam Gregory whose home port or residence circa 1909 was St. Louis, Missouri.
Converted into an excursion boat in May 1912. After World War I she commenced tramping to the upper Ohio River, she also went to New Orleans, Pittsburgh, etc. until sold in 1923 after the steamboat fire at Cincinnati, Ohio (November 4, 1922).
Became the ISLAND MAID in 1923.
Captain Walter Wisherd (master)
Captain J.E. Short (pilot)
Captain Trim Wadlington (master)
Captain George L. White (master)
Edgar Wisherd (captain)
John Pierson (pilot)
Harry Wilcox (pilot)


Sidewheeler DAVID SWAIN

Photo courtesy of Carrie Stier (Riverboat TWILIGHT)

Sidewheel wooden hull packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1469
Built by the Swains and launched in 1906 at Stillwater, Minnesota
Size: 136.6' x 26' x 4.5'
Inclined oscillating engines, 10's, 20's- 5 ft.

Operated by the Swains on the Illinois River under Captain Percy Swain
Later replaced the sunken PERCY SWAIN in the Vicksburg-Natchez trade In September 1922 was purchased by Captain George Prince

This was the last sidewheel packet on the Illinois River and the last packet in the Vicksburg-Natchez trade.

Dismantled at Vidalia, Louisiana during the early 1930's.


Steamboat SPEED

Interesting head on photo of the SPEED from the La Crosse collection.

Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 5162
Built in 1886 at Stillwater, Minnesota as the VERNE SWAIN, became the SPEED in 1900.
Ran on the Barren, the Green and the Ohio rivers.

Originally ran Peoria-La Salle. The Lyon Brothers of Greenville, Mississippi ran short trades with her. Captain Bewley bought her in 1911 and took her to the Green River. She sank once, almost up to the roof, at Spottsville, Kentucky.

In 1919 Captain Tanner swapped the HAZEL RICE for her. He ran her in the Gallipolis-Huntington trade about three weeks and quit. She was the final boat in that run. The Louisiana-Arkansas Barge Service of Monroe, Louisiana dismantled her around 1932.


Str EVANSVILLE (1880-1931)

Sternwheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Numbers 1922 & 1923
Built in 1880 at Cincinnati, Ohio
OWNERS: Captain John F. Klein (1895);
Evansville and Bowling Green Packet Company; Captain Hite (1896)
This boat was originally named EVANSVILLE and owned by the Evansville, Green and Barren River Navigation Company; Captain Cole Boren and others (1890); but in 1897 she was renamed CRESCENT CITY and retained that name until 1903. Sometime after that, she was completely rebuilt at Madison, Indiana and in 1906 was documented as a new boat named EVANSVILLE. She had 22 staterooms and the original cost was $22,000. Cabin was built by Elias Ealer, engines by C.T. Dumont. Sold to Captain Boren in July 1890 for the Cairo-Tiptonville trade but returned to Green River that November. After being sold to Captain Klein in 1895, she ran in the Wheeling-Clarington trade, about six weeks after which she again returned to Green River. After the rebuilding program, she was owned by Evansville and Bowling Green Packet Company. She sank at Aberdeen, Kentucky on July 11, 1919 and was quickly raised. After she burned at Bowling Green, Kentucky on July 25, 1931 her whistle went to the towboat TOM WILLIAMS. She carried a "mockingbird whistle" also upon which tunes were played by pilot Gene Lunn. Captain Elmore Bewley (first master, 1880); T. L. Burnham (clerk, 1880); T. K. Knowles (pilot, 1898) Officers in 1912: Lee Howell, president; T.A. Williams, superintendent; Jeff H. Williams, agent at Evansville; Lucian Graham, agent at Bowling Green. Officers in 1923: Captain Abbott Veatch; Captain William Williams (master); Captain Gene Lunn (pilot); Captain Owen P. Jones (pilot); Lou Walker (mate); Tim Hill (1923); Ben Ellis (engineer); Len Johnson (engineer).


Steamboat CHALMETTE High Water at New Orleans wharf 23 March 1903 from SHORPY

Boat's history from University of Missouri St. Louis:

The CHALMETTE was built in 1881 at Jeffersonville, Indiana as the City of Vicksburg for the Anchor Line Packet Company of St. Louis, Missouri. She was wrecked by the cyclone in St. Louis on May 27, 1896 along with four other Anchor Line steamers. In the process of rebuilding by Captain W. H. Thorwegan as an excursion boat she was purchased by the Illinois Central Railroad interests and renamed CHALMETTE, after a New Orleans suburb. She continued to operate as a packet boat on the lower Mississippi but sank in 1904 at the head of Deadman's Bend, about 60 miles below Natchez.


Steamer HELEN MAR at Reeds Landing, Minnesota

From eBay dealer "wrostlie" eBay Number 352915038991
Circa 1910 photo postcard of the Steamer HELEN MAR at Reeds Landing, Minnesota.
The steamboat was operated by the Knapp, Stout & Company, Wholesaler Lumbermen of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The company operated a store in Reads Landing, established in the 1850s.

This photograph was likely taken during the 1870s and reproduced as a postcard around 1910 for sale during the town's Homecoming celebration and to visitors traveling via the railroad.

Reads Landing is located near the towns of Wabasha, Maple Springs, Lake City, Kellogg, and Theilman in Minnesota, and Nelson, Pepin and Alma in Wisconsin.



Attractive steamer found by chance during a Google search today.

"The Steamboat PAT CLEBURNE was perhaps the largest steamboat ever to ply the Arkansas River. The steamboat was named after Helena, Arkansas, pharmacist Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, a Confederate Army major general known as the "Stonewall of the West." The PAT CLEBURNE constructed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1870 by Captain John D. Adams, was a sidewheeler originally built for use on the White River of Arkansas. The boat, 192 1/4 feet long and 33 feet wide, could accommodate 124 passengers or two thousand bales of cotton. The PAT CLEBURNE moved from the White to the Arkansas River in 1871, and in that year was judged at the Women's Episcopal Fair in Little Rock the most popular steamboat on either river. The boat returned to service on the White River in 1872 before its sale to the Lee Line in 1873. The Pat Cleburne burned beyond repair in a boiler explosion on May, 17, 1876. Fourteen people were killed in the explosion, including the Captain Dick Fowler."

Duane Huddleston, et al., "Steamboats and Ferries on the White River: A Heritage Revisited"
Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1998 pages 75-76.
Photo from the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University, New Orleans.


Three River steamers at the Levee at New Orleans

Double sided cabinet photograph showing two different views of New Orleans. The attached scan is of a photo of three River steamers at the Levee which is hand inked in the margin of the bottom right hand corner. One steamer has a large "D" and another has a Half Moon & Star. On the other side of the mount there is a photograph of the statue of Andrew Jackson that had been erected in 1856. Both images are approximately 6" x 7-1/2" and the overall size of the heavy stock they're attached to measures 12" x 14-3/4."


ROSE BUD Missouri River 1877 - 1896
Sternwheel Packet
Built in 1877 at California, Pennsylvania Way's Packet Directoy Number 4837
OWNERS: 1877: S.B. Coulson, William S. Evans, D.S.H. Gilmore, D.W. Maratta and James C. McVay
1884/85: Block P Line; 1890 Benton Packet Company
Her first trip was up the Missouri River and terminated at the Yellowstone River in 1877.

ROSE BUD was one of the few boats which made over 50 trips to Fort Benton, Montana.

In 1880, 1883, 1886 and 1887 she was the first arrival at Fort Benton and on April 26, 1887 she was the earliest steamboat in history to arrive at Fort Benton. ROSE BUD was equipped with electricity in 1882 and was the first illuminated boat seen at Fort Benton. In the fall of 1882, she sank below Claggett. She was the last of the Coulson fleet and was sold in 1884/85 to Block P Line. She sank again in August 1886 below Rocky Point.

In 1887 Captain Joe Todd lacked a crew because of a strike. He hired a crew of Gros Ventres, Ree and Mandan Indians who handled the freight. After the railroad arrived in Fort Benton, she was sold to the Benton Packet Company and operated on the lower part of the Missouri. She sank at the railroad warehouse in Bismark, South Dakota on June 16, 1896. The river was falling rapidly and she settled on some submerged piling.


An unidentified steamboat in Vicksburg when the Mississippi River flooded in 1927.


Sidewheel Packet AMERICA 1917-1930
Way's Packet Directory Number 0241

Built in 1917 at the Howard Boatyard, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Formerly the INDIANA
Louisville-Cincinnati Packet Company

Captain James O'Brien (master), Roy McBride (pilot), Wymond Brasher (pilot), Frank Buening (purser), Floyd Goffenet (clerk), Henry McClananahan (chief engineer), Floyd "Skyjack" Turner (second engineer), Billy Sampson (steward).

Ohio and Mississippi Rivers

AMERICA's hull and machinery came from the INDIANA which had burned off her upper works at Cincinnati on May 1, 1916. She came away from Howard's as a packet complete with staterooms, and was entered in the Louisville-Cincinnati trade. The engines came from the BOSTONA, classic examples of the "broadhorn" type. She carried the whistle of the CITY OF LOUISVILLE and had a framed roof bell handed down from the TELEGRAPH No. 3. After several years she was remodeled to become a full-fledged excursion boat, all staterooms removed, etc., and operated principally at Louisville, Kentucky. She made a trip to Pittsburgh in September 1923, tramping and at least one to New Orleans. Louisiana. She and the Cincinnati ran a staged race at Louisville, Kentucky in 1928, a spectacular affair in which the AMERICA demonstrated that she had the ability to win, but was prevented by management, a hotly debated topic for many years after. While laid up for the winter above Jeffersonville, Indiana she burned on September 8, 1930. Arson was suspected but not proven.


Sidewheeler Henry PROBASCO 1873

Photo from La Crosse of short lived sidewheeler

Sidewheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 2604
Built at Madison, Indiana, 1873
Owned by Stuart & Company and others
Officers and clerks:
March, 1873: Captain Andy Robinson (master)
Captain Lon Bryson, Alex Young and Frank Bryson (clerks)
Ran on Mississippi and Ohio rivers
Hit rocks in the Grand Chain, Ohio River
and was lost at 6:00pm on November 14, 1873


ARRIVAL OF THE GRAND NEW AMERICAN QUEEN Thursday, May 4, 1995 in New Orleans

Delta Queen Co. Press release with print of telephoto image of the arrival of the AMERICAN QUEEN on the Mississippi River at New Orleans, Louisiana on 4th of May, 1995 with the fireboat General George S. Kelley saluting the AQ with a fountain of water pumped through her nozzles.


Mayor Marc Morial has proclaimed Thursday, May 4, 1995, as "AMERICAN QUEEN Day" in New Orleans. He and Liutenant Governor Melinda Schwegmann will preside over official welcoming festivities for the grand new AMERICAN QUEEN when she arrives in New Orleans, her Home Port City, on May 4.

Morial will officially "tie up" the steamboat to the dock, and Schwegmann will present the state flag of Louisiana to the steamboat's captain. The paddlewheel steamboat is the largest U.S.-owned, U.S.-flagged and U.S.-crewed overnight, cruise vessel built in America since the 1950s.

WHERE: The steamboat will arrive at The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., 30 Robin Street Wharf.

WHEN: The media may document the AMERICAN QUEEN'S arrival from aboard the specially chartered Cajun Queen, which will depart 30 Robin Street Wharf at 2:30 p.m. (PLEASE BOARD BY 2 P.M.)

The Cajun Queen, with employees of The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. aboard, will proceed downriver to rendezvous with the AMERICAN QUEEN near Chalmette Battlefield at 3:30 p.m. The New Orleans fireboat General Roy S. Kelley, a Coast Guard cutter and Bisso tugs—will lead the AMERICAN QUEEN in a parade upriver to 30 Robin Street Wharf. The Cajun Queen will dock first, at 4:30 p.m., so that those aboard may disembark; and the AMERICAN QUEEN will dock at 5 p.m. with calliope playing, Dixieland entertainment on the wharf, and a crowd of well-wishers cheering her into the city. Media unable to join in the river parade or dockside greeting may shoot the AMERICAN QUEEN's arrival as she passes Algiers Point/Jackson Square at about 4 p.m.

WHY: The AMERICAN QUEEN is the 30th steamboat in the 105-year history of The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. The vessel represents a 70% increase in passenger capacity for the company, which has operated overnight paddlewheel steamboats along America's rivers since 1890.

The Grand American Queen ☆
The Legendary Delta Queen ☆
The Magnificent Mississippi Queen ☆

NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130-1890
(800) 543-7637

Fireboat General Roy S. Kelley
Length over all: 100 feet
Beam: 24"39'
Pumping capacity: 13,500 gallons a minute
Engine: Twin Screw GM 12V-92TA 1400 HP
Built at Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Mobile, Alabama 1993 - 1994
Now in service with the New Orleans Fire Department


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.