Steamboat Waybills, page 13


Don't believe we have this "PADUCAH PACKET" waybill on any of our pages. The identity of the boat is uncertain . . . this could have been a "generic" waybill that was used by the Evansville, Paducah & Tennessee River Packet Co. to designate where the steamboat's voyage began or ended. Can't find a boat named "PADUCAH" or "PADUCAH PACKET" circa the 1880's listed anywhere so the identity is a bit of a mystery.

The date 15th of August 1888 and lots of printed and handwritten words, may provide a clue. The Pott Library in St. Louis has waybills from the same company filled out in '86 and '87 for steamers SILVER CLOUD, JOHN GILBERT and W.A. JOHNSON. A complete list of all of E.P. & T.R.'s boats might yield further evidence.



Way's Packet Directory Number 3086

Sternwheel packet

Built at Pittsburgh, PA. in 1875.

222 x 36 x 5. Engines, 16's- 5 ft.

Three boilers, each 38" by 26 ft.

Built for Capt. John L. Rhoads and others of Pittsburgh.

In May 1878 she had made 28 round trips to St. Louis and two more to New Orleans from Pittsburgh, then commanded by Capt. J.M. Vandergrift with John C. Fisher, clerk.

Sank on the Falls at Louisville, June 1877, raised.

Ran low water, Cincinnati-Madison, fall 1877 Captain Rhoads lived in a white frame atop the hill at Haysville, Pa. still standing 1978.

Capt. David Silver and others bought the RHOADS, renamed her CHAS. C. CARROLL.



One year and seven months after the Steamboat-Inspection Service issued this permit (on May 19th, 1900) to the KANAWHA BELLE for her to carry excursion parties, she was lost in a freak accident on December 19th, 1901 when the pilot "Musty" Snyder came on duty at night assuming the boat was bound upstream. Unbeknownst to "Musty" the boat had been turned around and was now heading back downstream. Mistaking a light on a lock wall for a light on a fleet of coal barges "Musty" steered the boat into the middle of the river where it went over the dam at Lock Number 3 on the Kanawha River. Nine lives were lost and eight were saved. On the cover of this document it is written that it had been returned to the inspectors on December 10, 1900.

Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1983


Number 3205

Sternwheel packet boat

Built in Harmar, Ohio in 1887. Originally named BELLAIRE and was given a cabin and alterations by the Calvert family, on the Kanawha River, renamed, and ran Charleston-Montgomery.

On the night of Dec. 19, 1901, she plunged over the fixed dam No. 3, Kanawha River. Eight were drowned, one died of exposure, and eight were saved.

Capt. E.O. Calvert was in charge, and 'Musty' Snyder was pilot.

The official report says 'the pilot thought he was going upstream.' This odd statement came about inasmuch as the boat had been proceeding to Montgomery, plans were changed, and she was turned back toward Charleston.

'Musty' Snyder came on watch, unacquainted with the switch, and in the darkness thought he was upbound, saw the white light on the lock wall, thought it was on a moored coal fleet, steered out in mid-river to miss it, and went over the dam.

The machinery was salvaged and went on the J. Q. DICKINSON."


Sternwheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 5065
1880 at Harmar, Ohio at the Knox Yard

OWNERS: 1880: Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line; 1895: Captain John Barrett of the Barrett Line of Cincinnati
Officers and crew 1880: Captain Martin F. Noll (master-also known as the "boy captain" at the age of 31), J.A. Voegtly and Willis Stockdale (clerks), S.R. Lankard and John Oliver (engineers)
1883: Captain Frank Maratta (master), Daniel Moore (clerk)
1884: Captain J.M. Kirker (master), Robert H. Kerr (clerk); 1886: George Poe and James Rowley, Jr. (pilots); 1889: Captain John Phillips (master)
Navigated the Ohio; Mississippi and Muskingum Rivers

Originally valued at $25,000+, the Scotia ran the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati trade. Each stateroom bore painted scenes by artist Emil Bott. She also had one of the first electric arc headlights. In May, 1895 she broke her shaft near Portsmouth, Ohio. She was towed back to Cincinnati and sold to the Barrett Line. She was entered into the Cincinnati-Louisville trade, but burned at Cincinnati on November 5, 1895


This January 17th, 1852 waybill from the GRAND TURK is a real rarity. The image is a detail from Hippolyte Sebron's 1850 painting GIANT STEAMBOATS AT NEW ORLEANS which is owned by Tulane University.

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 2429

Built in 1848 at Freedom, Pennsylvania

First home port, St. Louis, Missouri. She ran Louisville-New Orleans.

Captain Newman Robirds of St. Louis (owner and master); Captain Clayton (master, 1852-53); H. S. Phillips (clerk, 1852-53)

The fire at which she was lost originated on the CHARLES BELCHER at New Orleans on February 6, 1854



Original cyanotype (blue "proof print") postcard from my collection, showing Miss Margaret E. Johnston aboard the HENRY M. STANLEY wearing a clumsy looking life vest that's a couple of sizes too big for her.

From Wikipedia:

Cyanotype printing was a photographic process that produced a cyan-blue print. The process uses two chemicals: ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide


Handwritten waybill in French for bales of cotton transported aboard the "Steam Boat Huntsville" New Orleans, 1834.

The penmanship is accomplished and the signature on the bottom a real work of art in itself.




Documents from the IKE BONHAM
Waybill 1888
☆ Waybill 1892
☆ check 1893

Way's Packet Directory Number 2730

Sternwheel packet

Built in Mason City, West Virginia in 1878 at at the Mees Yard, above the city wharf for Captain W.H. Sargent. 93 4 x 18 x 3.6
Ran on the Kanawha River in 1879. Capt. Sargent then took her to the Yazoo River. On March 11, 1886 her boiler exploded on the Mississippi 11 miles below Vicksburg with loss of life. Capt. Sargent was not aboard but Mrs. Sargent kept a cool head; helped extinguish a resulting fire and aided with rescue work. [See S & D REFLECTOR, March 19, 1978, page 5]. Ran excursions occasionally between New Orleans & Grand Isle. The BONHAM sank in the Yazoo River and was lost in 1893.


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.