Steamboat Waybills, page 19


Waybill R.R. HUDSON 29th May 1870
Photo of the boat from LaCrosse

Sternwheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 4675

Built in 1866 at Murraysville, West Virginia (hull); completed at Wheeling, West Virginia
She came out in the Wheeling-Cincinnati trade.
William List, Ed Hornbrook, Charles List, Alex Laughlin, John Mulrine, Alex Heatherington, and James McMillan (in 1875).
The forward end of the cabin was decorated with a painting of Wheeling and the aft end with a painting of Blennerhassett Island, both by artist Emil Bott.
R.R. Hudson, Esq., a prominent Ohio businessman, presented the boat with a pianoforte at Cincinnati.
The R.R. HUDSON had a successful career and often went through Pittsburgh and also accepted freight for Louisville.
After she was lost in ice at the Belmont landing in Wheeling, West Virginia on January 27, 1875, she was replaced by a new boat, the HUDSON.
Officers & crew: Captain J.T. Russell (master, 1866); William M. List (clerk, 1866).


1916 Waybill from the Gasoline Boat R E V O N A H Turner Bros.' Packet Co.

Madison (Indiana), Bethlehem (Indiana) & Louisville (Kentucky) Packet -

the Gasoline Boat R E V O N A H Turner Bros.' Packet Co. (Inc)

Waybill dated 20 January 1916

[Bethlehem is an unincorporated community in Bethlehem Township, Clark County, Indiana, twenty-five miles up the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.]

Sternwheel/Gas boat Packet
Built in 1910 at Madison, Indiana

Owned by the Turner Brothers; Captain J. Orville Noll and the Williams Brothers
Operated on the Muskingum and Monongahela rivers.

A new REVONAH replaced her in 1921



Waybill dated 26th April, 1848

Louisville, Kentucky
4th October 1849, Thursday, page 3

To Capt. Samuel Ayless
Louisville, Oct. 2, 1849
Dear Sir:

The undersigned, passengers on board the steamer A. W. VANLEER on her upward trip, cannot take leave of yourself and officers without tendering our sincere acknowledgments for the uniform kindness extended to each of us while on board of your boat, and for the judgment displayed and energy exercised in surmounting the numerous obstacles met with in the navigation of the Ohio river in the present very low stage of water. We would further state that we have never traveled on any boat of her class that lived better and gave such entire satisfaction. We would therefore recommend the A. W. VANLEER to the traveling community.

Capt. F. Wilson, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Thos. II. Crozier, Bardstown, Kentucky
Mrs. A. Crozier and Arthur M. Crozier, Donaldsonville, Louisiana
W. D. Lancaster. Marion County, Kentucky
J.G. Poindexter. Mobile, Alabama
Mrs. Rachel Porter and Miss Virginia Porter, Louisville, Kentucky
Miss Sallie E. Gorden, Jackson, Mississippi
Mrs. R. Owens, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Miss E. Y. Estline, New Orleans, Louisiana
Dorsey Smedley, Paducah, Kentucky
B. Tubbs, New Albany, Indiana
Joseph Boone, De Soto County Mississippi
Dr. Joseph D. Ford, Assumption. Louisiana
William J. Holloway, M. G. Holloway, and William Starling, Henderson, Kentucky
Joseph W. P. Massey. Cincinnati. Ohio
John W. Greer, Louisville, Kentucky
T. Perrett, Louisiana.
G. W. Simpson, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jas. M. Lanham, Felix Jarboe, Charles Jarboe, and Benjamin Spalding, Lebanon, Kentucky
C. S. Wheal. Jackson, Mississippi
M. Frankel, Oakland, Mississippi
L. Willis, Calloway, Kentucky
H.P. Sweetland. R. Wilkinson, and W.P. Bugg, Memphis, Tenn.
F. Valliant, Holly Springs, Mississippi
R.W. Clark, Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky
J. Hobart, St. Louis. Missouri
E. Grover, Louisville, Kentucky
R. D. Dameron, Vicksburg, Mississippi
S. C. Scovill, Woodinville, Connecticut
Thomas B., Warfield, Mississippi
B. Spalding, Marion, Kentucky
Sterling Baker, Franklin, Kentucky
E. Gay, Farmington. Maine
William Underwood, New Albany, Indiana
John W. Littrell, Louisville, Kentucky
C.Y. Estler, New Orleans, Louisiana
Nicholas Culver, Union Co., Kentucky
B.S. Rust, Louisville, Kentucky
A. J. Alexander, Brandenburg, Kentucky


Waybill ALICE DEAN April, 1869 at Natchez, Mississippi

Way's Packet Directory Number 0156

Sidewheel, wooden hull packet.
Size: 694 tons
Built in 1864 at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Maiden run, 1864, Feb. 25, from Cincinnati.
Commodore Thompson Dean was aboard along with several other notables.
Ran Cincinnati-Memphis.
March 25, 1864 Hit the bank below Cincinnati.
Stern sank in 12 feet of water, was raised afterwards.
Late December 1865 she hit the bridge at Cincinnati and lost both stacks,
December 1869, 40 miles above Memphis, she hit a log. Would have sunk if load of cotton hadn't kept her afloat until the THOMPSON DEAN came to assist.
April 26, 1870 mistake in signals between pilot and engineer caused her to hit the Covington pier of the suspension bridge. Downed both stacks.
In 1872 she was retired. Her machinery went to the THOMAS SHERLOCK.
Her hull became the wharf boat, at Lake Providence, Louisiana

1864, James H. Pepper
1865, Charles Darvo
1866, C. Dan Conway


Waybill ALEXANDRIA dated 26th December 1877

Sternwheel wood hull packet
Launched in 1877
Operated on the Red River out of New Orleans
Captain George W. Rea


REBECCA Waybill July 8th, 1869

Sidewheel packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 4691

Built at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1864, 341 tons.

Came out new in July of 1864 designed for Memphis - DeValls Bluff trade along with the ROWENA. In early January 1865 REBECCA made a trip to the upper Ohio and was ice-locked in the mouth of the Muskingum most of January and February. Ran Memphis - DeValls Bluff 1865, and that November made a trip from Nashville to Cincinnati.

Sold to the Wheeling, Parkersburg & Cincinnati Transportation Co. In March 1867, Charles Muhleman, president of that company ran her from Wheeling to Parkersburg, under the command of Captain Jack Harrison, until she was wrecked at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridge, Parkersburg, West Virginia on Dec 7th, 1869. The towboat DIAMOND had sunk two loads of coal there a day or so before, and the REBECCA hit one of them at Pier 4 of the bridge which was under construction. Four or five deckhands were lost in the accident. Some of her machinery went to the sidewheeler COURIER.

: WaybillPhotoOfLIZZIEBAYforNORI


LIZZIE BAY and MINNIE BAY waybills both from 1886

Sternwheel Packet
Waybill dated 9th August 1886
Photo from La Crosse

Way's Packet Directory Number 3529
Built in 1886 at Madison, Indiana
Owners: The Bay Line; The White Collar Line (1895)
She came out in the Parkersburg-Middleport trade on the Ohio River but soon entered the Pittsburgh-Charleston trade. About 1890, she was lengthened and a texas added. She knocked down her stacks and pilothouse in February 1893 when she failed to back while landing at the Parkersburg wharfboat at the mouth of the Little Kanawha River and hit the Baltimore & Ohio bridge. After joining the White Collar Line, she ran Cincinnati Madison but also sometimes upriver. On December 8, 1905, she hit a coal barge at Ludlow, Kentucky and sank. In June, 1909 she sank again at Cincinnati at the foot of Main Street. Dismantled at the Howard Ship Yard in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1912; her engines and part of the cabin went to the building of the CORKER. The LIZZIE BAY was popularly known as the "Lousy Liz."
Officers & Crew: Captain George B. McClintock (master, 1886); J.W. Deem (clerk, 1886); Captain J.M. Keever (master, 1890)

Sidewheel packet

Waybill dated 17th May, 1886

Way's Packet Directory Number 3965

In 1883 the hull was built at Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania; construction completed at Wheeling West Virginia in the William McFall yard with engines, etc. from A.J Sweeney.

182 x 27 x 4 Engines 15's-5 feet.
Three boilers, each 40" by 24 feet, two flues 14" in diameter.
Came out with staggered buckets 18 foot in diameter wheels working buckets 12 feet across, 24" dip.

Built for the Bay brothers for the Portsmouth - Proctorville trade and named for George Bay's daughter Minnie who married Don Eaton in Proctorville, Ohio where she died at age 74, in October 1938, her husband surviving.

In 1885 and 1886 ran Parkersburg-Gallipolis Captain G.B. McClintock, with John M. Deem clerk She later ran Cincinnati - Madison, Captain Edwin F. Maddy, competing with the Mail Line, which ended with the Mail Line buying her. They ran her Cincinnati - Maysville.

She was downbound from Manchester, Ohio to Cincinnati with an excursion party aboard when she was snagged and sunk opposite Moscow, Ohio on October 15, 1889.


Waybill from the JOHN GILBERT date 5th October 1886

John Gilbert
Way's Packet Directory Number 3066

Sternwheel packet

In 1881 the hull was built at Sewickley, Pennsylvania then construction was completed at Pittsburgh. 220 x 44 x 6 Engines 18's - 7 feet Three boilers

Ran Cincinnati - Tennessee River under Captain James Till.

Was making a trip to St. Louis when she was snagged at Liberty Island between Grand Tower and Ste. Genevieve in the "Graveyard Stretch "

Owned by the Evansville & Tennessee River Packet Co. of which Mr. Gilbert was President.

Rousters gave the JOHN GILBERT the nickname "Peanut John."

An orchestral work entitled John Gilbert, a Steamboat Overture by Dr. Claude Almand was conducted by Dr. Almand and played by the Louisville, Kentucky Philharmonic Orchestra on Feb 8, 1949, and repeated on Dec 10th & 11tj by the Cincinnati Symphony, winning instantaneous recognition. The theme was suggested to the composer when he saw the book Steamboatin ' Days by Mary Wheeler of Paducah, Kentucky , in which a song about the JOHN GILBERT is preserved as it was chanted by the roustabouts:

John Gilbert is the boat
Di De Oh Di De Oh,
John Gilbert is the boat
Di De Oh,
Runnin' in the Cincinnati trade


Waybill from the NORMAN 17th June 1870

Sternwheel packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 4224

Built at McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1863. 238 tons. Construction was superintended by Capt. C. W. Batchelor for Memphis partners who ran her on the Arkansas and White river. In a collision with the LADY WALTON at Warsaw, Kentucky , August 2, 1864, the WALTON was lost.

Later ran Cincinnati-Evansville, Capt. P.K. Barclay, with J. H. Triplett and Lew Morris, clerks. Capt. P.K. (Pete) had a brother on the Sacramento River who ran a sidewheeler named QUEEN CITY that was built in 1854 to honor Cincinnati, Ohio.

NORMAN caught fire at Evansville 4:30 a m., Nov 21, 1870. Flames spread to the PINE BLUFF alongside, thence to the new CITY OF EVANSVILLE, all were burned.


Waybill NEW COURIER 7th November 1890

J. Mack Gamble was clerk on the sidewheeler COURIER 1870 - 1885 then on the sternwheeler COURIER 1885 - 1918 J. Mack Gamble was Master. So it seems likely that the steamboat this waybill came from had the name COURIER painted on her stern and on the name boards on the pilot house but was referred to as the NEW COURIER on paperwork like invoices and waybills to differentiate it from the previous COURIER that was a sidewheeler.

Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1355

Built in 1885 at Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania and completed at Wheeling, West Virginia. Engines from the SCIOTO.
Owned by Captain Thomas J. Prince; Captain J. Mack Gamble; White Collar Line (1895); Captain Gordon C. Greene and others (1904)
Entered the Wheeling-Parkersburg trade.
In the winter of 1885/86, she was in the Vicksburg-Bayou Sara trade. She was sunk once at West Wheeling when new and again in November 1893 at the Little Muskingum River while discharging a passenger who had paid 25 cents fare.
The White Collar Line ran her Cincinnati-Maysville. She hit the Central Bridge, Cincinnati and sank in November 1896 and raised afterwards.
After being sold to Captain Greene and others in 1904, she was kept in the Cincinnati-Maysville trade, running there a total of 22 years.
In spring of 1917 she made two round trips Pittsburgh-Charleston in place of the Ruth, the last running she did. After dismantling, at Ashland, Kentucky, spring 1918 her roof bell went to a church at Pliny, West Virginia and her whistle, which originally came from the St. LAWRENCE, went to the TACOMA.
Officers & crew: Captain Tom J. Prince (master); T.J. Martin (clerk); Captain J. Mack Gamble (master); Tim Penwell (clerk); William Wayman (clerk)


17 May 1884

Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 3688

Built in 1878, Jeffersonville, Indiana at the Barmore yard
176 x 35 x 5.7 Built for Capt. Owen Finnegan who took her to Mobile, Alabama. She was still listed as being there in 1886.

The Montgomery Advertiser
Montgomery, Alabama
Friday 23 July 1880, page 3

The Maggie Burke - Owen Finnegan

The handsome little steamer, Maggie Burke, will soon be ploughing the waters of Alabama. The Mobile News states that the trial trip of the new Maggie F. Burke will come off the latter part of this week. It also says that Capt. Owen Finnegan is an experienced steamboat man and Mr. James Bride is a veteran builder, and they have worked together and the result will be the trimmest steamboat that proudly sails the Alabama river. Another important fact is that the new boat is home work throughout—nothing but the ironmongery is imported. The boat is of Alabama limber, the machinery, copper and sheet iron work is by home mechanics and the new Maggie F. Burke is something that all Mobile folk may well be proud of.

The Montgomery Advertiser
Montgomery, Alabama
Wednesday October 24th 1883 Page 1

The Maggie Burke and her electrical display.

The Mobile Register says: The new electric lights of the Fuller patent, put on the steamboat Maggie F. Burke, Finnegan master, were tested last night. It is a three-light machine and the dynamo is run by a four horse power engine. The two side lights are put on the sides of the boat over the after gangways, and the arc light in globes. The forward light of 25,000 candle power, is mounted in front of a large reflector, and can be raised or lowered, turned to the right or left, or in any desired direction.

This light is on the cabin deck, and when put in operation last night gave a splendid illumination. The Maggie F. Burke was in the slip above St. Francis Street, with her bow pointing out into pointing out into the river. The steamboats at the marine ways were made perfectly plain, and when the reflector was turned toward the revenue cutter, the men could be seen on the deck, though before the light dispelled the darkness, even the outline of the cutter was not discernible.

The riverbank on the other side was also perfectly plain to view under the rays from the reflector. The trial was supervised by Mr. William Sandford, the agent here of the Fuller Electric Light, and was witnessed by a number of prominent rivermen, the Stout Express Agent, the manager of the Western Union Telegraph office, and a large number of other visitors.

Captain Finnegan expressed himself as satisfied, and other rivermen were much pleased with it, its power, brilliancy and easy management.


Waybill KEYSTONE STATE 8th August 1891 with photo from La Crosse

Way's Packet Directory Number 3288
Sternwheel packet

Built in Harmar, Ohio, at the Knox Yard, 1890.
225 x 37 x6. Engines, 16's - 7 feet
Three boilers, each 42" by 24 feet

Built for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line using cabin equipment, etc., from the KATIE STOCKDALE.

Left Pittsburgh on maiden trip March 10, 1890, Capt. Thomas S. Calhoun with Charles W. Knox, purser; Harry Ollom and T.S. Sandford, pilots; George Knox, chief engineer; Ben Baker, and James Martin, mates; George Day, steward; Logan Noll and George Donnelly, clerks.

In March 1895, Capt. Charles W. Knox became master. J Henry Bestand William D. Kimble were pursers later. E. Dayton Randolph and "Billy" Anderson were pilots for many years.

William T. Terry, carpenter, was shot and killed at Parkersburg, West Virginia, while removing the whistle during high water, spring 1901.

Sidney Cole, residing on a shantyboat nearby, was convicted and served time in the Moundsville penitentiary.

The KEYSTONE STATE was the "huckster" boat, leaving Pittsburgh every Monday.

In October 1909, she was sold to Levi Sparr of Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, and taken to Point Pleasant and given a new hull.

The Kanawha Dock Co., was not paid, attached the boat for debt, and she remained there for several years in litigation.

Dixon & Cohen, wholesale fish merchants of Peoria, Illinois, bought her for the St. Louis - Peoria trade where she ran until 1913.

Sold to the Chicago & Gulf Transportation Co., who put new boilers on her at Paducah, Kentucky but they could not pay the bill, so Dixon & Cohen took her back.

Andrew J. Franz became manager, put Capt. Milt Harry aboard as master, and ran her St. Louis - Peoria the balance of 1913. This concluded her packet career.

That winter Capt. D. Walter Wisherd and Sam Gregory bought her and converted her into an excursion boat, and renamed her MAJESTIC.


Sternwheel wooden hull packet
WAYBILL from 21st June, 1882
Way's Packet Directory Number 3631
Launched in 1881 at Rock Castle, West Virginia
135' X 25' X 4.'
Engines, 12' x 4-1/2' came from the J. M. CAMDEN, 2 boilers
1881 ran between Gallipolis & Marietta
In 1881, Alf Day. Later in 1881 then through 1883, W.A. Maddy 1885, Gallipolis-Parkersburg Later ran the Kentucky River with the BLUE WING Later on she was under the Parisot Line in the Belzoni trade. Under Capt. Britton she ran a few trips on the Sunflower River
Destroyed: October 29, 1899 caught fire while she was tied up at the mouth of the Yazoo Canal, Kleinston, Mississippi.


Waybill LULU D. 1st March 1878

Sternwheel packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 3641

Built at Evansville Indiana in 1867
245 tons 135 x 35.3 x 4.9
Engines 13'2 - 4-1/2 feet
Two boilers

Owned by William Durbridge, New Orleans.
Captain John M. Grace, master.
She was making trips to Shreveport, Louisiana as early as February 1868.

Went to Brownsville, Texas.


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.