Steamboat Waybills, page 2


Steam Boats, Barges, Flats and Other River Craft

April 21, 1902

Pomeroy, Ohio


Your T. J. Hall placed in my hands for sale the Steamer "Eagle"($18,000), the "Convoy" ($15,000), the "Douglas Hall" ($15,000). with 3% commission to me when sale is consummated.

I have an inquiry from the Atlas Transportation and Oil Co. of St. Louis, Mo., for two or three boats.

I have written them I'm giving description of your Steamers "Eagle","Convoy" and "Douglas Hall" at the above named prices, and have asked them to notify me when they are ready to send a representative to examine these boats, as I would then locate the boats and wire them where they can be soon.

I have given these people the names of the boats, prices and names of the owners.

Please protect my commission.

Very truly yours,
J.M. Davis.

Below citations on the two boats that were sold from the STEAM TOWBOAT DIRECTORY compiled by Frederick Way Jr. and his son in law Joseph W. Rutter.

Number T0667 EAGLE
Stw tb wh 1880-1909.
Built at Brownsville, PA at Axton & Pringle yard, 140x24.5x4.5.
Engines 17's-61/2 ft. stroke from the first TOM REES.
James Elliott designed and superintended construction of her.

The EAGLE towed out of Pittsburgh in early years and burned at the foot of Ferry Street, Pittsburgh on May 13, 1891, along with the GEORGE ROBERTS and TWILIGHT but was rebuilt.

She was sold to Pomeroy, OH and ran in the Convoy Towboat Co. operated as to of the Peacock Coal Co. along with the CONVOY.

When this firm sold out to Capt. T. J. Hall in Cincinnati, she went along in the deal but soon was sold to New Orleans.

While rounding Point Celeste, two miles above Point a la Hache and 411/2 miles below New Orleans, in April, 1909, she capsized.

Eight members of the crew were drowned and the boat sank in 75 feet of water.

Number T0500 CONVOY
Stw tb wh 1888-1915.
Built at Madison. IN,143x28.5x4.
Engines 161/2s-5 ft. stroke from the former ferry MUSIC.
Three boilers.

She was completed at Jeffersonville. IN and came out new in February. 1888.

On July 20, 1888, a short distance above Louisville. a steam line parted killing two firemen and five deckhands.

The CITY OF MADISON towed her back to Louisville.

First owned by the Fawcett, coal people of Pittsburgh. Later, towed out of Pomeroy. OH, owned by Convoy Towboat Co., an off-shoot of the Peacock Coal Co., Pomeroy.

Convoy Towboat Co. sold out in March, 1900 to T. J. Hall of Cincinnati, a deal which included the CONVOY and EAGLE.

Capt. Charles N. Holland had charge many years and later was fleet boss at Portsmouth. OH for Wheeling Steel (died at New Boston. OH, 72, April 14. 1937).

Capsized in a windstorm at Cincinnati on July 7. 1915 towing Kanawha River coal at the time, Capt. Will Curry in command.

Among the drowned was Dexter Heib of Pt. Pleasant, WV, son of Capt. Jake Heil.


There were 6 boats named HOPE in Way's Directory and the 5th boat by that name seems to be the most likely candidate. She was a sternwheeler built in 1868, suffered a steam explosion that she survived in 1872 and she kept working until she was finally dismantled in 1885.


Steamboat pass St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Co.


1891 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard
Dismantled in 1909
Captain E.J. Comeaux
T.K. Voorhees and J.V. LeBlanc, clerks
Mississippi River
Way's Directory - 3672

She ran New Orleans-Donaldsonville-New Hope.
By 1902 she was running New Orleans-Bayou Lafourche.
Was laid up at McDonoughville above Coyle's coal yard when she was caught out there and went over on her side.
She was known as the "Fair Mabel"


built 1888 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard
Burned at Twelve Mile Point, Louisiana on September 20, 1907
Captain P.A. Charlet
Edward Nicolle (clerk)
Mississippi River
Way's Directory 3348
Home port or owner's residence circa 1888, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Original price, $22,700. She was a cotton packet and ran in the New Orleans-Coast-Lafourche trade


Attached an 1896 pass for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line that I don't recall sending to you previously. If you do have the pass it would be in the Waybills section.

The HUDSON, VIRGINIA and QUEEN CITY are the three most familiar names among the boats owned and operated by the line.

"Georgetown Steamboats" has a history of the line at the following link:

Below is the title line, first paragraph and then the last sentence of that history:


While the steamer KATIE STOCKDALE was being built in Nov 1877, Thomas Stevenson Calhoon and Jackman Taylor Stockdale organized the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line. The officers of the line were Jackman T. Stockdale (Superintendent with offices in Pittsburgh), James A. Henderson (Steamboat agent with offices in Pittsburgh), Charles M. Fairman (Steamboat Agent with offices in Cincinnati). Thomas Stevenson Calhoon was the Commander of the KATIE STOCKDALE. . . .

The Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line was forced into receivership in 1909 but continued to operate until 1912 when its assets were sold to John W. Hubbard of Pittsburgh.


Built at Madison, Indiana, 1856/1857
Sank in Coon Slough near La Crosse, April 11, 1866
Owned by:
Northern Line Packet Company (1857)
Minnesota Packet Company
Galena, Dunleith and Minnesota Packet Company

Way's Packet Directory No. 4239:

Came out in the spring of 1857; quite ornate and considered the fastest boat on the upper Mississippi. The panels of her cabin had oil paintings of St. Anthony's Falls, Dayton Bluffs and Maiden Rock. She ran St. Paul-Dunleith-Galena 1857-1859, and St. Paul-St. Louis in 1860 under Captain Preston Lodwick; John Davis, 1861 and Captain Gabbert, 1862.

Captain Holcombe was her master in the Dunleith and St. Paul Packet Line in 1862, Captain Gabbert in the Galena Line, 1863, and in the Northwestern Packet Company, 1865. Jackson Harris, a "lightening" pilot, was bringing her through Coon Slough in April, 1866 when her stern swung too close to the bank, struck a pile of packed ice, and she sank in a few moments in 30 feet of water.


Unusual pair . . . post card of the steamboat OHIO at the New Martinsville, West Virginia wharf and a 1913 waybill for that wharf boat.



This concise summary of the race between the ROB'T E. LEE and the NATCHEZ comes from the website of the Illinois State Museum:

Lee vs. the Natchez:
What we know about the race

The most well-known steamboat race in American history, the Rob't E. Lee vs. the Natchez was never close.

Beginning on June 30, 1870 the Lee had a head start of a few minutes that turned into hours during the first day of the race. Both boats experienced problems.

The Rob't E. Lee burst a steam pipe the first night allowing the Natchez to come within three minutes of her, the closest margin of the race.

Later the Natchez lost a water pump that cost it thirty minutes and had to stop again because of fog, losing five hours.

The Rob't E. Lee arrived in St. Louis on July 4, 1870 around 11:30 am in the morning; the Natchez followed, arriving at 6:00 pm.

People in East St. Louis and St. Louis turned out to watch the arrivals.



On this page we give our readers accurate pictures of the champion steamboats of the Mississippi, the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee, engraved from photographs kindly furnished by Mr. GEORGE ELLIS, of New Orleans.

The interest excited by the great race between these boats, some months ago, has not yet died and even at New Orleans crowds of people are attracted to witness their departure and arrival, while the local papers give daily bulletins of the time they make from landing to landing.

Their rivalry seems to have revived the old enthusiasm for racing, which years ago made the navigation of the Mississippi more dangerous than that of any other river in the world. A trip without an accident of some kind was considered a very tame affair; and a boat whose captain was so mean-spirited as to care more for the safety of his passengers and cargo than for winning a race, stood no chance in the competition for patronage. Between the chimneys of the Natchez hang the miniature representative of a cotton bale.

The chimney-tops of the Robert E. Lee represent oak leaves. In finish, as well as strength of construction, these champion boats surpass all their rivals on the Mississippi.

Thus far their competition has been pursued without accident but no one would be surprised to hear any day that one or both of them had been blown to fragments.


This fellow worked on the Natchez, an illustration printed in Harper's Weekly Sept 2, 1871
by Our Special Artist and Correspondent
A. (Alfred) R. (Rudolph) Waud


Waybill for LOUCINDA with a photo from the Murphy Library.

Sternwheel Packet
Built 1910 at Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Wrecked by ice at Cincinnati, Ohio on January 30, 1918
Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company
Ohio River

Fred Way's Directory No. 3573:

Her engines came from the HELEN M. GOULD.
Primarily she ran Cincinnati-Madison.
In 1914 she was chartered to the Louisville and Evansville Packet Company.
She became stranded on a sand bar in the summer and did not get off until December.
Her hull was recovered after the boat was wrecked by ice and was used in building the ANDES.


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.