A Legislative and Corporate History
From the Files of Bill N. Muster
and Richard C. Simonton

Muster & Simonton Delta Queen documents index - click here.
Delta Queen legislative and coroprate timeline - click here.

Summary: The boat underwent repairs and improvements in the early months and began its 1959 season with a Kentucky Derby cruise. Aboard the boat were Richard Simonton and James Maxwell (free-lance writer doing a story for Sports Illustrated.) Advance reservations were the highest in the history of Greene Lines. Quinby and Simonton accepted the advertising and promotion schedule (with modification) drafted by Perry-Brown, and the company began a vigorous advertising and promotion campaign.

In March, Simonton and Quinby arranged to purchase a steam calliope and refurbish it for a 1960 debut. Greene opposed the calliope, fearing that it would ruin the boat's reputation, keep the crew awake, etc. Greene was finally persuaded to support the calliope and Perry-Brown was engaged to help promote it. Numerous journals wrote articles on the boat and it appeared on TV several times. Queen for a Day held a special program aboard the boat during Mardi Gras.

The boat finished its most successful season and went into winter layup for repairs and improvements.

Read the highlights for this year or Sip to 1960

Jan. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton and Greene (eight letters) regarding transferring stock to Quinby, spring brochure, his mother, QFD, his itinerary, stockholders meeting, bookings, DQ mortgage, Perry-Brown budget ("I do not mean to infer that they have not done a good job, no doubt there, but it seems a bit costly."), other promotion and advertising, upgrading boat, finances, and personnel.

Simonton to Quinby regarding business; to Perry-Brown regarding promotion; to Saturday Evening Post managing editor re-telling story of how The Post helped save the DQ; to Norman Hoover regarding transferring stock; to Andrew Lodder (two letters) regarding returning his film; to Horace Lyle (of GLS) regarding expense reimbursement; to Maxwell regarding his upcoming Sports Illustrated article; to Down South Records ordering a record with DQ on cover. Letter Provident Bank to Greene regarding mortgage payment; Perry-Brown to Greene regarding 1959 promotion, hiring a photographer.

Doc: Stockholders meeting notes.

Feb. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton and Greene (five letters) regarding schedule, itinerary, personnel management and boat doctors, DQ repairs and improvements, 1959 season, possible charters. Simonton asks free passage for Maxwell who will write an article for Sports Illustrated during Kentucky Derby cruise ("Maxwell has done more favors than just the Saturday Evening Post article, and the expense of that trip was out of his own pocket. I would take a dim view of any free-lance writer wanting a free passage, but in the case of James Maxwell I take a different view entirely.")

Correspondence with Perry-Brown regarding Sports Illustrated, advertising budget, Life magazine, pre-Mardi Gras promotion, Sales Meeting magazine reprints, the Ed Sullivan Show. Perry-Brown to New York Times transportation editor; to free-lance writer/photographer; to Greene regarding American Motors commercial.

Letter from Quinby about hiring new purser, retaining Perry-Brown to do PR; to Down South Records regarding album; to Sanderson Brothers, Inc. regarding PR; to friends regarding Delta Queen ("The Delta Queen finished a very successful season with a net profit in six figures, some difference from last year when we had a loss of almost $50,000.").

Docs: Layup bills; advertising and PR schedule; "Reservations and Deposits as of 2/23/59."

News Clippings: New York Times on Quinby; brochure: "Delta Queen in New Hands," with photos, copy by John Cunningham; clipping reprints.

March 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton and Greene (10 letters) regarding DQ bookings, NBC-TV's "Riverboat," reservations, purchase of calliope, PR, Maxwell ("Sports Illustrated had arranged to pay for it and he preferred it that way. I am glad we made the offer"), doctors, movie producers from AJC, Inc.

Correspondence between Quinby and Greene regarding financial and legal matters, personnel, approval of Perry-Brown PR schedule with modifications, supporting purchase of calliope. Simonton to Quinby regarding calliope ("There will be certain objections from the boat crew and the wharf boat, but blandly ignore them and once they are used to the idea, they will accept it in good graces."); also approves modifications in Perry-Brown contract.

Perry-Brown to Quinby regarding boat photographer, pre-season Shakedown Cruise for reporters, VIPs, etc.; Sales Management reprints. Quinby to acquaintance regarding calliope. Greene to Quinby regarding Perry-Brown contract, Shakedown Cruise, boat repairs, improvements, calliope purchase ("My position is simply this: I do not believe the advantages which may be derived from the purchase of this instrument will nearly offset the disadvantages which are certain to develop."); legal, financial.

Perry-Brown to Simonton regarding Shakedown Cruise; to Ed Sullivan inviting him to film aboard DQ and then acknowledging his negative reply. Other correspondence: Maxwell regarding recent Post article and planned Derby cruise; with friends, writers, other media, and acquittances.

News Clippings: Saturday Evening Post, "Riverboat Revival on the Ohio," by Maxwell.

April 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene regarding QFD, Shakedown Cruise; to Perry-Brown regarding Shakedown Cruise, QFD. Perry-Brown to Simonton regarding promotion for Derby Cruise, QFD; to Quinby regarding Shakedown Cruise, other promotion, calliope. Simonton to Bill Burrud asking for free prints of the films they made; Burrud's reply that it was not free. Other correspondence with friends, media, and acquaintances.

News Clippings: "Delta Queen in New Hands" reprinted in Newark News Sunday magazine.

May 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene discussing Derby cruise and their visit, optimistic attitude at GLS, etc.; Quinby to Greene regarding calliope; Simonton to Quinby regarding St. Louis landing for DQ. Other correspondence: Quinby to author Claude Brown; Simonton with friends and acquaintances regarding his travels, meeting them, etc.; to author Eifert regarding rescue of DQ; to Horace Lyle (GLS) regarding reimbursements.

News Clippings: Short general article on steamboats.

June 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene (two letters) thanking her for gifts, detailing his itinerary, QFD show, other PR, and his mother. Simonton to Quinby (to letters) regarding calliope, QFD, new bookkeeping system. Quinby to Simonton on his recent DQ cruise with "an unusual group of veteran river pilots aboard," planning 1960 season, bookkeeping, and the calliope ("I have the job well under way. It is spread out all over the floor of my shop.").

Other correspondence: Perry-Brown to Simonton with attached clipping; Simonton to Perry-Brown regarding QFD, Burrud film; to friends; to GLS regarding invoices and his itinerary; QFD to Simonton.

Docs: Press release on upcoming cruises.

July 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby (two letters) regarding Burrud film, 1960 schedule, calliope, bookkeeping. Quinby to Greene submitting invoices for calliope repairs. Simonton to Greene (two letters) submitting invoice to cover Burrud film, 1960 schedule. Perry-Brown to Greene recapping publicity; Simonton with friends, acquaintances, and media.

Docs: TV script.

Aug. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby detailing his itinerary, approving the proposed 1960 sailing schedule; Greene to Quinby with proposed 1960 schedule; Quinby to Greene forwarding diagrams of the calliope for the Coast Guard; to Perry-Brown with photos and copy for press release about calliope; Perry-Brown memo with notes from recent PR planning meeting.

News Clippings: "SS Delta Queen's Calliope" printed in several small papers; cover story on an industrial catalogue; "New Gimmick for an old Boat," story about the calliope from Stars and Stripes (US military magazine).

Sept. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton traveling, only two letters: from Perry-Brown regarding PR plans; from superintendent of Kentucky Lake State Park.

News Clippings: New York Herald Tribune on steamboats.

Oct. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene regarding PR, upcoming party; to Quinby regarding his Queen Mary cruise and European travels, facts about Simonton ancestors; with other DQ personnel. Perry-Brown to Quinby regarding calliope publicity project.

Docs: Agreement on wharf boat sale with letter from lawyer.

News Clippings: "Best Foods Riverboat Sweepstakes" articles; small article from the Summit Herald announcing steamboat movie showing.

Nov. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby, Greene, regarding MUZAK in Memphis; Greene to Simonton regarding promotion, party, dam opening; Perry-Brown to Simonton regarding publicity, calliope; Simonton to Perry-Brown regarding MUZAK in Memphis; Perry-Brown to MUZAK regarding calliope concert, noise ordinances; Simonton to MUZAK; to GLS personnel regarding insurance renewal; to author Eifert, other media, acquaintances, and friends; with insurance company regarding renewal.

News Clippings: Contact Point magazine, "Honeywell Mercury Switches used to Modernize River-Going Calliope."

Dec. 1959:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby (three letters) regarding upcoming Memphis calliope concert, receipt of burned letters, DQ advertising; to Greene regarding money, winter layup, Memphis calliope concert, insurance situation, his DQ party; Greene to Simonton and Quinby regarding 1960 brochure, layup, calliope installation, PR, finances; Greene to Simonton supplying insurance details; Quinby to Greene regarding advertising, January directors meeting; Simonton with Perry-Brown regarding recorded radio interview with Greene; Perry-Brown to Quinby regarding calliope concert. Six letters between Simonton and Hartwig Moss Insurance Agency regarding DQ policy. Other correspondence: Simonton with GLS personnel, friends, and media.

Docs: Financial statement.

News Clippings: Cincinnati Enquirer on DQ layup repairs.


Mileage distance scale, GLS management diagram; press release on Quinby and calliope, calliope diagram.

Summary: The first cruise of the season, from Cincinnati to New Orleans, attracted much publicity. On Feb. 23, the calliope premiered in Memphis with media coverage. The mayor of Memphis and 5,000 citizens turned out on the levee to hear it. With the calliope and the Queen for a Day winner on board, the boat garnered media coverage wherever it stopped. Quinby gave calliope concerts in every port city, including New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

In January, Andrew Lodder decided to sell 36.75 shares of stock and Quinby bought it for cash. Lodder died suddenly in July.

Quinby, Simonton, and Perry-Brown fought legislation that would have permitted construction of bridges too low for the Delta Queen to clear (S 1126, HR 7153, HR 8962, HR 1843, HR 5963).

Simonton attempted to transfer the Delta Queen's insurance business to a man he met on his December Queen Mary cruise. However, this did not work out.

Considerable energy was spent throughout the year arranging publicity and entertaining the media on the boat. Investments were made in locating steamboat films and producing footage of the boat and calliope for promotional purposes.

By the end of the 1960 season, the boat was operating at full capacity and making a good profit. In September, Greene Line Steamers payed off the bank mortgage. Simonton then made an inquiry of all long-standing debts owed by the corporation. Quinby, Simonton, and Greene dealt with misc. personnel management.

Read the highlights for this year or skip to 1961

Jan. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene regarding QFD/Mardi Gras promotion, annual directors meeting. Simonton and Quinby (six letters) regarding bridge legislation, new steward and other personnel, calliope installation, annual directors meeting, squabbles in the DQ pilot house with Paul Underwood, QFD, Quinby's $100 retainer and GLS stock purchase, Simonton's ancestors in Key West, Florida, Quinby's analysis of annual financial statements. Simonton with Perry-Brown regarding QFD/Mardi Gras promotion and other TV shows. Quinby to Perry-Brown regarding PR, HR 5963; to his son, Jack, regarding bridge legislation.

Other correspondence: Simonton to friends, acquaintances, and media; to Hartwig Moss Insurance Agency regarding DQ policy; from lawyer Norman Hoover regarding Greenwood and Greene exchanging stock; to Andrew Lodder accepting his offer of stock; to Hoover regarding Lodder-Quinby stock sale.

Docs: PR report and prospectus, stockholders accounts payable statement.

News Clippings: Various clippings on bridge legislation, Quinby, the calliope, and cover story "Steamboat 'Round the Bend" in the Tennessee Progress.

Feb. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton and Quinby regarding insurance, stockholders meeting, calliope PR, and new steward-purser. Quinby with Rep. Baring regarding bridge legislation; to Greene regarding record contract.

Other correspondence: Simonton to Hoover regarding Greene-Greenwood stock transfer; to other GLS personnel; to friends regarding his Delta Queen party; to Hartwig Moss Insurance Agency regarding DQ policy. Perry-Brown to Simonton regarding calliope premier and PR; Hoover to Simonton regarding Lodder's sale of stock.

Docs: Passenger list; three press releases on calliope.

News Clippings: Several articles about calliope premier, one about DQ cruise schedule; St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about a woman who has taken 200 riverboat cruises.

March 1960:

Correspondence: Quinby to Simonton describing the calliope premier in Memphis, Mardi Gras festival, QFD, insurance, new purser-steward, DQ's departure from New Orleans. Simonton to Quinby regarding New Orleans cruise, his DQ party, ASTA. Quinby to Greene regarding New Orleans cruise, PR, one-way passenger policy, calliope; Quinby to Simonton enclosing article on calliopes; Lyle to Quinby and Simonton explaining financial statement. Perry-Brown to Delta Airlines regarding their "Delta Queen" Convair 880; to San Francisco Chronicle; Simonton to Perry-Brown regarding New Orleans trip, DQ party. Simonton to friends and GLS accountant.

News Clippings: Several clippings about Quinby and calliope;Calliope, with various news clippings.

April 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene regarding insurance, his itinerary, and mother. Quinby to Simonton regarding calliope PR, financial statement. Simonton to Perry-Brown regarding his bio-data ("I can't understand why you want any biographical data on me, I am a very drab character. . . . Enclosed is a resume prepared for the last Who's Who on the West Coast.") Perry-Brown to media; to Quinby regarding night photos of calliope. Simonton and Lyle regarding DQ insurance, flood waters on Ohio River, Mardi Gras cruise, and GLS stock transactions. Simonton to friends.

News Clippings: "Drifting to the Derby," Sports Illustrated; syndicated columns, "Stan Delaplane's Post Card from the Delta Queen"; "Cruising Down the River," Denver Post; Washington Star on calliope.

May 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby describing his recent business trip, bridge legislation; to Greene regarding insurance, PR, Eifert's new book, his trip, 1961 schedule; with Hoover and Hartwig Moss Insurance regarding DQ insurance. Quinby to Greene regarding GLS business, insurance, PR, bridge legislation; to General Itschner regarding bridge legislation; to Doubleday and Company regarding calliope recordings. Perry-Brown with NBC regarding TV game show "Concentration"; to Greene recapping recent PR exposure, NBC game show, UPI article on bridge legislation; to Glamour magazine regarding recent article; to Simonton regarding calliope recording, other PR. Simonton to Perry-Brown regarding calliope recording, recent PR, new Eifert book, his trip, invitation to dinner.

Other correspondence: Simonton to friends and media (including Los Angeles Examiner, author Eifert, organist Virgil Fox, Maxwell).

Docs: Press release on bridge legislation.

News Clippings: Church Management, "Vacation on the River"; Los Angeles Times, "River Trip is a Lesson in History"; Los Angeles Examiner, book review: "How an LA Man Saved the Delta Queen"; Josephinum Review, "The Children who Saved a Steamboat"; one article about Quinby.

June v:

Correspondence: Perry-Brown and Simonton regarding dinner together; Hartwig Moss Insurance Agency with Simonton regarding DQ policy; Simonton to writer Pierre Boucheron regarding article on Quinby; Eifert to Simonton regarding her new book and plans to travel on DQ.

Docs: Passenger list; press release on DQ cruises.

July 1960:

Correspondence: Giant DQ postcard signed by members of the Steamboat Historical Society ("We all join in expressing sincere gratitude and appreciation to the man who, more than anyone else, has made possible the continuing operation of the grandest steamboat of them all: the Delta Queen.") Simonton to Quinby thanking for post card, other DQ news; to Greene about replacing ruined film, death of Andrew Lodder and DQ cook, bank mortgage, PR. Greene to Simonton regarding ruined film, GLS management. Simonton to acquaintances, friends, and media; misc. other letters.

Docs: Passenger list; press release on Eifert's new book; announcement of 25th anniversary cruise of Steamship Historical Society of America.

News Clippings: Poster of various recent clippings.

Aug. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby and Greene regarding taking the DQ to Miami in the winter; to Greene regarding QFD, proposed travelogue shows, reprint of ruined Burrud film and prospect of making another Burrud film in 1961, plans for boat models; to Quinby regarding boat mortgage ("I'm all for having a bang-up private mortgage burning ceremony, and I for one certainly feel relieved that the damn thing is about to be paid off in full."), Burrud film reprint, other travelogues. Quinby to Simonton (two letters) regarding possible acquisition of the Nenana, a steamboat in Alaska, filming the calliope. Quinby to Greene regarding DQ trip to Miami, Calliope magazine, personnel. Greene to Simonton regarding travelogue films, personnel, boat mortgage, other PR.

Other correspondence: Simonton to friends, acquaintances, media, DQ personnel. Perry-Brown regarding proposal to film calliope.

News Clippings: Cincinnati Enquirer, on Stradder family and DQ; Youngstown Vindicator, "Heavy Traffic Enlivens the Ohio River" with photo of DQ.

Sept. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby (two letters) regarding Burrud film, calliope film, entertainer Captain Billy Bryant, calliope record, QFD, other PR; to Greene regarding DQ boat model, boat mortgage, Burrud film, QFD, other PR.

Greene to Simonton (two letters) regarding DQ blueprints, calliope movie, pay off boat mortgage (9/27/60), other PR, Eifert book, personnel, family; to Quinby regarding boat mortgage. ("This is the day I have lived for for 14 years and no one else knows all that is involved in my effort of accomplishing this end. It would make an interesting book.")

Quinby to Greene regarding telephone access on boat, personnel, refueling procedure, calliope schedule, poetry contest; to Simonton regarding Perry-Brown, Avalon boat [renamed the Belle of Louisville in 1962] and related PR; to Greene regarding PR in St. Paul; to Perry-Brown asking for changes in Holiday advertisement.

Other correspondence: Simonton with friends, media; with Decca Records regarding calliope record; from dissatisfied passenger; with Perry-Brown regarding calliope footage, other PR.

Docs: Passenger list.

News Clippings: Various photo-stories about DQ and calliope.

Oct. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene regarding Burrud film, other filming of DQ, QFD cancellation, requests boat model, schedule of long-standing debts; to Quinby regarding Calliope newsletter, DQ schedules, long-standing debts.

Greene to Simonton regarding boat model, calliope footage, DQ debts, calliope hours.

Quinby to Simonton regarding PR schemes, memo on SS South American steamboat, improvements, 1961 brochure, possible shore stops, telephone access at locks, calliope record; to Greene regarding personnel, promotion and advertising, uniform for steward.

Other correspondence: Simonton with friends, media, acquaintances, DQ personnel; answer to angry passenger revealing background of Greene family; with Perry-Brown regarding QFD "cocktail party," photographing the boat, DQ films; financial statement.

Nov. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Quinby regarding Perry-Brown, accounting system, annual meeting. Quinby to Simonton regarding Cincinnati meeting, accounting system; with Perry-Brown regarding Burrud film, other PR; with Bill Burrud Productions regarding free promotion for DQ cruise.

News Clippings: Cincinnati Post and Times-Star, profile of Riverboat Captain Jesse Hughes.

Dec. 1960:

Correspondence: Simonton to Greene (two letters) regarding Cincinnati meeting, replacing or reprimanding Captain Underwood, hiring Captain Wagner for 1962 season, other personnel matters, buying a second steamboat, boat model, personal/family matters, 1961 brochure, old steamboat films.

Greene to Simonton regarding bridge legislation, notice of stockholders meeting. Greene to Quinby regarding personnel, Perry-Brown to Quinby regarding bridge legislation, from Simonton thanking them for DQ photo.

Other correspondence: Simonton with friends, acquaintances, media, DQ passengers, Burrud Productions.

Docs: Financial statement.


Correspondence: Greene to Quinby, handwritten letter regarding disagreement with Captain Underwood. Press releases on "St. Louis Woman Nation's Most Experience River Traveler," "Steamer Delta Queen Expands Board of Directors," Natchez Antebellum mansion, Natchez pilgrimage, Quinby/calliope photo, DQ cruises, bridge legislation; Calliope newsletter with songs; "The Willows," an essay by Quinby; DQ schedule and fares, Simonton party invitation.

News Clippings: Illinois State Museum, "The Day the Steamboat Stopped at Cave-in-Rock, GM Shareholders' Quarterly, photo of 1961 Impala with DQ.