. The following are from Way’s Packet Directory, 18480-1994 compiled by Frederick Way Jr. Included is the history of 5908 steamboats.

My favorite is # 3926 Mill Boy. Built in 1857 at Brownsville, PA. Owned and operated by Capt. Josiah Cornwall of Chambersburg, OH. He built her as a floating grist mill, and ran a general store plying belying between   Crown City and Gallipolis, OH. Until 1860 she was horse-powered, the steeds operating a treadmill attached to side-wheels. He added a boiler and a small side –value engine in 1860. At the outbreak of the Civil War he sold here and she was moored at Jacksonport AR. On January 31, 1864, a high wind parted her lines. She drifted against a snag, sank and later drifted another nine miles and turned bottom side up. Owned then by Mitchell and Johnson and was grinding grain for the U. S. army. Page 321-322.

Vint Shinkle (# 5580) was a sternwheeler built in 1874 at Cincinnati, OH. On august 22, 1878, up bound from Memphis to Cincinnati broke her shaft near Golconda, IL and three her wheel overboard. The Champion No. 8 towed her in in 1879 Capt. Sterling McIntyre was master when she burned at Belmont, MO Christmas day1884. P. 470.

Charles Curlin, (# 0969) a sternwheeler built at Jeffersonville, IN in 1895 as a pleasure boat for a Seth Curlin, a naturalist and taxidermist the inventor of a canvas folding decoy duck. In March1903 she sank and her passengers were taken ashore for treetops. Frank & Price owned her 1905-1906. She burned in late October, 1906 at Caruthersville. P- 81.

Chesapeake (# 0998) was a side-wheeler built at Harmar, OH in 1883. After a short stay at Jacksonville, FL, she returned to the Mississippi River in 1886 only to burn at New Madrid on March 26, 1887. P-84.

A side-wheeler built in 1850 at Cincinnati, OH, the Col. Dickinson, (#  1219) was snagged and lost at Island 18 (Cottonwood Point in Pemiscot County), on September 13, 1853. (P 103) Ten days later – Sept. 19 - the Farmer (# 2013) was lost in the same location. She was a side-wheeler built at Cincinnati in 1848. P. 163.

Frank Forest (#2123) constructed at Durand, WS in 1870 was running Memphis-Hales Point in 1873. Burned December 12, 1876, at Cottonwood Point. P 171.

Dresden (#1608) a side-wheeler built in1852 at Cincinnati was snagged and lost at New Madrid on February 15, 1855. P 133.

Fred Tron (#2147) a stern-wheeler built 1856 Madison, IN. On a trip from New Orleans she sank at Island # 10 (New Madrid) October 22, 1860.p 173.

De Soto, (1515) a side-wheeler build in 1860 at New Albany, In1861 acquired by United States Quartermaster Department. Captured by Confederates April 7, 1862. P127. The Confederates make her the gunboat General Lyon in October1862. Sold at public auction after the war she became the Alabama (#0093 P 7) on October 20, 1865. P 181.

The ster- wheeler Alabama (# 0096) built in 1912 was one of six steamboats to carry that name. In 1932 she was chartered to George Partin in Memphis for the Memphis-Caruthersville trade. Shortly thereafter she became a Quarter boat (a craft used for housing river workers). P 8.

The Gallardo (2198; P 177) was a stern-wheeler built in La Crosse, WS in 1904. Sold for the second time in 1910 to Frank Gillman of Caruthersville and rename Adeline (0067; P 6) and used as a towboat and was lost when it sank in January 1913.

A.C. Janes # (007) was built by Midwest Boat & Barge Co. in 1925.It had the capacity to carry 24 automobiles. Originally operated at Cape Girardeau before being sold. She burned in May of 1960 at Helena, AR. (P 1).

The General Scott (# 2273) was a side-wheeler built in 1847. On May 13, 1853 she burned at New Madrid. P 183.

On a personal note . . .  On July 26, 1946, at Caruthersville, a ferry boat collided with a barge. Killed, among others, were two twin brothers I did not know I had (Terry and Larry). Shortly after this I met my dad for the only time. It was not until a February 16, 2010 post on the web did is know my father’s name carried a junior at the end. http://www3.gendisaster.com/missouri/15255/

 


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    Having grown up on Little River, I have been fascinated with it. Over the past several years, as a local historian, this area has been a special interest. 

     These areas have been treated much like step-children by Jefferson City and Little Rock. They seem to believe nothing has ever happened here.  Our history has been long and varied. Hope you enjoy my trip.  

    Near Puxico is the swampy Mingo Wildlife Refuge. One hundred and fifty year ago, most of the Little River Valley appeared that way. This valley covering two million acres was part of the largest wetland in America.

    Floods frequently intimated the Valley. Between 1815 and 2011, 15 major floods covered or threatened the area.

    Timber companies came in at the end of the 19th Century to clean cut the forest. Louis Houck, a Cape Girardeau lawyer and railroad builder, envisioned a rail network that covered the wetlands.

    Little River Drainage District (LRDD) Corporation was established in 1907 by an act of the Butler County (MO) Circuit Court. 

    Between 1909 and 1928 the LRDD dug nearly 1000 miles of ditches and constructed 30 miles of levees to drain 1.2 million acres of swamp and overflow land in Southeast Missouri. More dirt was moved than in building the Panama Canal.

    One surprise I had was the number of settlements in the area before 1811-1812. Another was the water connection between the Mississippi River and the St. Francis and I had no idea that Little River had enough current to run a grist mill.

    Norman Vickers

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