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River Men - Clinton County, Iowa

Photo McClure


Compiled by Georgeann McClure


This is not meant to be a complete list.  If you have information on a riverman please feel free to add his information



Anderon J. D.



Baldwin F. R.



Barnes George



J. W. Barr


Mr. Whipple married, in Clinton, Iowa, Lottie L., daughter of Captain J. W. Barr, now retired and living at Vinton.


Bentley Capt.

Lyons Advertiser

May 8, 1874

Our worthy fellow citizen Capt. Bentley has been making an addition at his residence.  The improvement consists of a wing extending northward from the main building.


Berryan Frank B.

Boat builder


Bolman Isaac



Clinton Herald

April 1, 1933

“When Rafters Ruled “

Jerome Short speaking:

Soon after return from the Louisiana trip we commenced our summer’s work.  Brother Lyman went on some other boat-I believe with P. B. Davidson.  Albert Duncan was my partner and a fine man and good pilot.  I was very fond of him.  He made several trips with us.  One trip in the early morning he went to sleep on watch and came near wrecking the Chancy on the rocks at Buena Vista.  Isaac Bolman, head engineer, was sitting on the guard outside the engine room and when he saw what was going to happen he shut off steam and set her backing full force.  She hit hard enough to send every one asleep out on deck to see what was the matter but not hard enough to do any damage.


Brayton G. W.

Steamboat agent

Lyons paper

March 27, 1874


We are enabled through the courtesy of Mr. G. W. Brayton, the gentlemanly and efficient agent of the Northern Line at this port, to give the following river items:

The Clinton passed down on Wednesday, taking from this point thirteen hundred packages.  Mr. gates consigned to parties in St. Louis by the Clinton on this trip over three thousand bushels of wheat.


Burns Thomas

Works on steamboat (pilot)


Edwards William H.



Carpenter George



Clinton Herald

April 1933

“When Rafters Ruled”

Capt. Jerome Short speaking:

“And so we parted, about as we had met.  The old gentleman and I had a good many “spats” in those days but there was nothing in any of them that interfered with our mutual friendly feeling. One thing, though, that he insisted upon that I never could be reconciled to.  Should the second pilot of the Chancy make a mistake and get into trouble that would cause loss of time or damage I would get orders to pay him off and I had to let out three pilots on such orders and I disliked it very much as all were good me.  The order to discharge the first one George Carpenter, was brought to me by Lafayette Lamb.  I began to argue with “”Lafe” and tried to have him talk with his father and let me keep George as he had not done anything to warrant discharge, just got stuck for a day at Bellevue slough, a thing that was liable to happen to any of us. But it was no use, he had to go.

The carpenter family and our family lived as neighbors for many years only a street between us and we were the best of friends.  Chris Carpenter and I were the only ones who quarreled.  He was about twelve days my senior and we had a fight when we were about ten years old.  The fight must have been a draw for when it was over I thought Chris had licked me and he thought I had licked him and we were so afraid of each other that we were warm friends ever after.”


Cary James


Cole C. J.


Cross J. N.


Lyons Advertiser

Aug. 1874

Judge H. R. Mudoda citizen of Stillwater Minnesota is visiting his Brother-in-Law Capt. J. N Cross of this city.  He will remain several days.


Crawshaw J

 Lyons Advertiser

May 8, 1874

Mr. J. Crawshaw has his night ferry running regular now between Lyons and Fulton.  Anyone can go to and from any train any hour through the night at a reasonable charge.


Crippen Wilks



Curtis John S

Shipping Clerk


Deal Harry T.

Works on steamboat


Duly Joseph




Duncan A. E.

Steamboats and Steamboatmen of the Upper Mississippi

George B. Merrick

Captain Albert Duncan was an oldtime raft pilot. In 1880, 1881 and 1882 he was master of the Park Painter.  In 1882, in company with Captain O. P. McMahon, he built the Silver Wave.  In November 1913 He was living in Clinton, Iowa

Clinton Herald

“When Rafters Ruled”

 April 1, 1933

Jerome Short speaking:

  “Soon after return from the Louisiana trip we commenced our summer’s work.  Brother Lyman went on some other boat-I believe with P. B. Davidson.  Albert Duncan was my partner and a fine man and good pilot.  I was very fond of him.  He made several trips with us.”


Clinton Herald

April 10, 1933


Albert Duncan Veteran river Captain, dies


Captain A. E. Duncan, 83, 2102 Roosevelt street, prominent Northend resident, and well known former steamboat captain, on the Mississippi river, died at 8:15 o’clock Sunday night in Jane Lamb Hospital.

Death was due to a concussion of the brain, caused by a fall sustained sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning at his home where he was found at 9:45 o’c.ock Sunday morning by Phillip Shive of Cedar Rapids, who had an appointment with him to take a trip up the river.  He found him unconscious at the foot of the basement stairway, where he ahd fallen.

No funeral plans have been made other than that services probably will be held Wednesday afternoon in the family home.  His daughter, Mrs. C. M. Noble, will be unable to attend, as she submitted to a mastoid operation last Thursday in Detroit Michigan  Mrs. Edith Duncan Fay will arrive Wednesday morning from Cocoa, Fla.

Albert E. Duncan was born Dec. 24, 1850, near Ogdenburg, M. Y.  He came west with his parents when a child, and lived in this city for many years.  In 1880 he was married to Miss Ella Austin, who preceded him in death in the spring of 1926.  A daughter, Mrs. Helen Duncan Howe, died in 1928.  Of his immediate family he is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Edith Duncan Fay of Coca, Fla.  Mrs. Charles M. Noble of Detroit, Mich., and Miss Ruth Duncan of Chicago, two grandchildren, Charlotte and Duncan Noble of Detroit, Mich., and two brothers, James Duncan of Moline, Ill., and William Duncan of Clovis, Calif.

Captain Duncan’s life story, as told in sketches and anecdotes from time to time in the Herald, was an epic of life on the upper Mississippi.  Renowned far and wide as one of the finest characters in the life that developed that which was best or the worst in a man, he advanced from what might be termed as an apprentice in the art of raft-boating to ownership and operation of his own boat.  For many years he made rafting trips for C. Lam & sons, and was a close friend of Chancy Lamb and his sons, Artemus and La Fayette.  Capt., Duncan made an enviable season’s record of runs in more than one instance but it was his proudest boast that as a pilot he had a clean record and never had an accident to mar the log of his navigation days.


Clinton Herald

April 12, 1933



Captain A. E. Duncan


Funeral services for Captain A. E. Duncan, were held at 3:30 o’clock today in the late home, 2101 Roosevelt street.  The Rev. Frederic G. Williams officiated.  During the service Mrs. H. P. Fischer and Mrs. Harry Eaton sang “Lead Kindly Light” and Mrs. Eaton read “Crossing the bar” by Tennyson.

Burial was in Oakland cemetery, the pallbearers being M. J. Gabriel, A. L. Holmes, E. H. Gheer, J. M. Waters, Carl Hoover and M. C. Lollich.

Coming from out of the city to attend the funeral were Mrs. Edith Duncan Fay of Coca, fla., c. M. Noble of Detroit, Mich., James Duncan of Moline Ill., Mrs. Jennie Duncan of De Witt, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Shrive of Cedar Rapids.


Duncan James


(830 North 2nd St. )


Duncan Thomas



Davenport Republican
Dec. 13, 1901

List of Masters for the Year

Boat             Captain

Vivian       Thomas Duncan

Going back to the 1880 for Rock Island, R.I. Co, Il has the household for boat captain Oliver P. & Nettie MCMAHN. Living next door is river captain Albert E. & Etta Duncan. Albert's brother James lives with them as a boat worker. Dick Tagert


Walter Blair “ A Raft Pilots Log”

O.P. McMahon and A.E. Duncan,
also of Clinton, have retired from business with a comfortable fortune, The latter two were designers and builders of the steamer 'Silver Crescent.'


Durfair Mitchell



Edwards Wm.


Flynn John



Harlock William Jr.


“Lyons 150 years North of the Big Tree”

Connie Heckert

Captain William Harlock, Jr. (1857-1927), piloted vessels on the Mississippi river.  Fter 1890, he continued to operate two boats from his line; they were profitable until the 1910’s.  The Nina Douseman, built at La Cross, Wisconsin, and the W. Harlock, built in Clinton and piloted by Captain Harlock’s wife, ( Adel Smith)“were in constant crossings and carrying capacity crowds.”  One reason for this was because Iowa was at the time a “dry” state.  The Nina sank in the late 1910’s and the Harlock eventually went coal-hauling on the Iowa-Illinois canal.


Herst Mitchell

Works on steamboat bsc



“When Rafters Ruled” - The Career of Capt. Jerome E. Short

A graphic story of his 55 years of service on the Upper Mississippi.  Edited and copyrighted, 1933 by Captain Fred A. Bill, St. Paul, Minnesota

Chapter 9

“Anyway I was very much surprised to have Artemus Lamb say to me one day that they had Capt Hollingshead and the Abner Gile to work with the Chancy in dredging the slough and for me to get busy at once!  Well, I was stunned.    I had no idea whether the scheme would work, or not but I was in for it and I saw myself taking a lot of joshing if it failed.

Capt. Hollingshead and I got the two boats in place at the upper end of the slough: put out an anchor on the outside of each boat, well aft, came ahead slowly until the slack was taken up and the anchors fast and then came ahead strong.  I could see by the amused expression of Hollingshead’s face that he thought he was about to have the best laugh of his life, and I did not feel that he was far wrong.  Five minutes after we began work ahead full speed we had a pile of mud and sand just behind the wheels at least three feet higher than the water.  I was then ready to commit suicide, but the water was too shallow so I said to Hollingshead that we would stop the boats, drop back against the mud piles and try again.  We dropped back, took in the slack of the lines on the capatans and went at it again.  In a few minutes the nearby mud pile was gone and another one was in sight a little further down.  We repeated the process and in about two hours we were down about four hundred feet and laid up for the night.  Next morning we took in our anchors ran long lines down to stumps and in that way we could nigger the boats down as we desired without stopping them.  When we got to the lower end of the slough we took a run up through it and found generally about four and a half feet of water, where in most places there had been about 20 inches, with a fair current that would insure a good channel for some time.  So the fool stunt was a pretty good success. One-half of each raft for several trips went into the slough in order to “hold our rights.”


Hollingshead Al.

Pilot Little Turner

410 11th Av.


Burlington Saturday Evening Post

Recollections of the Old river

J. M. Turner



Capt. J. M. Turner speaking:

“Then in 1877 and 1878 we ran the Dells Lumber Co. for two years to Hannibal, Mo. On contract.  In 1881 we ran the Steamer Golden Gate two years.  Then Alfred Hollingshead and myself formed a co-partnership to run for seven years.  This brought us up to 1889.” 

‘The firm of Turner, Hollingshead & Co. terminated in 1889.”


Chapter XLIV

Capt. Alf. Hollingshead and myself entered into a co-partnership under an agreement in writing and under that contract we were the manager.  Capt. Hollingshead was at the boat yard at Eagle Point.  He had the Steamer Pauline on the way for minor repairs.  We pulled the Clyde out on the cradles for the winter and after several days we got a bid from the Iowa Iron Works to rebuild and remodel the boat into a stern wheeler.  The Iowa Iron Works was very much in need of winter work for their men and done good work at a reasonable price.

They put in two steel boilers that would be allowed two hundred pounds, also new engines 14 inch bore and six foot stroke.  After the boat got quite well along toward completion Captain Hollingshead got it into his head that the boat would out run  anything on the river. We both spent a good part of our time at the boat yard.  One day the Captain asked me if I knew the name of the fastest running animal on earth.  We told him we thought the Reindeer was considered the fastest.  He then said, “that is going to be the name of the new boat.”  We told him it was a nice name and satisfactory to us.  It then soon got seized around the yard that the Clyde was going to lose her name.

*Mr. John Hopkins renamed the Reindeer, “The Clyde” after the River Clyde in Scotland.


Hollingshead Horace

When Rafters Ruled” - The Career of Capt. Jerome E. Short

Chapter 18

Jerome E. Short speaking:

“Captain Horace Hollingshead had asked me to buy his interest in the Abner Gile but until this conversation with Al Duncan I had not given it very serious consideration.  I then told him I would give him an answer in a few days.”


Hollingshead Ed



Hufman Frank



Hufman Fred



Hufman Robert



Clinton Herald

April 1933

“When Rafters Ruled”

“Once Mrs. Lafayette Lamb, her two children and a lady friend made a trip with us.  I told all the men to be on their best behavior, answer all questions, render any help possible and to keep an eye on the kids.  The captain himself was to do likewise and it was our intention to make his trip as pleasant as possible for them.  Mrs. Lamb was a daughter of Robert Hufman, chief engineer for the company, and he was the right man in the right place.  So we all said “yes, ma’am,” “no, ma’am,” and told them all the stories and legends of the river we knew-and perhaps some we did not know.”


Hugunin Harry



Kelly William

Works on steamboat


Kindred William O.



King C. H.



Krause Wm.


Lamb Artemus

Waterways Journal

April 27,1900    Page 11


Death of Artemus Lamb.


It was reported here this week that Artemus Lamb of Clinton Iowa died at the Hotel Caronada, San Diego, Cal. On the 21st inst. He was badly injured in a railroad wreck near Rock Springs last winter, and was taken to San Diego in the private car of president Burt of the Union Pacific Railroad. He was at first Threatened with blood poisoning but got over that, and there were hopes of his recovery.

On the 11th inst. A dispatch was received at Clinton, stating that he would not recover and death came soon thereafter.

Mr. Lamb was a man of wonderful business capacity. He was the head of the large lumbering firm of C. Lamb and Sons, and many other corporations requiring great executive ability to manage. His lost will be serious felt by the whole northwest. He had the ability to make money and he spent it with a liberal hand where it would do the most good.


Lamb  La Fayette (Lafe)

Lyons Weekly Mirror

May 3, 1873

The new steamboat just built by Messrs. Lamb & sons, in Clinton is to be christened the Artemas Lamb.  Her length is 140 ft; breath of beam 24 ft. 4 in; depth of hold 4 ft 4 in, hs 3 boilers, cylinder 16 ½ in. diameter and 5 feet stroke.  Upon her upper deck the Artemus has eighteen good staterooms and a pleasant and well furnished cabin.  Mr. Jr. R. Morgan, the builder, appears to have done his work well, and no labor or expense has been spared to make the Artemus not only a good boat but a model of her class, combining vast strength with great beauty.  Mr. Robt. Hofman put in the machinery which is well worth seeing.  The boat is now receiving the finishing touches and will be complete and ready to meet her consort the Chauncy, in the towing of rafts, in about a week.  Mr. La Fayette lamb will command the new boat and we most heartily wish him bon voyage.

Messrs, Lamb & son are also building a barge to be used in transporting lumber, on the river.  It is to be 200 ft. long by 25 ft. in width, with a carrying capacity of 500 tons.  It will be completed in about 10 days.



Lachmund Ida S. Moore


History of Clinton county Iowa 1976

Ida S. Moore (Mrs. Paul) Lachmund, commodore of the Gardiner, Batch Elder & Welles fleet, is among the first women pilots and steamboat captains.


Waterways Journal

Jan 21, 1899 p. 12

July 19 1902 p 9
Nonprofit Library for Genealogy & History-Related Research
A Free Resource Covering the United States and Some International Areas
Library - United States - Women in America

“She has owned interests in half a dozen boats. Some of them went to the bottom, but the mistress of the "Dodds" knew as well how to raise them and put them on the ways as her captain. When the "Robert Dodds" was placed in the rafting trade, Mrs. Lachmund personally inspected hull, boiler and machinery. She, with the assistance of her officers, plans all repairs. She buys all her stores and fuels. She makes her own contracts with the mills and adjusts her losses and differences. In a cozy upper room of the Lachmund home in Clinton is her office. Much of her correspondence is dictated from here. On the down trip Mrs. Lachmund's custom is to leave the boat at some point near home and run in ahead on the railroad.”


Lachmund Paul


Husband of Ida Moore Lachmund

Full Text LACHMUND, Paul
Memorial & Biographical Record…of Columbia, Sauk and Adams Counties, Wis. Part II 705 1901


Londroche/Londrosh Bernard Alexander

Born-11 Aug 1850 Ft. Winnebago, Columbia, WI.

died- 10-21-1921 Clinton Iowa

2nd wifes name was Edith B. ? 1873 Illinois and died before 1930

River boat Pilot in Wabasha, MN.  Riverboat name- "Luella"  also “Ben Hershey”
Alex was nicknamed Sandbar Alex.  He was expelled from the Riverboat Pilot Society in 1892.



Mangold Festus C.

Steamboat hand


McCaffery John

“When Rafters Ruled”

Clinton Herald

April, 1933

“One year I was on the Chancy Lamb Capt. John McCaffrey was on the Last Chanch.  We over took him at the head of Maquoketa slough and had to slack up until we got to the foot of the slough where there was room to pass.  Soon after Capt. John sent Charlie Tromley over to see if I was going to run the span at Dubuque bridge.  I told him that was my intention.  He then wanted to know if after my raft was entered in the bridge I would not come back and put his raft through, meantime he would cut lose, catch my raft and take care of it until his raft was through.  This was rather an unusual request but I told Charlie I would be glad to do so if it would be any accommodation.  Well the program was carried out and both rafts were put through without trouble.  It developed later that Capt. John, if he split and run in the usual way could not have gotten both pieces through before dark and would thus have lost a night’s run.  For some reason few pilots cared to tackle this span but it had no terrors for me.  Aside from the one break up I had with the Chancy I never had any trouble at this bridge.”


McCaffery Wm.



Mc Keever John



Mc Mann O. P.

“Steamboats and Steamboatmen

Of the Upper Mississippi”


George B. Merrick

“Captain Albert Duncan was an old time raft pilot. In 1880, 1881 and 1882 he was master of the Park Painter.  In 1882, in company with Captain O. P. McMahon, he built the Silver Wave.


MC MAHON NETTIE J. 1848 04/05/1932 Clinton IA 04/07/1932 F/W 84 SPRINGDALE 41 44


Info from the Iowa Genealogy web site is from Helen Hanson's book, 'Trailways to Albany 2000' She has the 2 Oliver's confused. On page 59 she says Oliver was born 1842. That would be Oliver P.(no middle name) who is son of John and Rachel (Hugunin) McMahan. ( She has them all listed as McMann (McMahon) ). Oliver P. was a river boat Capt. , married to 'Nettie' and they lived in Clinton in 1910.

She also has Oliver b 1818 married to Elizabeth ( which is right) but they lived in Clinton instead of Albany. I don't have a middle initial for him.

A sketch of Oliver P. by Don Ingram states "Oliver P was on the SILVER CRESCENT for a long time and helped build her."

Jerome Short was also a river boat Capt. from Albany. He was born 1849 in Albany to Ira and Eliza Short. In the 1880 Census he was married to Mary M and had 2 children Leslie D. and Wade F.

(As he was a river boat Capt. I assume this is the one they are looking for.)

I have no info on Albert and Thomas Duncan.


They are my ancestors and came to Albany 1836. Their father, Joseph McMahan, was killed in the explosion of the Moselle at the Port of Cincinnati 1838 I think. He had returned to OH to pick up the family belongings they couldn't bring on the 1st trip and was returning on the Moselle.

Gregory and Oliver ran a ferry Albany to Clinton and later Gregory is said to have been a riverboat captain - Albany to St. Louis and married to an Anderson, but that's all I know. Oliver had some buildings in Albany and later in Clinton, IA. He was a businessman and banker (president of Lyons Bank when he died). We don't have a middle initial for him, but he (or his bank) may have financed the building of a boat?? Don't know anything about the Silver Wave. He had 5 wives and is buried in the Lyons Cemetery.


Mc Nearn Edward


Mead Geo. B.

Cook on steamboat


Mikesell Sam


Mikesell Abe


Minter William


Mitchell Abe



Monroe John


History of the Packet Lines by F. A. Whitney

“Captain Monroe of Lyons, Iowa writes me that some of the raft boats got away from me in my list.  I appreciated his calling my attention to it as they were all good boats and shall live in the history of the great river.  Here they are:’


Moore William

Moore Rites on Thursday
1932  May, 4

Old River Captain’s Rites to Be at Home; other funerals.

Clinton Ia. May 4- Funeral services for Captain William Moore former river man, will be conducted in the home Thursday at 2:30 o’clock by the Rev. S. V. Williams.  Mr. Moore will be laid to rest in Oakland beside his wife, who died last week.

Captain Moore was born Dec. 16 1851, in Pennsylvania. He came to Le Claire as a boy and began his work on the river when he was about 13 years old. He was captain on various boats including a packet that ran from Le Claire to Dubuque many years; He had been retired 16 years. His marriage to Georgianna White of Le Claire was solemnized in Davenport in 1876, and they lived there until 1889, when he came here.

Captain Moore was a member of De Molay consistory here, Kaaba temple, Davenport, and the Le Claire blue lodge of Masons, also the odd fellows lodge of Le Claire


Morgan John

Ship carpenter


Morgan Robert

Ship carpenter


Murphy Edwin



Murphy William



Newsome John


Clinton Herald

April 8, 1933

Jerome  E. Short speaking:

“During the summer of 1876 the Chancy was laid up and I was transferred to the Artemus with Capt Cornelius Knapp.  Coming down one trip with a log raft when about a mile above Bellevue the main steam pipe burst at the curve just above the throttle and split the copper pipe for nearly two feet.  John Newsome, the chief engineer, was sitting in his chair with his feet on the throttle stand.  The force of the explosion blew him and the chair back into the blacksmith shop and he landed right at the after hatch.  He opened the hatch, went down in the hold, made his way forward to ad just under the throttle.  I went down on the raft, got out a line and landed as soon as possible.  Meantime the fireman was looking for the engineer and when I got on board they had him out of the hold.  We had sent for a doctor and when he examined Newsome found his fingernails missing.  We went into the hold and where he had squalled down, using his hands to support his body were his ten fingernails.  He lived only a few hours.  News of the accident was sent to the company at Clinton and a crew was put on the chancy and steam raised as soon as possible and the boat left with Mrs. Newsome, but he was gone before she reached his side.”


Nichols Fred R.


Nichols A. J.


Noonan Patrick

Works on steamboat


O’Connor James




Steamboat agent

Lyons Advertiser

July 21, 1875

*See Root


Olson Alex

Steamboat hand


Olson Orrin

Steamboat hand


Percy William

Steamboat fireman


Perry Edwin


Press Charles


Prunk C H.

Boat watchman


Rellis James


“Rellis, James Capt. died, 37years, born Co. Wexford, Ire., came to U.S. as child. Last 20 years was steamboatman, first as asst. pilot, next chief at the wheel, and last 4 years as master employed by W. J. Young & Co. lumberman of Clinton, IA. Commanded J.W. Mills, Fisk, Douglas Boardman. Married 8 yrs to Mary Nolan.”


Ressor J. G.



Rockwood B. B.


Rockwood George



Roman C. B




Steamboat agent

Lyons Advertiser

July 21, 1875

Off for St. Paul is quite a party are going up the river on Tuesday evening on the steamer Arkansas.  Root and Ogden agents, have secured very low rates of passage and many of our citizens are going to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Menehaha Falls, Fort Snelling, the cave, and other point of interest at or near St. Paul.


Seitz Charles


Shea John


Shea Thomas



from Dryers writing;
"Fourth of July I found myself in Keokuk, Iowa, and a few days after that I shipped on the steamer DAN THAYER owned by the P. S. Davidson Lumber Company, La Crosse, Wisconsin. I. H. Short was captain; Chas. Short, second pilot; Chas. Burrell, chief engineer; Jas. Ferguson, second engineer; Dave Judson, mate"
"We landed in Clinton, Iowa, one day on our way up the river and he said we would be there about two hours. I went uptown to mail a letter and was gone about one-half hour, but when I did get back, the boat was making the crossing below Lyons and I didn't have a coat, vest, or a cent and had to "railroad" to La Crosse. Nice man. He was one of a family of five brothers, all pilots; Jerome E., Allen M., George C., Chas. M., and Ira H., better known as "Windy," all good pilots and all have made "their last landing."


Short Allen M



Short Charles


“When Rafters Ruled”

Fred A. Bill

Clinton Herald

April 1933

Charles M. Short. The baby boy of the family went on the river perhaps because it was in the blood.  His first experience was on the Chancy Lamb with his brother Jerome in 1874.  He early learned the river, secured pilot and master’s license and was on, among others, the Mollie Mohler, Chancy Lamb, Tiber and -------.  While on the latter, under command of his brother Allen, they were landed for the night above Cassville in the season of 1900.” 


Ira H. Short (Windy) (H)

“When Rafters Ruled”

April 1933

Fred A. Bill

Late that night, at the head of Muscatine slough, we met the Le Claire Bell, then in charge of my brother “H,” and I asked: “What boat is that?”  “H” answered: “The Midnight Belle, what boat is that?”  “The Early Dawn,” and that was the end of the conversation.

(Called Windy because he hardly ever talked)


Recollections of the Old river

Captain J. M. Turner

Burlington Saturday Evening Post

Chapter VI

“In the summer and fall months of 1919 the writer made several trips on a boat between prairie du Chien, Wis. and Hudson on the St. Croix about 250 miles.  On many reefs there was not more than four feet of water and on several reefs not more than three and one half feet of water.  Capt. Harry Short was pilot.  He knew the channel. We seen the soundings done and done some of it ourselves and yet the news papers have stated then there was a six foot channel from St. Paul to St. Louis.”


Short Jerome E.

Pilot, Captain

Jerome E. Short

Census Place: Clinton, Clinton, Iowa
Source: FHL Film 1254334 National Archives Film T9-0334 Page 197D
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Jerome E. SHORT Self M M W 31 IL
Occ: Steamboat Pilot Fa: IL Mo: IL
Mary H. SHORT Wife F M W 25 NY
Occ: Keeping House Fa: NY Mo: NY
Leslie D. SHORT Son M S W 4 IA
Fa: IL Mo: NY
Wade F. SHORT Son M S W 2 IA
Fa: IL Mo: NY
Margaret DOWNS SisterL F S W 18 NY
Occ: At Home Fa: NY Mo: NY

In 1900 Jerome & family are in Keokuk, Jackson twp, Lee county.

Dick Tagert


Info from the Iowa Genealogy web site is from Helen Hanson's book, 'Trailways to Albany 2000' She has the 2 Oliver's confused. On page 59 she says Oliver was born 1842. That would be Oliver P.(no middle name) who is son of John and Rachel (Hugunin) McMahan. ( She has them all listed as McMann (McMahon) ). Oliver P. was a river boat Capt. , married to 'Nettie' and they lived in Clinton in 1910.

She also has Oliver b 1818 married to Elizabeth ( which is right) but they lived in Clinton instead of Albany. I don't have a middle initial for him.

A sketch of Oliver P. by Don Ingram states "Oliver P was on the SILVER CRESCENT for a long time and helped build her."

Jerome Short was also a river boat Capt. from Albany. He was born 1849 in Albany to Ira and Eliza Short. In the 1880 Census he was married to Mary M and had 2 children Leslie D. and Wade F.

(As he was a river boat Capt. I assume this is the one they are looking for.)


Short George Lyman  (LYME)

Think the George Lyman Short is your dude.

Bottom of Form 1

Short, George Lyman WNI (Biographical Sketch) -- -- 1840 - 1909 La Crosse Details

Short, George Lyman WNI (Obituary) -- -- 1840 - 1909 La Crosse Details

Dick Tagert


Clinton Herald

April 1, 1933

“When Rafters Ruled”

Jerome E. Short speaking:

“Another trip was to Stillwater for a raft to be delivered at Louisiana Mo.  The Artemus had been laid up and my brother Lyman, was put on board the Chancy to help me out and I was very glad of it for I did not know the lower part of the river well enough to take chances on a raft at that time of the year, as this was to be our last trip.  At Burlington we got instructions to lay the raft up in Dallas bay, which we did, got a man to watch it and returned to Clinton.”


“George Lyman Short was familiarly known as “Lyme” during his long river career.  He took to the river early in life and before the Civil War was a raft pilot of the ciass later known as “floating pilots” to distinguish them from those engaged in running rafts with steamboats.  He was one of the first to offer his services in response to Abraham Lincoln’s first call for volunteers and served all through that momentous struggle and participated in some of the heaviest battles.  At the close of the war he was a member of C Company, 8th ---Calvary.  On its return to Albany he again entered rafting service, which had made great strides both in volume and in mode of operation.”


Hello Short 45,
I have some info. on Amos and Ira B. Short. I purchased
a book from the courthouse at Morrison (clerk's office) a
History Of Whiteside Co. it mentions Amos living there in
1840,and the death of his child drowning. Other sources re-
late him moving out west to Oregon and Washington. The
census of 1850 Oregon Clarke Co Shows his wife Ester and
Tom Short


Smith Adel (Mrs. William Harlock)


Ferryboat W. Harlock built at Clinton, carried passengers from Clinton to Illinois when Iowa was a dry state and people went to Illinois for recreation.




March 27, 1874

They Lyons Ferry

Captain Bently the proprietor is a thorough and practical river man, and makes of his one of the best ferry routes on the river.  He is seconded by Capt. Tanner, one of the most affable and gentlemanly managers.  Capt. Tanner runs the “Lyons City” and he does it in a manner which pleases everybody who rider on her .  The captain is the right man in the right place.  Long may he and the Lyons ferry prosper we say.


Trager Sebastian



Ware Edward

EDWARD WARE, with C. Lamb & Son; is a native of England, and was born June 13, 1830; he came to America in 1842, and was brought up in York State; he came to Fulton in 1854, and came to Clinton Co. in 1855 ; he was engineer of the first saw-mill in Clinton; when the war broke out, he enlisted, in June, 1861, in the 1st I. V. C., Co. M; he remained in the service until March, 1866; he was promoted to hold commission of Second Lieutenant when the war closed; since then, he has been engaged in steamboating and in the lumber-yard of C. Lamb & Sons. He married Miss Augusta Lamb, daughter of C. Lamb, Esq., in 1859; they have six children-Fred, Jennie, Willie, Lettie, Eddie, and Artemus.


Wilde John

Engineer on ferry


Winfield Mitchell



Woolheather John



Wright George 

boat cook


York W. M.




Walter Blair

“A Raft Pilots Log”

List of Raft-boats, their Masters
and owners, 1883


Silver Crescent..............................................O.P.McMann
owned by O.P. Mc Mann of Clinton, Iowa.


Netta Durant................................................A.E.Duncan
owned by the Clinton Lumber Company of Clinton and


Boardman.................................................James Rellis
owned by W.J. Young and Company of Clinton, Iowa


Hartford................................................Henry Buisson
owned by the Mississippi River logging Company of
Clinton, Iowa.


Chancy Lamb.............................................Abe Mitchell
owned by C. Lamb and Sons of Clinton, Iowa.


O.P. McMahon and A.E. Duncan,
also of Clinton, have retired from business with a comfortable fortune, The
latter two were designers and builders of the steamer 'Silver Crescent.'


David Joyce- The old Langfors and Hall mill.
Clinton, Iowa
Clinton Lumber Company.
W.J. Young and Company, the Upper mill.
C. Lamb and Sons, The Stone mill.
C. Lamb and Sons, the Brick mill.
W.J. Young and Company, The Big mill/
C. Lamb and Sons, the Riverside mill.
C. Lamb and Sons, Riverside mill, lower.
Camanche, Iowa



CENSUS: 1880 Federal Census: Clinton, Clinton County, Iowa 

Source: FHL Film 1254334  National Archives Film T9-0334


Geo. L. SHORT        Self     M   M  W   38  NY                    Boat Captain    ---            ---

C. H. PRUNK          Son      M   S  W   24  IL                    Boat Watchman   VA             OH

Geo. B. MEAD         Other    M   M  W   66  NY                    Cook On Steam Bo---            VT

Geo. WRIGHT          Other    M   S  W   15  IL                    Steam Boat Cook IRE            IRE

J. D. ANDERSON       Other    M   S  W   23  IA                    Steam Boatman   CAN            VT

On Steam BIRE            IRE

OPatrick NOONAN       Son      M   S  W   22  IA                    Works n Steam BIRE            IRE

C J. COLE            Son      M   S  W   22  IL                    Works On SteamboOH             IL

Frank B. BERRYAN     Son      M      W   21  IA                    Boat Builder William KELLY        Son      M      W   17  NJ                    Works    ---            ---

Sebastian TRAGER     Self     M   M  W   50  HESSE                    Boatman         HESSE DARMSTEDTHESSE

Mitchell S. HERST    Self     M   S  B   28  AL                    Works On Steam BSC             SC

Charles PRESS        Son      M   S  W   22  MI                    Works On Steam B---            ---

Fred R. NICHOLS      Son      M      W   17  IA                    Works On Steam B---            ---

A. J. NICHOLS        Son      M   S  W   23  IA                    Works On Steam B---            ---

Edwin PERRY          Self     M   M  W   40  OH                    Com. Agt.       NY             NY

William MURPHY       Son      M   S  W   19  IA                    Works On SteamboIRE            IRE

Edward MURPHY        Son      M   S  W   16  IA                    Works On SteamboIRE            IRE

Daniel MCNEARN       Self     M   M  W   51  IRE                   Ship Carpenter  IRE            IRE

John S. CURTIS       Self     M   M  W   62  NY                    Shipping Clerk SNY             CT

Frank HUFMAN         Son      M   S  W   23  IL                    Engr Steamboat  PA             IRE

Fredrick HUFMAN      Son      M   S  W   19  IA                    Engr. Steamboat PA             IRE

Jerome E. SHORT      Self     M   M  W   31  IL                    Steamboat Pilot IL             IL

John FLYNN           Son      M   S  W   22  NY                    Raftsman        IRE            IRE

John WILDE           Self     M   M  W   27  PA                    Engineer Ferry BIRE            PA

Charles SEITZ        Son      M   S  W   20  PA                    Works On SteamboBADEN          FRANCE

Winfield MITCHELL    Son      M   S  W   30  OH                    Steamboat Mate  OH             KY

William MINTER       Son      M   S  W   24  NY                    Works On SteamboENG            IRE

Harry T. DEAL        SSon     M   S  W   17  IA                    Works On SteamboPA             PA

Thomas BURNS         Self     M   M  W   32  IL                    Works On SteamboPA             PA

James O'CONNOR       Son      M   S  W   19  IL                    Steamboat Hand  IRE            IRE

Durfair MITCHELL     Self     M   M  W   24  CAN                   Steamboat FiremaFRANCE         FRANCE

William O. KINDRED   Self     M   M  W   30  IA                    Steamboat EngineENG            ENG

John WOOLHEATHER     Self     M   M  W   50  NY                    Steamboat FiremaNY             NY

Thomas SHEA          Son      M   S  W   23  NH                    Steamboat Hand  IRE            IRE

John SHEA            Son      M   S  W   19  IA  Steamboat Hand  IRE            IRE

William PERCY        Self     M   M  W   27  WI  Steamboat FiremaSCOT           SCOT

John R. MORGAN       Self     M   M  W   56  WAShip Carpenter  WALES          WALES

Robert L. MORGAN     Son      M   S  W   20  IA Ship Carpenter  WALES          PA

George W. BARNES     Other    M   M  W   49  PA River Pilot     PA             PA

Alex OLESON          Son      M   S  W   26  SWEDSteamboat Hand  SWED           SWED

Orrin OLESON         Son      M   S  W   22  SWEDSteamboat Hand  SWED           SWED

William H. EDWARDS   Self     M   M  W   43  ENG Steamboat EngineENG            ENG

Wilks CRIPPEN        Other    M   W  W   55  OHRiver Pilot     OH             OH

Festus C. MANGOLD    Other    M   S  W   27  PASteamboat Hand  PA             IRE


Lyons Iowa

George W. BRAYTON     Self    M  M  W  66  NY Steamboat Agent   CT                NY

Lucy A. BRAYTON       Wife    F  M  W  55  OH Keeping House     NY                NY

Frank BRAYTON         Son     M  S  W  27  NY Bookkeeper        NY                OH


Samuel STEBBENS       Self    M  M  W  51  OH                                  ---               ---

Abbie STEBBENS        Wife    F  M  W  44  NY                Keeps House       MA                MA

Carrie STEBBENS       Dau     F  S  W  1   IA                                  OH                NY

George STEBBENS       Son     M  S  W  21  IAClerk On Steamer  OH                CT


Horace HOLLINGSHEAD   Self    M  M  W  33  CANRiver Pilot       ---               ---

Mary HOLLINGSHEAD     Wife    F  M  W  26  MN                Keeping House     CAN               IL

Nettie HOLLINGSHEAD   Dau     F  S  W  9   MN                At School         CAN               MN

Chas. HOLLINGSHEAD    Son     M  S  W  5   WI                                  CAN               MN

Benjamin HOLLINGSHEAD Son     M  S  W  3   IA                                  CAN               MN

Henry MCCOLLUM        BroL    M  S  W  18  MN Works On A Raft StCAN               IL


Ed. HOLLINGSHEAD      Self    M  M  W  29  CAN Engineer          ---               ---

Susan HOLLINGSHEAD    Wife    F  M  W  27  CAN               Keeps House       CAN               SCOT

Ina HOLLINGSHEAD      Dau     F  S  W  1   IL                                  CAN               CAN

Russ HASKINS          Self    M  M  W  56  NY Pilot             NY                NY

Cathern HASKINS       Wife    F  M  W  50  NY                Keeping House     NY                NY


Huginun Robert


Hugunin, Capt. Robert, died, Lyons, Ill., June, 1862, aged 70.


Mark DRAYER           Self    M  M  W  69  PA                                  FRANCE            PA

Martha DRAYER         Wife    F  M  W  54  PA                Keeping House     PA                PA

Thomas DRAYER         Son     M  S  W  22  IA Mate Of Steamer   PA                PA


Boats of Lyons, Iowa


owned by Edward Hollingshead, Ida S.Lachman and
George W. Ashton of Lyons, Iowa.


“Gardie Eastman“...............................................J.G.Moore
owned by Gardiner Batcheler and Welles of
Lyons, Iowa.


owned by Silas Gardiner and Harry Wilkinson of
Lyons, Iowa.



Dec. 2, 1890








To-day Clinton has as her honored guests a large delegation of men whose nerve, skill, and courage form the safeguard of many millions of dollars worth of property, as well as precious lives.  They are members of the Brotherhood of Upper Mississippi river Pilots, who have come from their various and distant homes to meet together in this city for the purpose of discussing matters of vital interest to themselves as well as to the welfare of the country t large, and to elect officers for the ensuing year.  The session will continue four days, morning afternoon, and evening sessions being held, and the Armory is the place in which they will make their head quarters.  The spacious drill room has been transformed into a convention hall and profusely decorated with beautiful flowers, flags, and pictures and paintings of famous and well known vessels which have plied the waters of the mighty Mississippi in years past, recalling many incidents and scenes to the minds of the hardy navigators, many standing their tricks in the pilot house.  On the north side of the room, under a canopy of American flags, is erected a rostrum, the front of which is formed by a pilot wheel, the natural wood being completely hidden from view by flowers.  A know of black ribbon appears on the spoke in memory of the gallant Capt. Frank Looney, who died last winter.  Above the president’s stand appears the initials of the order, and in the background are the figures 1888, denoting the year in which the brotherhood was first organized.  Floral wreaths, shields, hearts, and anchors abound on every hand, and add beauty and fragrance to the scene.

The association has a membership of 184, including all the pilots running on the Upper Mississippi.  Among its objects is the information service by which all members are quickly made aware of any changes in the current, snags, or other obstructions in the channel.  A death benefit is also paid to the family of a deceased member, amounting to a $2.50 assessment from each surviving member.  The brotherhood has also become a recognized power in the direction of work and improvements on the river.

The present officers are: President, Capt. J. W. Rambo, Le Claire, Ia.  Vice President, Capt. Jas. Beeson, Wabasha, Minn.: Secretary, Capt. M. L. Looney, La Cross, Wis.; Assistant Secretary and Treasurer, Capt. Vol. Bigelow, La Cross, Wis.

Following is the entire list of members, many of whom are already in the city, and many others will arrive during the session:

Adolph, Chris La Cross Wis.   
Alexander Cy., Winona Minn.
Buisson Cyp. Wabasha Minn.
Buisson Joseph, Wabasha Minn.     
Buisson Henry, Wabasha, Minn.     
Brassler, Geo., Stillwater, Minn.
Bresse H. B. Brownsville, Minn.      
Blair Walter, Davenport, Iowa
Bigelow, V. A., La Cross, Wis.
Burrough, Vetell, La Crosse, Wis.    
Bell, Harry, Le Claire, Ia.                 
Baldwin, F. R., Clinton, Iowa
Bradley, John Winfield Mo.    
Brown, R. S., Summer Hill Ill.
Buckingham, D. G., Albany, Ill.
Cassidy, R. N., Menominee, Wis.     
Coleman, Andrew, Davenport, Ia     
Chacey, J.D., Garden Plain, Ill.
Chacey, E.J. Hillsboro, Ill.               
Carpenter, Geo., Fulton, Ill.   
Carpenter, A.M., Fulton, Ill.
Carpenter, C.O., Fulton, Ill.   
Carroll, J. H., St. Louis, Mo.   
Calhoun, Jule T. Burlington, Ia.
Case August, Winona, Minn.  
DeCamp, Ira, Wabasha, Minn.
Denberg, Gara, Davenport, Iowa
Day, L.A. La Crosse, Wis.                 
Duley, Joseph, Clinton, Iowa 
Dalson, Thos. H., Dubuque, Iowa
Davis, W.M., Dubuque, Iowa  
Davidson, Dan’l., Reeds Landing     
Dodds, Robt., St. Louis, Mo.
Darling, L., Brownville, Minn.
Dorrance, D. F., Le Claire, Iowa       
Desmond,Wm., Galena, Ill.         
Dorrance, D.A., Le Claire, Iowa        
Duncan, Thos., Clinton, Iowa 
Davidson, C.H., Reeds Landing
Dickson, Dick., Dubuque, Iowa       
Dobler, Wm., Summer, Wash. Ter.   
Davis, Gordon, Lyons, Iowa.
Day, A. O., Le Claire, Iowa     
Egan, I., V., Dubuque, Iowa   
Fuller, Ira A., Pepin, Wis.
Follimer, J. C, La Cross, Wis. 
Fuller, Ira A., Pepin, Wis.                 
Ferguson, Harvey.
Gallagher, Anthony, La Cross, Wis. 
Gleason, Jas., St. Louis, Mo.  
Gordon, W. W., La Cross Wis.
Gentzkow, Geo., Minneiska, Mo.     
Gerlick, Paul, Galena, Ill.                 
Goyette, Henry, LaCross, Wis.
Hanks, S. B. Albany, Ill.              
Hunter,  Walt. Pepin, Wis.           
Hight, Wash., St. Louis, Mo.
Hanks, S.S, Princeton Ia.                     
Hanks S. I., Princeton, Ia.           
Hanks F. G., Princeton, Ia.
Hampton, J. Davenport, Ia.    
Huttenhow, E., Trempealeau, Wis.  
Hoy, John, Stillwater, Minn.
Hoy, Thos., Stillwater, Minn.  
Heskell, J. S., La Cross, Wis.  
Hill, A. J., La Cross, Wis.
Hire, J. S., Wabasha, Minn.   
Hawthorn, J. M., Le Claire Ia.
Holsaple, W. D., Le Claire, Ia.
Hugunin, Jas., Albany Ill.                
Law, D.C., Lyons,Ia                
Langford, Perry, Albany,Ill.
Lancaster, S.E., Le Claire, Ia. 
McCaffery, Hugh, Kellogg, Minn.     
McCarthy, John, La Crosse, Wis.
McCaffery, John, Clinton, Ia. 
Monroe, John, Clinton, Ia                
Moore, J.G., Lyons, Ia.
Mossman, Henry, Le Claire, Ia.        
Martin, Geo. G. Bellevue, Ia   
Mitchell, J.B., Albany, Ill.         
McGinley, O. E., Rock Island Ill.      
McMahon,  C. E., Clinton, Ia. 
Metzgar, B.J., Princeton, Ia.
Mitchell, Abe, Clinton, Ia.                
Mitchell W. S., Clinton, Ia.     
McCaffery, Wm., Clinton Ia.
Millirou, Ira H, Pepin, Wis.     
McCall, R. B., Le Claire, Ia.    
McCarthy, John, Galena, Ill.
Mifford, D. G., Keokuk, Ia.     
Nichols, Geo. S. La Cross, Wis.        
Newcomb, O. J., Pepin, Wis.
Newcomb, I. M., Pepin, Wis.   
O’Rourke, Thos., La Cross Wis.        
O’Rourke Peter, La Cross Wis.
O’Connor, John, Rock Island, Ill.    
Owen, R. S., Montrose, Ia.               
Odell, Bruce, Wabasha, Minn.
Pearson, J. D., Andrew, Ia.              
Pallis, Henry, Trempealeau, Wis.     
Pollock, H. H., Le Claire, Ia.
Pevay, H. L., Stillwater, Minn.
Roundy, Robt., Wabasha, Minn.      
Rocque, Antoine, Wabasha, Minn.
Rambo, J. W., Le Claire,Iowa.
Rhodes, Chas. S. Stillwater, Minn.  
Root, E. T., St. Paul, Minn.
Ressor, J. G., Clinton, Ia.                 
Rook, John, Princeton, Ia.               
Rutherford,Geo., Minneapslls.Minn         
Roman, C./ B., Camanche, Ia.         
Ruby, Jerome, Buffalo, Ia.               
Short, A. M., La Cross, Wis.
Short, J. H., La Cross, Wis.    
Short Geo. L., La Cross Wis.   
Short J. E. Canton, Ia.
Smith, Orrin, Le Claire, Ia.     
Short, Chas. M., Albany, Ia.   
Savage, I. E., Morrison, Ill
Savage W. J., Morrison, Ill.     
Schmidt, J.T., Reeds Landing, Minn.
Smith I. F., Le Claire, Ia.
Suiter, J. G., Le Claire, Ia.               
Sprinsby, J. S. Le Claire, Iowa         
Slocumb, W. R., Albany, Ill.
Suiter Zach, Le Claire, Iowa   
Senthouse Geo., Le Claire, Ill.
Slocumb H. F., Winona, Minn.
Speak, Chas, Montrose, Iowa 
Speak, Sam, Montrose, Iowa  
Stebbins, Geol Sr. Le Claire, Ia.
Smith, F. Alma, Wis.               
Turner, J. M. Lansing, Ia.                
Tromly, Geo., Jr., Le Claire, Ia.
Tromly R. H., Le Claire, Ia.     
Tromly, Geo. Jr., Le Claire, Ia.         
Thompson, O. J. Davenport, Ia.
Withrow, A. R. La grange, Mo.
Whistler, W. H., Rock Island, Ill.      
Withrow S. B., Winona, Minn.
Winans, Geo., Waukesha, Wis.         
Wassen I. H., Le Claire, Ia.     
Wilcox, H. C. Wabasha, Minn.
Woodward, Asa, Ft. Madison, Ia.      
Wild, Frank, Albany, Ill.         
Walker, Henry C., Argyle, Minn.
Whistler, J. L., Albany, Ill.               
Whistler, John, Albany, ILL.  
Wilson, Thos., Wabasha, Minn.
White,C. H. St. Louis, Mo.      
Weave, Wm., Alma, Wis.         
Walker, John S., Reeds Landing,
Wetenhall, Frank, La Cross, Wis.     
Withrow, T. C., Lansing, Ia.    
Wooders J. H., Canton, Mo.
Woodin, Wm., Winona, Minn. 
York, W. M., Clinton, Iowa            
Young, Joe H., Le Claire, Iowa 




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