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On the River


Muscatine, Iowa


compiled and copyrighted by
Georgeann McClure


William Hysell, Capt.

The Davenport Democrat & Leader
Sept 1, 1925

Capt. Hysell, River and War Veteran, dies

Muscatine, Ia., Sept. Captain William A. Hysell, aged 79 years, a survivor of Andersonville prison, and for years a Mississippi river pilot, died at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon in his home, 613 Hope avenue, following a stroke of apoplexy sustained Friday afternoon, from which he never rallied. Captain Hysell was stricken by apoplexy in 1923 and although he improved from that attack, never fully regained his strength and the second attack brought his speedy demise.

He was born March 20th, 1846 in Middle Port, Ohio, and at 19, enlisted as a private in Company F. One hundred Seventy-fourth H. F. regiment, Ohio infantry. He was not discharged from service until June 27, 1865, at Camp chase, Ohio. He was united in marriage May 16, 1871, in Galena, Ill., with Miss Ida May Gunsalus, who proceeded him in death four years. Of ten children born to the union, six survive. The are; W. A. Hysell of Erie, Pa., Mrs. Bessie Schmidt, Mt. Pleasant; Mrs. John Wray, Wrayville, Ill; Mrs. Guy Alexander, Mrs. Fred Height and Mrs. Herbert Bracewell of Muscatine, six grandchildren also survive.
Burial will be in Greenwood cemetery.

Captain Hysell moved to Muscatine in 1886 and had made his home here since. He piloted the first ferry at Muscatine, the Ida May, until it was wrecked on Geneva island in 1899. Then he built the Waunetta, which he piloted until he retired from the river five years ago.

Robert Kinney
Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Historical Section, 1879, pages 501-555


In 1836, as has been stated, R. C. Kinney (ferryman) opened the first tavern. The original part was 16x30 feet in size, divided into three rooms below and three above. This was the first frame building in Bloomington. It is a great pity that no record of the events which transpired in that house was preserved.

Tunick, Capt.

The steamer “Muscatine” (old ferry-boat,) Capt Tunick in command, is making daily trips to Ballads slough, (about 8 miles above the city bringing down cargoes of railroad ties and cooperage, with occasional shipments of wheat from Drury’s landing. This is the trade which Capt. Phillips is so ambitious to secure for the “76” (!)
Transcribed by Georgeann McClure

 “May the waters that took you away, bring you back to us”                                                                 


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