Published in the
Saturday Evening Post
March 26, 1921- 1922
BETWEEN NOMINEE AND DR. FRANKLIN NO. 2
Sept. 17, 1921
On our first trip of the Dr. Franklin No. 2, with Captain
Smith Harris occurred a somewhat memorable and exciting race with another boat
of those days, the Nominee, Capt. Orrin Smith, a brother-in-law of Capt. Smith
Harris. The Dr. Franklin No. 2 was
trade making a round trip every two weeks; the Nominee was making a round trip
each week. There was some rivalry
as the Nominee having been recently put into the trade was making some inroad
into what the Dr. Franklin No. 2 interests conceived to be their pasture.
On our way up we had some brushes with her but there was nothing
decisive. On the return tip she left
first and we left as soon after as we could, it being early in the evening.
We traveled fast keeping a sharp lookout of our rival.
At Read’s Landing we heard she was just ahead of us and when we reached
grand encampment some six or seven miles below Read’s , found her lying under
a point waiting us. She swung out
right behind us with the evident intention of giving us the led and then running
by is in a straight test of speed or strategy, either being a victory for her
and a discomfiture for us. We
slacked up and offer her a chance to take the lead but she declined to take it
so we settled down to a fair fight and no favors and the race soon became very
exciting. At Crooked slough the
Nominee attempted a little strategy by going through Paint Rock slough but she
came out further behind us than when starting in.
At Guttenburg we took a wood flat in tow, dumped the wood on board as
soon as possible and still held the lead into
where both boats landed. We got
away first and kept the lead into Galena reaching there early in the evening;
twenty two hours from St. Paul, the quickest time I ever made between those
point sand the longest drawn out and hottest race I ever under took.
There were times when the oats were not far apart and the cheering and
the jeering that passed back and forth with the excitement and nerve strain made
some extremely tense moments.
further in regard to the race between the Dr. Franklin No. 2 and the Nominee.
Mr. M. W. Hanks, of Stillwater Minn., a son of Captain Hanks, give the
following: “I have often heard my
father talk about his race as being the most exciting and hardest fought one he
had ever experienced in all his career and a steamboat pilot.
In his account of it he does not mention the fact that he never left the
pilot house from the time he left
until they reached
and that he piloted the boat the whole trip from
told me that when they were obliged to land for wood, as they did not always
find a wood cargo to take in tow all the passengers, as well as the crew helped
to ‘wood Up” in order to get started as son as possible.
It was when either boat stopped for wood that the other would get ahead,
so it was a game of see-saw a great part of the distance until the Franklin took
the lead at Guttenburg after which she was always ahead.
days the boats carried the iron torch baskets in which was burned pine wood and
pitch, or resin, for light when at landings.
Father said they had a plentiful supply of resin in barrels on board
which was freely used in the furnace to keep her boiling and before they reached
Dubuque the breechings were practical red hot to the top of their jackets from
use of resin and oil in the furnace.
was refused except that which would be taken on without loss of time when
stopping to deliver or take on mail, which they were obliged to stop for.” Some
good old days, eh?” F. A. B.