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Riverboat Men

Anderson, George, 54
Occupation: ship carpenter
Wife: Rafehril, 43
Children: Marie 20, Sadia 15, Anna 10

Barber J. P., 49
Occupation: River pilot
Born: 1831, Ohio
Died: Montrose 1915
Wife: Elizabeth, 48
Children: Emmaus 22, school teacher; Caroline, 20 teaches school; Frederic, 16; Adal, 12; Blanch 10

The Captains Best
George Washington Best
Best II
George Washington Best II
James Best
James Best

Best, George, 31
Occupation: steamboat mate
Born: Iowa
Wife: Caroline 30
Children: Pearl 3

George Washington Best Jr. : B 2/21/1849 and died 3/4/1921 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
He was hit by a train. Married Lucy Caroline Kirk 12/24/1873 in Fort Madison, Iowa. She was born 10/6/1851 in Iberia, Trumball County, Ohio and died 2/12/1941 in Seneca, Nemaha County, Ks.

George was a riverboat mate on a boat named "Zack."

George's parents were George Washington Best Sr. He married Sarah Ann in 1873 in Fort Madison. They had three children.

Best, James

Letter from Fred A. Bill
The name Jim Best brings to mind a great big good natured man who was always doing his “best” and well liked by everyone. At one time he was Master of the Sidney of the “Diamond Jo Line.“ The line was then in operation between St. Paul and St. Louis and the Sidney was not one of the most speedy ships of the line. To keep her on time required eternal vigilance and frequently in low water time was made at the sacrifice of cargo and vice versa. One trip the Sidney came into headquarters at Dubuque on the minute with about all the cargo she could hold and Jim was in elegant spirits. When he came into the office and reported he added, with one of his largest smiles, “Ah Fred, the blind hog gets the acorn sometimes." an expression I never forgot.

The pay of the roustabouts or deck hand was about $45 per month. Under the skillful management of the mates of that time, such men as Mose Mullen, Hiram Finch and Jim Best, there was little trouble.

Best, James Madison
Born 1837
Died 1912
Married: Lavena Sherwood

The Captains Brierly

Brierly, James

Brierly, Samuel
Samuel was the son of Thomas Brierly and Elizabeth Howlett. He had been one of the first Petit Jurors of Hancock County Illinois in 1829. In 1853 Samuel and Sophia traveled to California by wagon when their sixth child was under a year old. They separated shortly after arriving in California. Samuel went back east. Sometime later, he and his brother, James operated boats between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska on the Missouri River. This is probably where he met Mary, his second wife, the widow of Peter Goodman. They were married there in 1858. Samuel and Mary are listed on the 1860 Buchanan Co. Missouri census along with Mary’s childrento Peter Goodman, Caroline, William, Marthy and Isaac (Owens) who was Samuel’s nephew. He later married Caroline. Another daughter of Peter & Mary’s, Barbara Goodman was married to Marshall Brierly, son of Samuel & Sophia. They were married in 1858 in St. Joseph as well.

The Native Daughters of the Golden West maintain a permanent record of information concerning California Pioneers who resided or were born in California before December 31, 1869.

Brierly, Samuel Valentine, 63 or 64
Indexed as Bushly, Marshall 28 b. IA farmer, Barbara 27 b. MO keeping house, Samuel 10 b. Missouri, Male (can’t read name) 6 b.? Nebraska, male ?Grant 1 b. Kansas, Samuel 63 retired farmer b. ? Virginia,
Goodman, Wm. 21 b. MO farm laborer, Martha 18 b. MO domestic.

Samuel is living with his son’s family, also the two youngest Goodman children. Mary must have died. It was sometime after this that they went to California again. Samuel died there in 1879.

Brierly, Thomas
The Gazette
March 13, 1849
Regular Packet
From St. Louis to Davenport
The fine and fast passenger steamer, ARCHER, Capt. Thomas H. Brierly, Master, has commenced her regular trips as a packet between the above named ports. Leaving St. Louis every Wednesday she will arrive at Davenport every Saturday, and leaving Davenport on Saturdays will reach St. Louis on Wednesdays. Freight will be taken at the lowest rates, and every attention will be paid to the comfort of passengers.
transcribed by Georgeann McClure

Brierly genforum site
I have a copy of an old magazine article about Capt. Thomas H. Brierly of St. Joseph, MO. He was born about 1807 (possibly Cincinnati)and died 1889 in Andrew County, MO. His brother was Samuel Valentine Brierly and they were sons of Thomas (of Baltimore) and Elizabeth Howlett Brierly. Children of Thomas H. Brierly listed in the article are Ella, Mary, Georgia, Senora, Emma and Alfred (who was involved in an international scandal). Captain Brierly ran riverboats from St. Louis to St. Joseph. He apparently lived in St. Joseph in a fine home, built by slave labor, and he lost it after the Civil War. I hope this information is of interest to someone.
This was posted by Margie Gilliland GillML@aol.com <mailto:GillML@aol.com>

Brierly, Thomas H.
Thomas Brierly from St. Joseph Missouri owned the following steamers: “F. X. Aubrey”, “El Paso”, and “Polar Spar” among others.
Picture from:
Missouri Historical Review" volume LXVII (67), number 2, January 1973

Submitted by Gene Brierly, Brierly family researcher

From Davidadamlewis@msn.com
As far as I can tell the article got it wrong. Thomas H Brierly married Mary Elizabeth Withrow on May 23, 1841 in Hancock Co., IL. He was born about 1822 in OH and died before 1880 in MO.
Children are:
Eva Brierly was born about 1843 in Lee Co., IA.
Pauline Brierly was born about 1845 in Lee Co., IA.
Thomas H Brierly was born about 1848 in MO.

Family is in Ward 5, St. Louis, MO in 1850 census.
They are in Marian Township, Buchanan Co., MO in 1860.
In Ward 6, St. Louis, MO in 1870.

August 26, 1850:
Thomas H Brierly 28 m Ohio Steam Boat Pilot
Elizabeth 25 f Ohio
Evaline 7 f Iowa
Pauline 5 f Iowa
Thomas 2 m Missouri
Mordiea Withrow 23 m Ohio Steam Boat Pilot
Silvey 17 f Ohio

* see Capts Withrow

The Autobiography of Frank M. Stahl, as told and illustrated by Margret Whittemore, University of Kansas Press, 1959 transcribed by John D. Meredith
VIII - Heading up the Missouri

“From him I learned that Captain Tom Brierly of St. Joseph owned and operated the finest, fastest, and most beautiful side-wheel steamers that ever plied the Missouri. The New Lucy was one of them, and he was master on many of her trips”

weekly packet
Archer - Weekly Packet

Thomas H Brierly 28
Ohio steam boat pilot
Elizabeth 25 f Ohio
Evaline 7 f Iowa
Pauline 5 f Iowa
Thomas 2 m Missouri
Mordiea Withrow 23 m Ohio Steam Boat pilot
Silvey 17 f Ohio

Thomas and family appear to move back and forth across Missouri from census to census. I suspect that they may have had homes both in Saint Louis and Saint Joseph when Thomas was a Steamboat owner.

October 8, 1860:
Thos Brierly 38 m Ohio Farmer
Elizabeth 36 f Ohio
Eveline 17 f Ohio
Pauline 15 f Ohio
Thomas 13 m Missouri
S D Wilkerson [Withrow] 26 m Ohio (Steven B Withrow)

June 2, 1870:
Capt. Thomas H Brierly 48 m Ohio Cotton Planter
Maria E 47 f Ohio Keeps House
Eva 26 f Iowa
Pauline 23 f Iowa
Thomas H Jun. 21 m Missouri Striker on St. Boat
Jennie Donnelly 24 f Canada Dress Maker
Laura A. Crooks 12 f Missouri

Campbell James W.

The professional piler of wood could easily make five cords out of four. He would work in all of the knotty logs, which would not go into a furnace, and leave holes in the rank of wood large enough for a dog to pass through. This system caused many joint discussions between the buyer and seller. If the knotty logs were thrown aside, as they were, the boat would find them in the woodpile again on the return trip. If the knots were dumped into the river the wood yardmen would fish them out of the water and return them to the rank. After a long experience we finally destroyed this system by taking the knotty sticks aboard the boat and transporting them to some distant point, where there were no wood yards. I heard Captain Jim Campbell declare that one of these crooked, knotty sticks of wood had cost him about ten dollars, and after handling the owner of the yard a few packages of rive profanity, he ordered the stick brought on board of the Keithsburg.

*Also see Capts. White

Campbell, Andrew

Cay, H. M., 49
Occupation: engineer steamer
Wife: None
Children: William 17, Luella 14, Minnie 7,
H. M. Fuller Mother in law
G. W. Harrison, 13


Michael, 50
Occupation: Steam boatman,
Born: Vermont
Wife: Francis 42
Children: Samual, 23; Andrew 18

RiverBoat Dave’s
Memoirs of General William T. Sherman
The Second Brigade, Colonel D. Stuart, was composed of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, Seventy-first Ohio, and Fifty-fourth Ohio; embarked on the Hannibal Universe, Hazel Dell, Cheeseman and Prairie Rose.

…We steamed up to Fort Henry, the river being high and in splendid order. There I reported in person to General C, F. Smith, and by him was ordered a few miles above, to the remains of the burned railroad bridge, to await the rendezvous of the rest of his army. I had my headquarters on the Continental.

Michael Cheesman
13 February 1899

Montrose Journal
17 March 1899
Michael Cheesman Dies at His Home.

At his home, at 5:45 a.m., Monday, Feb. 13, 1899, Michael Cheesman died of Bright’s disease, aged sixty-nine years and twenty-nine days. The funeral took place from the home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, conducted by the Rev. R. C. McIlwain, of the Episcopal church, interment being in the Montrose cemetery. Deceased is survived by a wife, one son and a grandson.

Deceased was born in Vermont, Jan. 14, 1830, where he grew to young manhood. Railroads did not gridiron the earth then as they do now and the stage lines and canals did a flourishing business. Being a lover of horses, Mr. Cheesman early became an expert reinsman and soon found employment with the leading stage lines at once taking his place among the most trusty and careful drivers.

During this employment Mr. Cheesman became acquainted with “Billy” Wells, who was then laying the foundation on which has been reared the great Wells-Fargo Express company. Many a trip did Mr. Cheesman and the then embryo great expressman make on the boot of a stage coach, and while the former touched up the leaders the latter carefully guarded his express matter, which he usually carried in his hat. The Wells family was in such poor circumstances then that Mrs. Wells done washing to add to the family exchecquer, Mr. Cheesman regularly having his washing done by her.

The west began to be the magnet which attracted the energetic people of the east, and in 1853 Mr. Cheesman joined the throng and during the course of that year he landed in this locality. Following his bent he became a stage driver here, working on the line that ran stages to Des Moines. In this employment he continued for some time when he shipped as a mate on the Mississippi river. In this employment he became famous and was well known by river men from New Orleans to St. Paul.

At the commencement of the civil war he enlisted in Co. A, 1st Iowa cavalry, in June, 1861, and served four years. As in everything else he went into he put all of his young manhood into the soldier business and as a consequence he was a fearless soldier. At the conclusion of his term of service in the army he resumed his duties on the river, which he followed a few years when he moved onto a farm at the top of he Keokuk hill, where he resided until his death.

As honest as the day was long, Mr. Cheeseman was outspoken against any form of fraud and deception. His word was a good as his bond, and when Mike Chessman [Cheesman] passed his word to his neighbor or friend he religiously kept it. It was this phase of his sterling character that won and retained for him a large circle of friends all over the county who will read of his death with regret.

In 1856 he was joined in marriage to Mrs. Paulina Cosley, daughter of Mrs. Lucinda (Grandma) Harmon, of this place. Two children, Samuel and Andrew, came to bless this union. Of the children but one (Samuel) survives him, Andrew having been killed a number of years ago in a railroad wreck in New Mexico.

Of the comrades who served with Mr. Cheesman in the army, but four remain in this locality, vix. Harry and Walker Wilson, Elmer Reed and Wm. Horton.

The JOURNAL extends its profound sympathy to the widow and relatives in their bereavement for in Mr. Cheesman’s death it feels a personal loss since he was a constant reader of its columns

Transcribed by Mary Sue Chatfield

Articles From
Transcribed by Connie (Dobson) Putthoff
9 April 1925
The death of Samuel CHEESEMAN removes one of our oldest, native born citizens, he having been born here in the Fall of 1858. His father was Mike CHEESEMAN, an old stage driver and steamboat mate.

Cooper, Elishia 56
Occupation: attends Government Light on Mississippi river
Children: Emily 49, William 16
History of Lee County, Iowa 1879”, Montrose Township, Page 759:

Carpenter, Montrose; was born in Kanawha Co., Va., in 1824; he came to Muscatine, Iowa, in 1843; in the spring of 1844, he removed to Dahlonega, Wapello Co., where he resided till 1847, when he removed to Lee Co.; he located permanently in Montrose in 1850. He married in 1852, Emily Carlin; they have had four children, three of whom are living-Laura L., Lee and William G.; Manfred, the oldest, died, aged about 2 years.

Davis, Frank

The Captains Farris

Joseph Farris
Father of Eugene Farris
Occupation: steamboat man

Eugene Farris
Born Oct. 21 1854 Ms.
Occupation: steamboatman
Married: A. U. Ruth
Children: Ruby Emily B/ 8-24-1892 Keokuk

Charley Farris
Born: Jan 29, 1850 On a canal boat near Zainesville, Ohio
Moved to Montrose 1868
Occupation: rapids pilot, Captain
Father: Robert Farris
Boats: Silver Crescent, Keokuk, and Columbia
Married: Edith Keil
Children: Clarence, Robert, Nellie
Died: Jan 12, 1933 age 83

I am of the opinion that Captain Charley Faris is the only person now living who can give us the story of navigating the Des Moines, and we shall expect him to do it. Charlie got his feet wet at a very early age, contracted the water disease and went on to the boats as a cabin boy. His father, Robert Faris, who died a few years ago at Farmington Iowa, knew more about the Des Moines river than any one of his time. As a pilot he navigated the stream for many years. Later on, on the Mississippi, he became a pilot and then a captain.”

C. H. Faris was the Steamboat agent for the “Diamond Jo Line” in Montrose.

diamond joe
Diamond Joe Line Advertising

Robert Farris
Father of Charley Farris

Chapter III
Burlington Saturday Evening Post
E. H. Thomas
“The Badger State hit a “nigger head” on the Ottumwa, Iowa rapids and went down about the year 1854. She was then navigating the Des Moines river. Robert Faris was her captain and pilot and Charley Faris, his son, who is still on the river, was a cabin boy. She was raised and went to St. Louis for repairs. Later on, in 1868, she struck the wreck of the Altoona and went to the bottom again.”

It was Charley Patton who was the cabin boy

Ferrin, Joseph
1880 Federal Census
Ferrin Joseph 30
Occupation: Steamboat pilot
Wife: Edith 23
Children: Clarence 4, Robert 2, Charles 7m,
Other: Charlot Kiel Mother in law
Ac Kiel 2

Gerboth, Henry
“A Raft Pilots Log”
Pg. 283
Walter Blair
Chief Engineers of the Rafters
Henry Gerboth…Montrose Iowa

River Boat Dave’s sight
Date: 02/23/2001 Hi David. I have enjoyed your sight but was not able to locate any info on the Adam Heine Steamboat. Can you point me to another site that might have info on steamboats used on the Mississippi river during the civil war. I received this info from my great grandfathers obit: Henry C. Gerboth, Montrose Iowa. "His experiences on the river included; during the civil war, considerable work on transport boats. He acted as engineer on the Adam Heine which was in the service of General Grant and from which he directed maneuvers of the army and navy." Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Norma Key in Folsom CA

Montrose Journal
Mrs. Harriet Gerboth former resident of Montrose, passed away at the home of her son, Albert in Davenport, Iowa. The funeral services was held in Montrose Monday at 1 P. M. the funeral party drove to Montrose from Davenport and the services wee held at the cemetery. those attending the services met at the home of Mrs. Mary Kiel and went from their to the cemetery.

Harriet Patterson was 89 yrs. of age and a member of the Presbyterian church at Mont, and was also a charter member of Martha chapter O. E. S. She was married to Henry Gerboth at Montrose her husband preceding her in death about ten yrs. ago. Mr. Gerboth was an engineer on steamboats that plied the Mississippi. Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Gerboth moved to Davenport, where she has since made her home with her son. She is survived by two sons, Albert of Davenport and Charles who lives in the west. Edward, another son, is deceased.

1905 Lee County History
Pages 181-183
H.C. Gerboth, retired engineer, who is now living at his home in Montrose, Lee county, Iowa, was born October 11, 1848, in Saxony, Germany, and when about six years f age came with his parents to America, embarking at Bremen and landing at New York, after a voyage of six weeks’ duration. Here the family first went to La Salle, Illinois, but later returned east to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where our subject was apprenticed in a steamboat machine shop, and acquired the trade of a machinist. The parents, however, went to Nicollet county, Minnesota, where they engaged in farming, and there the father was shot and killed by Indians while working in the field, and there also the death of the mother occurred. They were the parents of five children besides our subject, these being Frederick, Charles, Augusta and William, all of Minnesota, and Emma, of Des Moines, Iowa.

Mr. Gerboth first came to Iowa in 1856, as engineer on a steamboat, which went down the Ohio river to its mouth and ascended the Mississippi river, he making his headquarters at Keokuk, and in 1863 he married and established his home at Montrose. For forth-six years he followed his profession on the Mississippi river - from 1856 to 1902 continuously - about four years of this time being spent as assistant engineer and forty-two years as chief engineer, and in all this long period of time he met with but one accident of importance, which occurred in 1864, when he was making the trip up the river on the boat, “Island City,” with a cargo of corn belonging to he Federal government, and destined for the garrison at Fort Union. The cargo becoming wet, it swelled and burst the hull of the vessel, thus causing the boat to sink, and while the machinery was saved and towed back to the City of St. Louis on barges, the hull of the boat was left in the river, as all efforts to raise it failed. the second engineer on this trip was William Oldenburg, now deceased, a sketch of whose career is given on another page of this volume. Mr. Gerboth’s experience as an engineer has been extremely varied, and included during the Civil War considerable work on transport boats, he also acting as engineer of the dispatch boat, “Adam Heine,” which was in the service of General Grant, at Millikin’s Bend, near Vicksburg, from which the general viewed the maneuvers of the army and fleet. His first regular employment on the Mississippi river was as engineer of a towboat plying over the Des Moines rapids, after which he was engineer on the Northern line, which ran daily packets between St. Louis and St. Paul, and for three years he was employed on the ferryboat “Keokuk,” plying between Keokuk and Hamilton, this being before the Keokuk and Hamilton bridge was constructed, while from 1880 to 1885 he run a sawmill at Montrose for the firm of Healy, Fellt & White. During the latter period of his work he was engineer of the Kit Carson raft boat, owned by John C. Daniels, of Keokuk, and engaged in towing lumber and logs from Stillwater, Minnesota, to Hannibal, Missouri, and to other points, and among the principal boats on which he has filled the position of chief engineer are the “Reserve,” the :Canada,” the “Kit Carson,” and the “Savannah.”

On September 9, 1863, Mr. Gerboth was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Patterson, who was born in Ohio, and came to Montrose in her girlhood, and to them have been born three sons, as follows: Edward, who died at the age of thirty-eight years; Charles, of Deeth, Nevada, who married Miss Ida Bane, and has four children, Charles, Ruth, Albert ad Elise; Albert, groceryman, of Davenport, who married Miss Nellie Reeves, of Montrose. Husband and wife are faithful members of the Presbyterian church, in which they are devoted workers, and to whose support nd charities they have always generously contributed, and fraternally Mr. Gerboth is a member of Joppa Lodge, No. 137, of the Masonic Order, being Junior Warden of the Lodge, and Mrs. Gerboth is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. He has done his full share in attending t the public affairs of his o community, having served as a member of the common council, and of the board of education, and being a helpful worker in the ranks of the Republican party, in w hose principles he is a thorough and conscientious believer, although bound by no hard and fast ties of partisanship. In a pecuniary way he has been very successful, owning at the present time the ranch of 240 acres in Nevada, managed by his son Charles, the store building in Davenport, Iowa, occupied by his son Albert, residence property in East Moline, Illinois, and the pleasant home in Montrose, where he enjoys in retirement from active duties of life the ease which he has well earned by a life of conscientious labor, frugality and economy. His place in the esteem of his neighbors is an enviable one, and the honor in which he is held has been fully merited by the life record which he had made for the inspiration of future generations, for his achievements are entirely the result of his own efforts, unassisted by family, kindred or friends.

Gillespie, Charles
Lived in Keokuk according to the census records and became a pilot there in the late 1800's. If I remember correctly he was involved in saving lives in a riverboat fire that occurred
in Keokuk. The Deliles and Speakes also lived there as early as 1860-1870

Scott Schurwan research and married to descendant * see Speake

Goodnough, Rufus
Born Dec. 25, 1816
Born: Chillocothe Ohio
Occupation: steamboat pilot
Married: Oct 1855, Nancy Harcheshell, Ark.
2nd wife: Lovina Wallace
Children: Fanny R.
Died: June 1897
Buried: Montrose

An honored resident of Montrose, and an experienced and skillful pilot of the Mississippi River, is a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, and was born on Christmas Day, 1816. He is the son of Asa and Elizabeth (Brown) Goodnough, natives respectively of Vermont and Ohio. They were the parents of two children-Rufus, the subject of our sketch, and William.

Capt. Goodnough turned his face westward in 1828, crossing the river to St. Louis, Mo., where he embarked on the steamer “Warrior,” and came up the river as far as Galena. The country at that time was wild and uncultivated, and he well remembers the solitude of the lonely scenery along the banks of the Mississippi upon which now stand flourishing cities, before which are anchored the proud and beautiful modern craft that now navigate the Father of Waters. During the Texas troubles, in 1835, he went to the Lone Star State, remaining about seven years and afterward returned to St. Louis, where he engaged as a pilot on the Upper Mississippi, occupying this difficult and responsible position for the next twenty years. This included the date at which Ft. Sumter was fired upon by the rebels, and he resolved to enter the service of his country. With the assistance of Capt. Gallend he raised a company of volunteers, which became Co. H, 6th Iowa Vol. Inf., and was appointed First Lieutenant. He resigned his commission in the winter of that same year, and coming home proceeded to raise another company, enlisting his men in the 30th Iowa Regiment, in which company he served as Captain until April 9, 1863. At this time, on account of ill-heath, being afflicted with asthma and bronchitis, he resigned and received an honorable discharge. During his military career he participated in the engagements at Arkansas Post and Chickasaw and Mississippi Bayou. He was never wounded while in battle, but on account of impaired health is drawing a small pension from the Government.

Capt. Goodnough was married in October, 1855, to Mrs. Nancie (Pierce) Hardisshell, an Arkansas lady. She remained the companion of her husband for a period of twenty-three years, and departed this life April 1, 1878. Of this union there were no children. He was the second time married in 1880, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Lovina Wallace, widow of John Wallace, and born in Iowa in 1840. Of this union there has been one child, a daughter, Fannie R., the date of whose birth was Aug. 21, 1881.

Capt. Goodnough is represented in many of the societies and orders of the present day, and is a great favorite among his brethren of the different fraternities. He became a member of the A. F. & A. M. in 1856, and has filled the various offices of the Blue Lodge. He also belongs to the Royal Arch and Council degrees; is a member of Joppa Lodge No. 136, at Montrose, Iowa, and the Royal Arch and Council degrees in the Potowonock Lodge at Ft. Madison, Iowa. He is also connected with the Cascade Lodge No. 66, I.O.O.F., at Montrose, and is a Good Templar. Besides this, he is also a member of the Knights of Labor Lodge at Montrose, and of the Tip Best Post G.A.R., at Montrose. He also belongs to the Sir Knights of the Palm and Shell, and the Chapter of the Eastern Star. Capt. Goodnough is a member in good standing of the Episcopal Church of Montrose, to the support of which he contributes liberally and cheerfully. Besides his river interests he is the possessor of real estate inside the city limits of Montrose, and occupies a handsome and comfortable home. As a river man he is exceedingly popular, and as a townsman is held in high respect by his fellow-citizens. The portrait of Capt. Goodnough, which accompanies this sketch, will be viewed with pleasure by his many friends.
Transcribed by Mary Sue Chatfield.

Hartley, Thomas 52
Occupation: Steam engineer
Born: England April 12, 1828
Wife: Anna 43
Died Sept. 12, 1900

Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County, Iowa”, Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1887, Page 356:
THOMAS HARTLEY, of Montrose Township, is head engineer of the Government Guard, or Upper Lock, on the Des Moines Rapids Government Canal, a position requiring the exercise of large experience and a cool head. Mr. Hartley is considered peculiarly well qualified for this responsible position. The subject of this biography is the son of George and Elizabeth (Moat) Hartley, natives of Yorkshire, England, where they were married. They came to America in 1833, proceeding at once to Wheeling, W. Va., where the mother died three years later, in 1836. George Hartley was a brewer by occupation, and survived his wife thirty-two years, dying in 1868. They were the parents of eight children-Charles, William, Ann, Moses, Thomas, John, George and Henry.

Thomas Hartley is the fifth child of his parents’ family, and was born April 12, 1828. He remained under the parental roof until he arrived at years of manhood, and was united in marriage with Miss Ann Goss. Mrs. Hartley was born in 1836. Of their union has been born one child, Charles, who married Miss Mary Mathena, , and is now engaged as a machinist in Burlington, Iowa.

Thomas Hartley came to the Hawkeye State in 1854 and located in Keokuk. He had learned the trade of machinist and also that of engineering, in Wheeling, W. Va., in 1847. He took charge of the Upper Lock as head engineer in 1879, and since that time has thus been continuously engaged. He occupies a comfortable homestead and enjoys the esteem of his fellow townsmen. In Politics he affiliates with the Republican party.

Hilton, George
George Hilton, 46
Occupation: boat engineer
Born: Pennsylvania
Wife: Rebecca, 33
Children: Arvilla 15, Hattie 12, Hita 7, Danial 7, William 2

Lewis, Marcina
1880 Federal Census
Marcina, 55
Occupation: steam engineer
Born: N. Y.
Wife: Lucy, 53
Children: Carrie 19

McBride, Steve
Chapter 13
C.H. Thomas
Saturdaay Burlington Post
Out here, among the corn fields of Iowa, I discovered, two old time river men, Steve McBride, formerly of Montrose, and Andy Pitts. The latter died several years ago. These two men were on the Ottumwa police force for a long time an made faithful and efficient officers.

Morris, W. J., 55
Occupation: Steam engineer
Born: New York
Wife: Elizabeth, 49
Children: , Norwood, 22; Minnie, 19

The Captains Owen

Owen Robert, pilot (1889 Lee County Directory)
Raft Pilot since 1852, married Elizabeth A. Peck in 1856

“A Raft Pilots Log”
Walter Blair
List of Raft-boats, their Masters and owners, 1883
The “Prescott” owned by Sam Speake and R. S. Owen, Montrose, Iowa
Pg 299

List of Raft-boats in Commission, 1890,
with names of their Masters and Owners, as published in the
Davenport Democrat, February, 1890
owned by Des Moines Towing Company of Montrose, Iowa.

R. S. Owen, 54
Occupation: river pilot
Born: Indiana
Wife: Eliz, 44
Children: Zack 22

From “Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County, Iowa” 1887, Pages 428 and 431: [page 429 is blank and page 430 is a picture of St. Mary’s Church and School, Ft. Madison, Iowa]
“CAPT. ROBERT S. OWEN is one of the pioneer boatmen of the Mississippi, having plied the rapids between Keokuk and Montrose for the last thirty-nine years, and is part owner of the steamboat “Park Bluff,” belonging to the Des Moines Rapids Towing Company, and the steamer “Prescott.” He also has an interest in other river craft, and among the members of his calling occupies a prominent and enviable position. He is skillful and popular, and is well and favorably known for miles up and down the river.”

Owen Ephraim/ Owen Ephriam F.

From “Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County, Iowa” 1887, Pages 428 and 431: [page 429 is blank and page 430 is a picture of St. Mary’s Church and School, Ft. Madison, Iowa]
“Ephraim F., also a steamboat Captain and pilot on the lower Mississippi, was married in 1867, to Miss Mary Barnett, of Mobile, Ala.; he died in St. Louis on the 18th day of September, 1867, of yellow fever. He had started from St. Louis in command of the steamer “Bee,” belonging to the Mississippi Valley Transportation Company, made his trip in safety, and was stricken with the plague in Baton Rouge, La., and brought to St. Louis. His first trip up the river as pilot was to St. Paul in 1854, and he followed the Upper Mississippi as pilot until 1863, when he went below and followed the Lower Mississippi trade for the following two years, then purchased an interest in the steamer “War Eagle,” running her as Captain one year. He then became employed by the above-named transportation company, and secured a life insurance to the extent of $5,000, which after his death was paid to the widow.”

Life Story of
Alvin Franklin Stewart
By his granddaughter, Ethel H. Stewart Russell, 1957
“When Grandfather was seventeen years of age he bought his time of his father and Went to visit his cousins in Ohio. In 1842 he moved to Illinois. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 20 March 1842. Brigham Young ordained him an Elder and on the 29 of October 1843 he was married by Heber C. Kimball to Camera O. Owen, daughter of Ephraim Owen and Mary M. Kern Owen of Montrose, Iowa, in the Nauvoo Temple. They made their home in Montrose. Her people were also Latter Day Saints and were living at Commerce on the original site of Nauvoo when the Saints moved there. They were pioneer boatmen on the Mississippi River.”

Ephriam Owen died 1839 Montrose, Iowa
Ephriam f Owen died Sept. 18th, 1867 St. Louis

Owen George
Chapter 28
Burlington Saturday Evening Post
E. H. Thomas
“Any man with average intelligence can start and stop an engine and watch the water gauges, but to be a competent river engineer one must know every part of his machinery and be able to repair it on short notice when out of repair. The steamboat companies expect this of their men. The men on the boats at that time were not only engineers, but skillful mechanics, could make their own repairs and save the companies much time and money. With such men as Spence Bruton, John Parr, Bob Soloman, Lou Jenks, W. H. Pierce and Geo Owen on watch we knew the machinery would be kept in good order and the engines promptly handled at the landings and in close places. The skill and promptness of the engineer had all to do with handling a boat. A failure on the part of the engineer to promptly answer the bell signals sent down to him, would get the pilot into serious trouble. These engineers were paid from $100 to $150 per month, and they earned the money.”

Omen (Owen?) George
1880 Federal Census
George Omen, 52
Occupation: river engineer
Wife: Martha, 51
Children: Mirtle, 16
Owens William
Chapter 15
E. H. Thomas

Saturday Evening Post
“I do no not know why it was, but as far as my acquaintance went among them, I noticed that the river men were Democrats. Whenever there was a crowd of us together they had a good working majority. On my run between Davenport and St. Louis I found but three Republican among the pilots. One of these was Bill Owens of Montrose. William was not only a republican but a very radical noisy member of the party. The other fellows nagged him to keep him going and along in the 70’s nicknamed him “Horace Greeley,” Bill wore an old white overcoat and in some respects resembled the great New York editor, one of the organizers of the republican party”

Research by relative Patricia W. Grudzinski
Page 10 & 11
Wm. Owens
I was born in Knox Co. Indiana in 1816 and in 1839 I immigrated to then Territory of Iowa traveling through the state of Illinois a part of the time on foot, with rifle on my shoulder and knapsack on my back so you see carpet baggers were in vogue then as well as now. Illinois was almost a wilderness then, her broad prairies and her rich bottom lands had been scarcely touched by the plow-shares of the husbandman, a rude log cabin could be occasionally seen marking the spot, where some brave Pioneer had pitched his tent. I reached Lee County Iowa late in the fall of 1839, took up my residence in Montrose township. I found the people, what few there were greatly excited over a dispute which had arisen between the territory of Iowa and Missouri with regard to the boundary between them and the matter had been called to the field of war. A neighbor of mine raised a company placed himself at its head as captain, and marched to the field of carnage but in a very short time he returned, badly wounded, having been shot in the neck, and his command generally very much demoralized not long after the news reached us, not on the wires, but by weekly mail, that the olive branch of peace waved over the bloody chasm, upon arriving here, I worked my trade, a house carpenter, then engaged in building and repairing boats, and piloting over the Rapids, this business I followed for several years, sold out and went upon the river, as a steam boat pilot, which I have followed ever since in all something over twenty (20) years running from St. Louis to all points above as far North as St. Paul. In looking around me I find but very few of my old settler friends still survive, death and removals have thinned their ranks so much that but few are left. I look back with many pleasing reflections over the past thirty years of my residence in old Lee County, not however entirely unmixed with bitterness. In my moments of meditation I often think of the great changed which has taken place in our country, its rapid increase in population, wealth, improvements, civilization and refinement, and ask myself the question, if our advancement should be as rapid in the next quarter of a century as it has been in the past, what a grand and glorious state we will have. Upon my arrival in this county, hostilities with the Sac and Fox Indians had ceased, the triumph of our arms at the battle of Bad AX and the capture of Black Hawk, the distinguished chief of those tribes had occurred. Fort Des Moines, where Montrose now stands, had been evacuated - leaving the old barracks still standing - but occupied by citizens. I saw occasionally moving bands of Indiana passing about this county, and one occasion, I met old Keokuk, with a few of his braves quietly smoking his pipe in his tent, surrounded by his wives and pap-pooses. I have nothing more at present to say. Pardon me for being so tedious. My residence is still in Montrose at which place I shall always take pleasure in meeting my old settlers friends, and giving them a cordial shake of the hand. Montrose, Lee County, Iowa Aug. 1, 1873. (Died at Montrose Iowa Sept. 30, 1876. Rachael, his wife, died at Montrose Oct. 25, 1884)

Personal note: William married his first wife Lucinda Galland in Edgar Co. Illinois June 5, 1837. Their first child, Isaac, named after her father, no doubt) was born June 7, 1838.
So when William made this trip to Iowa, it was apparently with a wife and child---which he did not mention. He also states that he "sold" out his business. So who really knows what happened???? Haven't been able to find the location of their final resting place. I am told one cemetery was flooded years ago and destroyed.

Written by Patricia Grudzinski

About all I can add about William is that he was somewhat a colorful character. In an article a story told by William for the Old Settlers Association in 1873, he states that he immigrated to the Territory of Iowa in 1839, walking across the state of Illinois on foot. His trade was a house carpenter but he also built and repaired boats and later became a steamboat pilot. Family lore from another descendant say's his grandmother, Marietta Shumate, William's daughter, would never let the family have a deck of cards in the house. This was because William Owen's was supposed to have gambled his steam boat and lost it in a poker game. It was a sore spot in the family.

The Captains Patten
Patten C. H.

Chapter XXXXI Saturday Evening Post E. H. Thomas
Capt. C. H. Patten
A veteran Steamboat engineer,
Capt Charles H. Patten was born on June 20, 1841,on a farm adjacent to Sackett’s Harbor, Jefferson County, New York. With His Parents he came to Iowa at an early day. His father, Capt. H.  M. Patten, was successively watchman, Carpenter and captain of Mississippi and Des Moines rivers steamers. Charles H.
Patten became cabin boy when eleven years of age, and a year later was serving in this capacity on the Badger State’ when that steamer floundered on The Ottumwa rapids of the Des Moines River in 1853. Edward Stewart, now Traveling salesman for the Fort Madison Plow company, was pilot on the “Badger
State.” Capt. Chas. H. Patten is one of The veterans of the river. Until recent years he was in active service in the Engine room. His reminiscence would Fill a book, and all he has written has Been of decided interest. He is now A guard at the power plant of the State Institution at Fort Madison.

Patton Dee

“A Raft Pilots Log”
Walter Blair
Pg. 283
List of Chief Engineers of the Rafters
Dee Patton …Montrose, Iowa

1880 Federal Census
F. D. Patton 28
Occupation: steam engineer
Born: Iowa
Wife: Emily 27
Children: Minnie 5, Elsie 3, May 1

Patton H. M. Patton
Father of Charles Patton
Occupation: Captain

E. H Thomas
Chapter 31
Burlington Saturday Evening Post
Capt. H. M. Patten, was successively watchman, Carpenter and captain of Mississippi and
Des Moines rivers steamers.

The Captains Ruby

The Ruby’s lived upriver in Buffalo, Iowa in the winter and downriver in Montrose each summer when their steamboats were used for weekly service. For more on the Ruby’s go to Celticcousins.com and look for Ruby Scrapbook.

Ruby E. Jerome born in New York 1830, pilot of the Moline, died Rock Island Ill.

Taken by the marshall of transportation and forced to sail down thru rebel lines during the civil war.

Ruby Oscar Mills Was a cub pilot and part of the great excursion. He and Homer often piloted together. Buried in Buffalo Iowa.

Ruby Homer Sheldon (Shell) Piloted boats like the Tishomingo, Sidney, Diamond Jo, Keithsburg and New Boston.

Ruby Perry son of Oscar Mills Ruby, born in Montrose, was captain of the Wake Robin. Died in Keokuk, Iowa.

Schroeder, Henry, 44
Occupation: steamboatman
Born: Germany
Wife: Annie, 36
Children: Annie 13, Jennie 11, Clarence 7, Henry 4
Died: 12, November 1914

From Descendant of George Best, Terrie Cooper-Piper
Sarah E. Best b 1844 d 1925 sister of steamboatmen George and James Best married Henry C. Schrader/Schroeder 1/4/1860 in Lee County, Iowa.

The Captains Speake

Speake Charles

1880 Federal Census
Charles Speake 31
Born: Iowa
Occupation: river pilot
Wife: Eliz 25
Child: Ida 3
Died Mt. Pleasant 1895

Speake, Charles Carlton

submitted by Paul Malloway
Charles Carlton Speake was born 5 October 1847 in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa, the son of Valentine and Elizabeth (Greenwell) Speake. He married Nancy Catherine Elizabeth Skinner on 5 November 1874 in Montrose, Lee County. The 1870, 1880 and 1900 US Censuses of Montrose list him as a steamboat pilot. Charles Carlton died 5 November 1901 in Montrose and is buried with his wife in Montrose Cemetery.

Speake Sam

Chapter 13
Burlington Saturday Evening Post
E. H. Thomas
“The late Capt R. S. Owen and Sam Speake, as good rapids pilots as ever piloted a boat down over the rapids, told the writer the name of some that participated in getting the Mechanic Rock from the channel to the Iowa shore to with; Hugh White, Wm. Gore, Thos. McIntosh, Wm. Adams of Galland (then it was called Nashville), the two Brierly brothers, Col Snodley and other names that I have forgotten. Hon. J. B. Kiel, Mayor of Montrose, had taken several views of Mechanic Rock, but his supply is exhausted now, but will print some more as soon as he recovers from his sickness, so he writes me. I endeavored to get some for you to mail with this, and will have to abide my time until Mr. Kiel is able to get around.”

1880 Federal Census Montrose Iowa
Sam Speake 45
Born: Ky 1834
Occupation: River pilot
Wife: Susan 22
Child: Annie 6
Died: Montrose 1900
1868 Married: Minerva Delisle

December 12- Capt. Samuel Speak departed this life at his home in Montrose Saturday, December 10, 1904, from partial paralysis. He was a native of Kentucky, born near Louisville October 29, 1834. He was a successful river pilot and plied the waters of the Mississippi for about fifty years, he being the oldest raft pilot known in this vicinity. Captain Speak was a kind and obliging neighbor and friend, was always
ready to alleviate the sufferings of others. He leaves to mourn his demise two daughters, Mrs. Wm. Worthington of Lincoln, Neb., and Mrs. John Reed of this city, one sister, Mrs. Russell Holmes of Fort Madison, the only surviving member of the immediate family. Rev. W. E. Fisher officiated. The interment was made in the Montrose cemetery Monday afternoon.
Quite a number of the relatives of Capt. Speak from Keokuk and the middle lock attended the funeral Monday afternoon. Fort Madison Iowa Dec. 12, 1904

*Mrs. Wm Worthington she was Minerva's daughter. She was still alive when Mrs. .John Reed died because she attended the funeral in Montrose.

Dear Robert
I have a lot information from the Keokuk records and elsewhere for Charles Gillespie, not as much on Samuel. My interest in Samuel Speake was his first wife Minerva Delisle, the daughter of John B Delisle who was also a riverboatman. John Delisle married Hester Rebecca Gillespie, the older sister of Charles. Rebecca is my wife's second-great grandmother.

God Bless you,
Scott Schurwan

I see where you are going with this information. The Gillespies, Deliles and Speakes were evidently all in the riverboat business as evidenced by the census records. Charles Gillespie died about 1915 in Denver Co. and there was an extensive obit for him in the Keokuk paper. I found no such obit for John Delile who died either in Keokuk or St. Louis sometime before 1870.

Charles Delile the son of John B. (Delisle or Delile) was also a river boat pilot. His parents died when he was young and I believe he was raised by his uncles Charles and/or Albert Gillespie. Maybe these two emails will give you some clues to persue his career further than I did. He died in Rock Island, Illinois in 1923 I believe. His obit in the Rock Island newspaper was extensive.

Scott Schurwan researcher married to descendant

Speake, Capt. Samuel L.
submitted by Paul Malloway
Samuel L. Speake was born 29 October 1834 in Marion County, Kentucky, the son of Valentine and Elizabeth (Greenwell) Speake. The 1870, 1880 and 1900 US Censuses of Montrose, Lee County, Iowa listed him as a steamboat river rapids pilot. He married Minerva M. Delisle on 27 November 1860 in Lee County, Iowa. They had three children. He remarried about 1880. One source listed his second wife’s name as Sarah SuAnn Ellen Rosetta Skinner. (She was listed as “Susan” in the 1880 Census.) Samuel died 10 December 1904 in Montrose and is buried there.

17 September 1891 – Prescott at Mechanic’s Rock (Zip Owens (front), Sam Speaks (in boiler room doorway) from the collection of the Putnam Museum, Davenport, Iowa (another copy of this photo gives names and dates)

Park Bluff
Park Bluff
The Park Bluff (From the collection of the Putnam Museum, Davenport, Iowa.)

The following is from “Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County, Iowa;” Chicago:
Chapman Bros., 1887:

"Capt. Samuel Speake, a resident of Nauvoo, but making his home mostly in Montrose Village, is one of the most skillful pilots of the Mississippi River, and has traversed the "Father of Waters" since 1854. At that time he entered upon his responsible duties as pilot through the rapids between Montrose and Keokuk (Iowa), and four years later was placed in charge of a valuable raft which he floated from Stillwater to St. Louis. He worked for four months in the pineries of Minnesota, and was on the St. Croix Lake with Joseph Hall, the commander of a raft from Stillwater to New Boston Bay, where they were obliged to lay up on account of high water. In the year 1881 he purchased a one-third interest with R.S. Owen and others, in the packet steamers "Prescott" and "Park Bluff". The "Prescott" is one of the finest steamers on the Father of Waters, and Capt. Speake is considered one of the foremost pilots now following the rapids. He has been a thorough business man, owns property in Montrose and Nauvoo, and is a general favorite among river men, and among his fellow-citizens when he is on terra firma.

"Capt. Speake is a native of Marion Co., KY., and the date of his birth was Oct. 29, 1829 (editor note: Lee Co. census says 1934, and that agrees with him being 70 years old when he died). When he was a lad of six years, his parents moved from KY to Illinois, and he received a very limited education in the schools of the Prairie State, where he attended one week. He was a bright and ambitious boy, however, keenly observant of what was going on around him and made the most of his opportunities. At the early age of eleven years he started out for himself and decided on his future course, which was to follow the river. He was first engaged as cabin boy, and climbed up, step by step, to his present responsible position.

"Nov. 27, 1860, Capt. Speake was united in marriage with Miss Minerva M. DeLisle, and of this union there are three children: Lucia A. who married William Worthington, of Lincoln, Neb.; Annie E and Frank; the latter is a bright little boy of eight years."

Speake Valentine
Born: 1810 at: Married: at Washington Co., KY
Occupation: river man
Died: 1880 Montrose
Father: Basil Speake
Mother: Elizabeth Kenneth
Wife: Elizabeth GREENWELL
CHILDREN: Christina Speake, (M William West), Nancy Eliz Speake (M Wesley Ferguson), Capt. Samuel Speake,  (M. Minerva Delisle), Mary Speake, Charles Carlton Speake,  (M Nancy Skinner), Henerietta Speake  (M. Rupell Holmes)

Speake, Valentine
Valentine Speake was born in 1810 in Washington County, Kentucky, the son of Basil and Elizabeth (Greenwell) Speake. The 1850 and 1870 US Census of Montrose, Lee Co., Iowa listed him as a “rapids river pilot”. He Married Elizabeth Greenwell on 1 October 1830 in Springfield, Kentucky. They had seven children, four in Kentucky, one in Illinois, and two in Lee County Iowa. He died at Montrose, Lee County, Iowa during the first half of 1876 and is buried in Montrose Cemetery. The 1865 Iowa Gazetteer listed Valentine as a lumber dealer in Lee County. His sons Samuel L. and Charles Carlton, and son-in-law William West (husband of Christina Speake) were also river pilots.
Submitted by Paul Malloway

Stewart, Edward

Stiner, Thomas
Occupation: steam engineer
Born: Ohio

The Captains West

West Harrison pilot (1889 Lee County Directory)

1880 Federal Census Montrose Iowa
West Harrison 52
Occupation: river man
Born: Ohio
Wife: Milison 49
Children: Emma 19, Etta 17

West William, rapids pilot (1889 Lee County Directory)
Some Companies in the Jacob Gates Wagon Train did not report a roster list so the list of the Jacob Gates Wagon Train is not complete. William West and family are not listed in this company or any of the companies coming to Utah, but they were on the ship International with the Crossland family. Research indicates that William West and his family stayed and lived in Keokuk, Iowa.

Montrose Journal
Nov. 28, 1902
WEST, William died at his home in Price’s Creek, Wednesday. He bore the distinction of being the oldest man in Keokuk. He came in the early days. Married in Montrose, 12 August 1850 leaves nine children, 24 grandchildren.

Wife: William West: Christina Speake

West, William
submitted by Paul Malloway
William West was born between 1803 and 1820 (various sources give different dates and ages). He married Christina Speake on 11 August 1849 in Lee County, Iowa. They had nine children, all born in Iowa. The 1880 US Census of Jackson Twp., Lee County, Iowa lists his occupation as riverboat pilot. He died 26 November 1902 in Lee County and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Keokuk.
Source: Lee Co., IA GenWeb Project, Articles From MONTROSE, IOWA JOURNAL, Transcribed by Connie (Dobson) Putthoff

28 Nov 1902
“WEST, William died at his home in Price’s Creek, Wednesday. He bore the distinction of being the oldest man in Keokuk. He came in the early days. Married in Montrose, 12 August 1850, leaves nine children, 24 grandchildren.”

The Captains White

White, James
Born: Sept 26, 1802
Adams County, Vermont
Wife: Laurancy Barber
Children: Sarah, Nancy, Elizabeth, Alexander, William, Mary, Capt Hugh L White, Lurancy, Polly
Capt. James White Established Montrose in 1854

White, Hugh
Father: Capt. James White

The steamboat Mechanic was a side wheel boat single engine, which was the prevailing construction of steamboats at that time, 1830, and owned by Capt. Hugh L. White and others. Capt. White was an uncle of Capt. J. W. Campbell, who was cub pilot on the boat learning the river. It was just after dark when the boat sank, but was raised and taken to St. Louis for repairs. The winter followed the sinking of the boat Capt White whose home was just below Nauvoo, Ills. Got several men interested with him to join in while the river was at low tide and hauled the rock to the Iowa shore which was done by prying the rock from its embedment and putting log chains around it hitching on sixteen yokes of oxen pulling the rock to near the bank, they could not get any nearer, the bank being so steep there was only two yokes of oxen that could get a foot hold- and ever since then that rock has been called “Mechanic Rock,” The pilots had it for a gauge to tell how much water was in the channel over the rapids, and the writer remembers that when a boat would land at Montrose on the down stream trip the pilot would stop ashore and inquire from some of the pilots that lived in Montrose how far Mechanic Rock was out of water, until after low water of 1863 and 1864, when the upper Mississippi river pilots association had two indicators erected; one at Montrose and the other at Keokuk.

Williams, S. A. (Sam)

Withrow, Mordacai

Mary Elizabeth "Emma" Withrow was born about September 2, 1824 in OH and died June 19, 1910 in Ozark, Christian Co., MO. She married Thomas H "Tom" Brierly on May 23, 1841 in Hancock Co., IL. He was born about 1822 in OH and died before 1880 in MO. Mary is buried at the City of Ozark Cemetery in Christian Co.Mo. Tom Brierly was a famous riverboat Captain.

As you can see from the 1850 census record Thomas' brother in law, Mordecai Withrow, was also a "river man". Modecai was also from the Montrose area. He may have died before 1860.  Federal Census of Ward 5, St Louis, St Louis County, MO.

Withrow, S. B.

“A Raft Pilots Log Book” Walter Blair
List of Raft-boats, their Masters
and owners, 1883
Glenmont, S.B.Withrow
Menominie, Stephen Withrow

Davenport Republican
Dec. 13, 1901
List of Boats and Masters
Ben Hershey, S. Withrow

Miscellaneous information from A Raft Pilot's Log/RapidPilots who ran Rafts over the Lower, or Des Moines, Rapids by Walter Blair

J.P. Barber died at Montrose, 1915.
Cha. H. Farris living in Montrose, well and active at seventy-eight.
R.S. Owen died at Montrose, 1898.
Charles Speak died at Mt. Pleasant, 1895.
Sam Speak died at Montrose, 1900.
Valentine Speak died at Montrose, 1880.
William West lived at Priced creek.
Sam Williams died in California, 1878.

When the old canal was finished in 1878, the work of the Rapids pilots was greatly reduced, as rafts could be put through the canal in less time and with less expense and damage in extreme low water than working them over outside.

Then in 1913, when the Keokuk dam was completed, there was no more work for the Rapids pilots on any craft between Montrose and Keokuk. Captain Charles Farris made the last trip as a Rapids pilot, taking the
big 'Morning star' down and back on a special sight-seeing trip when the dam was completed and the old Rapids submerged nearly all the way up. There were three locks in the old canal, each eighty feet wide and three hundred feet long.  During the busy year of rafting, Captain Joseph Farris was in charge of
the Guard lock, at the upper end, at the village of Galland.

Nicholas McKenzie was in charge of the middle lock. He was the father of Captain Hugh McKenzie and grandfather of Louis McKenzie, now in the crew that operates the big single lock that passes vessels from Lake Keokuk to the river level below or contrariwise, John Carpenter had charge of the Lower or Keokuk lock and Major M. Meigs was in charge of the entire canal dry docks and machine shop. Major Meigs and John Carpenter are now(1928) living quiet, retired, but healthy and happy lives in Keokuk.

Other Sources:
Burlington Saturday Evening Post article from 1912 by E. H. Thomas
A Raft Pilot's Log by Walter Blair
1880 Federal Census
1889 Lee County Directory

Georgeann McClure
David Lewis
Terrie Cooper-Piper, married to a descendant of the Best steamboat men
Patricia W. Grudzinski relative of Samuel Brierly

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