Lee County Genealogy
History

RIVERBOAT MEN
KEOKUK, IOWA
Contributed by Georgeann McClure 04/07/2007

RIVERBOATMEN
Keokuk, Iowa
Compiled by Georgeann McClure

Brooks John
1880 Census
John Brooks
Occupation: Pilot on steamboat
Wife: May 36
John 20 Engineer on steamboat
Children: May 17, Nellie 16,

Brown Andrew
1880 Census
Occupation: steamboat agent

Cephus Gregg
1880 Census
Gregg Cephus 35 Pa.
Occupation: Pilot on steamboat

Carpenter John
Walter Blair
A Raft Pilots Log
"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.”

Carpenter Adam
1880 Census
Adam Carpenter 33 Pa.
Occupation: Steamboat fireman
Wife: Mary 31
Children: Franky 11, Allie 6

Daniels J. C. Capt
W. A. Blair
pg 172
J.C. Daniels of Keokuk sold the 'Lumberman' to Captain Bradley of Cairo and she worked around Cairo several years as the "Fritz.' He sold
the 'Kit Carson' late in the day to the LaCrosse Mississippi River Towing Company and she was finally sold to a Memphis party for towing logs in
barges to mills on Wolf river. I saw her there in 1915, condemned and later dismantled.

Steamer Kit Carson . . . . . . . 123
A large, powerful rafter with no unnecessary upper works to catch the wind. She was built at Stillwater, 1880, for Captain A.R. Young and the
Burlington Lumber Company. Sam Hitchcock was her head-pilot for several years. Then she was sold to J.C. Daniels of Keokuk, and Gara Denberg
became her master and pilot. McDonald Brothers were her last owners in the rafting business.She was sold south and wore out at Memphis.

Chapter 50
E. H. Thomas
Saturday Evening Post
Among my files I find the following articles written and published several years ago by that fine gentleman and veteran historian Capt. James F.
Daugherty of Keokuk. It contains so much valuable historical information concerning the early navigation of the Des Moines river, that I feel certain all
of my readers will approve of my decision to give it here in full at this time:
 
Eastline John
1880 Census
John Eastline 35 Ireland
Occupation: Deck Hand
Spencer Grinnell
1880 Census
Spencer Grinnell 52 Pa.
Occupation: Steamboat Captain
Wife: Mirsay 44, In.
Gilkerson John
1880 Census
John Gilkerson: 68, N. Y. 
Occupation: steamboat man
Wife: Margaret 54 P. A.
Children: Edna 18 

Gillespie Charles Capt.
“Portraits and Biographecal Alburm of Lee County, Iowa”, 1887, Pages 282=293:
CAPT. CHARLES P. GILLESPIE, of the steamer “Colonel Patterson,” is an esteemed resident of the Gate City, and a property-holder within
its limits. He came to this city when it was a village of humble proportions, and has been an interested witness of the many changes and
improvements which have taken place during the last quarter of a century. Capt. Gillespie is a native of Virginia, and was born Dec. 22, 1842, his
parents being John and Sarepta (Medsker) Gilespie, natives of the same State. The father was a blacksmith by trade, and came to Keokuk in 1848,
where he successfully pursued his occupation and resided until his death, which occurred in 1856. He was a man of decided views, and a stanch
adherent of the Democratic party. His wife survived him fifteen years, dying in 1871.
The parental household of our subject included ten children, four of whom are deceased. The living are Henry C., Albert, and Capt. Charles P., of
Keokuk; Frances, Mrs. Talman, lives in Areola, Monona Co., Iowa; Maria, Mrs. Hughell, is in Sparta, Tenn.; Rachel, Mrs. McCarty, resides in Keokuk.
The younger days of Capt. Gillespie were spent in Keokuk, mostly in attendance at the common schools. At the age of seventeen he became pilot
on the ferry-boats of the Mississippi, and seven years later, as Captain, made the run from Viksburg to the source of the Mississippi. He has been continuously connected with river boats from the first, and was pilot over the rapids at Keokuk for a number of years. He also superintended the building
of barges, flatboats, and the steamer of which he is now Captain. He is a popular man along the river, and is highly esteemed likewise on terra firma,
at his home in Keokuk.
Capt. Gillespie was married in 1865, to Miss Annie, daughter of Jacob Brettenstine, of Keokuk, and of this marriage there was born one child, a
daughter, Elice. Mrs. Annie Gillespie died in 1874. Capt. G. was the second time married, in 1880, when Miss Elizabeth, a daughter of Martin Berg, became his wife. He has a handsome residence at the corner of Third and Orleans streets, and is fulfilling to the best of his ability the obligations of a
good citizen.

Harison W. H.
1880 Census
W. H. Harison 36
Occupation: fireman Steam boat
Wife Heltie 35
Children: Lizzie7, Carrie 5, Marie 4, Henry1.

Harkley Thomas
1859 Keokuk Directory
HARKLEY Thos. machinist, h n s Carroll b 8th & 9th
 

Heaight Charles
1859 Keokuk Directory
HEAIGHT Charles, s s Blondeau b 1st & 2d
1859 Keokuk Directory
 

HEAIGHT & Bro. (Thos. H. & Silas H.) forwarding & commission & steamboat agents, c Levee & Concert
Heaight Silas Capt
1859 Keokuk Directory
HEAIGHT Capt. Silas s s Blondeau b 1st & 2d
HEAIGHT Silas, (H. & Bro) h s s Blondeau b 1st & 2d

Silas Haight was a profane man
_________________
He ran steamer countess
in Burlington trade.
_______________
 Did No Loafing at the Landings
But Hustled Up and Down Stream.
___________ 
Written Exclusively for this Paper by Captain
E.H. Thomas of South Ottumwa.
Chapter XXXVII.
Saturday Evening Post Burlington Iowa
One of the pioneers in the steamboat business on the upper Mississippi was Captain Silas Haight, of Keokuk. I think he was running steamboats along there in the 40s, was in business during the 50s and did not quit the river until sometime in the 60s or 70s, I cannot give the exact dates. Captain Haight was lame in one leg, but a hustler, and made some money. He also took an interest in matters in his home town, and could and did write some interesting letters for the Keokuk papers. On the boat, Captain Haight was all right as long as everything went right, but when things went wrong he would cut loose. He had the steamboat profanity reduced to a science: all of us could swear, but all conceded that Captain Haight was the ranking man on that and of the river. And when he took one of these spells, he was no respector of persons. All of the crew, from pilot to deck sweep, who happened to be near him, would receive some of his packages. He had no use for a slow boat, and owned, or commanded some fast ones during his time on the river. He was there before the days of the lock up safety valve, at a time when there was no limit to the steam. It was said of him that he would make a fast boat out of a slow one, by ordering the engineers to load the safety valves with iron weights. That if he was chasing another steamer, he would pass her by increasing the steam pressure in his boilers. An engineer who was in his employ for several years, told me of one of these races ‘between Keokuk and Davenport. The two boats were preparing to leave Keokuk. Captain Haight came into the engine room and said, “Now George, I want to lead that boat into all of the towns above here, and I want you to distinctly understand that what I want to-day is steam, steam and plenty of it.” Now, it so happened that this engineer was known as a “hot engineer,” somewhat wreckless with his steam, and in the habit of reducing the water in the boilers, and increasing the steam pressure. So George concluded to give Capt. Haight the steam, by using all sorts of fuel and loading the safety valves with monkey wrenches and old iron he soon had the boilers and steam drum swelled up to about the limit. Captain Haight passed his rival near Fort Madison, and in approaching Burlington, he was about two miles in the lead. As the old man stood on the roof looking at the Burlington bluffs, he discovered that his steamer was going some. He flew downstairs as fast as his game leg would permit. He there fund a roaring fire under the boilers, the safety valves loaded with iron, and the steam gauge jumping around above the 200 mark. He then yelled at the engineer “For God’s sake cool her down, or we will all be in h--l before we reach Burlington,” she is the hottest steamboat I have ever seen.” Now this engineer was a lover of high pressure and speed, and on this occasion he was pleased to see the old man frightened. George had served his apprenticeship under one Engineer Campbell. This man thro big steam and low water, had exploded two sets of boilers, and went to his death in the second accident at some point on the Missouri river.
Captain Haight did no loafing at the landings. He would hustle his boat in and out and wait for no one. His wife went ashore at Burlington one day to do some shopping, telling Silas not to leave her. As he was backing away from the landing, Mrs. Haight appeared on the levee waving her handkerchief in the air, but it had no effect on the old man. He told her to go to the Barrett house and stay there until he returned from Keokuk. That he was not laying around with a steamboat waiting for women to stock up with needles and thread.
I think Capt. Haight’s last service on the river was as commander and owner of the steamer “Countess.” As I remember it the countess was a side
wheeler and equipped with six tubular boilers. It was during the 80’s or 70’s. At that time there were four passengers boats in operation between Keokuk and Davenport, and great rivalry between the company - all fighting for the business. As the veteran Haight stood on the shore and watched the contest, he concluded to take a hand in it and he went around on the Ohio river and purchased the Countess, and put her into the Davenport and Keokuk trade. He employed Deck Dickson as chief engineer knowing that Deck was not afraid of steam and low water, and I remember that Mills Ruby was one of the pilots. With this boat Captain Haight commenced the contest, declaring that he would whip the four passenger packets and whip then to a finish, and he made good. He took them by turns, and with big steam, the Countess would keep from one to two miles ahead of her rival every day in the week. Captain Haight would not wait for a large lot of freight and never made a tie at any of the towns. Holding the steamer up to the shore with the outside wheel, he would take the light packages and being far in advance of the other steamer, would get all of the passengers. He was skinning the packet companies six days in the week, and it made them sore, but this cut no figure with the veteran Haight. He whirled the Countess up and down the river, and got the business. The people always ride on the swift boat, regardless of the danger. Dickson was carrying an enormous steam pressure, the boilers were old and steamboat men along there who knew the danger, were expecting the old tubulars to go up in the air. I was standing on the Keithsburg levee one day, when the Countess rounded in to the landing, on her down steam run. The boat was enveloped in a cloud of steam, and every timber on her was trembling. Through this cloud of steam Mills Ruby came ashore, and he was carrying his grip. He told me he had quit his job in the pilot house. I asked him why he did it. “The trouble is,” said Mills, “The boat has a d--m fool for an engineer, and I will not ride another mile over his boilers. I shall take the train for my home in Fort Madison.” From the engine room door thro the cloud of steam, I saw the familiar face of Deck Dickson. He was laughing, swinging his hat in the air and roasting Ruby for leaving the boat. But Mills was justifiable in going ashore. The way things were running, I would not have accepted a free round trip ticket, with meals included, and rode on the Countess. We were all expecting to hear of her being blown to pieces. But Deck Dickson enjoyed these trips. Knowing no fear he regarded it as great amusement, to be cutting the water and leading all other boats along there. After whipping all competitors, the countess was laid up. One or both of the packet companies, purchased the steamer and tied her to the shore in order to get rid of Silas Haight. I was told that Captain Haight cleaned up about $10,000 on this deal, that he purchased the boilers at a low figure, and then unloaded on the packet companies at a good big price.


1859 Keokuk Directory
HEAIGHT Thomas, (H. & Bro) h s e c Concert & 1st
Heaight Thomas ..
Occupation: Steamboat Agent
Died: Oct 2, 1817 Feb 23, 1888
Buried: Oakland cemetery
Census 1852?
Heaight Thos. 33 N.Y. Com
Merchant Rozilla 29 N.Y.
Orlin 10 Iowa
Elmer 9 Iowa

Hine Ad Capt.
Chapter 40
E. H. Thomas
Saturday Evening Post
Captain Ad. Hine and relations of Keokuk, owned a number of steamboats, and some of these steamers were used on the Des Moines river during the ‘50’s. there is a superstition among the river men that to name a boat after the owner, or say member of the family, brings bad luck to the vessel. That it will make no money. This did not appear to hold good with the Hines, for several of their steamers had the family names, and were money makers. Charley Patten says that the Clara Hine earned sufficient money in one season to build another steamboat called the “City of Des Moines” this was done on the Des Moines river. I have in my possession a bill of lading, which shows that the Clara Hine landed a bill of goods at Ottumwa in 1850. Before the building of the wagon bridge at Keokuk the Hines owned some good ferry boats there. It required three of them to handle the business back and forth across the river there. The Keokuk and Gate City were large steamers with good power, and they had one smaller one. When the wagon bridge was completed the ferry boats were out of business. I was told that the Hines invested quite a sum of money in the toll bridge. The ferry boats were for sale.
 
Chapter 40
E. H. Thomas
Saturday Evening Post 
Early in the fall I was at Keithsberg working at the printing business and I boarded with a man named Lloyd. He had received a charter for operating a ferry at that point but had no boat. He wanted me to make a trip on the river and purchase one. I found that his collateral with which to secure a boat consisted of 80 acres of land near New Boston and a subscription or donation from the business men of $1,000. There appeared to be nothing in it, but Lloyd finally induced me to make the trip. Paying for my time and expenses. It looked like a wild goose expedition, or chasing a Jack o’ lantern in the swamps. I learned that there were four boats on the market, three at Keokuk and one at Quincy, and I sailed for the former place. Arriving at Keokuk, I had an interview with Captain Ad. Hine. He told me that the three boats were for sale. I then offered to give him the farm and the $1,000 for the Keokuk. He turned me down saying that he must have cash. I left his office and started for the landing to take a boat for Quincy. He called me back, and asked me about the land and the subscription. I told him that I had never seen the land, but that Lloyd had informed me that one corner of the field was a little sandy, but the balance of it was all right. Also that the subscription was good, would be paid by business men. We finally closed the deal for the Gate City, and I telegraphed for the deed. I remained in Keokuk two days, and some of the people informed me that if I got mixed up with Ad. Hine I would get the worst of it. That he was a very shrewd fellow, and always got the best of a deal. This was my first and only purchase of a steamboat, but I had looked her over. Land was cheap in those days, and I thought I knew what I was doing. In fact, I was highly pleased with my trip to Keokuk, and so expressed myself in a telegram to Lloyd. On the third day the deal was closed. I took possession of the Gate City, hired a crew and sailed for Keithsburg. 
Several years after the Gate city had left the upper Mississippi river, I one day landed my boat near another steamer. From the latter came a hail. An old gentlemen who stood forward of the cabin called my name. It was Ad. Hine. He wanted to know if I had ever seen the 80 acre farm near New Boston. I answered that I had not. “Well” said he, with a hearty laugh. “I have“. At the time we made the steamboat deal, I understood you to say that the corner of that field was a little sandy, but the balance of it was good corn land. Now, the fact is that it is all sand, and it is the fine, drifting kind. The wind has piled it up in mounds and ridges. This sand is probably good for making plaster or glass, and the only way I can ever get even on that Gate City deal is to sell the sand.”
I tried to explain that I was only an agent and traded him the land on Lloyd’s representations, but he would not listen to my story. “Not a word out of you,” he said. “I have been a very active business man, and have made many deals in steamboats and other property, and have been quite successful. But it is a standing rule with me that where the other fellow gets the best of it I keep still. I never squeal and I am not squealing now. But, I do think that you should look at the market for that sand. It is all right. When you land at Keokuk come up to the office and see me and we will have a talk.”
That is the sort of a man Ad Hine was. A good jovial fellow and a successful businessman, and money --- whether running a steamboat or engaged in other business.  

Hine Daniel Capt.
Steamer “Wharf Rat“, Capt. Daniel Hine
Homer Judd
1859 Keokuk Directory
Judd Homer steamboat agt. s s Bank b 2d & 3d

Huchinson A. M.
1880 Census
A. M. Huchinson 46 Pa. Agent for Packet Co.
Wife; Sarah 41
Charles 18
Occupation: Clerk for Packet Co
Children: Bard 18,Effie 16, Jennie Scott servant
McCarthy John engineer
1880 Census
John McCarthy 35, Ire.
Occupation: pilot on boat
Timothy 32 

McKenzie Hugh Capt.

Walter Blair “A Raft Pilots Log” Page 165 
CHIEF KEOKUK
Born at Rock Island, 1878 “Died April, 1848
In 1887, Keokuk's remains and the marble slab which marked their location in Franklin County, Kansas, were brought to the city of his name and given suitable location here. On one side of the base is a bronze tablet placed there by the ladies of the D.A.R. in memory of the pioneer who entered Iowa through the 'gate city' traveling on what was then known as the
beginning of the 'Mormon trail.'
They crossed the prairie as of old
The pilgrims crossed the sea
To make the west as the east
The homestead of the free
D.A.R.

The above inscription of this conspicuous monument came from Captain Hugh McKenzie of Keokuk, who made a special trip out to Rand Park on a cold morning, to get the facts to help make my record complete.”

Steamboats and Steamboatmen of the Upper Mississippi
By George B. Merrick
Chapter XX
Dixie 
“Sternwheel tow-boat, formerly the “Nellie” that was in turn the “Marie” built at Albany, Indiana 1904: 108.0 feet long, 21.7 feet beam. 3.0 feet hold: 85.0 tons. The only time I ever saw her in August 1913, she was hard aground on a bar two miles above La grange, Mo., away out of the channel, with a big floating theatre which evidently she had been unable to handle in a crooked piece of river that was just at that time being improved.” The show, as we afterwards learned, was billed to appear at La Grange at 8 o’clock in the evening. The “Dixie” blew vigorously for assistance as the “Keokuk,” on which I was a passenger passed her on her way down the river to Quincy with a big load of passengers bent on a shopping tour. Captain Hugh McKenzie of the “Keokuk” said he disliked very much to pass by any one who was in distress, but deemed it his duty to his passengers and his company to keep on; but when we returned at five o’clock in the evening and found her in still worse straights he answered the call and went to her assistance, taking long chances of hanging up himself, as the “Dixie” was far down on the reef, and the ”Keokuk” was drawing more water than the boat in distress. However, going up to the head of the reef and dropping down until the leads showed that there was but six inches between the bottom of his boat and the sand he held her there until the awkward and bungling set of farmers who constituted the crew of the “Dixie” had succeeded in running a line, upon which, after it was well fast, he surged until he had started her, and then pulled her off, together with the showboat, which proceeded on her way with great rejoicing on the part of the theatrical people who had watched with interest, mingled with anxiety, the efforts of Captain McKenzie to free them. The Dixie is engaged in the same service this season-1914-operating on the Illinois River in June and July

McKenzie Louis 
McKenzie Nicholas
Walter Blair
A Raft Pilots Log
Pg.
“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.”

Major Meigs 
Walter Blair
A Raft Pilots Log
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.

Mitchell George
1880 Census
George Mitchell 28
Occupation: Deck Hand

Capt. William Moore
“Portrait and Biographical album of Lee County, Iowa” 1887Chapman Brothers, Pages 559-560:
CAPT. WILLLIAM S. MOORE, residing at Keokuk, is one of the old steamboat Captains who plied the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois Rivers for many years, and who probably has a larger circle of friends and acquaintances than any other citizen of Keokuk. Capt. Moore was born in the city of New York, Nov. 28, 1815. In 1816 his parents removed to St. Louis, Mo., where the Captain passed his boyhood days. His parents were Rufus and Clarissa (Stone) Moore, and the father died on his way from New York to St. Louis. After his death the mother and son continued on their journey to St. Louis, and made that their home for about five years. They then crossed the river into the State of Illinois and lived there for five years. Their next removal was to Cincinnati, Ohio. The Captain recollects that, though a lad of only ten years, while living in Cincinnati Gen. La Fayette visited that city, and he had the pleasure of looking upon his pleasant and manly French countenance.
From Cincinnati the mother and son removed to Pittsburgh, and when our subject was but twelve years old he was orphaned by the death of his beloved mother. He went to Gallipolis, where he hired to learn the tinner’s trade with one Hiram Fisher. Having served an apprenticeship of five years, and thoroughly mastered his trade, he started out as a “jour,” and we next take note of him at Springfield, Ill. There he worked at his trade for a time, when he procured a berth on a steamboat. While a resident of the State he claims to have run the first locomotive that was ever bought into it, running from Springfield to Meredosia. From Springfield our subject again returned to St. Louis, Mo., and embarked in the tin and stove business, and was thus occupied at that place until he was burned out in 1848, involving a loss of about $8,000.
After his reverses our subject engaged in steam boating on the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri Rivers, and continued to follow this vocation for about five years. Abandoning the river, he, in 1855, at first did business for Briggs, Beach & Co., dealers in tin and stoves in Keokuk. He worked for them awhile, and then bought out a remnant of a stock of goods and engaged in business for himself. He began manufacturing on a small scale, working at the bench himself, and as his business increased he enlarged his stock. He manufactured all kinds of tinware and copper work, shipping his goods throughout Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and several other States. Mr. Moore is an every-day man, and the secret of his success in business is that he oversees it in person. He is active and hearty and there is plenty of energy and fire in him yet.
In 1837 our subject was married to Miss Elizabeth Johnston, of Springfield, Ill. She was born in Ohio, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of four children, three sons and one daughter—Edward D., Dallas G., Livingston and Flora E.; the latter is the wife of F. W. Kingman, book-keeper and treasurer of the Iowa Iron Works at Dubuque. Mr. Moore helped to establish the fifth lodge of I.O.O.F., instituted in the State of Illinois; this was in 1840. Politically he is a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Martin Van Buren.

Metcalf Ed
Pilot
Myers James
Engineer
Oldenburg William
1880 Census
William Oldenberg 49 Mo.
Occupation: Engineer
Wife: Bell 34 Ky.
Children: Lola 20, Mollie 17, William 13 
O’Brien Patrick
Engineer
Riley John
1880 Census
John Riley 20 Ky.
Occupation: pilot on steamboat
Wife: Ann 40
Children: Maggie 23, Ellen 18, Charles, 12, William 5.

Ruby Perry
Keokuk Daily Gate City
June 13, 1924
Page 11, col. 3
VETERAN PILOT ON MISSISSIPPI DIED THURSDAY
 Capt. Perry M. Ruby passed Away in Hospital here following Mastoid operation
Captain Perry M. Ruby died at the Graham hospital Thursday, shortly after 10:00 P.M. following a mastoid operation which occurred Tuesday night of this week. Captain Ruby had an attack of influenza seven weeks ago and had a slight stroke of paralysis two weeks ago. His death was caused by a mastoid abscess and meningitis.
Perry Mills Ruby was born at Buffalo, Iowa, on November 8, 1859, and received his education in that city. He was united in marriage to Laura Van Ach in 1887 at Buffalo. Mrs. Ruby died on July 5, 1912. Before coming to Keokuk Captain Ruby lived for a number of years at Davenport, Iowa On September 14, he was united in marriage to LuLu Bell Priestly, who survives her husband.
Captain Ruby’s ancestors were all river men and he himself had been on the Mississippi since he was about seventeen years old. He received his pilot’s license at the age of twenty-one years and has been a maser pilot on the Mississippi since that time. For a number of years he was the captain of the Dandelion, a lighthouse tender playing between St. Louis, Mo., and St. Paul, Minn. At the end of the present season he would have retired from active service with a pension.
Captain Ruby attended the Presbyterian Church and was a member of the Keokuk Aerie of Eagles and of the Modern Woodmen of America. Besides his wife he is survived by one son, Oscar Mills Ruby, of Denver, Colo. Two Grandchildren, Perry Mills Ruby and Janet Marie Ruby, both of Colorado and one sister, Mrs. Mary M. Campbell of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Captain Ruby’s son, grandson and sister were all with him at the time of his death.
Short funeral services will be held from the residence 317 North Fourth Street, this evening in charge of the Keokuk Aerie of Eagles: the family will leave with the body Saturday at 2:52 for Buffalo, Iowa. Where funeral services will be held Saturday at 2:30 P.M.

Schoels Wm.
engineer
Shaffer Henry
engineer

Tabor Capt.
Walter Blair
A Raft Pilots Log
264
Keokuk, Iowa
“The Taber Lumber Company built a new mill when the old one burned and continued sawing after nearly all others had quit. Captain Taber, who had been in command of steamers in the Saint Louis and New Orleans trade, one of which was the famous 'Ruth,' was fatally injured by an automobile only a few years ago. The mill has been dismantled but the business has been carried on by his sons, Ben and Carroll Taber.”

Van Nort Edward
1880 Census
Edward Van Nort 32
Occupation: Steamboat clerk
Werupner Albert
1880 Census
Albert Werupner: 46 Prussia
Occupation: Steamboat pilot, Captain
Wife: May 46 Pa
Children; Emma 20, Chris 11, Ia.
The Old Boats
3-24-1917
Louise (second)
Sternwheel United States engineer Department towboat built at Keokuk, Iowa, 1884; 61.0 feet long 12.0 feet beam, 3.0 feet hold; 31.0 tons. Albert Wempner was captain and pilot for several seasons, working between Quincy and Rock Island. She was rebuilt at Rock Island in 1894. Frank A. Whitney was engineer in 1896. She still was in service in 1915, Frank O’Kell, engineer, Captain John McAllister and Charles Delisle commanded the Louise at different times.
 
The Old Boats
George Merrick
“Minnesota”
Albert Wempner of Keokuk was “cub” pilot on the Minnesota with Captain Hill in 1853.

West William,
1889 Lee County Directory
rapids pilot

HISTORY OF JUNIUS CROSSLAND
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

Whitney F. A.

Steamboats and Steamboatmen of the Upper Mississippi
George Merrick
Letter from Frank Whitney
Captain Frank A. Whitney, son of Andrew J. Whitney, now of Cripple Creek, Colorado, writes as follows:
“The Le Claire was a stern-wheel tow -boat, built at Le Claire, Iowa, in 1866, Dull & Williams, contractors, bought her for use in river improvement work, Captain W. D. Holsapple was a pilot on her for several seasons on the upper rapids, in 1876 was thoroughly overhauled, a new boiler and a pair of Tremont piston valves 9 inches by 3 ˝ feet, stroke engines were put into her. They were a great success and that spring she made a trip from Rock Island. Ill. To Florence, Alabama, up the Tennessee River. Returning that fall the late captain Andrew J. Whitney bought her for the towing from his dredge fleet. In September 1879, when on a trip from Muscatine to Rock Island about twelve miles above Muscatine, she was sunk in a collision with the Victory. She sank in 22 ft. of water. No lives were lost, all the crew being rescued by the victory, which took them back to Muscatine: but the boat was a total loss. She was raised and towed to Rock Island where she was dismantled at the Kahlke yard, and the new steamer A. J. Whitney was built and the Le Claire machinery was put in the winter of 1879-80. Capt. Shell Ruby was pilot and F. A. Whitney was chief engineer on the Le Claire when she was sunk by Victory. No blame was attached to the officers of either boat; it was one of those unavoidable accidents that sometimes occur when handled by most reliable and experienced men.
Frank A. Whitney was chief engineer of the Le Claire from 1873 to 1879, inclusive.

Wyckoff Jonathan
ship carpenter
Boats Keokuk Iowa
 
Walter Blair
“A Raft Pilots Log”
List of Raft-boats in Commission, 1890,
with names of their Masters and Owners,
as published in the Davenport
Democrat, February 1890
Lumberman.............................................Hiram Brazee
owned by J.C. Daniels of Keokuk, Iowa.
Lumberman............................................Gara Denberg
owned by John C. Daniels of Keokuk, Iowa
Walter Blair
“A Raft Pilots Log”
123
Steamer Kit Carson
A large, powerful rafter with no unnecessary
upper works to catch the wind. She was built at
Stillwater, 1880, for Captain A.R. Young and
the Burlington Lumber Company. Sam Hitchcock
was her head-pilot for several years. Then she
was sold to J.C. Daniels of Keokuk, and Gara
Denberg became her master and pilot. McDonald
Brothers were her last owners in the rafting business.
She was sold south and wore out at Memphis.


 


 


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