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Miles Steamboat Photograph Collection
Circa 1898-Circa 1930
 
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
 
Accession Number: 2006.168
 
Abstract:  Photographs (48) of twenty six steamboats that were operated on the Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Yukon Rivers.
 
Processed by: Darren Bell, November 2011
 
Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University Phone: (573) 651-2245; Fax: (573) 651-2666; Email: semoarchives@semo.edu
 
Provenance: Donated in 2006 by Dorothy Miles. Paul and Dorothy Miles were prominent Cape Girardeau area business owners and prolific travelers.
 
Citation: Miles Steamboat Photograph Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
 
Restrictions: None
 
Other Relevant Collections:

Alaska’s Digital Archives. University of Alaska Fairbanks. 2009. http://vilda.alaska.edu/;

Howard Steamboat Museum Collection. University of Louisville. 2011. http://digital.library.louisville.edu/collections/howard/;

University of Wisconsin –Lacrosse Historic Steamboat Photograph Collection. University of Wisconsin Digital Collection. 2008. http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/LaCrosseSteamboat.
 
Historical Notes
 
The Annie Russell was a sternwheel pleasure boat constructed in 1902 for Augustus Busch. James Gardner of St. Louis, MO purchased it after construction was completed. Gardner operated the boat for pleasure cruises on the Mississippi River. The Kansas City- Missouri Navigation Company converted the Annie Russell into the towboat Advance in 1911.

The Bald Eagle was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1898 for the Eagle Packet Company. The company operated the Bald Eagle as its commercial vessel between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO from 1917 to 1924 when replaced by the third Cape Girardeau. The Bald Eagle would occasionally return to St. Louis-Cape Girardeau service when the Cape Girardeau made trips to New Orleans, LA.

The Belle of Calhoun was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1895 for the St. Louis and Clarksville Packet Company. Named for the “Belle of Calhoun County, IL” Anna Wood, the Belle was a popular packet receiving several passenger service awards. The Memphis and Vicksburg Packet Company renamed the boat Julia after purchasing it in 1899. When the St. Louis and Calhoun Packet company purchased it in 1905, the Belle of Calhoun name was restored.

The first Cape Girardeau (1901-1910) was a sidewheel packet constructed in 1899 as War Eagle for the Eagle Packet Company. The company changed the name after being rebuilt due to a fire in 1901. The first Cape Girardeau operated as the Eagle Packet’s commercial vessel between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO until it sank in 1910.

The second Cape Girardeau (1911-1916) was constructed as the sidewheel packet City of New Albany in 1892. The steamboat was also named New Idlewild and Spread Eagle before the Eagle Packet Company changed the name in 1911. The Spread Eagle/Cape Girardeau operated between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO beginning after the first Cape Girardeau sank in 1910. The second Cape Girardeau continued this service until it sank in 1916.

The third Cape Girardeau (1924-1935) was a sidewheel packet constructed in 1924. It operated as the Eagle Packet Company’s commercial vessel from 1924 to 1935 between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO. Passengers praised the Cape Girardeau for being a spacious and luxurious boat. The boat made yearly trips to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA and the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY 1924. The Cape Girardeau’s name changed to Gordon C.Green when it was sold to the Green Line of Cincinnati, OH in 1935.

The Chester was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1888 as the Cherokee for the Eagle Packet Company. The boat’s name was changed to the Chester in 1903 and operated by the Chester Line between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO. The Chester was sold to the Kansas City-Missouri River Navigation Company in 1907 operating it between St. Louis, MO and Kansas City, MO.

The City of Memphis was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1898 for the St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Company. The company altered City of Memphis’s route from between St. Louis, MO and Memphis, TN to between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO in 1903 to compete with Lee Line and Eagle Packet steamboats. After negotiations with the Lee Line in 1910, the boat was relocated to the Tennessee River. The City of Memphis was renamed S.B. Duncan when Tom Morrissey of Vicksburg, MS purchased it later that year.

The City of Paducah was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1891 for the St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Company. The boat operated between Paducah, KY, on the Ohio River, St. Louis, MO on the Mississippi River, and Florence, AL on the Tennessee River. The City of Paducah also operated eastward to Johnsonville, TN on the Cumberland River. Twenty-seven people died when City of Paducah sank May 11, 1901 in Grand Tower, IL.

The City of St. Louis was a sidewheel packet constructed in 1883 for the Anchor Line. Operating between St. Louis, MO and New Orleans, LA the City of St. Louis was considered as one of the finest steamboats on the lower Mississippi River. Thomas B. Sims purchased the boat at a liquidation sale in 1897. The boat was purchased by a group of merchants from Greenville, MS in 1902 and continuing to operate the boat between St. Louis, MO and New Orleans, LA.

The City of Warsaw was a ferry operating between Cape Girardeau, MO and East Cape Girardeau, IL in the 1900s. It snagged on a piece of ice on Christmas Eve 1909 and sank.

The Dick Williams was a sternwheel towboat constructed in 1927and was primarily used on the Ohio River. The Wood Brothers Construction Company of Lincoln, NE chartered the boat in 1929 (possibly 1928 as well) to transport lumber for the construction of a system of dams and levees to control flooding on the Missouri River.

The General T.L. Casey was a sternwheel steamboat constructed in 1893 for the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ St. Louis District. The boat was named for Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey, Chief of Army Engineers from 1888 to 1895. It was sold to the Mississippi River Commission in 1907. The Casey sank in 1910 at the mouth of the Red River in Louisiana while on a survey expedition for the Commission.

The Grey Eagle was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1892 for the Eagle Packet Company. The Grey Eagle replaced the Idlewild as Eagle Packet’s commercial vessel between St. Louis, MO and Cape Girardeau, MO. The Grey Eagle was sold in 1910 to Captain William H. Thorwegan who operated the boat for private excursions from St. Louis, MO.


Hill City was a sidewheel packet constructed as the City of Monroe in 1888 for the Anchor Line. It operated between St. Louis, MO and New Orleans, LA. The boat was rebuilt as the largest packet west of the Mississippi River in 1897 and renamed Hill City. Thomas B. Sims purchased the boat at a liquidation sale later that year operating it as an excursion boat. The World’s Fair Navigation Company purchased the boat in 1901, renaming it the Corwin H. Spencer in 1903.

The Horatio G. Wright was a sidewheel snagboat constructed in 1880 for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Based in the St. Louis District it was used to remove obstructions in the middle and lower sections of the Mississippi River that were impeding the flow of river traffic. The Horatio G. Wright was decommissioned in 1941.

The John Bertram was sidewheel train ferry constructed in 1880 for the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad. The ferry was rebuilt for the Illinois Central Railroad in 1898. The Illinois Central operated the John Bertram at various locations along the Mississippi and Ohio River until 1912 when it sank.

The John F. Lincoln was a railroad transfer ferry constructed in 1881 for the Linehan Railway Transfer Company.   Operating in the Cape Girardeau, MO vicinity, the Lincoln serviced the Chicago and Texas Railroad Companies as well as the St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, and Fort Smith Railways. It also operated in Cairo, IL where the ferry became trapped on shore there in 1900.

The Lily was a sternwheel lighthouse tender constructed in 1875. Captain William Eagon Long operated the Lily after it was damaged by fire and reconstructed in 1884. The boat serviced light buoys on the Mississippi River and its tributaries between St. Louis, MO and St. Paul, MN.

The L.E. Patton was sternwheel towboat constructed in 1894 for the Anderson- Tully, later the Patton-Tully Company of Memphis, TN. The Patton operated on the Lower Mississippi River and its tributaries. The Bisso Company of New Orleans, LA later owned the Patton.

The Lotus Sims was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1888 for the Memphis and Arkansas City Packet Company as the second Kate Adams. The boat was sold to the Chalmette Packet Company and it’s named changed to the Dewey in 1889. Thomas B. Sims purchased the boat in 1902 renaming it the Lotus Sims. The Lotus Sims operated between St. Louis, MO and Nashville, TN until it burned in 1903.

French’s New Sensation No. 2 was one of two showboats constructed in 1883 for Eugene Robinson named Floating Palace. A.B. French purchased the boat and renamed it New Sensation No. 2 in 1894. It was the fourth of five showboats owned by French named New Sensation. The first, second, and fifth were named New Sensation; the third and fourth were named New Sensation No.1 and New Sensation No 2. New Sensation No. 1 and New Sensation No.2 were popular, attracting the best entertainment acts at the time. French operated the two boats simultaneously at different places along the Ohio and upper Mississippi Rivers. In the winter the two ships operated in the lower Mississippi River. New Sensation No. 2 burned in 1900 while in port at Elmwood Landing, LA.

The Peters Lee was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1899 for the Lee Line. The boat operated as Lee Line’s commercial vessel between St. Louis, MO and Memphis, TN. The boat was rerouted between Memphis, TN and Cincinnati, OH in 1904.

The Rees Lee was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1906 as the S.S. Brown for Captain Ed Nowland. The Lee Line purchased the boat and changed its name to Rees Lee in 1909. The Rees Lee operated as the Lee Line’s commercial vessel between Memphis, TN and St. Louis, MO from 1910 to 1915. Captains Peters Lee and D.W. Wishard purchased the boat in 1915 changing its name to the Majestic.

The Stacker Lee was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1902 for the Lee Line. The Stacker Lee operated between Memphis, TN and St. Louis, MO until it sank in 1916.

The T.C. Power was a sternwheel packet constructed in 1897 for the North American Trading and Transportation Company. The boat operated between Dawson, Yukon Territory in Canada to St. Michaels, AK. It was one of the North American Trading and Transport’s fastest ships during the Klondike Gold Rush.
 
Scope and Content Note
 
Photographs (48) of twenty six steamboats that were operated on the Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Yukon Rivers. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by the boat’s name.
 
Archivists Note
 
The container list includes the name of the steamboat and numbers of photographs in each folder. Photographs do not contain a date when they were taken. Dates listed in the finding aid are approximants based on historic research. Only two photographs include a location.

Based on research from other relevant steamboat photograph collection and Ways Packet Directory 1848-1983, the information supplied with the Meeker and the Parker is incorrect. Two photographs include unidentified boats with no historical information available.

Photographs that have been digitized and published to the Special Collections and Archives’ Content DM site will be linked to the individual  item 0within the container list.  To browse all the images in the collection click here.
 
Rules or Conventions: Finding Aid prepared using DACS
 
 
Box 1937 Name of Steamboat Date
Folder 001
Items 01-02 Annie Russell (item 01) (item 02) Undated
Item 03 Bald Eagle Undated
Item 04 Belle of Calhoun Undated
Item 04 Grey Eagle Undated
Items 05-06 Cape Girardeau (1901-1910) (items 05-06) Undated
Items 05-06 Chester (items 05-06) Undated
Item 07-09 Cape Girardeau (1911-1916)  (item 07) (item 08) ( item 09) Undated
Items 10-11 Cape Girardeau (1924-1935)  (tem 010) (item 011) Undated

Folder 002
Items 12-15 Chester  (item 012) (item 013) ( item 014) ( item 015) Undated
Items 16-17 City of Memphis (item 016) (item 017) Undated
Item 18 City of Paducah Undated
Item 19 City of St. Louis Undated
Item 19 Hill City Undated
Items 20-23 City of Warsaw (item 020) (item 021) (item 022) ( item 023) Undated
Folder 003
Item 24 Dick Williams Undated
Item 25 French’s New Sensation No.2  Undated
Item 26 Gen. T.L. Casey Undated
Item 27 Horatio G. Wright Undated
Items 28-30 John Bertram (item 028) (item 029) (item 030) Undated
Items 31-32 John F. Lincoln  ( item 031) (item 032) Undated
Folder 004
Item 33 L.E. Patton Undated
Item 34 Lily Undated
Item 35 Lotus Sims Undated
Item 36 Meeker Undated
Item 37 Parker Undated
Item 38 Peters Lee Undated
Items 39-40 Rees Lee  ( item 039) ( item 040) Undated
Folder 005
Items 41-45 Stacker Lee ( item 041) ( item 042) ( item 043) ( item 044) ( item 045) Undated
Item 46 T.C. Power Undated
Item 47 Unidentified ferry Undated
Item 48 Unidentified Steamboat Undated
 
Appendix I: Glossary of Terms
 
Ferry; Railroad Transfer Ferry; Train Ferry- A boat used to transport passengers, vehicle across a river or the like. A boat used to transport parts of a train across a river or the like.
 
Packet- A vessel that carries mail, passengers, and goods regularly on a fixed route.
 
Pleasure Boat- A boat designed for recreation or amusement.
 
Showboat- A boat especially a paddle-wheel steamer, used as a traveling theater.
 
Sidewheel; Sidewheeler- Having a paddle wheel on each side, as a steamboat.
 
Snag, Snagged, Snagboat- A tree or part of a tree, held fast in the bottom of a river, lake, ect., and forming an impediment or danger to navigation. The act of hitting an impediment in a river or lake. A boat used to remove an impediment or danger to navigation.
 
Sternwheel, Sternwheeler- A paddle wheel at the stern of a vessel.
 
Tender- an auxiliary ship employed to attend one or more other ships, as for supply provisions.
 
Towboat- A boat used to push groups of barges especially in inland waterways.
 
Appendix II: Bibliography
 
Albert, Lee L. Memories of Cape Girardeau and Old Man River. Cape Girardeau, MO n.d.
 
Allen, F.W. ed. Travelers’ Official Railway Guide for the United States and Canada. New York: National Railway Publication Company, 1895.
 
“Fire Destroys Steamer Corwin H. Spencer at Moorings Just Below the City Limits.” St. Louis Republic 13 October 1905: 3.
 
Graham, Philip. Showboats: The History of an American Institution. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1954.
 
Grant, Arthur Hastings and Harold Sinley Buttenhiem eds. “Tractors Help in River Control.” The American City Magazine 27 (1922): 388.
 
McCurdy, H. W., and Gordon R. Newell eds. The H. W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Superior Publishing Co., 1966.
 
Official Register: Persons in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service of the United States and List of Vessels, 1907, Volume 1: Directory. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907.
 
Rademacher, Diane. Still Shining: Discovering Lost Treasures from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. St. Louis: Virginia Publishing, 2003.
 
“S.S. Brown.” S&D Reflector June 1972: 23-32.
 
“Steamer Arrivers from New Orleans.” St. Louis Republic 30 October 1903: 4.
 
Swift, James V. “The Aliquippa Started Life on a Sour Note.” The Waterways Journal 02 April 2001: 13-14.
 
“The Summer’s Cruises of the Annie Russell.” The St. Louis Republic Magazine 09 November 1902: 13.
 
Way Jr., Fredrick. Way’s Directory of Western Rivers’ Steam Towboats. Sewickley, PA: Fredrick Way, Jr., 1954.
 
Way Jr., Fredrick. Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1983: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System Since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1983.
 
Webb, Melody. The Last Frontier: A History of the Yukon Basin of Canada and Alaska. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
 
White, WM. Robert. The Child of an Eagle: Mississippi Steamboating. Cape Girardeau, MO: Center for Regional and Cultural Heritage, Southeast Missouri State University Press, 1980.
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