Whose Names Begin With
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Click name to see information about captains below
Ira N. Malin - James Dalmazzo Malin - John W. Malin - Robert Melville Marshal
John Tarleton Massie - William Rodney Massie - James McGarry, O.D. Mayo,

The Captains Malin
Thought you might be interested in this info. James Dalmazzo Malin was
my great grandfather. Ira Malin was his father and John W. Malin was his
uncle. Julie Chitwood

Ira N. Malin
Vevay 1867: "Captain Ira N. Malin, formerly of this place, is in command of a fine steamboat, 'Harry Johnson', plying between St. Louis and Keokuk."
James Dalmazzo Malin
"JAS. D. MALIN was born at Vevay, Switzerland county, Indiana, on December 7, 1839, where he received his education in the public schools. He removed to Missouri in 1858, and was married at Palmyra. For a number of years thereafter he followed steam boating on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and he was clerk of the ill-fated 'Missouri when she blew up in 1866 on the Ohio River, opposite Green River Island, at which time he made a lucky escape with his life. Mr. Malin soon thereafter engaged in the liquor business, which he has continuously and successfully followed from that time to date."
John W. Malin
St. Louis & St. Louis County, MO, Probate Records, Vol. IV, 1869-1877 (published by St. Louis Genealogical Society, 1991). St. Louis Probate Records: Will Book K, 3 Jul 1873 - 1 April 1875 "JOHN W. MALIN. 11-03-1869. Rec. 10-13-1874. Hannah A. MALIN wf & Ex; John H. MALIN son; Walter A. MALIN son; Nancy M. WRIGHT dau; Wiley S. Wright snil [son-in-law]; James J. SYLVESTER & Charles H. CONRAD wits. K:482-484." From Barbara Malin (note, she sent most of the information on John W. Malin's family) History of St. Louis City and County 1883 Vol. II by Scharf pg. 1115 Navigation on the Mississippi River "The commander of the 'Jeanie Deans' was Capt. J.W. Malin. Capt. Malin was born in October 1818, at Vevay, Switzerland Co., Ind. In 1832 he commenced his career as a river pilot in the flat-boat business, between Madison and Cincinnati, and a few years later began running a packet between Cincinnati and St. Louis, commanding at different times in that trade the 'John Drennan', the 'Mary Stevens', the 'Royal Arch', the 'Hamburgh', and the 'Statesman'. He next engaged in the Minnesota trade, and was afterwards connected for ten years with the Keokuk Packet Line, commanding at first the 'Jeannie Deans', with which he remained until that vessel became unfit for further use. In 1868 he engaged with Capt. Scudder in the commission business in St. Louis, the firm being Malin and Scudder, but subsequently returned to his old occupation and commanded vessels in the Star and Anchor Lines. Capt. Malin had purchased in 1868 an interest with Capt. Brolaski, in the Laclede Hotel, and in 1870, having bought his partner's share, he associated his son, Walter A. Malin, with him and assumed the management of the hotel. In 1871 the erection of an extensive addition to the hotel was commenced by Dr. Bircher, and completed in August, 1973, at which time Malin & Son took possession and united the two under the name of the Laclede-Bircher Hotel. The latter portion of the title, however, was seldom used, and the hotel was popularly known simply as the Laclede. Capt. Malin died at the Hot Springs, Ark, in September, 1874." From a Vevay newspaper in 1857: "Captain [John] Malin has sold the steamer 'Statesman' to parties in Louisville for $9600. She will run in the Henderson trade." John W Malin was a steamboat Capt. in St. Louis. In 1860 census he was listed with property of 20,000 real estate and 7,000 personal.
The Civil war Years of John W. Malin
Regarding the Civil War service of the steamboat, WARSAW: from Charles Parsons Papers - The Missouri Historical Society "Gony's(sp?) Point La, Jany 22 [18]63 Capt. Malin, St Warsaw, You will leave this evening for Memphis where you will report to Capt. Swain, A 2 M as soon as consistent and deliver your dispatches. you will then proceed immediately to S. Louis report to Capt. Chas. Parsons A 2 M. By order of Maj Gen McClemins, Linis B. Parsons, Col ...." "Quartermaster's Department, Office of Transportation, at St. Louis, December 16th 1862: Captain Malin, Str. Warsaw, You will report as soon as possible to Capt. Eddy, A.G.M. Memphis, who will give you further orders. You will please keep an accurate account of your expenses, so that the same may be verified on your return if necessary. you will purchase all the wood you can obtain, so as not to use your supply of coal if it can be avoided. You will in all cases pay for the wood you get in money, taking a proper voucher [in triplicate was crossed out], which you will present on Settlement. During the time your boat is in Service, Gov't will assume all War risks but no others. Should you meet any Gov't boats aground or in trouble, you will give them all needed assistance & use every possible caution to avoid getting aground yourself. Your Boats time will commence at 6 AM 16th instant. Jany 29th 1862. 11 PM, Chas Parsons Respectfully Linis B. Parsons, Col, A.?.d & A.G.M. ....." "St. Louis, Mo., February 1962, I herein certify on honor that the within account gives a correct and true statement of the expense incurred by the Str. Warsaw while in the government service also the entire receipts of said Steamer during said term - Jno. W. Malin, Master the Warsaw. "Trip Statement, Str. Warsaw, Government Service, Jan 30 1863, Dec 16th at 6 AM, Jany 29 at 11 PM, Dec 15 days 18 hours, Jany 28 23 ___ ___ 44 --- 17 --- p.2 Trip Statement Steamer 'Warsaw', John W. Malin Master Gov Service Expense time 47 days Receipts Officers 2176.44 P.... & Meals 593.50 Deck Crew 1729.16 Freight (Sutters goods) 40.00 Cabin Crew 688.50 4594.10 Stores Sold 371.88 Stores.Oils & 2589.38 Stores Returned St Louis 212.60 Cut Wood 102.75 Labor 75.20 ______ ______ 7361.43 1217.98 102.25 ______ 7258.68 584.48 6674.20 .............." >
J. W. Malin's Laclede Hotel From "Pictorial St. Louis" (1875): "LACLEDE HOTEL -- J.W. Malin, Proprietor.
Plate 21: This popular hotel is built of finely-finished blocks of limestone; is five stories high, and fronts on Chestnut, Fifth and Sixth Streets. The main entrance on Chestnut Street is covered by a Grecian portico, sustained by massive stone columns, which add materially to the exterior of the building. The architecture is of the Grecian order, and readily attracts attention. It contains 300 rooms and is fitted up with all the modern improvements. The dining room is one of the handsomest in the West, being large, lofty, and artistically frescoed. The parlors are luxuriously furnished, and the whole interior arrangements are on a scale which speaks volumes for its enterprising proprietor."
Obituary of John W. Malin St. Louis Republican, Sept, 10, 1874:
"Death of Capt. J.W. Malin. "A telegram from Hot Springs, Ark., yesterday morning, announced the death at that place of Capt. John W. Malin, leading proprietor of the Laclede hotel of this city. "Capt. Malin had been for some time in failing health, and early in last June he went to Hot Springs, where he remained nearly a month, returning here about the third of July. He was much benefited by the trip, and after remaining here a few days went to Keokuk, Iowa, on business, which apparently brought on a relapse. He shortly afterwards went back to Hot Springs where he remained to the time of his death. Shortly after his return there he became impressed with the idea that he would soon die, and sent for his family by whom he was surrounded during the remainder of his illness. His disease was rheumatism or neuralgia of the neck and head from which he suffered great pain. "Capt. Malin was in his 55h year at the time of his death. He was born in October 1818 in Vevay, Switzerland county, Indiana, where his father Joseph Malin, now alive, settled when Indiana was a territory, having moved there from Charlestown, Virginia. "Capt. Malin was long identified with St. Louis in the steamboat and transportation interests, and his river experience was somewhat peculiar, as well as extensive. He began his active business life by opening a small store in the little town of Ghent, Ky. on the opposite side of the Ohio river from Vevay. In 1839 he commenced flatboating between Madison and Cincinnati, inaugurating in that small way a river career destined to attain large proportions, and occupy thirty-five years of his life. After following that avocation for several years, and making it remunerative, he commenced running a packet between Cincinnati and St. Louis, commanding at different times in that trade the John Drennan, the Mary Stevens, the Royal Arch, the Hamburgh and the Statesman. From this, he went into the Minnesota trade, and was afterwards connected for ten years with the Keokuk Packet line, commanding at first the Jennie Dean, on which he remained until the building of the magnificent steamer Warsaw, of which he assumed and retained command until she was worn out. During the war, the Warsaw was pressed into the United States service, and once in passing a masked guerilla battery a six-pound ball raked the whole length of the steamer, killing several persons. The coolness and self-possession of Capt. Malin on the occasion were frequently the subject of eulogistic remarks afterwards by the survivors. "In 1868 he retired from the river trade for a time and entered into the commission business in this city with Capt. Scudder, under the firm of Malin & Scudder, but the new calling did not suit his active, stirring disposition, and he only continued in it about six months. He returned to the river trade as captain of a steamer of the Star line in the Missouri river trade, from which he shortly changed to the Anchor Line, in the Memphis and St. Louis trade, commanding the Marble City. In 1868, about the time that he went into the commission business, he took an interest with Capt. Brolaski in the conduct of the Laclede hotel, which interest he held until 1870, when he bought out his partner, and, with his son, Walter A. Malin, assumed the management of the hotel. He manifested an extraordinary adaptedness for the business, and from his kind and courteous manner, his superior tact, and extensive acquaintance, the Laclede was always full of guests, and shortly the house became too small for his business. In 1871 Dr. Bircher commenced building an extensive addition, which was completed in August, 1873, at which time Malin & Son took possession and united the two under the title of the 'Laclede-Bircher hotel,' which it holds at present. The latter portion of the title, however, is seldom used, the hotel being popularly known, simply as the Laclede. "When the news of Capt. Malin's death was received, it being impossible to close the hotel, as in the case of an ordinary business house, on the death of a proprietor, the columns of the building were draped in black crape. "No man stood higher in the estimation of the community or of the public generally, than did Capt. Malin. His genial disposition; his high sense of honor, and general manliness endeared him to all who knew him, and commanded the respect of all who knew him by reputation only. His death is a loss to the community, which will long be felt and lamented. He leaves a wife, two sons and a daughter, all of whom make their homes in this city. The remains will probably arrive here this evening, accompanied by the family." St. Louis Sept. 10, 1874 pg 4 (newspaper?) DE MORTUIS Death of Captain John W. Malin at Hot Springs "A general feeling of sorrow pervaded the business community of St. Louis yesterday, when it became known that the truly worthy and estimable gentleman, Captain John W. Malin, the popular host of the Laclede Hotel, had breathed his last and passed to the realms of the dead. The sad event was telegraphed from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the deceased had been fo the past few months. During his last sickness he received the assiduous attention and kind ministrations of his wife, son and daughter, all of whom were present during his last moments. "Captain Malin was among the most respected citizens of St. Louis, and his death is the occasion of universal regret with all who enjoyed his acquaintance. His death was caused by neuralgia of the head, which affected the brain. "Captain Malin was the son of Judge Joseph Malin, a prominent jurist of Indiana, and was born in Vevay, in that state, in the year 1818. He began his business career in the town of Ghent, Ky., on the Ohio River, almost opposite to his native place. Here he became engaged in the flatboat business, shipping ..." Back to Top

Robert Melville Marshal
10-9-1858 - 9-8-1954 Information from site visitor Kelly Hokkanen From History of Miller County Missouri by Gerald Schultz, Midland Printing Co., Jefferson City, MO, 1933. Microfilm
Capt. Marshall first worked as a printer in Tuscumbia, Missouri, before getting involved in the steamboat business. At first he handled the freighting business on the upper Osage River, and Captain Henry Castrop and others handled the lower river. Captain Marshall was well suited to this kind of work. He was cool and fearless a man of strong will and determination. In 1881, he married Miss Emma Hauenstein, youngest child of Captain William H. Hauenstein Sr. The Christian character of his wife caused her to be reverenced not only in her own home but among the men along the rivers. In 1888, a consolidation was made of the upper and lower Osage river lines, with Captain Marshall at the head, while Captain Costrop did the office work. Within a year the business had increased so much that the one boat which they had could no longer take care of it. Two more boats were purchased. The immense energies of Captain Marshall brought remarkable results. The company, which covered the entire Osage and down to St. Louis on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers was incorporated under the name
Osage and Missouri River Packet Company, of which Captain Marshall
was manager and Captain F.G. Schonen was agent.
    In 1898 ill health caused Captain Marshall to retire from the river. For many
years he was president of the Anchor Milling Co. in Tuscumbia, Missouri. He had no

More on
Capt Robert Melville Marshall
excerpted from
Missouri, Mother of the West, Vol III,
The American Historical Society, 1930
Also from site visitor Kelly Hokkanen
    Capt Robert Marshall was one of the early members of the carrying trade on
the Osage River, and for a long period was owner, master, and pilot of
steamboats that traveled from the mouth of the river as far as Warsaw and
Osceola. His years of service on the river extended from the early 1880s
until 1900. At first the business was handled by Capt Marshall on the upper
river, and by Capt Henry Castrop on the lower river. Castrop had a boat
named the Dan B. Hurlburt. In 1888, the two joined and created a consolidated
line from the upper reaches of Osage down to St. Louis. Capt Marshall was
the head, while Capt Castrop took care of the office work. The Frederick was
at first their only boat, making it necessary to run  night and day,
alternating in the pilot house. Within a year the business had grown so much
that they bought the John R. Hugo, which had been an Ohio river boat, 100 ft
long, and enlarged to a bow model 140 ft long. The Jumbo, a 120 ft long
barge, 12 ft deep, was purchased in St. Louis. In one year the Hugo carried
115,000 sacks of wheat, and the Frederick 90,000 sacks in addition to large
numbers of livestock, produce, lumber, ties, general merchandise. Capt
Marshall had the contract for cordwood for the State Penitentiary at
Jefferson City. The new company was incorporated under the name of Osage and
Missouri River Packet Copmany, of which Capt Marshall was manager and Capt
F.G. Schonen was agent.
    Capt Henry Castrop, who was associated with Capt Marshall several years,
wrote in 1927 of Capt Marshall, "His sterling qualities, not only as a safe
and fearless navigator, but as an associate as well, made Capt Marshall
beloved by all on board regardless of race. His orders were obeyed an
complied with without any resisting or hesitation. He was a man of strong
will and determination, and what he had set his mind on doing he would
accomplish; he was fearless of man, cool in reckoning with danger, and never
would he lose his head or become excited. He was a friend true and
    In 1898, due to ill health, he retired from the river and sold his holdings
to his partners, M.W. Grant, F.G. Schonen, and Capt Henry Castrop
Also See and this Article
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Outdoor 12

Descendants of John Tarleton Massie

Generation No. 1

1. JOHN TARLETON13 MASSIE (PETER12, DAVID11, DAVID10, THOMAS W.9, CHARLES8, PETER7, THOMAS6, HUGH5, DAVID OF BROXTON4, THOMAS OF BROXTON3, EDWARD OF LARTON2, JOHN OF BROXTON1) was born 3 July 1827 in Franklin Co., Missouri, and died 3 November 1909 in St Louis, St. Louis Co., Missouri. He married MARTHA A. ANDREWS 14 November 1867 in St. Louis, Missouri.


Monday November the Twenty Eight 1842 Court met pursuant to adjournment were present the Hon. John G. Heath and James A. Mathews Justice of said court ?P. Wyatt Sheriff and John B. Harrison Clerk.
John Massey infant heir of Peter Massey deceased comes into court and this court being Satisfied that he was over fourteen years of age was permitted to choose a Guardian where upon he made choice of David McKinney (brother-in-law, My Note) and the court being satisfied that the said David McKinney was a suitable person to act as such was where upon appointed Guardian for the said John Massey and it is ordered that he give bond and security in the sum of two hundred dollars condetoried as the law allows.

Clipping from St. Louis Newspaper dated 3 November 1909

Veteran of Mexican War Unable to Arise When Found, Dies

St. Louis, Nov. 3---Surrounded by fully 100 cats which he had loved, petted and fed when he was hardly able to care for himself, Captain John Tarleton Massey, a recluse and one of the Oldest steamboat men in the country, was found in his home Thursday, unable to arise from his bed. He was removed to St. Mary's Infirmary where he died Saturday.
Captain Massey was born in Franklin County, Missouri, July 3, 1827. He came from an old Virginia Family which furnished many distinguished men during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. His father, Peter Massie, was a Lieutenant during the war of 1812, and fought in the Black Hawk War. In 1845 Captain Massey enlisted as a private in the First Missouri Mounted Volunteers and served through the Mexican War.
Shortly after the Mexican War, the discovery of gold in California swept the country and Massey and a number of other young men set out for the gold fields in a prairie schooner. They had indifferent luck, although he always insisted that he found a gold mine, and returned to Missouri five years later. His brother William Rodney Massie was also a Steamboat Captain.

Clipping found in 154 year old family Bible.

Marriage Record Missouri

On the 14th day of November 1867 I married Jno T. Massie and Miss Martha A. Andrews St. Louis Feb 8 1868. I J.P. Anderson Minister of the Gospel.
Filed and recorded Feby 8.1868 Julias Conrad Record

John Tarleton Massey is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


Burial: November 1909, St. Louis, St. Louis Co., Missouri Belefontaine Cemetery

Marriage: 14 November 1867, St. Louis, Missouri

Descendants of William Rodney Massie

Generation No. 1

1. WILLIAM RODNEY13 MASSIE (PETER12, DAVID11, DAVID10, THOMAS W.9, CHARLES8, PETER7, THOMAS6, HUGH5, DAVID OF BROXTON4, THOMAS OF BROXTON3, EDWARD OF LARTON2, JOHN OF BROXTON1) was born 05-November-1831 in Franklin Co., Missouri, and died 29-January-1910 in St. Louis. Missouri. He married FANNIE KEITH 12-May-1855 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born 1841 in Kentucky.


WILLIAM RODNEY MASSIE was born 5 November 1831 in Franklin Co., Missouri to Peter and Charlotte Rodney Massie.
He was a steamboat Captain on the Missouri River. Boats: 1850's late to early 60's, sometime during, SPREAD EAGLE. 1855 April 10, Captain of EL PASO when she hit sang and sank. 1860 September 3, ASA WILGUS, and the ANTELOPE. The ANTELOPE was a sidewheel, wooden hull packet 180' X 32': Power: 18's - 6'. 2 boilers. Launched 1866 in Metropolis, Illinois . Destroyed in 1869 April 12, burned 5 miles below Bonhomme Island on Missouri River. Traveled on Long Island Sound, Sacramento, Ohio River and U. Mississippi River and Missouri River. It was owned by the Lightning Line and Captain and pilots were Captain "Bill" (William Rodney Massie). In 1860 it helped deliver the first PONY EXPRESS pouch. It was a gold boat. The SPREAD EAGLE plied trade from St. Louis to Omaha, and Council Bluffs, Iowa 1862, June 6: raced EMILIE on Upper Missouri from moorings near Ft. Berthold in Dakota Territory. Rammed EMILLIE'S bow to keep her from winning. Lost by 4 days. Captain Massie said years later that her wreck lies buried in sand a mile from the river.
The ELK was a side-wheeler and was small. It was destroyed in 1838, burned? at Massie's wood yard 5 miles below Herman, Missouri.
The EL PASO was a sidewheel - wooden hull packet,, 180' X 28' approximately. It had 18 1/2's-6 1/2', 3 boilers, each 22" X 38'. It was launched 1850 at St. Louis, Missouri. It was destroyed in 1855 April 10, Franklin Island, White's Landing near Boonville, Missouri, snagged and lost. It traveled the Missouri and Platte Rivers. The Captain at that time was William Massie. In 1853 it was the first steamer to reach Mile River.
The Missouri Historical Review, dated October, 1926-July, 1927 published by the State Historical Society of Missouri on page 241.

His brother John Tarleton Massie was also a Steamboat Pilot and Captain.

Marriage Records Missouri

I certify, that I have this day joined together in the holy estate of Matrimony William R. Massie and Fannie Keith certified by me this day May 12th 1855 Robert A. Young
Posted and Recorded May 12th 1855 Keemle Recorder

William Rodney Massie born November 5, 1831, died January 29, 1910.
William Massie, a Missouri steamboat pilot, was playing poker with Wild Bill Hickock the day Wild Bill was shot and killed. The bullet passed through Wild Bill's head and pierced Captain Massie's left arm. It is thought by some that the bullet that killed Wild Bill Hickock is buried beneath this tombstone with the remains of Captain Massie.

From newspaper clipping in Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.

On August 2, 1876, Wild Bill was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in Saloon #10 in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. Legend has it that he died with a poker hand consisting of a pair of aces and a pair of eights---known thereafter as the "dead man's hand." "The old duffer--he broke me on the hand" were the last words Hickok spoke in reference to fellow gambler CAPTAIN MASSIE.

Excerpts from Wild West Magazine
February 2002
By Thad Turner

Deadwood, South Dakota on August 2, 1876, at the #10 Saloon.
Captain William Rodney Massie had been playing poker with Wild Bill Hickok, co-proprietor Carl Mann, and Charlie Rich, a 20 year old gambler and house dealer from Ohio. . Rich was seated in Wild Bill's customary wall seat opposite the bar. Hickok was losing money today, While Captain William R. Massie, a former river boat pilot, was doing most of the winning. Massie was in Deadwood speculating in real estate and securing valuables for the throngs of miners and others trying to make their fortunes in the great gold rush to Deadwood Gulch.
The betting on the current poker hand concluded, and Massie showed his cards on the table. Hickok gave them his full attention. The former riverboat captain had the better hand once again. In disgust, Hickok remarked dryly, "You old duffer, you beat me on that one."
With the players preoccupied, Jack McCall moved away from the weight scales and walked toward the rear door of the saloon. Stopping just a few feet away, he quickly turned and stepped forward to a position just a few feet behind Wild Bill. McCall drew his six-shooter from inside his loose-fitting clothing and pointed it at the back of Hickok's head. Without warning, McCall fired and then shouted, "Damn you, take that!"
The gunshot inside the narrow saloon was deafening. Captain Massie, seated directly across the table from Hickok, jumped. He was puzzled at first, but when he felt a sudden searing pain in his left wrist, he realized he had been shot. He stared in disbelief at Wild Bill, thinking that Hickok had shot him in a fit of anger. But Wild Bill was quiet and still - far too still. A small hole in his right cheek below the bridge of his nose was bleeding heavily. Without uttering a sound, Hickok slowly slumped sideways off his stool and onto the floor. McCall was waving his six-shooter as he backed toward the rear door. It was easy now for Massie to put two and two together: The prince of pistoleers had been shot through the back of the head by and assassin, and the killing bullet had then embedded itself in his own wrist.
Captain Massie and Charlie Rich were among those who testified for the defense at the August 3 trial, but others testified to McCall's good character, and McCall himself stated that he had killed Wild Bill because Hickok had killed his brother.

Burial: February-1910, St. Louis, Missouri Bellefontaine Cemetery

Marriage: 12-May-1855, St. Louis, Missouri

iii. FANNIE MASSIE, b. 1863.
iv. HENRY LEWIS MASSIE, b. 1873.
v. MAUD MASSIE, b. 1879.
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James McGarry

James was born in County Leitrim, Ireland in around 1835.  His parents were 
John "Henry" McGarry and his wife was Margaret Theodorcia Shaw.  Captain 
McGarry had five siblings:

1. Ellen McGarry (b. 1829) m. James A. Mooney
2. John McGarry (b. about 1832) m. Mary Devine
3. JAMES McGARRY (CAPTAIN) (b. about 1835) - never married
4. Margaret McGarry (b. 1838-have copy of her death cert.)-never married
5. Henry J. McGarry (b. October 23, 1838-copy of death cert.) m. Elizabeth 
    Levi (my other gg-grandfather's daughter!)
6.  Thomas McGarry (b. May 11, 1841-copy of death cert.) m. Catherine
     Riley (my gg-grandparents).  They had three children who lived.  My gg-
     grandmother died after the birth of her last child, John.  Thomas 
     remarried - Bridget Ellen Masterson (cousin to Catherine Riley)

I have much more about this family.  An interesting story about Captain James 
McGarry is that his father left Ireland due to his involvement against 
England.  He took his young son, James, with him to Canada, where he had 
friends and possibly some more family.  John "Henry" McGarry died en route, 
and young James was met by my other gg-grandfather, William "John" Levi 
(Leavy or Dunleavy or McConleavy in Ireland).  It is unclear just how long 
James stayed with the Levi family.  He was indeed a river orphan, and family 
has stated that he kept a very low profile, as he was afraid he would be sent 
back to Ireland.  

His mother and siblings came to Canada a few years later.  She was 
Protestant, and her father did not like the fact she married a Catholic and 
school teacher.  She was disowned by her father, and after the death of her 
husband, begged either her uncle or brother to stay on the family lands (my 
understanding was that they were quite wealthy - rumored that she is kin to 
George Bernard Shaw - but haven't cemented that claim as yet) until she could 
come to Canada. 

This information comes from notes my great aunt, Ann Shirley Levi-Bragg left 
to one of her children upon her death.  She had written to two cousins on a 
regular basis, and I have copies of the letters from between 1942 and about 
1976.  Of course, some of this history may not be totally true, as family 
history sometimes gets a little distorted, and we know that the Irish spouted 
blarney to some degree.  

Many of Captain James McGarry's family (mostly the Levi family) lived in 
Wilson, Springfield Township, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.  In a copy of an 
old newspaper from Wisconsin, it is noted that Captain McGarry was buried in 
Bismarck, but his body was later transferred to Wilson for burial in the St. 
Bridget's Roman Catholic Cemetery there.  Almost all of the names in that old 
cemetery are related to me on either the McGarry, Levi, McKiernan, and Riley 
sides of my family.  Captain McGarry's headstone is the largest in the 

Also, John Christie Barr, is speculated as being not only the closest friend 
to McGarry, but it is interesting that William "John" Levi married Elizabeth 
Mary Barr.  I have not found a direct connection between John C. Barr and 
Elizabeth Barr as yet.  Elizabeth and "John" Levi do have a son, John Barr, 
but he married and was born in Canada; whereas, John C. Barr was born in New 
York according to a census I have.  It is odd that these two were very close 
and that Captain James McGarry was related to the Barrs.

In any event, Thanks for including Captain McGarry in your very interesting 
list of steamboat captains.  

The above information from site visitor, Linda Stephens - Washington State

The following is, word for word, Capt. James McGarry's obituary from the
Bismark Tribune dated July 12, 1879.
"The Death of James McGarry.
Yesterday afternoon this community was surprised with the report that Capt. James McGarry was dead. Two weeks ago he came off the steamer BUTTE sick with mountain fever, and went to the SHERIDAN. It was generally known that he was quite ill, but no probability of his death was suggested until Thursday night and Friday morning. Capt. McGarry was born of Irish parents in Canada, and was about forty-one years of age. Of his history little is known. He was a man with few confidants. There is no knowledge obtainable as to his relations. It is believed that he had some friends living near Wilson Station, Wisconsin, but who they are no one knows. He went on the Missippi River as a steamboatman in 1857 and came on the Missouri in 1864. He built all the steamboats of the Benton Line, was superintendent and one of the heaviest stockholders. He was one of the best steamboatmen on the river, and was unusually popular and upright. The funeral will take place at the Catholic church tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:00 P.M. The remains of the Captain will be interred in the Catholic cemetery, where a monument will be erected by his associates." According to his stone, he died in 1879 at age 44.
by William E. Lass page 102
The Powers and Raker Brothers employed some very able navigators, men
such as James McGarry, John Christie Barr, and Andy Johnson. McGarry
was a boat captain in the Power Line for nearly five years until his
death in 1879. He also supervised the construction of company boats
and was one of the major stockholders. He was a man about whom little
was known.
He was in reality a river orphan. He had no family or known relatives.
He was known by his contemporaries as a reserved bachelor who stayed at
a Bismarck hotel and had very little to say about himself. It was known
that he was born in Canada of Irish parents and that he entered
Mississippi River steam-boating in 1857 at about the age of eighteen.
After 1861 he worked on the Missouri, either as a pilot or master. He
had worked occasionally for the Northwest Transpor-tation Company and
also operated his own steamboat independently before joining the Power
Line. McGarry died in a Bismarck hotel after a bout with mountain fever.
Apparently the only person close to him was John Christie Barr, who came
on the Missouri in 1876 as a clerk on a boat commanded by McGarry.

The Boats of Captain James McGarry


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Herbal Remedies Do Not Polute Your System

Captain O.D. Mayo

Dear Dave,
I have really enjoyed reading your web site about riverboats. It is very informative and has given me insight into the world of my GGgrandfather who was a riverboat captian. I have been trying to find out all that I can about his history on the river. His obituary indicates that he was a Captian for the Northern. I tried to find reference to it in your

Funeral Note

Capt. O. D. Mayo
The funeral of the late Capt. O. D. Mayo took place yesterday afternoon from
his residence, No. 1106 N 11th St. A. W. Williams of the North Presbyterian
church delivered the sermon and the remains were attended to their last
resting place by a large number of the friends of the deceased. There was a
profusion of floral offerings, one of which was a large anchor?
formed of tube and tea roses, the gift of friends of the family.
Capt. Mayo was born at Rindge, New Hampshire, and at the time of his death
was 50 years of age.

He came to the West about 27 years ago, and for a number of years was captain of a
Lake Michigan steamer in the employ of the Illinois and Lake Michigan Canal company.
He then entered the employ of the Northern Line Packet company, and several years ran on the Mississippi.

He was captain of the steamer South Shore when it sank about four years ago. He
then became a contractor for the construction of mills and travelled
extensively through the South, where he was known to a large majority of
those who engaged in the river trade. For the last three years he has been
foreman of the shops of the Illinois and St. Louis Bridge company. On Monday
he was prostrated by a stroke of apoplexy and lingered in an unconscious
condition until Friday morning, when death came to his relief. He leaves a
wife, and two sons and a daughter.

End Funeral Note

Can you help me find documentation for my ggrandfather and his employ with these companies?

Do you know how he could have become a Captian? Did they have to get trained back then? Was there some form of registration to use the title Captian? I would greatly appreciate any information that you might have in this regard.


Judy Mayo
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* Way's Packet Directory, 1848 - 1994

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