From Camille Ammerman , Winnipeg, MB, Canada

I have collected items which appeared primarily in the "Daily State Journal" of Parkersburg W. Va., in the mid-late 1880s. Often a column appeared under the heading "River News". As I photocopied the items from the microfilmed newspapers, the items are verbatim, spelling warts and all.

Holiday 25

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November and December, 1886

Source: LDS Microfilm No. 0205538, Vol. 6, No. 137 (1 Jul 1886) - Vol. 7, No. 138 (31 Dec 1886), "The Daily State Journal", Parkersburg, Wood county W. Va.

Issue dated Tuesday, 9 November 1886:
"Disaster on the 'T. D. Dale'. About 5 p.m. Saturday the steamer 'T. D. Dale', which formerly ran between this city and Marietta, while opposite the Dayton, Ky., ferry, split her boiler plate with a loud report, enveloping the boat in a cloud of steam and creating a panic among the passengers and crew. Two dock hands and a passenger jumped overboard in the excitement, only one of whom was rescued. The drowned men were Asa Nalor, 21, of New Richmond, Ind., colored, and George Hardesty, white roustabout, of Cincinnati. Their bodies were not recovered. Luke Graves, the colored boy who jumped overboard with them was rescued half frozen. He resides in New Richmond and was forced to jump by the other two. Damage $500."

"Capt. J. L. Hutchinson, who has been up the river for several days, has returned home. He says that there is considerable snow at the head waters and that a rise may be expected soon."

Issue dated Thursday, 11 November 1886:
"The River. Everything very quiet and dull at the wharf.

"The river men are patiently waiting for the long-expected rise.

"The usual November rise may be looked for in a few days, it is thought. Up in the Allegheny mountains the snow is said to have been 14 inches deep and the rains are melting this.

"The depth in the channel at this point was two feet according to last night's gauge and the river was stationary. Little or no business is being transacted while the river is so low. - 'Wheeling Intelligencer'.

"The reports from above last night were as follows: Pittsburgh, 5 feet 5 inches, on a stand and raining; below the Davis Island dam, 9 feet 3 inches; Morgantown, 3 feet; Lock No. 4, 5 feet 8 inches; Greensboro 7 feet; Brownsville, 4 feet 4 inches; Oil City, 3 feet. At all of these places the river was statioonary and it was either cloudy or raining."

Issue dated Friday, 12 November 1886:
"The River. The rise is coming and the river men are happy. The river has already begun to rise here.

"The steamer 'Elaine' with her new model bow, presents a very nice appearance. She will continue in the Wheeling and Parkersburg trade.

"Pilot Mart Aultman, one of the best on the Upper Ohio, reports that the channel at Duck creek has changed back to where it was years ago and he advises pilots to hug close to the island. 'Marietta Register'.

"During the extreme low water season that has prevailed, the steamer 'H. M. Townsend' has been repaired in several respects. New cylinder timbers have been put in, and a new wheel has practically been built.

"Only twenty million bushels of coal are on the barges at Pittsburg, awaiting a rise in the Ohio. The coal is worth twelve and a half cents per bushel in Cincinnati, and will bring in round figures two million five hundred thousand dollars."

Issue dated Saturday, 13 November 1886:
"B. & O. R.R. & East End. John H. Gormley has left the service to accept a position as mate on one of the large Ohio river tow boats."

"The River. The 'Lizzie Bay' will resume her old trade Monday morning between here and Gallipolis leaving here at seven o'clock a.m.

"The 'Benton McMillan', Hod Knowles, Master, and Ira Huntington, Clerk, is one of the best steamers on the river. It leaves Pittsburgh Tuesdays at four o'clock p.m. and Ironton Thursdays at 2 p.m.

"Late telegrams say that at Morgantown the river is four feet and rising and snowing; Lock No. 4, 7 feet, 7 inches, rising and snowing; Parkers, 6 inches snow last night; Brownsville, 6 feet 3 inches, rising and snowing; Rice's Landing 6 feet 8 inches and rising; Oil City, rising; Pittsburg 6 feet and rising above dam."

Issue dated Monday, 15 November 1886:
"River News. Through packets are running once more.

"The river is still rising slowly at this point.

"The 'Elaine' left Wheeling for Parkersburg at 11 a.m. to-day.

"The 'Courier' will leave Wheeling to-morrow at 11 a.m. for Parkersburg.

"At nine o'clock this morning the river was six feet six inches at Pittsburg and falling; wickets down. At Wheeling the river was nine feet and rising.

"Light barges of coal got out from Pittsburgh on the late rise and Wheeling and Parkersburg may expect coal to-morrow or next day. The people are to be congratulated on the fact that the coal famine is about over.

"The steamer 'W. N. Chancellor', which has been laid up at Gallipolis since she was thoroughly overhauled and repaired, awaiting a rise to enable her to resume her place in the Pittsburgh-Charleston trade left that port this morning for Pittsburg."

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Issue dated Tuesday, 16 November 1886:
"The River. The river is falling slightly.

"Business is brisk at the wharf.

"The 'James G. Gilmore' passed down to-day with a large number of coal barges in tow.

"The 'W. N. Chancellor' passed up this morning loaded down to the guards with freight.

"The 'Ida Smith', Captain Morgan's Raven Rock and Marietta packet, is at the landing having a model head put on her.

"The old familiar whistle of the 'Lizzie Cassel' was heard here Sunday, the Muskingum having risen sufficiently to let the packet through the locks at Winsor. - 'Marietta Leader'.

"Tow boats passed down yesterday - 'Smoky City' at 12 m., light; 'Ed Roberts' and 'Persey Kelsey' 1 p.m.; 'Onward', 'Rescue' and 'Hornet No. 2' at 2 p.m.; 'Twilight' at 3 p.m.; 'Tide Belle', 'McGowan', 'Enterprise' and 'Beaver' at 4 p.m.; 'James Gilmore', 'Frank Gilmore' and 'Seven Sons' at 5 p.m., with boal - 'Wheeling Register'."

"The young son of Capt. Hod (Horace) Knowles is quite ill with typhoid fever. He was placed in comfortable quarters at the Marine Hospital yesterday, where he could receive efficient medical attention. - 'Cincinnati Post'."

Issue dated Wednesday, 17 November 1886:
"Boats and Barges. The 'Scotia' is due up at dark this evening.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' went down this morning.

"The 'Strecker' passed down at noon for Gallipolis.

"Several tows of coal passed down to-day for Cincinnati.

"The river is 6 feet 6 inches at this point and falling a trifle, but the rain will bring it up again.

"On Monday the following boats with tows of coal left Pittsburgh for Cincinnati and Louisville: For Cincinnati - 'Ed Roberts', 'Coal Valley', 'John F. Walton', 'John Moren', 'Pacific', 'Ark', 'Hornet', 'Beaver', 'Comet', 'Mr. Bonner', 'Tom Lysle', 'Tide', 'Jim Gilmore', 'Frank Gilmore', 'Percey Kelsey', 'Alarm', 'Voyager', 'Coal City' and 'Twilight', with a total of 1,833,000 bushels. For Louisville - 'Enterprise', 'Belle McGowen', 'A. G. Horner', 'Sam Clarke', 'Joe Walton', 'D. W. Wood', 'Joe Nixon' and 'Coal City', with 1,047000. Total to both points, 2,880,000."

Issue dated Friday, 19 November 1886:
"Up and Down the Ohio. The 'Shirley' passed up last night.

"The river is 10 feet at this point and rising.

"The 'McMillan' is due up this evening for Pittsburgh.

"The 'Chancellor' is due down this evening from Pittsburgh.

"The 'Ella' passed down to-day with a heavy tow of coal for Louisville.

"The 'Eugene' landed here to-day from Pittsburgh with six barges of coal.

"The 'Katie Stockdale' will come out from Pittsburgh next Monday. She has been put in first class condition during her enforced idleness.

"The handsome passenger steamer 'W. N. Chancellor' passed down this morning at an early hour for Marietta, Parkersburg and all points on the Kanawha. The boat has been rebuilt, received new and more powerful engines, which has increased her speed very materially. The first clerk is Clark Barringer, well and favorably known to passengers and shippers. - 'Wheeling Register'."

Issue dated Saturday, 20 November 1886:
"Deputy U.S. Marshal Ramp has libelled the steamer 'Abe McDonald' of the Kanawha river trade, and tied her up at Point Pleasant at the instance of M. M. Laidley, of that place, who has a bill against the boat."

"Capt. John M. Sweeney received a telegram yesterday from Capt. Quill, of Mobile, Ala., stating that the steamer 'Nettie Quill', built here last July, by Sweeney & Sons, had passed the 'Hattie Moore' in a race with her on Tuesday evening. The 'Moore' is the property of a rival line and has long been the fastest steamer on the Alabama river but the 'Quill' now takes the lead. A great deal of money was staked on the result of the race. - 'Wheeling Register'."

Issue dated Monday, 22 November 1886:
"(The River). The river is 16 feet and rising.

"The 'Andes' passed up last night.

"Business is booming at the wharf.

"The 'General Pike' will be up to-night.

"The 'Louis A. Sherley' passed down yesterday.

"Miss Jessie Gordon, little daughter of Mr. T. G. Gordon, will give a birthday party this evening at her home on Juliana street. Reception from 5 to 7 o'clock.

"To-night at the residence of Mr. Wm. Rittenhouse the C.L.S.C. will meet. The Programme includes a recitation by Miss Bettie Devol; instrumental music by Miss Mattie Timms; select reading by Miss Jennie Ogden; instrumental music by Miss Lulu Gilbert and an essay on Aaron Burr, by Mr. A. Kendall.

"The U.S. snagboat 'E. A. Woodruff', came up from below again Saturday evening for the purpose of laying here over Sunday and allowing the waters time to fall in order to enable the officers to better hunt out and remove obstructions. As usual, everything on and about her was as clean and pretty as a pin. Her flags were flying at half mast, in respect to the memory of ex-President Arthur. - 'Wheeling Register'."

Issue dated Saturday, 27 November 1886:
"(The River). The locals are all on time.

"The 'Louis A. Sherley' is due down in the morning.

"The 'Scotia' is due down at six this evening.

"The 'Benton McMillan' was due up at four p.m. to-day.

"The 'Chancellor' passed down last night.

"During the present rise about one hundred barges with 250,000 bushels of coal came out of the Kanawha.

"The river at this point is 22 feet and falling slowly."

Issue dated Tuesday, 30 November 1886:
"Boats and Barges. Up this evening: The 'Pike'.

"Due down this evening: The 'Stockdale'.

"The 'Andes' is due down in the morning.

"The 'W. N. Chancellor' is due up this evening.

"The river is falling with ten feet of water in the channel.

"The 'Louis A. Sherley' left Cincinnati for Pittsburgh this afternoon.

"Frank Good engineers wharf-boat affairs with a master hand. Recently business has been on a big boom.

"Capt. Pete Curry is thinking of claiming damages from the U.S. snagboat 'E. A. Woodruff' for the damage she caused his boat by backingo her last week. He claims to have had the proper signals out.

"The largest fleet of coal that ever passed this city is 320,000 bushels which went down last Sunday about 2 p.m., destined for New Orleans. The tow was handled by the tow-boat 'Boaz', one of the largest on the upper Ohio. When below the Louisville Falls her fleet will be increased to 750,000 bushels. - 'Marietta Register'."

Source: LDS Microfilm No. 0205538, Vol. 6, No. 137 (1 Jul 1886) - Vol. 7, No. 138 (31 Dec 1886), "The Daily State Journal", Parkersburg, Wood county W. Va.

Issue dated Wednesday, 1 December 1886:
"Notes Along River. The river is about ten feet and stationary.

"The 'Scotia' is due up this morning.

"The 'Andes' passed down this morning at seven o'clock with a good trip.

"The 'Benton McMillan' is due down to-night.

"Locals on time with good business."

Issue dated Saturday, 11 December 1886:
"W. C. Rumsey, pilot on the 'Strecker', will probably be given the position of first clerk on that popular boat."

"Citizens D. N. Graham and A. E. Merrill were in Parkersburg Saturday, where they went to buy a barge load of coal, but they came back without the much needed supply of fuel. There was none in market to be had. - 'Wirt Transcript'."

"Among the well-known rivermen who have been here now for a day or two are: T. F. Dolan, Ben. F. Brown, Cal. Blazier, Bert. Clow, John Moore and Lon. Davidson. They are at the Buckingham (hotel)."

Issue dated Monday, 13 December 1886:
"River News. The 'Pike' is due up this evening.

"The 'Knox' was late to-day because of the ice.

"The 'Stockdale' is due down to-morrow.

"The 'Oneida' made a trip to-day to Middleport.

"The 'Alex. Swift' passed up this afternoon with empties.

"The 'Elaine' left Wheeling for Parkersburg this morning.

"The 'Hornet No. 2' has been raised and is running again.

"The ice is leaving and the boats will all be running again soon.

"Heavy ice still continues to run in the Kanawha and Elk rivers.

"The 'Mt. Clair' collided with the 'Kate Waters', Wednesday, near Cincinnati. One barge of coal was lost."

Issue dated Tuesday, 14 December 1886:
"Boats and Barges. 'I can remember,' said Capt. Stone, 'when coal tows used to be in the rear of the boat as they are on the Hudson and Rhine. But for our Ohio river, experience has shown that it is far more advantageous to put the towboat right in the fleet and to the rear where she can get a powerful leverage by the length of the boat, and the long, powerful sweep of the rudder. Why, just think of a coal fleet of four acres in extent going into New Orleans. I remember when from 30,000 to 70,000 bushels was considered an immense tow; now they will take a quarter of a million bushels'. - 'Cincinnati Times Star'.

"As soon as the towboat 'Hornet No. 2' can be taken to Pittsburgh she will be placed on the docks and thoroughly repaired. The sunken coal barge, which was the cause of the sinking of the 'Hornet', should be taken out of the way before it does some more damage. - 'Wheeling Register'."

Issue dated Thursday, 16 December 1886:
"The steamer which went to the rescue of the passengers of the steamer 'J. M. White', on the lower Mississippi, Monday evening, was the 'Stella Wilde', which was built at Wheeling the past summer by Sweeney & Son, for Captain Prince, who is running her in the Bayou Sara and Natchez trade."

Issue dated Friday, 17 December 1886:
"The river is thick with ice and the steamers are unable to run. The 'Benton McMillan', 'Knox', 'Elaine', 'Sherley' and two or three tows are lying at the wharf."

Issue dated Saturday, 18 December 1886:
"A well-known clerk on one of the popular steamers will be wedded on Christmas to a young lady of Burning Springs."

Issue dated Tuesday, 21 December 1886:
"The following named boats are laid up for the winter in the mouth of the Muskingum river: "Onward', 'Rescue', 'Burnside', 'R. E. Phillips', 'George Strecker', 'Samuel Clark', 'J. H. McConnell', 'Belle McGowan', the wharf-boats, several house-boats and about forty barges."

"On Christmas Day Mr. Albert Ball, the populr clerk on the 'C. C. Martin', will wed one of the most attractive young ladies of Burning Springs."

Issue dated Thursday, 23 December 1886:
"The large 10,000-bushel coal barge, loaded, which recently sunk at Blennerhassett, has been raised, and was brought to the city yesterday by the 'Nellie Spear'."

"Capt. Pope & Son, of the steamer 'H. M. Townsend', have just closed a contract for towing 300,000 ties, most of which will come out of the Little Kanawha. This is a big contract and shows the timber resources of our rivers."

Issue dated Friday, 31 December 1886:
"A Big Thing. The Orrel Coal company have commenced with a large force the laying of tracks and erection of tipples on the Little Kanawha river just beyond the Camden works. When done they will make heavy shipments of coke by river and a new line of boats will probable be put in for the trade."


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