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.

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Octorber 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 Friday, 1 October 1886:
"There will be no charge on the ferry boat Monday night to those who want to attend the Grosvenor meeting at Belpre."

"Along the Ohio. Rivermen are lively once more.

"At 2 p.m. the river at this point was 5 feet 8 inches and rising.

"The 'Sam. Brown' passed up to-day with fifteen empty barges.

"The 'Andes' is advertised to leave Cincinnati for Pittsburgh this evening.

"The river was 6 feet 10 inches this morning at Pittsburgh and stationary.

"The 'Chandler' will leave Point Pleasant for Charleston in the morning. She has just been repaired and spruced up generally.

"The 'Courier' has resumed her place in the Parkersburg and Wheeling trade, having left Wheeling yesterday on her first trip since the rise."

Issue dated Saturday, 2 October 1886:
"Along the Ohio. The regulars are on time.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' landed here at 1 p.m. to-day.

"The river is still rising and the reiver men are happy.

"The 'Andes' will be here from Cincinnati this evening.

"Clerk Barringer, formerly of the 'Stockdale', is now first clerk on the 'Chancellor' and Will Armstrong is second.

"The Huntington and Pt. Pleasant packet 'Tom Spurlock' struck a log and sunk, near Guyan, Thursday morning. She will be raised.

"The St. Louis and St. Paul packet 'White Eagle', coming down the MIssissippi with a cargo on board, was sunk at Finksville, 550 miles above St. Louis."

Issue dated Monday, 4 October 1886:
"River News. The river is 5 feet at the wharf and falling.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' got up at 3 p.m. yesterfday.

"The 'Katie Stockdale' passed down Saturday evening.

"The 'Dick Fulton' went up about 1 p.m. yesterday bound for Pittsburgh.

"The 'Belle Prince' passed down yesterday for Ravenswood about 11 a.m.

"The regulars were late yesterday because of heavy fogs yesterday morning.

"The 'Benton McMillan' passed up for Pittsburg at 2 p.m., yesterday, and will probably return Wednesday.

"The repairs on the 'C. C. Martin' are now about completed. It has been repainted inside and out and repaired in good shape.

"The 'Chancellor' is now laid up at Gallipolis. She claims to be able to make an hour more than she could before being repaired.

"About all the boats of the coal fleet have reached Pittsburgh with their tows of empties. Several of them had long and dismal waits along the banks before there was enough water to get home on."

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Issue dated Tuesday, 5 October 1886:
"River News. Locals are on time.

"The 'Granite State' is due up to-night.

"The 'Andes' left here for Wheeling at ten o'clock last night.

"The 'City of Nashville' leaves Cincinnati this evening for Pittsburgh.

"The river is again slowly rising. Several tow boat crews came down from Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon and took the afternoon Ohio River train for points below to bring up their boats - (Wheeling) 'Intelligencer'.

"Admiral David Gibson says the new 'Lancaster' will be completed and ready for business in two weeks. She is being finished at Harmar, O. and will prove a fine Chilo packet.

"Owing to the dangerous condition of the Windsor lock the steamers 'Cassel' and 'Diurnal' will run only to that point until the same is repaired. Arrangements have been made to transfer freight and passengers with the 'Bunside'. - 'Marietta Leader'.

"The steamer 'Dick Fulton' with 21 barges in tow, coming up the river, struck the bar at Big Gravel creek last evening at 8 o'clock, tearing a hole in her bottom 29 feet long and five feet wide, and breaking between seventy-five and one hundred timbers in the boat. She sank immediately in nine feet of water. The steamer is owned by O'Neal & Co., of Elizabeth, Pa. The captain has telegraphed to Pittsburgh for divers and says she can be raised by this means in two or three days. - (Marietta) 'Register'."

Issue dated Thursday, 7 October 1886:
"River News. The Ohio is only three feet at Wheeling.

"The 'City of Nashville' is due up to-night.

"The river is again way down and still falling.

"The 'C. C. Martin' with its new coat of paint is as trim as a new pin. It will run regularly now.

"The steamer 'Nellie F. Brown' has been tied up at Gallipolis by one of Marshal Sehon's deputies at the instance of D. F. Cornwell, a part owner.

"The winter coal operators above are waiting for a raise. They have $8,000,000 bushels of coal ready to send out within 12 hours. The greater portion of this coal is now lying at the landings between Lock No. a and Davis Island dam. The remainder is in the first pool. The shippers expected a rise on Wednesday, and steam was gotten up on a number of the boats, but the anticipated rise failed to come to time. Most of the coal is in barges, and can go out on from six to seven feet of water."

Issue dated Monday, 11 October 1886:
"Sensational. A Startling Episode on an Excursion Boat Last NIght. An excursion to the Ravenswood campmeeting went down from this city yesterday on the steamer 'Oneida'. There were about fifty on board, a part of whom were the members of the Salvation Army. On the return trip they struck on a sand bar at Newberry Island for three hours and did not get back to Parkersburg until four o'clock this morning.

"On the return trip an episode occurred which was sensational in the extreme and which produced a great deal of indignation among the few who knew anything about it. The facts as we have gotten them are as follows:

"A few of the young people were up in the pilot house and it so happened that all had gone down except one young lady who remained talking to the pilot. A few minutes later she was seen to leap from the window of the pilot house and rushing down stairs fall in a fainting fit. It was some time before she recovered sufficiently to tell the eager and excited friends about her that when she was left alone with the pilot he shut the door and made insulting proposals to her, which she indignantly resented, and than when he refused to open the door she escaped through the window to get away from him.

"The young lady is well known and highly respected here and was greatly shocked and unnerved by the episode, and her friends are very much wrought up over it.

"The pilot is a married man and has a family. His side of the story we have not learned. We simply repeat the account as told by those present."

"Up and Down the Ohio. All quiet at the wharf.

"River less than three feet and falling slowly.

"The 'Benton McMillan' is at Bellaire waiting for more water.

"The Pittsburgh and Wheeling packet 'C. W. Batchelor', is again laid up on account of low water.

"Capts. B. D. Stout and J. H. Wood, of Pittsburgh, have gone down on the new 'Stella Wilde' to look at the river.

"The steamer 'Louise' is on the Armstrong docks at Point Pleasant. She will be repaired, new timber put in her hull and otherwise repaired.

"Pittsburgh parties are figuring on the purchase of the 'Return', a New Cumberland packet. If they buy her she will be loaded with a cargo of glass and queensware for the southern market.

"Admiral David Gibson says the new Chilo packet 'Lancaster' will raise steam on Wednesday or Thursday, and be at Cincinnati next Saturday or Sunday. Admiral Gibson is now laying in her furniture and cabin outfit.

"There are prospects of a new steam ferry plying between Mingo and the opposite landing shore Wellsburg. A good stage of water is reported between these points and good landings on both sides render the scheme practical. - (Wheeling) 'Intelligencer'."

Issue dated Tuesday, 12 October 1886:
"Up and Down the Ohio. The river is still falling slowly.

"The packets are nearly all late because of the low water.

"River men are not very jubilant just now but the rise will come by and by.

"The amount of coal ready to come out of the Big Kanawha on the next tow boat rise, is estimated at 2,000,000 bushels.

"A special dispatch from Steubenville states that at six o'clock last evening, Capt. Nate Wintringer, of that city, was stricken with paralysis at his home and died shortly afterwards. He was an old and experienced river man, having followed steamboating nearly all his life. He was very widely known all along the Ohio and Mississippi and was generally liked and admired, not only by river men, but by the public generally. For some time past he had been in command of the Pittsburgh and Wheeling packet, 'C. W. Batchelor'. The news of his death will be a sad and sudden shock to his friends. - (Wheeling) 'Intelligencer'."

Issue dated Thursday, 14 October 1886:
"Along the Ohio. News Items of Interest to River Men - A Rise very Probable. The heavy rains to-day if general will have their effect on the river. The probabilities are that we will get our fall rise to stay, as other rains are likely to follow. The river the past few days has been almost unnavigable, except for the very lightest of boats. Through packets have been held up and local steamers have all been late.

"The following news items we glean from our Wheeling and other river exchanges:

"The beacon-light steamer 'Lily' will leave Cincinnati for Pittsburgh as soon as there is a rise.

"The snagboat, 'E. A. Woodruff', is wrecking the hull of the 'Potomac' below Hartford City.

"Capt. Ed. Maddy is still in charge of the 'Minnie Bay', in the Louisville and Cincinnati trade.

"The 'D. T. Lane' is now on the docks on Pt. Pleasant; she is having almost an entire new hull built.

"The towboat 'Rescue', with a tow of empties, is tied up on the other side of the dam at Marietta, waitinf ro more water.

"The new government snag-boat, 'Kentucky', just finished at Cincinnati, has made a successful trial trip. She is said to be a beauty.

"Both of the dry dock companies at Pt. Pleasant have been crowded with work all the past summer and have been the means of bringing thousands of dollars into the town.

"Henry Best, third clerk on the steamer 'Andes' is now running on the 'Strecker', in the Marietta and Gallipolis trade, the 'Andes' being tied up at Cincinnati on account of low water.

"An old river sign and saying is that 'Three fogs bring a rise'. There have been over one dozen fogy nights in succession, but there is no water of any consequence or any sign of any just at present.

"Rumor has it that Captain James Gardener and others, owners of the sunken steamer 'Emma Graham', contemplate building at an early day a boat to take the 'Emma's place in the Cincinnati trade.

"The colors of the old 'Reliable' wharf boat have been displayed at half-mast for the past two days as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Capt. Nate Wintringer, master of the 'C. W. Batchelor'."

Issue dated Friday, 15 October 1886:
"A Dull River. The rise didn't come.

"The river and river news are very dull.

"L. V. Applegate and M. D. Nelon, of Gallipolis, United States Steamboat Inspectors, are here inspecting the boats at the wharf.

"Marks at other places - Oil City, 2 inches, cloudy and raining; Parker, low gauge; Rice's landing, 3 feet 8 inches and stationary; Greensboro, 7 feet and stationary; Morgantown, 3 feet and stationary; Lock No. 4, 5 feet 7 inches and stationary; Brownsville, 4 feet and stationary."

Issue dated Monday, 18 October 1886:
"River News. The 'Benton McMillan' is laid up at Cincinnati.

"The steamer 'Phillips' is now on the docks having her hull changed.

"The new steamer 'Nellie Hudson', left Pittsburgh yesterday for Wheeling where she enters the Wheeling and Parkersburg trade as a low water packet.

"There are several hundred barges lying in the Kanawha, and a string of log rafts line the banks of the river from the mouth of the stream to the first dam.

"The steamer 'Chancellor', when she re-appears, will look like a new boat. Her wheel has been enlarged and new cylinders put in, a new hull put under her and a general repairing has made her as handsome as her commander is accommodating, which is saying a good deal. - (Wheeling) 'Intelligencer'."

Issue dated Tuesday, 19 October 1886:
"Up and Down the Ohio. There are thirty-five towboats in the Pittsburgh harbor.

"The 'Louise', owned by the Bay Bros., is still on the docks at Point Pleasant undergoing repairs.

"The 'Mountain Girl', in command of Capt. J. C. Hopkins, has entered the Ripley and Cincinnati trade as a daily packet.

"The new Government snagboat, 'Kentucky', just finished at Cincinnati, has made a successful trial trip. She is said to be a beauty.

"The steamer 'Lancaster', built by Knox & Son for Cincinnati parties, left for Gallipolis yesterday, where she will be inspected and then taken to Cincinnati to be furnished. She is a very pretty, well built boat and will no doubt prove satisfactory to the owners. The painting, which was done by Will Clark, of this place, is certainly very fine, especially the lettering. When the boat goes to Cincinnati the owners will have quite a large landscape painted on the rear wall of the ladies' cabin. Steam was raised Sunday, which was the sixtieth day, the contract being to have the boat ready for steam in sixty days. Several people took the trip down. - 'Marietta Register'."

Issue dated Wednesday, 20 October 1886:
"River Notes. The 'Strecker' has gone down on the lower trade and the 'Lightwood' has taken her place.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' is laid up for more water.

"The 'C. C. Martin' is unable to get through the first lock and the 'Emma' connects there and makes a transfer.

"The 'Gen. Dawes' left here to-day about noon for Gallipolis where she will lay up until there is more water.

"The 'R. E. Phillips' is running regularly between here and Marietta.

"Marks at other places: Greensboro, 7 feet and stationary; Oil City, three inches and stationary; Morgantown, three feet and stationary; Brownsville, four feet and stationary; Lock No. 4, 5 feet 6 inches and stationary; Rice's Landing, 4 ft. 6 in. and stationary."

Issue dated Wednesday, 27 October 1886:
"The congenial-spirited Capt. C. P. Leavitt, of the steamer 'Dawes', was with us a part of a day the past week. Everybody loves the Captain."

"The river is rising slowly but it is still very low and it is almost impossible for any of the boats to arrive on time. However, the recent raise will swell the river and we may expect higher waters from now on."

Issue dated Thursday, 28 October 1886:
"The rise in the river has been hardly perceptible, but the rivermen still hope that it is coming soon."

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