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Steamboats Built in the

        Greater Pittsburgh Area      

 And

       Captains , Masters & Boatmen

in

     Pittsburgh's History 

""" A Big Thank you to Bonnie Where ever you are for all the material she contributed to this web page !!!

I am attempting to accumulate as much info on these boats From PA. as Possible . This Page was started July 22 , 2001 and is under construction .

So Why not Help by sending any information you have on any of these boats , or others built in this area .  Please remember to quote the Source . Submit name

I Will Do Lookups in the " Way's Towboat Directory " E-Mail  Me


This Photo contributed by Millie Crown , Thanks Millie ! 


 The Steamer Tom Doddsworth

Steamer Samuel Clark next to her

 

Steamboat Built in the Greater Pittsburgh Area

 

I Know I can't do this project any justice by myself . So if  you or a friend have information on any boat built in the Pittsburgh area , please submit them to me for posting here .

Submit Boat or Name  ( Pleas insert a description or subject line )

    

News Paper Clipping 


1834-35 Boats , Pittsburgh

       Disposition Symbols

A ---Abandoned, dismantled, removed -- P = Sidewheeler- W = Sternwheel

L ---Lost

W -- sold to War Department

C -- - passed to Confederate control

*this says "F" not sure if a type o ? [ Probably means Foreign ]

P = Sidewheeler W = Sternwheeler

Tons Or Dimensions

Year Built

Disposition

?-Active

??

??

??

ACTIVE--b. Elizabeth , Pa. ...7 ft stroke (from the LITTLE FRED) built and
owned by: Pittsburgh Coal Co.,. The first of a selection known as the
"alphabet fleet" in which each new boat was to be a succeeding letter of the
alphabet for the first letter of the name---ACTIVE, BEACON, CONQUEROR (later
renamed the NECLA). Sold To Hillman Transportation Co. 1918and renamed HECLA .

Carnegie Steel 

 Contributed by: Alby Ackard

   

 

W > ACORN

 

1872

1902

stw tb wh 1872-1902./ Built at Pittsburgh, PA.. a local boat owned in part by
Capt. Tom Fawcett , took command in 1900. She was working at the
wreck of the BELLE MCGOWAN which had overturned at the point , Junction of the Allegheny & Monongahela Rivers at Pittsburgh .
She came up on an eddy into the current of a flooded river, capsized, on
April 9, 1902. Capt. Sam Sylvis , in charge of wrecking and salvage operations
for the combine , was drowned , also a fireman. J. D. Hayes , master was rescued,
as were Lewis Gruber chief , and Mike Hester, mate, and others.

W > AD HINE

 

 1860

 L- 1866

Way's Towboat Directory list her as being 129 X 24 X 3.5 No tonnage is given .

Built : Monaghela City, PA. two boiler boat.....she went up to upper
Mississippi was bought by the U.S. Quartermaster on June 1, 1864 and sold back to private
ownership on march, 1866. the new owners renamed her the NUGGETT and soon
lost her on the Missouri River.

P >Admiral

244

1852

L 62

Owned By :         ????????????  , First Captain ; J. T. Stockdale , of Pittsburgh . Mostly  used on the Missouri River , lost April 5 , 1862 at Columbus KY. ...

Note : This listing from Precision Engineering list of boats built in McKeesport before 1865.

Way's Towboat Directory shows 3 boats of this name but no Towboats built in the Pittsburgh Area .

W > Alhambra

187

1854

L 63

Owned By . " Not Listed in Way's Towboat Directory "

W >Allamoat

246

1854

W 64

Owned By . Not listed in Way's Towboat Directory !

? > Allegheny

50 ton

1818

Worn Out 1826

Note : There are 4 boats of this name listed in Way's Towboat Directory but none fitting this description given by Precision Engineering Incorporated of Bellevue , Pittsburgh , PA. in their list of boats built at McKeesport PA. before 1865 . Another boat by this name and of 40 tons was built in 1830

Owned By :

W > Allegheny Belle

220.56 ton

1858

L- 1875

Way's Towboat Directory [ T0108 ] Engines 16's-6ft. stroke . This boat was known as the ALLEGHENY BELLE NO. 4 . In as much as she was the fourth of a series , the other 3 having been Packets [ See "Way's Packet Boat Directory" ]. She came out in March , 1859 and was owned for the most part by Capt. John Hanna , who then had been a Allegheny boatman 22 years . She started out as a Packet , Handling U. S. Mail between Pittsburgh and Franklin PA. [ on the Allegheny ] Capt. Hanna died at Oil City , PA. on March 20 , 1863 and this boat was sold to Capt. Wm. J. Kountz and D. S. H. Gilmore . She was taken over by the U.S. Quartermaster that month for war service . But when delivered to Cincinnati , was returned as too small . She then operated Pittsburgh - Wheeling and other short Packet trades until sold to Capt. John K. Booth who converted her into a towboat and , with Capt. Nels Davis as master , ran between Parkersburg and Cincinnati , principally . Hit a sunken barge and sank on Portland Bar, below Louisville , KY. May 23, 1875 . Her engines were recovered and went into the Packet CALUMET .

Stw. Pkw-tb , Wooden Hull 1859-1875 , Built Pittsburgh PA. ,

P > Alvin Adams

592

1853

A 60

Built By : The Firm of Benjamin Coursin , Wm. Coyan and Isaac Hammitt . At McKeesport PA. "Said to have been the fastest boat to have ever left New Orleans "{From- The First one Hundred years of McKeesport } " Named for the Founder of the Adams Express Co." {From - A History of Transportation in the Ohio Valley }

W > B.B. Barker

83

1852

L 57

Owned By .

P > Bellwood

363

1859

A 63

Side wheeler , Towboat , Wooden Hull 1859-1863 , Built at McKeesport PA. , Owned by Cosgrave & Co. , Pittsburgh and had engines from old side wheel towboat BUCKEYE . Capt. William McCloskey was her first master . Her Career was short : Seized at New Orleans by the Confederate States and operated as a gunboat . A claim , still pending in 1881 filed in Washington over her seizure .

"Possibly Connected to the Bellwood Coal Mines . Allegheny Co. PA. "

W > Ben Coursin

161

1851

L 57

Owned By .

P >Benjamin Rush

54

1840

L 69

Owned By .

W >Benton W Brazil

246

1864

L 69

Owned By

W > Braddock

135 X 24 X

1900

L- 1916

Built at Elizabeth PA. She was a wooden hull , sternwheeler towboat . Her first crew . was Capt. George Bolland , Jack Griffith , [ Chief Engineer ] , Frank Meeks , [Mate] .

Owned by : American Steel and Wire Co.

W > Brazil

211

1854

L 65

Owned By .

W > Brilliant

131

1864

L 78

Stern Wheel , Towboat , Wooden Hull . Built at McKeesport PA. / Engines 16's - 15,1/2 ft. stroke . Three boilers . built for Capt. William Munhall and others . This boat was built for towing oil on the Allegheny River . William Munhall had as partners Maj. William Frow and Charles Lockhart , they also built the towboat ALBION along with Capt. John Munhall [ older brother ] and Michael Munhall . After the oil boom on the Allegheny , these Munhall brothers switched to the Coal business and owned a major share of the property were Munhall PA. is today . The BRILLIANT was sold to W. W. Little of Portsmouth , Ohio in Feb. 1872 and Capt. Isaiah Little was master . She exploded her boilers at Gallipolis , Ohio on Aug. 5 , 1878 and Capt. J. H. Shumaker , Pilot William L. Jones and two others were killed . She went down at the time of the explosion !

* This listing is from "Way's Towboat Directory " there is considerable more info on this river tragedy , Should this mishap be related to your genealogy research contact me and I will send all that is in this listing .

W > Brown Dick

58

1855

L 62

Owned By .

P > Caledonia

238

1853

A 60

Owned By .

P>Calm

26

1852

A 54

Owned By . This boat Built by John Trich , of McKeesport PA.

[s]Source History of Allegheny Co, PA.

W > Castle Garden

164

1853

L 62

Owned By: ??

Captains : 1855  John S. Devinney  , 1860's -Thad L. Conant  

Destroyed , July 25 , 1862 at Mound City IL. 

P > Colnol Bayard

177

1852

A 62

Owned By .

W > Corn Planter

117

1851

L 52

Owned By .

W .CARRIE JACOBS

156 tons

1863.

source: WAY’S PACKET DIRECTORY 1848-1994

SW  p wh  (Side-wheel packet, wood hull) b. Brownsville, Pa., 1863. 156 tons. Sold to US-QMD (U.S. Quartermasters Department) on Oct. 10, 1864. Sold back to private owners, Sept. 28, 1865, who renamed her LOUISA.

W > Dan Converse

163

1852

L 58

Owned By: ??

Lost: Snagged and sunk , no loss of life ,  Nov. 15 , 1858  Amozonia , MO.  near St. Joseph MO.  Captains : 1852 Charles Gallanger , Till Devol , 1853 , E. C. Granger , then Monroe Ayres to 1855 .

P > Daniel G.Taylor

543

1855

L 64

Owned By . ??

 Burned at Lousville, 2/5/1864 (Ways Packet Directory).  Sabotage by the Order of American Knights/Sons of Liberty (copperhead organizations during Civil War) according to Judge Advocate General of the U. S. Army, Joseph Holt, October 1864.

Boat Burners [ off site ] " Civil War , St Louis "

This is the second of this name the first was also a side wheel lost 1838 at Glasgow , MO.  Her Captain and Part owner was John Cleveland .

P > Darling

401

1863

L 69

Owned By .

W > Dick Fulton #2

98

1860

L 66

Owned By .??

 

Note : Captain Philip R. Hill owned the old Towboat The Dick Fulton[#1] built in 1857 , there were several boats of this name followed by their # DICK FULTON; #3 stw tb wh 1863-1881 west Brownsville, pa. 310.91 tons riddle Coleman and co. owned her. burned at Pittsburgh wharf on April 11, 1867 along with the DOLPHIN; was rebuilt by Capt. W.S. Packer and Isaac Hammit Jr.

W > Dunbar

 

1859

1862

There seems to have been several boats of this Name

DUNBAR : The Dunbar was built in 1859 at Pittsburgh for the Monongahela River trade By Mr. John S. Pringle . She was found to be a little large for the Locks in this slack water system and was sold To be used on the rivers below . Shortly after the opening of hostilities she was captured by the confederate states and hastily converted to use as a gunboat . She ended her days in a creek bed that she had gone up to escape the perusing union gunboats . She was dismantled there and her machinery used to build another steamer by her captors . Last in command of her was A Captain Fowler . Note John Pringle was a boat builder and no doubt built many more boats . 

W > Eagle

192

1858

L 83

Owned By .

There were Many boats of this name !

W > Etna

49

1843

A 49

Owned By .

?> Echo

100 tons

1858

??

Owners : April 7, 1862 , Alexander Campbell , of Brady's Bend , 2/3 interest & Benjamin Coursin of McKeesport , One Third .But when Re-enrolled Nov. 10, 1862 Benjamin Coursin was Sole Owner . She was sold on Friday , Dec. 26 ,1862 ,for the sum of $ 8,000.00 Captain James Walton & Joseph Walton Both of Monroe Co. Ohio who placed her in regular Packet service between Pittsburgh & Gallipolis The Echo Cost $ 6,500.00 when built in 1858 . There were to Follow a Echo # 2 and #3 , Benjamin Coursin have shares in the latter as well .There also was a boat by this name built in 1826 at Pittsburgh of 150 tons .Captain : Ezekiel Gordon Pilots : John Conner & Henry Bolinger .

P > Falcon

441

1851

A 59

 Owned By .

W > Financier

309

1864

L 66

 Owned By .

W > Fulton City

199

1857

L 58

 Owned By .

W - GEORGE W. MOREDOCK

126

1892

L - 1903

GEORGE W. MOREDOCK stw tb 1892-1903 - b. Mason city WV. 126.5-25.4-3.2.
upper works were replaced at Hartford city, WV. using material from packett
W.N. CHANCELLOR. she caught fire at 3 PM Nov. 29, 1903 at Neel's landing at
the foot of Phillis Island, Ohio river. she had been laid up for several
months repairing and was about ready to resume. Capt. J.A. Mehaffey of
Wilkinsburg, pa was master and she was then owned by J. S. Neel . she Caught fire
from the cook stove and was soon destroyed in high wind .

W > Fred Wilson

142.44

1860

1873

Built: Pittsburgh

Owned by : W. W. O'Neil Coal Interest Capt. G, Walsh Gray , Sold when Wilson #2 was built .Owned By L.W. Morgan in1868 & Jos. Lambert in 1872 , by Bob Connell and others , With Capt. Alex McMichel , Master .When dismantled the Machinery went to the Towboat BELLE McGOWAN .

W > Fred Wilson

174X30.8X 5.4

1883

1904

" From Way's Towboat Directory "

Stw tb wh 1863-1904.Built , Elizabeth PA. 174X30.8X5.4 . Engines 20's-8 Ft. stroke . from FRED WILSON # 2 . Four boilers . Her Paddlewheel shaft was made in the Krupp plant at Essen , Germany , ordered through James Rees & Sons Co. Quite a number of steel shafts came from Krupp at this period ( see W. W. O'Neil ) . The price paid was 15cents cwt. fob. New York . James Elliott was designer of this boat , a noted naval architect of the day , who had previously built the BOAZ , RAYMOND HORNER , W.W. O'NEIL , IRON DUKE , IRON AGE , and others . A notable crew on this boat in 1894: Capt. Charles Stewart , master: Sam Shipley , chief engineer; Jack Kober , Mate; Tom Gates , steward . She went in the combine 1900 and she was commanded by Capt. Joe Price , native of Zanesville , OH. who had started steamboating on the Youghiogheny River running boats for Judge McClure and was a resident of Braddock , PA. While making up tow below the canal at Louisville , KY. , she exploded her boilers on May 26 ,1904 . Capt. Price was killed and also a friend of his making a pleasure trip , William A. Holland , who was a brother of Robert M. Holland , long a Pittsburgh councilman . Capt. Charles A. Nadal was Pilot but uninjured . Ad Sykes the mate , was knocked down by the force of the blast out on the tow . The boat was demolished . There was some speculation about the value of carrying in the cabin a lucky rabbit foot , placed there in November , 1902 following a hunting expedition on the West Virginia hills adjoining Possum Bar , below Carington , OH. Capt. John H. Douds of Baden PA. had made a round trip on her to Louisville as pilot the trip before the explosion . Lew Walker of Henderson , WV. was in the engineroom at the time of the blast but cam off unhurt .

P > Golden State

297

1852

A 60

 Owned By .

W >> Gossomer

142

1850

L 54

 Owned By .

P >> Grampus No.2

252

1856

C 61

 Owned By .

W >GRAND LAKE

168

1866

L > 1881

GRAND LAKE stw tb wh 1866-1881. b. Pittsburgh, PA. 168-30.4-5.2, 398.41 tons.
engines 22's-7 ft stroke. four boilers. part owner and first master was Capt.
Joseph B. Williams. reported sold to Capt. James Rafferty and others in Sept
1871 for Pittsburgh-New Orleans , coal towing . in July, 1873 reported sold to J. S.
and James Neel and Capt. James Butterfield for $24,000. bought by john a wood
coal interests and renamed JAMES WOOD on Sept. 24,1881

W > Grand Turk

246

1854

A 62

 Owned By

W > Guidon

240

1864

L 70

 Owned By .

W > Hercules

151

1854

L 63

Original owners: Capt. Madison Bailey , who Commanded , William S. Evens , Wm. Whigham & Co. , Michael Dravo & Son , Thomas Wilson , and William Dunshee , all of McKeesport Towed Coal . Burned and lost at Memphis , Feb. 18 , 1863

Stw , tb wh 1854 - 1863 b. McKeesport PA.

Built by the Boat yard of Robert Beebe 

A Quote from the Book " The Allegheny River " By Mrs. S. Kussart , states " A young man on board the Hercules Named Henry Evans , On May 29, 1854 fell overboard and was drowned .Listed as a hand full of boats to be first in pushing instead of Towing coal barges . The first listed was The "Lake Erie"  A boat reportedly owned By William Dunshee , as was The Hercules in Part .{ Transportation in The Ohio Valley } , The Machinery For the Hercules came from , in part   The Steamer  " Baltic" . Charles M. Bailey(Born 1835 McKeesport) Known to have been 1st Mate on the Hercules 1854 - 1860  { History Of Allegheny Co. PA. } This was not the first or the last steamboat of that name to be built , One Built In Cincinnati 1834 , and another in the1826 built in Pittsburgh PA. was 165 ton and was scraped in 1831 due to worn out condition of her hull .

  Note : William Dunshee was also partners with my 2nd great grandfather( Daniel Pollard ) in the V.F. Wilson and the Ike Hammitt and the McKeesport Marine Way's . Thomas Wilson may have been related to Richard Wilson , who married Daniel's oldest daughter Martha ( Matilda ) . They probably all knew each other .

W > Homestead

151.1 X 29.3

1919 -1945

sold 1945-remaned

Built in 1919 by James Rees & Sons & owned by Carnegie Steel Co. , she was the same as the W. H. Clingerman in every way . Launched June 27 1919 at Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River. She was the last boat to be built at this location .

Capt.'s L. W. Crawford and George T. Griffith were among her masters . She was sold to Crucible Steel Co. in the fall of 1945 and renamed the W.H. COLVIN Jr. but had for a short time carried the name A-2.Among her crew Ernest Cooper served as chief engineer .

W > Illinois Belle

147

1854

A 59

 Owned By .

 W > Imperial

222.41 tons

1865

1883

Built in Pittsburgh PA. first owners John Pedder , Ernest Succop , Michael Goldinger and Capt. W. Pedder , Her master with equal shares . Used on the Allegheny during the Oil Boom there . Sold to interests who later ran her in the upper Mississippi trade Dismantled 1883 .

W > Isaac Hammett

146

1860

A 80

Owned By . William Dunshee , Isaac Hammitt ( Builder ) and Daniel Pollard all Of McKeesport PA. , See notes under V. F. Wilson and "Daniel's  Steamboat " on this Site ! The Hammitt was employed during the Civil War towing Coal barges , Mortar boats ,etc. Was involved in a collision with the Gunboat the New Era during Civil War .

NOTE: According to " Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. / Series I - Volume 26: Naval Forces on Western Waters (March 1, 1864 - December 31, 1864)" In a Dispatch dated May 2nd 1864 , from L.C. Bresse to the Captain of the Ike Hammitt , listed as Captain Boyd . The Hammitt then at the mouth of the Red River , LA. is Ordered to proceed with a barge of cotton and empty barges to Cairo ILL. and upon arrival to report  directly to Captain. A. M. Pennock .

P > Isabella

361

1857

L 68

Owned By .

P > Izetta

301

1859

L 67

"IZETTA

    SW p wh b. McKeesport, Pa., 1859. 301 tons. In January 1861 arrived at Cincinnati from Memphis with cotton consigned to Pittsburg, Capt. William Windsor. She was presssed into U.S. service as a transport 1862-1864, owned by Capt. Jphn Kyle and others. Acquired by USQMD in April 1865. Sold to private owners that fall and renamed MEXICO on Nov, 25, 1865. Burned and lost at SWt. Louis, Jan. 20, 1867."

P > J. Converse

417

1856

L 57

Owned By . J. M. Convers , Built at Benjamin Courson yard McKeesport . Destroyed March , 1857 , at  Fairy Island . Her Captain was George W. Bowman . / J.M. Convers also owned the steamer J. M. White / After her loss the Machinery went to the Steamer " Conestoga"

J. S. Neel

 

1865 & 1878

 

owned By :

Two boats of this name are known to have existed , one built in 1865 and the other in 1878 . these boats were no doubt named for a prominent coal dealer in the McKeesport area J. S. Neel and his brother William Neel were both dealers in that commodity . J. S. Neel operated the Garfield Mine , among others.

See Photo Below under Little Bill 

James Wilson

 

1856

 

 Owned By ?

P > Jennie Deans

485

1852

L 66

 Owned By .

P > Jefferson

187

1852

A 61

 Owned By .

W > John Herron

56

1853

L 59

Owned By .

 

W > J.L. Perry

151.7 X 32

1918

 A 1945 or 1957

Originaly the W. H. CLINGERMAN of The CARNEGIE STEEL CO. ( 1918 - 1945 ) under several diffrent names . W.H. Clingerman , J.L.Perry , A-1 , and W.P. SNYDER / Built at Pittsburgh

There seems to have been two by this name , or enought name changes to have made it seem that way !

The Second one !

 J.L. PERRY : Sternwheel, 1945-1957 Built in Ambridge PA. originaly the towboat Allegheny renamed the J.L. PERRY in 1945 , owned by the Carnegie Illinois Steel Co. , Dismanteled 1957

Artical sent By : David Leshinsky

 

W >John McFadden

221

1852

L 54

Owned By .

P > John McKee

140

1850

L 59

Owned By . Owner & Captain : : Capt. Leroy Dodge / Destroyed Feb. 7th , 1858 in collision with the steamer Cherokee on the Mississippi River . Pilot for a short Period was Oscar M. Ruby .

W > Julia Dean

117

1850

L 57

W > Justice

75

1851

A 58

Owned By .

P > Kate

180

1851

A 54

Owned By .

W > Lake Erie

108

1845

??

Owners : Clark & Thaw , Hays , Black & H. Clark  . Later sold to Hugh Smith of Dill Bottom , Ohio . "One of first to engage in towing of coal barges" .  Captain in 1850 was Sharp Hemphill

Note : The Book " Genealogical and Personal history of the Allegheny Valley " States that William Dunshee had an interest in this boat .

W > Lake Erie #3

198

1858

A 81

Owned By .

*LAKE ERIE 1858-1881 towboat ran over and literally rotted down while in
operation to settle estate in 1877. she was bought by William Neel.
dismantled in 1881

W > Lotus No 2

230

1866

A 97

Owned By .

P > Linette

166

1852

L 53

Owned By .

Little Bill

1890's?-1901+?

Owned By : William B. Rodgers / Tide Coal Co. , Listed in and 1894 advertisement for Tide Coal and shown as having passed through lock #1 in 1901 is about all the Info. I can dig up regarding this boat. she is also said to have taken a part  in the Homestead riots July of 1892.

It was this boat alone after the Tide broke down that carried the Pinkerton's to their showdown with the strikers at "The Homestead Works" .

               J. S. Neel( Left )  ....................Little Bill ( Right )

Little Swan

 ab.1831,Brownsville 

As published in the  McKeesport Daily News April 3 , 1891

                                           A Steamboat Story   

While discussing the antiquity of the Bulls Head Tavern , Pittsburgh , the other evening . Says the press B. F. Sawyers of Mt. Washington who is 80 years of age .told an incident of steam boating of that time . About 1831 the first boat for the Monogahela river trade was built . It was owned by Brownsville capitalists and had been built to run between that town and Pittsburgh . It was known as the " Little Swan " . It was a single engine craft with seven inch cylinders . That was before the days of the slack water system . Mr. Sawyers was engineer of the boat . A year or so after it had been running , the Odd Fellow , a stern wheel boat was put on the river as an opposition craft .There was considerable rivalry between the crews of the two boats in regards to the time occupied in making the trip . One day both boats left the city at the same time . When they reached the riffle at Peter's Creek neither of them could stem the current .The river was not high and the engineer of the Little Swan , a tall man named Trimble , picked up the anchor , placed it on his shoulder , stepped off the boat and waded to a point at the head of the riffle . He planted the anchor and then stood upon it . The other men of the crew took hold of the rope attached to the anchor , tugged away at it for some time , and finally succeeded in drawing the boat up to where the anchor had been placed . The Little Swan got into deep water before the Odd Fellow and beat it in making the trip .

W > Mary Cook

154 X 29.3 X ?

1857

Dismantled 1862

Owners when New : Capt.'s Campbell , Frisbee , Ben Coursin

Master : 1857 Hogh Campbell , 1862 Capt. Frisbee .

P > Metropolitan

313

1856

W 65

Owned By: Northern Line Packet Co.

Captain: 1857 was Capt. Rodes  

W > Motive

67

1845

L 50

Owned By .

W > New Boston

146

1850

A 60

Owned By .

W > Nightingale

228

1863

A 72

Owned By .

W > Norman

238

1863

L 70

Owned By .

W > O. H. Ormsby

73

1860

A 73

Owned By .

P > Paul Jones

353

1855

L 63

PACKET BOAT

Owned By: Franklin Keeling  Captain : Horace Bixby ,and , Franklin A. Keeling / Lost July 1863 At the Big Black River when she was burned to prevent Capture .

W > Ranger No 2

38

1850

A 55

Owned By .

W > Raven

96

1852

A 59

Owned By .

W>Robert M.Patten

185

1851

A 55

Owned By .

W > Sallie McKee

69

1865

A 71

Owned By .

W > Sam Brown

334

1866

A 81

Owned By .

W > Sam Clark

77

1859

A 74

Owned By .

W > Sam Roberts

406

1865

L 85

Owned By .

W > Sam Snowden

194

1853

A 62

Owned By .

W >SMOKE CITY

194

1872

L 1900

: stw tb wh 1872-1900. b. Pittsburgh, PA. 194-35-6. engines 25's- 8
1/2 ft. stroke six boilers built for and operated by James A. Blackmore. Capt. Henry Rothrauff was her first master. towed coal out of Pittsburgh . Sold at
U.S. marshal sale on Nov. 13, 1877 to J. C. Risher and Co. for $26,650.

P > South America

284

1854

F* 61

Owned By .

P > Star of the West

435

1855

L 58

Owned By .

Captain: 1856 Capt. Dix  / Boat caught fire near St. Louis 1858

P > Sucker State

394

1860

A 72

Owned By: Northern Line Packet Co.

P > Sultan

349

1854

L 58

Owned By .

Captains: 1856 , John McCloy , 1858 last Captain Phill C. Hannam / This boat burned April 2, 1858 near St. Genevieve , MO.  , with a loss of 23 lives .

P > Thomas Shriver

153

1850

L 57

Owned By .

 

Tom  Doddsworth 

 500.35tons

1871-1919

dismantled 1919

Owned By: Capt Robison 1/3 - Crump Coal Co. 2/3 shares . Built at Pittsburgh by Capt. James A. Blackmore for coal towing . named after a Cincinnati coal dealer . The following article appeared in the McKeesport Daily News April 22 , 1895 .

W > Tom Farrow

119

1863

L 79

Owned By .

W > V. F. Wilson

146

1860

L 73

Owned By . Wm. Dunshee , Daniel Pollard & Isaac Hammitt

Sister Boat to the Isaac Hammitt . The two boats were built the same in every way for the purpose of towing one large tow together . This boat was the one chosen to take word back to Cairo ILL. that Vicksburg had fallen . General Grant is known to have headquartered on the Wilson During the Red River Campaign , Civil War . Much is posted on the Wilson & The Hammitt on this site under " Daniel's Boat "

Venango

120

1858

L. Dec. 31/1864

Owned By . Several Owner as below !

The VENANGO was a small sternwheel Packet , built at California, PA in 1858. I don't  have her hull measurements, but she listed in Lytle & Holdcamper as being 120 tons. Her trial trip was made on January 23, 1858, from Pittsburgh to  Sewickly and back with Capt. Thomas H. Reynolds in command. Her original  owners were John H. Reynolds, John Heath and Mr. H. Reynolds, all of  Allegheny City, PA and Mr. James P. Hoover of Franklin, PA.  She was designed  for the Pittsburgh-Franklin trade on the Allegheny.  She serviced the oil fields in that area for a few years and was later sold to Capt. Rees Rees in 1862, who in turn sold her to a Capt. Carner of Cincinnati who ran her in the low water trades on the Ohio River.  She sank at Scuffletown Bar while loaded for the Cumberland River in August, 1862.  She was finally sold to  Capt. Victor F. Wilson of Vicksburg, MS, on February 17, 1864, and burned at Pilcher Point, LA on December 31, 1864.

Jerry Canavit

The Venango had indeed been used to transport Union Troops of the Sixteenth Army Corps as noted in Special order No. 47 , Vicksburg , Miss. June 3 , 1864 . This Dispatch from the " Official Record of the Union and Confederate Armies " Series 1 - Vol. 34 (Part IV ) page 186 , orders  the Venango to " Swing out into the stream , seventeenth in order of twenty one boats total .  So it is perhaps in retaliation for this service to the Union forces that Victors boat was burned . As of this writing I am unable to state this for certain , though I strongly suspect it .

W > William C.

Robison

87

1857

A 62

 Owned By :

W. W. O'Neil

778

1881

A 1913

Owned By " The Pittsburgh Coal Co. & named for William Woods O'Neil Sr. who along with his brother John Nixon O'Neil were early coal mine operators in the Elizabeth PA. Area . The W. W. O'Neil was a monster of a boat 201 feet long , 46' wide and 8' deep she had a crew of 50 , she was beached and burned near Elizabeth PA. on Nov. 28 / 1913 .

Captains : Walter Lowrey is listed as Capt. in The Book " A century & a Half of Pittsburgh and her People " But it is doubtful he was her only captain .

THE STEAMER W. W. O'NEIL

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 W > Wm. Larimer Jones 

TON.> unstated 

  1930

 1953

She was built in 1930 at Jeffersonville , owned by Jones & Laughlin Steel Co.  , She was launched in July of 1930 and had several unusual innovations , named for the once president of J&L Steel who died at Pittsburgh on Nov. 25 , 1926 . Although there was another man of the same name that died in the explosion of the Steamer Brilliant in 1878 . was dismantled and sold for scrap in the summer of 1953 . Said to have been a Duplicate of the TITAN , She contain several innovations one was that she had levers instead of the traditional wheel for steering .

Photo by Leo R. Griffin Jr., collection of Leo R. Griffin III 

There are several other Photo's in this Collection : lgriffin@drizzle.com

1.]Wm. Larimer Jones and Homestead 1949 

2.] Wm. Larimer Jones and the Carnegie 1949

3.] Wm. Larimer Jones pushing barges in race 1949 

 


The Steamer W. W. O'Neil

Obituary For W.W. O'Neil Sr. 

OBITUARY FOR W. W. O'NEIL Sr.


 

 

 

 

 


This list is by no means complete there were Hundreds of boats built in this area if not thousands . For a more compleat list see The Following .

1. Search term Boat Building at The Historic Pittsburgh Site 

    { Click Here }

2. Dave's place [ Steamboat & Captains Resources bottom of page ]

3. Steamboat Building   in Elizabeth, PA

4. Steamboats.com

5. Historic Sternwheel Preservation Society

A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of vintage sternwheel vessels.

***BOOKS***Click on Books to see a list of resources


 

 

Captains , Masters & Boatmen in

Pittsburgh's History

Under this category I will place men who worked the rivers but were not mentioned in one of the boat listings above  !


1.] Henry Smith , [ Boatman ] who lived at Neville Island , was drowned on board the steamer V. F. Wilson , in Feb. 1873 , Henry was a young man of only 23 , if my memory servers me correctly .

2.] Alby O Ackard , 5737 Forbes Ave Pgh........ / Listed In The Homestead Directory at 343 Second ave . 

Masters & Pilots in the Seventh Supervising Inspection District, Pgh PA

1925--1930 "Who's WHO ON THE OHIO RIVER" ,Resolution Committee Maysville, KY Capt A O Ackard "AN OHIO RIVER ANTHOLOGY Page 783 " Standardization Committee for Pennsylvania - ACKARD  CAPT A. O., Pittsburgh "Monogahela:  The River and It's Regions" - Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation: Allegheny, A.O. Ackard, City of Pittsburgh,

3.] Captain Davis ,1882-piloted the "Welcome"-3 trips a week-Wheeling, West Virginia to St.Mary's.  The boat was owned and operated by C.H. Booth, Wheeling, Parkersville and Cincinnati Transportation Company.  He piloted this boat on the Ohio River.

 4.] Archibald Johnson : Engineer , Born April 1, 1810 in County Antrim , Ireland . He began his Machinists trade at age 14 with Evens & co. of Pittsburgh at age 20 he began the first of 25 years as engineer on a steamboat .

5.] Hance M. Dunlap : 2nd Clerk , Captain : After a short time as a Store owner , for health reasons he was advised to seek a trade that would keep him in the open air . He then Served as second Clerk aboard the "American Eagle " , The " Mary Ann " The "Washington " in which he owned a share . Then the "Empire State " , The "Daidem" , later rebuilt and called the St. Claire in which he also owned a share , and was her Captain from 1850 to 1854 . Later he also served on the steamers "Jennie Gray" & "Rochester" . He also had Interest in two boats taken bought by the army during the Civil War , the "Argosy" & The "Argosy 2" .

 6.] Washington Williams : Steamboat Carpenter ; one of the First to ply his trade with the steamboats .

7.] Benjamin F. Woodburn : Captain ; in is early years though his later years were spent as a Minster & minor author . 

8.] Thomas W. Loughery : Captain ; A jeweler by trade his attraction to the rivers is a mystery given that he owned the biggest jewelry store in Pittsburgh in his day .

9.] J. W. Clarke : Captain ; Coal operator and Steamboat owner operating on the Monongahela River .

10.] Mr. Cunningham : Built Steamboat hulls at Monongahela City for a short time .[1890's]

 11.]  William Parkinson : Captain ; owner of the " Moxihala" . Boat Builder , Sawmill owner . Son of Benjamin Parkinson , one of Pittsburgh's more industrious citizens .

12.] James Parkinson : Pilot & part owner of the " Moxihala "

13.] David Herron : Clerk , Capt. Was employed by the U.S, Quartermaster for the transportation of troops & material during the Civil War . It was while one one of these trips that he contracted a fervor and died March 22, 1864 .

14.] Frank I. Gardner : 2nd Clerk

15.] T. H. Baird : Captain [ Known to have been Captain of the "Harlem"] Built by Judge Baird in 1844 . Also served as Clerk .

16.] H. H. Finly : also served as Captain of the " Harlem for a while .

17.] John Nelson : Pilot { Known to have served on the "Harlem" }

18.] James Parkison :  Captian { Known to have served on the "Wing & Wing" }

19.]Thomas J. Ackard : steamboat captain, 337 Second avenue [ Homestead PA. Directory ]

20.] Joseph R Altman : steamboat captain, 220 Third avenue. [ Homestead PA. Directory ] 

21.] George A. Duke: steamboat captain, 1008;Vest street [ Homestead PA. Directory ]

22.] James D.Hays : steamboat captain, 348. Second ave.[Homestead PA. Directory ]

23.] John S. Pringle : Boat Builder

24.] Isaac Hammitt : Boat Builder & Captain

25.] JOSEPH DAVY : An early Steamboat Captain was kiled by an expolsion of a boat on the Allegheny River .

26.] N. J. Bigley : Capt.& Part Owner "Black Diamond" 

27.] Jacob Jay Vandergift : Captain ; He had worked his way up to that position after having occupied several other crew positions on various river boats . He was engaged in the Allegheny Oil trade and later made several wise Oil investments . [ Boats : Prairie Bird owned by John Vandergift , Rode Island , Allegheny , Black Diamond , Part owner in the " Red Fox " and the "Conestoga " .] He is credited with being the first to employ the now common method of placing tow barges in the front of the boat and was employed for this purpose by Daniel Bushnell 

28.]Capt. Mathias W. Altman : OBIT ; aged about 70 years, died suddenly at 8 o'clock yesterday morning, at his resident, 1312 Virginia Avenue, Mt. Washington, of cholera morbus.  Capt. Altman in his day was one of the best masters and pilots on the Ohio River and was famous as a low water pilot.  He was very conspicuous during the Civil War, and served all through it.  He built many pontoon bridges for the government and performed a great deal of the most important work.  Capt. Altman is survived by his wife and two sons, one of the sons being Lieut. Dwight E. Altman, a graduate of West Point, who is at present at Santiago (Spanish American War) with his company.  The other son is John Altman, an expressman.  Capt. Altman floated coal down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers before the days of the steamboats.  He was a member of the Union Veteran Legion."  (Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, July 20, 1898 - The Death Toll)

 

29.] Capt.  Joseph Hendrickson  ( The article below was printed in the McKeesport Daily News Sept. 13 , 1894 )

30.] John Brickell , Capt. : One of the Pioneer steamboat men on the upper Ohio river .

31.] John F. Cole (owner and Capt.) Wife Elizabeth M. (Greatrake) Cole , John was born at Harrisburg , came to Pittsburgh as a boy , became the owner of steamboats that plied up and down the lower river. He was killed accidently by the falling of a tree limb.

32.] Duke , George A. [s] listed in the 1890 Homestead PA directory as a steamboat Captain .

33.] Hayes James D. [s] listed in the 1890 Homestead PA directory as a steamboat Captain . also listed as living at the same address is one Hays , James A. , deckhand both of , 348 Second ave .

 34.] William W. Ford , Capt. Ohio River

35.] Millard Filmore Baker : a prosperous ferryman  on the Ohio River was born at McKeesport March 19 , 1856 , first plied the river as a deckhand but was engaged as a watchman as well .

36.] John F. Oeffner : during the Civil war or part of it he owned the steamer " Greenback"

37.] * Captain Madison Bailey , one of the Pioneers of steamboating on western waters .Was the Vice President of the Central Bank ( Organized in 1868 ) until his death in 1887 . 

Charles M. Bailey : River Pilot , McKeesport , Was born in that City Nov. 24 1835 ,Son of Joseph M. & Nancy ( Whigham ) Bailey . His father a native of Norristown , PA. a shoemaker by trade , was among the early settlers of McKeesport , where he embarked in business as a coal-operator with his brother Madison Bailey  and William Whigham .

Charles M. Bailey : Steamboat Captain & Pilot of McKeesport PA. he spent 50 years on the rivers until his retirement in 1899 . Served on a  steamer in the service of the quartermaster during the Civil War He lived on fith ave, McKeesport .

(* The listings above are from different sources )

38.] Thomas Jones Jr. : He is credited with running the first boat load of coal to the lower ports on flatboats . Thomas Jones, the river pilot, a large, fat man, who, from his obesity , was known as " Paunch-ion Pilot" among the wags .

39.]James Ulysses Wall: was a river boatman on the Steamer Voyager on June 5, 1917 when he registered for the draft.

                          WWI Draft Registration Card

 Name:  James Ulysses Wall , Age:  28

 Home Address:  113 Market St. Pittsburgh

 Date of Birth:  June 27th, 1888

 Natural Born Citizen, Where Were You Born:  Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

 Occupation:  Steamboatman

 By Whom Employed:  Pitts. Coal Company, Where Employed:  Steamer Voyager

 Marital Status:  Married, Race:  Caucasian ,Height:  Tall 6 ft 2 in

 Build:  Stout, Color of Eyes:  Blue, Color of Hair:  Light

 Registration Date:  June 5, 1917, Precinct:  1st, City or County:  Pittsburgh

 State:  Pennsylvania

40.]

41.] 

 

 

 

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