Part 8

By Georgeann McClure and Sue Rekkas






Photo by Bob Jones


The Daily Times, Monday, January 9, 1939, page 4.




  George T. Arnold, a marine engineer, died at the home of Mrs. Minnie Tomasek, 1919 Third Avenue, Moline, at 2 a.m. today.  He had been in ill health for two years.

  Mr. Arnold was born in Montreal, Canada, on July 4, 1858 and he had made his home with Mrs. Tomasek and her family for the last 36 years.

  He was a member of the Blue Lodge of Masons, No. 127 of Paducah, Ky. and of the Marine Engineers Association of Pittsburgh.  He was a marine engineer on various steamboats working on the lower Mississippi and also out of Pittsburgh.

  He leaves no immediate survivors.  The body was removed to the McGinnis Funeral Home from where services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday.  Burial will be in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Monday, January 9, 1939, page 13.


George T. Arnold


  George T. Arnold, 80, marine engineer who had been employed on Mississippi and Ohio river boats, died at the home of his longtime friend, Mrs. Minnie Tomasek 1919 Third Avenue, Moline at 2 a.m. Monday.  He had made his home with the Tomasek family for the past 36 years.

  Mr. Arnold was born in Montreal, Canada, July 4, 1858, and at one time lived in LeClaire.  He was a member of the Paducah Lodge, No.127, A. F. & M. and of the Marine Engineers Association of Pittsburgh.

  Funeral services will be held at McGinnis Funeral Home at 2 p.m. Wednesday.  Burial will be in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.


The Daily Times, Thursday, January 12, 1930, page 6.


Arnold Funeral

  Funeral services for George T. Arnold were held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the McGinnis Funeral Home, with the Rev.  W. Z. Allen of LeClaire officiating.  David C. Nordstrom sang, with accompaniment by R. M. Barclay, Ferdinand Meyer, Jr., master of Snow Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of LeClaire was in charge of Masonic services at the grave in Glendale cemetery, LeClaire.  Pallbearers were Robert Stuard, Orsen Knowlton, Byron Knowlton, William M. Kihler, Carl Hendricks and Jacque Baker.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday Evening, January 12, 1939.


The Arnold Funeral.

  Funeral services for George T. Arnold, marine engineer, 1919 Third Avenue, Moline, who died Monday, were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the McGinnis Funeral Home with the Rev. W. Z Allen of LeClaire officiating.  David Nordstrom sang.

  Snow Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of LeClaire had charge of services in the Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.  Ferdinand Meyer was in charge.  Bearers were Robert Stuard, Orsen Knowlton, William M. Kihler, Carl Hendricks, Jacque Baker and Byron Knowlton.






1930 Census             Town of LeClaire         LeClaire Township           Scott County      State of Iowa


Bickel         Mina             Head              78               none

                    Herman        brother           68               watchman         Steamboat

Gast             George         nephew          51               farmer               general farm

                    Rosa             niece              55                none



The Daily Times, Friday, October 8, 1948, page 12.




  Herman W. Bickel, 85,well-known retired farmer of LeClaire and Princeton, and a life resident of Scott County, died at 4 p.m. Thursday at the residence of his niece, Mrs. Rosa Gast, LeClaire, with whom he had made his home for the last several years.  He had been in ill health the last week.

  A native of LeClaire, Mr. Bickel was born Feb. 8, 1863, and married Leona Carter in Princeton, Dec. 25, 1883.  He was of Lutheran faith.  Two sons preceded him in  death.

  Survivors include a son, Floyd E. Bickel, LeClaire; two daughters, Mrs. Edith Haines, LeClaire, and Mrs. Mary Mess, Princeton; a number of nieces and nephews, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

  The body was taken to McGinnis funeral home.


The Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, October 8, 1948, page 13.




  Herman W. Bickel, 85, a retired farmer and a life resident of Scott County, died at 4 p.m. Thursday in the home of his niece Mrs. Rosa Gast, in LeClaire.  He had been ill a week.

  Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Bickel, he was born in LeClaire Feb. 8, 1863, and was married to Leona Carter in Princeton on Dec. 25, 1883.   He farmed near Princeton and LeClaire until retiring several years ago.  He was of Lutheran faith.

  Surviving are a son, Floyd E. Bickel, LeClaire, two daughters, Mrs. Edith Haines, LeClaire and Mrs. Mary Mess, Princeton; four grandchildren; seven great grand-children and on great great-grandchild.

  The body was removed to McGinnis mortuary.  Funeral arrangements are pending the arrival of his daughter, Mrs. Haines, who is traveling in the south with her husband and has not yet received word of her father’s death.


The Democrat and Leader, Sunday Morning, October 10, 1948, page 14.




  Funeral services for Herman Bickel, life resident of LeClaire, will be held in the McGinnis Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday followed by burial in Glendale Cemetery.


Photo by Bob Jones


The Daily Times, Tuesday, October 12, 1948, page 10.


Bickel Funeral


  Funeral services for Herman W. Bickel were held at 1:30 today in McGinnis Funeral Home, the Rev. Dr. J. A. Miller officiating.  Ralph DeReus, accompanied by R. M. Barclay at the organ, sang.  Burial was in Glendale Cemetery., LeClaire.

  Pallbearers were John Auliff, Otto Haessler, William Domer, Sr.,  William Domer, Jr., Andy Stichter and Clarence Bowker.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Tuesday Evening, October 12, 1948, page 11.




  Funeral services for Herman W. Bickel, life resident of LeClaire, were held in the McGinnis Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday with the Rev. J. A. Miller officiating.  Ralph DeRues sang.  Burial was in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.

  Bearers were John Auliff, Otto Haessler, William Domer, Sr. William Domer, Jr., Andy stricter and Clarence Bowker.







It has a quiet but steady companion for company now, since Captain J.D.Barnes of LeClaire placed a cut stone marker on the Public Landing close to the tree in memory of an old playmate who was born only two miles away.  Captain Joe Barnes is a veteran of the Civil war. He and David Carr of Davenport are the only survivors of the crew that made the first and only rafting trip made by the little steamer 'LeClaire' of LeClaire, Iowa, in1866.-- A Raft Pilot's Log by Capt. Walter A. Blair 1929-Arthur H. Clark Company




Photo by Bob Jones


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Tuesday Evening, September 30, 1930, page 17.





Former Resident of LeClaire Dies at Home in Davenport.



  David George Carr, former resident of LeClaire, Iowa, died at 12:30 a.m. today at his home, 722 West Third Street, Davenport.  Although ailing for the last year, death terminated a serious illness of a week’s duration.

  Mr. Carr was born Oct. 19, 1845, at Oswego, Ill., coming to LeClaire with his parents when a child.  He received his education there.  On Sept. 8, 1870, he was married to Miss Elizabeth McCall at Rock Island.  The couple made their home in LeClaire until coming to Davenport 32 years ago.  For several years he conducted a barber shop at LeClaire.  His wife preceded him in death May 27, 1927.

  Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Lydia Fulrath, and one grandson, Lynn Fulrath, of Davenport.  One brother Richard Carr died in 1927.

  The body was removed to the McGinnis Funeral Home pending funeral arrangement.



The Daily times, Tuesday, September 30, 1930, page 11.


David G. Carr, 84, Resident of City 32 Years Is Dead.


  David Carr, 84, a resident of Davenport for the last 32 years and formerly of LeClaire, died at 12:15 a.m. today at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lydia Fulrath, 722 West Third Street, Davenport.  Although he had been in failing health for some time, he was seriously ill for only one week.

  The decedent was born Oct. 19, 1845, in Oswego, Ill., and moved to LeClaire when a child.  On Sept. 8, 1870, he married Miss Elizabeth McCall at Rock Island.  His wife preceded him in death May 27, 1927.  Mr. Carr had resided in LeClaire until 32 years ago when he moved to Davenport.

  Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Lydia Fulrath, and one grandson, Lynn Fulrath, both of Davenport.  A brother, Richard Carr, preceded him in death.

  The body was taken to the McGinnis Funeral Home.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday Evening, October 1, 1930, page 17.


The Carr Funeral.

  Funeral services for David G. Carr will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the McGinnis Funeral Home.  Burial will be in the LeClaire Cemetery


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, October 3, 1930, page 17


The Carr Funeral

  Funeral services for David G. Carr were held Thursday afternoon at the McGinnis Funeral Home.  Ed Schmidt conducted the Christian Science service at the home and at the grave in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.

  Pallbearers were Charles Compton, Ed Mueller, Frank McElhern, Louis Schwab, Clarence Fulrath, and William Drumheller.





   Photos by Bob Jones


DAWLEY A. L. (Albert)


The Daily Gazette, Friday, March 12, 1887, page 4.



  The following are the reported transfers in steamboat business: Captain Al. Dawley, of the Mary Morton, to the Josephine.


The Daily Gazette, Wednesday, March 16, 1887, page 3.





Diamond Jo Packet Company Appointments



  The Libbie Conger, captain A. L. Dawley; mate Frank Buchheit; clerk M. P. Fulton, J. R. Truslow; engineer, Lem Wilson; steward, H. C. Lee.

  The appointment for the Josephine and Josie have not been made.


The Davenport Daily Times, Friday Evening, June 5, 1896, page 3.





  Al. Dawley, a former Scott County boy, born and raised in LeClaire, but now  chief bookkeeper of the Diamond Jo Line company, writes home to his relatives a thrilling account of his narrow escape and of his involuntary cruise down the river with the Pittsburgh and the wharf boat.  Mr. Dawley was employed on the wharf boat, alongside of which the packet was tied.  Both were blown away from their moorings and swept into the middle of the river in an instant.  The upper decks of the Pittsburgh were carried away, and the two boats still tied together drifted down the river for six miles, when they were overtaken by a tug and brought back.  On the wharf boat were Mr. Dawley and six employees of the company, among the number being General Agent L. P. Lusk.  When the crash came they were precipitated into the cellar in a heap, but luckily not a bone was broken.  A family who had been berthed for the upriver trip on the packet also made the involuntary trip.  Mr. Dawley’s letter confirms the death of Sim Woods, who is well known along the river.


The Davenport Democrat, December 28, 1900, page 5.








Plenty of Water Means Three Through Boats--Davenport Warehouse Waiting on Pending Litigation--Rock Island Still Off the Company’s Map--Other Notes.


  Captain A. L. Dawley, cashier of the Diamond Jo line of steamers, is renewing his acquaintance with Agent Jim Osborn, Capt. Lou Bryson, and others of the old river men, with whom he keeps in pretty close touch all the time, and all of whom are glad to see him on his occasional visits here.  He came in from St. Louis this morning, and is on his way to LeClaire, for a holiday visit with his mother, Mrs. S. E. Dawley of that place.  Capt. Dawley is full of reminiscences on the Mississippi, having seen a good deal of it himself, and he is in a position to tell a little something about its future.  He isn’t prepared to say that the Diamond Jo company is constructing another floating palace for the upper river trade, or a boat that can be converted into an automobile and run over the bars on wheels or rollers, in case of extreme low water, but he has a few things to say that will be pleasing to Davenporters in general.   

  “We are ready to put three boats into the upper river trade this year, just as we were last year,” said Captain Dawley in response to the inquiry of a Democrat scribe as to his company’s plans.  “All we want some assurance of is a good stage of water, and there will be plenty of boats.  The Dubuque, the St. Paul and the Quincy are all at Dubuque at present, undergoing repairs that will put them in fine shape for next year’s business.  We have been convinced by the showing of the past summer or two that the business is here, ready and waiting for us, and we are going to be ready for it.  The talk about the decadence of the river business is all bosh, although there is the element of uncertainly in it at all times.  Give us plenty of water next summer and all three of our big boats will whistle for the Davenport landing.”

  As to the Rock Island landing, Captain Dawley wasn’t so sure.  In fact from all that he could see, there was every prospect that the Diamond Jo steamers would sail merrily past the port this year or two past.

  “How are matters progressing in regard to the new Diamond Jo warehouse at Davenport?”  was asked of Captain Dawley.

  “Oh,” that seems to be waiting on the results of the litigation here in regard to the river front.  As soon as the cases involving our rights down there are out of the way, the company will probably be heard from with something definite on the warehouse matter.”

  The appeal that is expected to terminate this litigation is expected to come up at the January term of the Iowa Supreme Court.”

  The Diamond Jo company is counting on building a new steamer, a stern wheeler a little larger than the W. J. Young, to put into the short line trade between St. Louis and Hamburg, Ill., about a 90-mile trip.



  LECLAIRE, Iowa  Jan 22.--Editor Post:  I wish to make a slight correction in your issue of the 17th, relative to the naming of the steamer Mary Morton in which you say this boat  was named after Mary Morton who has recently died at Canton, Mo.  The “Mary Morton” was named after the wife of the manager of the company--Joseph Reynolds, who founded the company--her maiden name being Mary Morton, and she was known as Mary Morton Reynolds.  Mrs. Morton outlived Mr. Reynolds and was one of the administrators of the estate, and after her death the property passed into the hands of her brother Joy (Jay) Morton, who continued the Line until he sold it in the spring of 1911 to the Streckfus people.   

                                                                 Yours truly,

                                                                  A. L. DAWLEY

THE OLD BOATS” Additional Information from Men Who Knew Them.  The Saturday Evening Post, Burlington Iowa, January 24, 1914, page 7.




The Daily Times, Tuesday, April 16, 1918, page 7.







LECLAIRE, Ia., April 16,--(Special)--A. L. Dawley, son of the late Captain D. V. Dawley, passed away at the home of his brother, A. H. Dawley, yesterday afternoon shortly after 2 o’clock, following an illness with pneumonia of two weeks’ duration.  Mr. Dawley was born in LeClaire, Ia., July 5, 1851, and for thirty years was bookkeeper and superintendent for the Diamond Jo Steamboat Co., during which time he made his home in Dubuque, Ia., and St. Louis.  He was married at Omaha, Neb., Feb. 2, 1881, to Ida Wagner who died Sept. 21, 1892.  In May, 1911, he retired from business and since that time had made his home with his sisters in LeClaire and Chicago.  He had returned April 1 from spending the winter months in Los Angeles and San Jose, Cal.  He is survived by two sisters, the Misses Genevieve and Gertrude Dawley and the one brother, A. H. Dawley, all of LeClaire.

  Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the Dawley residence.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Tuesday Evening, April16, 1918, page 10.





  LECLAIRE, Iowa.  April 16, (Special)--A. L. Dawley, passed away Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. after an illness of but two weeks duration due to pneumonia two weeks previous.  Mr. Dawley returned to LeClaire after a delightful sojourn in California and the following evening was stricken.  He was tenderly cared for at the home of his brother, A. H. Dawley, where he passed away.  A. L. Dawley was born in LeClaire, Ia. July 5th, 1851, which place has been his home with the exception of a few years residence at Dubuque and St. Louis, as Mr. Dawley was for over 30 years bookkeeper for the Diamond Jo Line of steamers.

  He is survived by two sisters, the Misses Genevieve and Gertrude Dawley and the brother, A. H. Dawley, all of LeClaire.

  Mr. Dawley’s wife passed away a number of years ago.

  Funeral arrangements are not completed.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday Evening, April 17, 1918, page 10.





   LeClaire, Ia., April 17,--(Special)--Funeral services over the remains of A. L. Dawley will be held Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the Dawley residence.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, April 19, 1918, page 14.





  LECLAIRE, Ia., April 19.--(Special)--Funeral services for the late A. L. Dawley were held from the home Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock, conducted by Miss Mary Parkhurst of Davenport.  Two favorite hymns were sung by Miss Anna Laird and Mrs. F. G. Meyer.

  Many old friends were present from Clinton, Rock Island and Davenport.  The following friends acted as pallbearers: W. H. Lamont of Rock Island, F. P. Schworm, C. E. Johnson, C. W. Disney, J. L. Meyer and J. V. Pollock.

  Snow Lodge of Masons had charge of the services at the grave in LeClaire cemetery.


Photo Bob Jones







Davenport Democrat and Leader, Tuesday Evening, July 21, 1914, page 2.





  A. H. Dawley, clerk on the steamer Morning Star, was obliged to leave the boat at St. Paul and enter the Marine hospital at that place, suffering from a bone felon on the hand.  Mr. Dawley expects to be able to join the boat on the next trip down.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday Evening, November 5, 1903, page 11.





Retired Government River Clerk Succumbs in Home of Birth.



  Arthur H. Dawley, a life resident of LeClaire , died at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday at the family home after an illness of nine weeks’ duration.  Death occurred in the home of his birth where he lived his entire life time of 69 years.

  Mr. Dawley was born in LeClaire April 2, 1861, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Dawley, early Scott county settlers.  He received his education in LeClaire and was married there to Miss Nellie Stevens on January 24, 1884.  Mr. Dawley was a retired government river clerk and was formerly employed on the “Diamond Jo” line and later on the “Morning Star.”  He was a member of the Rebekah lodge and the I. O. O. F. of LeClaire.

  Surviving besides the widow are three nephews and three brothers preceded him in death.

  The body was taken to the McGinnis Funeral Home and  returned to the family residence in LeClaire where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday with burial in Glendale cemetery.


The Daily Times, Wednesday, November 5, 1930, page 2.





  Arthur H. Dawley, a life resident of LeClaire and well known throughout Scott County, died at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday at his home in LeClaire.   Death terminated an illness of nine weeks’ duration.

  The decedent was born April 2, 1861, in LeClaire, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Dawley, pioneer settlers in Scott County.  He received his education in the LeClaire schools.  For a number of years Mr. Dawley followed the occupation of a riverman and also was employed as a clerk on government steamboats.  He retired sometime ago.  On January 24, 1884 he married Miss Nellie Stevens in LeClaire.  He was a member of the I. O. O. F. lodge and the Rebekah lodge of LeClaire.

  Surviving besides his wife are three nephews in San Jose, Calif.  Four sisters and three brothers preceded him in death.

  Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday at the family home in LeClaire.  Burial will be in Glendale cemetery.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sunday Morning, November 9, 1930, page 7.





The Dawley Funeral


  Funeral services for Arthur H. Dawley were held at the family home in LeClaire, Ia.  The Rev. C. K. Gillum officiated.  Burial was made in Glendale cemetery.

  Findley McGinnis, accompanied by Miss Allie Hollsopple , sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Nearer, Still Nearer.” 

  Pallbearers were Arthur Newton, Bart Stone, Roy Long, Frank Kitchen, James Brown and William Laycock.


The Daily Times, Saturday, November 8, 1930, page 4.


Dawley Funeral


  Funeral services for Arthur H. Dawley were held Friday at 2 p.m. from the home in LeClaire.  The Rev. C. K. Gillum, pastor of the First Christian Church, Davenport, officiated at the home and  at the grave in Glendale Cemetery.  Finley McGinnis, accompanied by Miss Allie Holsapple, sang, “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Nearer, Still Nearer.”  Pallbearers were Arthur Newton, Bart Stone, Roy Long, Frank Kitchen, James Brown and William Laycock.






  ST. PAUL, Minn. April 24.--Editor Post:  News has just reached us of the death of Captain Albert. L. Dawley, LeClaire, Iowa.  For several years he has not been in the best of health and he spent the past winter in California, from where he returned only two weeks before his death.  Almost immediately on his return he became ill and soon after pneumonia developed, which, in connection with a paralytic stroke, proved more than his weakened condition could stand and he made his last landing at 2:00 pm on April 15.  Funeral services were held on Thursday, 18th., internment being in the family burial place at LeClaire by the side of his faithful wife who preceded him in 1902.  Two sisters, Misses Genevieve and Gertrude, and one brother, Arthur H., also a well known river man, survive him.

  “Al”, as he was known to all his friends, was born at LeClaire, July 5, 1851.  He was the son of D. V. Dawley an old time clerk on many of the famous steamers of the Northern Line Packet Company.  Living in the river atmosphere of LeClaire, and with a sire who was a famous and successful steamboatman it would seem strange if the son did not follow in the footsteps of his father.  So we find him in 1865 a newsy on the Bill Henderson running then between Davenport and Dubuque.  For the nest sixteen years he was on various steamers of the Northern Line Packet Company, and its successors, serving as second and first clerk on some of its best steamers.  In 1881 he transferred his affections to Diamond Jo Line Steamers and for three years was clerk on the Josie, Libbie Conger and Sidney of that line.

  There have been few river men who at some time have not tired of the river and felt the call to something else.  Al was no exception, so in 1884 he did not ship and engaged in commercial business.  One year was enough and the call of the old stream the nest year was too strong to resist and the Diamond Jo people were glad to get him back.  About this time he secured a Mater’s License and in addition to serving his employers as clerk was employed as captain on the steamers Libbie Conger and Mary Morton.

  During this period of his service with Diamond Jo Line Steamers the writer was General Passenger and Freight Agent of the line with office at Dubuque Iowa and came to know and recognize the worth of Al as an employee and a man.  So, when in the winter of 1887-8 a change was necessary in the accounting department for the Line and it devolved upon us to procure a man for the place, it was an easy matter to place our hand on the one we wanted and whom we knew would fill the position to the satisfaction of all concerned and we considered ourselves fortunate when Al accepted out offer and in the spring of 1888 became our bookkeeper and cashier.  This position he held in Dubuque until1895, and that year he went with the office when it moved to St. Louis and placed under the supervision of the late Isaac P. Lusk, with whom he served until the steamers of the line were sold to the Streckfus people in 1911 and Diamond Jo Line Steamers officially passed out of existence.  He had nearly thirty years service with the line, twenty-three of them being consecutive.  After leaving this position he took it easy and enjoyed a well earned rest.

  It has been the good fortune of the writer to have had and he hopes he still has a number of good friends.  He has been associated with many co-workers as good and loyal as any man ever worked with.  Al Dawley was one of these.  Diamond Jo Line Steamers had as large a per cent loyal, hard working and self sacrificing employees as any institution that ever existed.  Al Dawley was one of these and he was in the 100 per cent class, of which there were many.

  Personally, there has not been a moment in the over thirty-five years that we have known each other that I would not have felt free to go to him for any favor desired, knowing well that it would be granted, if in his power, no matter what the cost to him might be.  We are positive that this felling was reciprocated.  We believe that it is impossible for two people to live in such appreciative contact for so long a time without each being better for the association.  It is, therefore, with more than ordinary feeling that we pen this poor tribute to our old friend.

                                                                Yours Truly,

                                                                 FRED A. BILL


THE OLD BOATS--Additional Information from Men Who Knew.  The Saturday Evening Post, Burlington, Iowa, April 27, 1918.





Photo by Bob Jones



Davenport Republican, Sunday, September 13, 1903.



  Mrs. L. A. Day and son Arthur have gone to Evansville, Ind., to join Mr. Day, he having secured employment on the Ohio River at that place.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday, May 3, 1906, page 7.



  Louis Day who is engineer of the steamer Ben Hershey visited at home Thursday.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, February 20, 1936.





Funeral Services for Capt. Louis Day to Be Held in Davenport.



  Captain Louis A. Day, former steamboat pilot and former resident of LeClaire, died in St. Louis Wednesday night.

  Apt. Day lived in LeClaire for many years piloting a number of boats up and down the river.  About 30 years ago, he and his family moved to St. Louis where he continued river operations.

  Surviving are his wife and one son, both of St. Louis.

  The body will be brought to Davenport at 9:40 p.m. tonight and taken to the Halligan funeral Home pending funeral arrangements.


He Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday Morning, February 21, 1936


  The body of Louis Day, whose death occurred in St. Louis Tuesday, will be accompanied here by his widow, formerly Miss Clara McKeun of this place, and burial will be in the Day family lot in LeClaire cemetery.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, February 21, 1936, page 11


The Day Funeral

  Funeral services for Capt. Louis A. Day, veteran river pilot, who died suddenly in the Marine hospital in St. Louis, Mo., Tuesday, were held at 1:30 p.m. today at the Halligan Funeral Home.  Burial was in Glendale Cemetery.



The Daily Times, Friday, February 21, 1936, page 8.


Day Funeral

  Funeral services for Capt. Louis A. Day, who died suddenly in the Marine Hospital in St. Louis last Tuesday, were held from the Halligan Funeral Home.  Internment was made in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.







The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sunday Morning, March 26, 2933, page 12.





Native of Community Succumbs in St. Louis, Burial in LeClaire.



  Special to the Democrat--LeClaire, Ia., March 25.  Alva O. Day, aged 66 years native of LeClaire, whose death occurred in St. Louis after a brief illness, will be buried in the LeClaire Cemetery.  Funeral services were held in St. Louis Thursday, and the body cremated.  The ashes will be interred here.

  Mr. Day was born Aug. 1, 1856 and had spent his life in this vicinity.  He was a riverman and widely known among the old time pilots.  For the past 15 years he has been supervisor of inspection of steamboats in this district.  His widow; a son, Davenport, and a brother, Louis, all of St. Louis, survive.







THE OLD BOATS--Additional Information from Men Who Know--Supplementary to Captain Merick’s Narrative.  Saturday Evening Post, Burlington, Iowa April 19, 1919, page 2.


Death of Captain George Tromley.  

  MARION JUNCTION, Alabama, April 14.--Editor Post:  I have just received a clipping containing a notice of the death of Captain Geo. Tromley at his residence in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, April 3, 1919.  Capt. Tromley had been a sufferer from stomach trouble for some time and had undergone a severe operation.  He was one of my earliest boyhood friends, was about three years older than I (he was born Dec 7, 1856, at St. Louis), and he acted as peacemaker at our boyish sports when we became too rough.  We went to school together and he looked after me later when we roistered on the Silver Wave and kept me out of difficulty on several occasions.  I recall when he first received his pilot papers.  We were running an excursion out of Rock Island, Geo. Came aboard and as he had just gotten back form Galena he was tired and fagged and I told him to turn in my bunk which he did just as we started up in the Rapids.

  Everything went along smoothly until backing out of Albany landing the Silver Wave blew out the larboard cylinder head.  I was sitting on the railing directly over my bunk when it let go.  My bunk where George was sleeping was directly in line and not over twenty feet from the escaping steam.  As soon as possible I made my way down and crawled along the guards until I located Geo. Only partially awake and caught about half way out of the daylight where he could neither get in or out without assistance.  We soon got him out but he didn’t get much rest after that.

  George was very nervous.  The sudden ringing of the backing bell would automatically drop him out of his bunk onto the deck before he could awake.

  Afterwards on the St. Croix he seemed able to go without sleep indefinitely.  His appetite was also poor and I recall distinctly how assiduously his Aunt Sarah Rhodes who was cook at the time used to prepare him little delicacies such as he liked when a boy to tempt his appetite and how he tried to make her think he enjoyed them.  He was always thoughtful of his actions.  I do not recall a harsh word he ever used to me from boyhood up.  I have run with some of the best of the pilots on the Mississippi (rafting pilots) but I always thought Geo. Tromley the peer of them all.  He used to take lots of chances and by doing so he got in many tight places but he always got out right side up.  For him to see his difficulty, to think of an outlet, and to act on the thought, was one simultaneous action.  He was one of the quietest and clearest thinkers I ever knew.

  I trust Capt. Sam Van Sant may see fit to give us a sketch of Capt Tromley’s activities, as he came in contact with him on the J. W. Van Sant and the Lydia Van Sant.  I left the river before George went with the Van Sant boats but Capt. Sam could give us an interesting article if he would.

  With the passing of the raft boat how rapidly are the old pilots and engineers dropping out of sight.  It seems a pity, too, for they were giants in those days--self made men of strong personalities always ready for all emergencies.  Some of them may have been unlettered but they had the native ability to do and dare things that many men of greater educational advantages would shirk from.  Peace to their ashes.

                                                               A. D. SUMMERS.








Davenport Democrat, July 30, 1890, page 2.





A Monster Scheme Among the Rapids Pilots


  The somewhat novel idea originating among the raft pilots, of purchasing all the rafting steamers, with their towing contracts, seems to meet the approval of a vast majority of the pilots and it is likely the scheme will prove successful.  The plan is for the 200 pilots to organize a stock company, purchase the boats at reasonable sums and make an equal division of wages and the profits after the payment of the necessary running expenses.  As there are about eighty rafters, worth on an average of $6,000 each, the total cost to the pilots will be upwards of a half million of dollars.  It is a monster undertaking, but can be successfully accomplished if the various steamboat owners can only be induced to sell.  Yet this, it seems, offers no serious objection, as part of the scheme is for the pilots not to engage their services to any steamboat owner not a member of their organization.  In short, only pilots are eligible to membership, and all steamboat owners other than pilots must sell their boats to the company or run them without an association pilot, all of whom are permitted to work on company boats only.

  This being the case, and with every pilot a member of the new organization, there is no alternative for owners of boats than to dispose of them and submit to the irresistible with the best possible grace.  Capt. “Bob” Dodds of St. Louis is the moving spirit in the enterprise, and with scores of other pilots backing the scheme the chances are ten to one it will prove a success.

  The much-talked of pool between the rapids pilots has at last been formed, and so well is it working that it will likely be continued in force indefinitely.  There are four boats in the pool, each of which takes it regular trip over the rapids, and on Saturday of each week a meeting is held and an equal division made of the gross earnings among the four owners of the boats.  Those guilty of breaking the terms of the pool are to be assessed $100, and forfeit that amount of money which each party has deposited with a disinterested holder.  Up to date no fines have been imposed, nor is it likely any will be.


The Daily Times, Friday, July 31, 1903, page 8.




  LeClaire, Ia., July 29.--The death of Captain Robert Dodds at his home in St. Louis, July 23, was received with many expressions of sorrow by his many old friends in LeClaire, particularly the “river men,” all of whom speak in the highest terms of their departed friend and co-laborer.  Captain Dodds was the commodore of the fleet of boats owned and operated by the Schulenberg & Bocker Co., of St. Louis, which was finally absorbed by Captain John McCaffrey in the early 90’s.  It was during the palmy days of the 70’s and 80’s that the boats comprising this fleet were all rebuilt under the supervision of Captain Dodds, and one, the Charlotte Bochler, will be remembered as one of the finest and most powerful raft boats on the river.  This boat was his flagship and pride.  Captain Dodds was 71 years old.



                      CAPTAIN ROBERT DODDS

  I started to write something about this man who held high place in the esteem of his employers, his crew and his fellow pilots, when it came to me that a man who had been closely associated with Captain Dodds for many years had written an article published in the St. Louis ‘Waterways Journal’ about him soon after his death.

Mr. Harris has kindly furnished me a copy of that letter, describing Captain Dodds correctly.  It is much better that I could have done.

Chicago, July 27, 1903

  Gentlemen:  In your issue of July 25, a five-lined notice tells the world of the death of Captain Dodds, a retired steamboat officer, who was found dead at his home on Thursday, July 23rd, and that his death was due to heart failure, hence sudden.

  The meager notice conveys but an inadequate idea of the peculiar position that the late Captain Dodds, held in the army of steamboat men, for what Edwin Booth was to the stage, Charles Dickens to literature, Darwin to science or Beecher to theology, Robert Dodds was to the pilot’s profession, holding a distinct and peculiar position.

  It would be somewhat difficult doubtless, to define his true status or to explain why he held such an honored place in the realm of steamboat officers.

  Captain Robert Dodds, or Bob Dodds, as he was familiarly known, commenced his river life as a floating raftsman, and becoming a pilot before he had reached his majority.  A man of pleasing presence, handsome in appearance, tasty in dress, without being lavish, courteous in manner, proficient in conversation, and lastly, giving to money no apparent value, and being a large money earner at a very early stage, he developed eccentricities of character, if we may use the expression, that established him as a prince of good fellows.

  Captain Dodds floated rafts for Schulenburg and Boeckeler for a number of years, and with the advent of the steam boat for the purpose of towing rafts, he took charge of the Pittsburg towboat, “Grey Eagle.”  After operating this boat for one  or two seasons, she turned over at the foot of Stag Island upon the first trip in the spring, Captain Dodds


being at the wheel.  This was followed by the purchase of the steamboat ‘M. Whitmore.’ and was followed in turn by the building of the steamers ‘Helen Schulenburg,’ ‘Charlotte Boeckeler,’ and ‘Robert Dodds,’ over which fleet the captain as commodore.

  About the year 1888 or 1889, the Schulenburg and Boeckeler Company disposed of their steamboat interests to Captain John McCaffrey, and for one season, Captain Dodds commanded one of the steamers, which, however, ended his active service upon the river.

  It was my privilege to have been associated with the deceased officer from 1874 to 1886 inclusive, during which time, I necessarily learned to know him intimately although I could add nothing more in the way of eulogy than has already been said in the earlier part of this communication.

  Captain Dodds was a magnificent executive officer, one of those few men in the world who could maintain a degree of equality with those under his command, and yet retain to the fullest extent their admiration and esteem.  As a commanding officer, he was a strict disciplinarian, exercising authority, however, with such warmth of sunshine that men obeyed for the love of obedience rather than from fear of the consequences.

  Every walk of life is marked by particular exemplification of the attributes necessary to reach success, and in the pilot’s profession there was, during the active career of Captain Dodds, no man who possessed more fully and completely, the high quality required to reach the ends aimed at.

Yours very truly,

James Henry Harris------A Raft Pilot’s Log

                                        By Capt. Walter A. Blair

                                        1929--Arthur H. Clark Co.






1895 Iowa State Census


Name                              Age                Birthplace                       Residence

Samuel Dodds               33                  Scott County Iowa         LeClaire, Iowa





Photo by Sue Rekkas


The Davenport Times, Friday, February 28, 1902, page 5.





He Goes Down There To See Final Work of Repair on Crescent



  Capt. Dodds, of the Silver Crescent spent nearly two months of this winter in Davenport, and returned a short time ago to Keokuk.  A day or two ago he went down to Quincy to see how the work of repair was progressing on the Crescent and this is the way the Quincy Herald notes his coming:

  Captain S. R. Dodds, the genial rear admiral of the Silver Crescent, is down from Keokuk, where he has been spending the winter in his orange and date grove.  He will be a Quincyan now until the opening of the navigating season and will find employment in superintending the repairs on his craft that have been in progress at intervals as the weather permitted since she went to her moorings in the bay in the fall.  The repairs will be pushed forward from now on and in two weeks or three the popular Crescent will be spick and span and ready to start away as soon as the river is free of ice and down to business again.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Monday Evening, October 5, 1936, page 1.





  Coroner W. F. Skelley was preparing to hold an inquest late this afternoon into the death of Samuel R. (Capt.) Dodds, 75, veteran river man, who retired several years ago to operate a service station at Rockingham Road and Lincoln Avenue, near where he was struck and fatally injured early Sunday night by an automobile driven by Melvin Hart, 21, young Winifred, Ia. farmer.  Hart was being held by police on orders of Coroner Skelley pending his appearance at the inquest set for 4 p.m. in the Runge Mortuary.

  Dodds, widely known to rivermen, closed his station at 8:30 and was crossing Rockingham Road preparatory to going to his home at 1460 ½ West Third Street, when he was run down.  He was taken in an ambulance to Mercy Hospital where he died an hour later of a fractured skull and other injuries.  He did not regain consciousness.

  Hart was driving a small roadster west in Rockingham Road at about 25 miles an hour, he said.  He waited at the scene of the accident until police arrived and then went to police headquarters to report.  Police said Hart and Vernon Goldeman, 1834 West First Street, were the only witness to the accident.

  A resident of Davenport for the past 25 years, Mr. Dodds, was born in LeClaire Township, Scott County, on May 9, 1861.  He married Lillie Stacy in LeClaire in 1882.

  He was a member of the Congregational Church, Snow Lodge No. 44, A. F. & A. M., of LeClaire and the Mohassan Grotto, No. 22 of Davenport.

  Surviving are his wife and two daughters, Miss. Mabel Dodds, at home; Mrs. Hugo Schmidt, Davenport; one son, Russell R. Dodds of Lincoln, Neb.; two sisters, Mrs. Guy E. LaGrange, Garber, Okla.; and Miss Lillie Dodds, LeClaire.  One son, Dr. Logan Dodds, preceded him in death several years ago.


The Daily Times, Monday, October 5, 1936, page 1.





  Facts surrounding the accident in which Samuel R. Dodds, 75, gasoline service station operator at Lincoln Avenue and Rockingham Road and retired River captain, was killed about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when struck by the car driven by Marvin Hart, 21, Winfield, Ia., was being investigated at an inquest set for 4 p.m. today at the Runge Mortuary.

  According to information secured by police the aged attendant whose home is at 1480 ½ West Third Street, had just closed the filling station and stepped out into the street in front of the car being driven by Hart west on Rockingham.

  Rain was falling at the time and it was quite dark.  Hart was traveling at a moderate rate of speed, it was said.

  The injured man was taken to Mercy Hospital in the police ambulance, dying at 9:30 p.m. without regaining consciousness.  Hart, who stopped his car immediately, waited at the filling station, where he was taken to the police station, where he was held until the inquest.  Vernon Goldsmith, 1834 West First Street, was the only witness to the accident.

  Coroner Skelley said the victim of the accident had sustained a basal skull fracture, deep scalp lacerations and fractures about the chest, right leg and arm and ribs.

                                    Retired River Captain

  Dodds was a retired River captain, and was well-known in this vicinity.  He had been engaged in service station work since 1915.

  He was born in LeClaire Township on May 9, 1861.  In 1882 he was married to Miss Lillie Stacey in LeClaire.  Several years of their early married life were spent in Keokuk, but 25 years ago they moved to Davenport.

  Besides the widow the following survive:  Three Children, Miss Mabel Dodds, at home; Mrs. Hugo Schmidt, Davenport, and Russell R., Lincoln, Neb.; two sisters, Mrs. Guy E. La Grange, Garber, Okla., and Miss Lillie Dodds, LeClaire.  A son, Dr. Logan Dodds, preceded his father in death.

                                    Funeral Wednesday

  Mr. Dodds was a member of the Congregational Church, the Snow Lodge, No. 44, A. F. & A. M. of LeClaire, and the Mohassan Grotto.

  Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday from the Runge chapel with private interment in Oakdale cemetery.


Davenport Democrat & Leader, October 6, 1936, page 11.





Haste to Catch Bus Led To Fatal Injury, Inquest Discloses.



  His anxiety to catch the next bus home from the filling station which he operated at Rockingham Road and Lincoln Avenue early Sunday night led Samuel R. (Capt) Dodds, 75, to his death, it was revealed at a coroner’s inquest at Runge’s Mortuary Monday afternoon.

  Dodds was fatally injured at 8:40 p.m. when struck by an automobile driven by Marvin Hart, 21, Winfred, Ia. farmhand, at Rockingham and Lincoln as he was returning to his station after asking the operator of a Tri-City Railway Co. bus to “wait just a minute while I close up.”  He died an hour later at Mercy Hospital from a fractured skull and other injuries.

  Hart was absolved of blame by the jury which returned a verdict of accidental death.

  E. B. Hackett, 612 Carey Avenue, the bus operator, testified that as he braked his bus to a stop at Lincoln Avenue when coming east on Rockingham, Dodds was waiting for him.

                                      Hurried Across Street.

  Hackett said the former riverman asked him to wait just a minute while he locked the filling station for the night.  He then, Hackett said, went in front of the bus and ran toward the other side of the street, without looking for approaching automobiles.  As he crossed the other side street car tracts he was struck by Hart’s car.

  Both Hackett and Vernon Goldeman, 1834 West First Street, the only other eye witness, thought Dodd’s body must have come to rest on top of the automobile hood when tossed into the air by the impact, as it was found 100 feet down the street from the scene of the accident, although Hart was said to have been driving at a moderate rate of speed.

  Hart, the driver, testified that he did not see Dodds, that he was driving at a slow rate of speed, that his vision was impaired by the rain and that the impact was his first knowledge that his car had struck the man.  He also thought the body had been thrown up on the hood, but thought the hole in his windshield of his car was caused by the radiator cap, which was torn lose and lost when Dodds was struck.

  The testimony of Goldeman, a customer to whom Dodds had just sold gasoline in the station, was essentially the same as Hackett’s.

  The body was removed to the Runge Mortuary where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday.  Burial, in Oakdale Cemetery, will be private.


The Daily Times, Tuesday, October 6, 1936, page 9.





  A coroner’s jury yesterday afternoon absolved Marvin Hart, Winfield, Ia., farmer, from blame for the death of Samuel R. Dodds, 75 year-old filling station attendant, who was struck by Hart’s car as he was leaving his station at Rockingham Road and Lincoln Avenue Sunday evening.

 Dodds, a former veteran river captain, was hurrying across the street to lock up his station after having asked E. B. Hackett, 612 Carey Avenue, bus operator, to wait for him while he locked up his station.  He dashed from behind the parked bus, Hackett testified, without first looking to see if there were any approaching cars.

  Hart testified that although he was driving slowly he did not see the victim, his vision being impaired by rain at the time.  He shared the belief expressed by Hackett and Goldeman, 1934 West First Street that Dodds’ body must have been carried a short distance by the hood of the automobile.

  Police released Hart following the inquest.  Funeral services for the aged victim will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, with burial in Oakdale Cemetery.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday, October 7, 1936, page 11.


The Dodds Funeral


  Funeral services for Capt. Samuel Robinson Dodds, veteran river pilot, were held at the Runge chapel at 2 p.m. today with the Rev. W. H. Upton officiating.  Burial was in Oakdale Cemetery.

  Bearers were Smith Blackman, Dr. F. R. DeCardenas, Dan Kem, Captain W. Blair, Glen Ellertson and A. G Bush.


The Daily Times, Wednesday, October 7, 1936, page 6.


Dodds Funeral


  Funeral services for S. R. Dodds was held at 2 p.m. today from the Runge Chapel with the Rev. W. A. Upton officiating.  Burial was in Oakdale Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Dr. F. R. Gardenas, Dan Kem, S. Blackman, William Blair, Glen Elston and A. C. Bush.




100_1408.JPG  This is the gas station that Samuel Dodds managed.  He was killed in front of it as he ran to close his station for the night.









1930 Census           Town of LeClaire             LeClaire Township             Scott County            State of Iowa


Domer        Charles C           Head                 50               Fireman               Steamboat

                    Maggie J           Wife                 48                none

                    LeRoy L            Son                   22               Bookkeeper          Government office

                    John W              Son                   18               Salesman              Fruit house

                    Bessie L            Daughter           14                none

                    Cecil L              Son                    13                none


The Daily Times, Wednesday, January 3, 1961, page 9.




Charles C. Domer, 80, of LeClaire, died at 9:15 p.m. Monday in his home, after a brief illness.

 Born in Cedar County, Mr. Domer married Margaret Wilson in LeClaire in 1904.  He had been caretaker of Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.  Mr. Domer was a resident of LeClaire for the last 57 years.

  He is survived by his wife; a daughter, Mrs. Gale (Bessie) Smith, LeClaire, four sons, William Domer, LeClaire, LeRoy and Cecil Domer, both of Davenport, and John Domer, Clinton; five grandchildren, one great- granddaughter; a brother Eugene Domer, Clarence, Iowa, and two sisters, Mrs. Ruby Parr, Springdale, Iowa, and Mrs. Laura Phelps, Tipton.

  Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday in the McGinnis Chapel, Bettendorf.  Burial will be in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.








  Small stern-wheel rafter of 700 tons, built at LeClaire town, 1866, for Captain Thomas Doughty.  Captain A. D. Summers, now of Marion Junction, Alabama, in a recent letter furnishes the following items concerning this little boat and her owner: He says:

  “A most interesting article from the pen of Mrs. Alice DeArmoud, the daughter of Captain Thomas Doughty, which appeared in the Davenport Democrat some time since, from which I gathered the following items regarding the first LeClaire.

  “Captain Doughty, coming to the now west directly from college was under necessity of gaining a livelihood and being ambitious as well as energetic he embraced the first opportunity which offered and he began work with Mr. McKee, under whose tutelage he learned his trade, becoming a marine engineer.

  “I am not quoting,” says Captain Summers, “from his daughter’s article in this paragraph, but from my own recollection, and from the reputation he had in engineering and boating circles; I wish to say that “Tom” Doughty, as he was familiarly called by his friends, stood in the front rank of as brainy a lot of men as ever stood in shoe leather, the old time steamboat engineers,.  They were not kid-gloved piece-workers.  They recognized no limitations, and knew no such word as fail in their profession.  When a piece of work was to be done, on went the overalls, and there was no let up until success was achieved.  All honor to their memories.

  “Captain Thomas Doughty came to LeClaire, I believe during the late ‘50’s.  At any rate, in 1859 we find him acting as engineer on the Kentucky No.2, towing rafts thru lakes St. Croix and Pepin.  At the breaking out of the war he was commissioned chief engineer on a gun-boat and served in that capacity throughout the war.  At the close of the war he returned to LeClaire and began work on his dream of building a raft boat, and during the winter of 1865-66 Jonathan Zebley built for him at the LeClaire boat yard the little rafter LeClaire, at a cost of $8,000.  This pioneer rafter made her maiden trip from LeClaire to Stillwater in May 1866.  The water was high, the engines, new and untried, were too light for the work they were called upon to do, and the trip was, on the whole, very disappointing.

  “Captain George Tromley, Sr., was at this time one of the most successful of the old floating pilots, and being a friend and neighbor of Captain Doughty, decided to give the LeClaire a trial with one of his rafts.  The raft arrived at its destination finally; but at heavy loss, and the plan (of towing by steamboat) was abandoned.  Having sunk all he possessed on his “dream”, Captain Doughty sold the boat and went to work in the engine rooms of the magnificent rafters which soon after made his dream a splendid reality.

  “Clarence Rogers, of LeClaire, was clerk on the LeClaire on her maiden trip.  He died at Wamego, Kansas in 1916.  Of the crew of 20 men who made that trip there are living at present, three only--Captain W. D. Holsapple and J. D. Barnes, of LeClaire, and David Carr, of Davenport.”

  The LeClaire appears to have had an unusually large number of owners for a boat of her size.

  Her very early owners, or at least charterers, were Vincent and Thomas Peel, of Burlington.  Later she came into possession of my uncle, Captain Andrew J. Whitney of Rock Island.  Captain S. R. Van Sant, of St. Paul, and Capt. Frank A. Whitney, son of A. J. Whitney, now of Cripple Creek, Colorado, have each contributed their recollections of this boat.  The latter was engineer on her from 1873 to 1879.  The former at one time owned her.  There are a few discrepancies between the two sketches as to ownership, but the two contributions give a very full history of this little craft.  Captain Van Sant says:

  “This boat was built as a rafter in the middle or late ‘60’s,--but never did much work in that line.  I think she was owned and built by Captain Thomas Doughty and others, and later was sold to Joseph Perkins, who owned the famous LeClaire stone quarries.  She was for a long time engaged in towing stone to Rock Island, Davenport and Moline.  She delivered in flat boats, the stone for the first Rock Island Arsenal on the foot of the Island.

  “She was sold to C. G. Case & Co. the upper rapids contractors soon after the Civil War, and was used for towing in deepening and improving the channel between LeClaire and Davenport .  One winter she sunk opposite Hampton in the middle of the river.  J. W. Van Sant & Co. were asked to make a bid for raising and repairing the boat.  We did so, offering to perform the work for $1,400.  The owners were horrified at the price, and stated they would sell the boat as she lay for that amount.  We immediately accepted the offer.  We raised and repaired the boat and sold her back to the former owners for $4,000--not a bad bargain.

  “The little LeClaire was known as a successful boat and did good service as a tow-boat.  Really she was one of the very first, if not the first raft boat ever built specially for that business.  The trouble was, she did not have power enough.

  “Capt. Doughty was engineer of this boat for several years.  He was a fine engineer, well-educated mind and was long and well known in the city of LeClaire, where he lived so long.  He was chief engineer on a Mississippi River gun boat during the civil war, and is said to have been the inventor of the periscope now in general use on all submarines.  He died in St. Louis.  The LeClaire ran until she was worn out and then was dismantled.”

 Captain Frank A., Whitney, son of Andrew J. Whitney, now of Cripple Creek, Colorado, writes as follows:

  “The LeClaire was a stern-wheel tow-boat built at LeClaire, Iowa in 1866.  Dull & Williams, contractors, Bought her for use in river improvement work, Captain W. D. Holsapple was pilot on her for several seasons on the upper rapids.  In 1876 she was thoroughly overhauled, a new boiler and a pair of Tremain piston valves, 9 inches by 3 ½ feet stroke, engines were put into her.  They were a great success and that spring she made a trip from Rock Island, Ill to Florence Alabama, up the Tennessee River.  Returning that fall the late Captain Andrew J. Whitney bought her for the towing from his dredge fleet.  In September, 1879, when on a trip from Muscatine to Rock Island, about twelve miles above Muscatine, she was sunk in collision with the Victory.  She sank in 22 feet of water.  No lives were lost.  She was raised and towed to Rock Island where she was dismantled at the Kablke yard, and the new steamer A. J. Whitney was built and the LeClaire’s machinery was put in the winter of 1879-‘80.  Capt. Shell Ruby was pilot and F. A. Whitney was chief engineer on the LeClaire when she was sunk by the Victory.  No blame was attached to the officers of either boat; it was one of those unavoidable accidents that sometimes occur when handled by the most reliable and experienced men.

  Frank A. Whiney was chief engineer on the LeClaire from 1873 to 1879, inclusive.


 The Saturday Evening Post, Burlington, Iowa, February 24, 1917, page 5.  Steamboats and Steamboatmen of the Upper Mississippi by George B. Merrick.





  Frank grew up on farms in rural McClausland, Princeton and LeClaire, Iowa.  He attended rural school through eighth grade.  He helped farm with his family until he was 18.  He started to work for the Corp. of Engineers on the LeClaire and Ellen riverboats and the R.I. Dredge, as a fireman.  In 1936 he became a Lock Tender at Lock #14 near LeClaire, Iowa, from where he retired in 1956.  He enjoyed raising a large garden and fruit trees and was an avid hunter, trapper, and fisherman.   Scott County Heritage copyright 1991 Scott County Heritage Book committee, page 192



Snowtime’s No Time For LeClaire Foxes


         Staff Writer

  If it never snows again, you won’t hear a word out of complaint out of such Brer Foxes as are left in the LeClaire-Princeton area.

  That’s because two LeClaire hunters have mastered the art of tracking the wily beasts in the snow.

  Frank Drechsler and David Bragonier have covered a wide area in the LeClaire-Princeton section this winter and all on foot.  Furthermore, no dogs are used on the hunting expeditions.

  The pair depend entirely upon footprints in fresh snow to lead them to their prey.

  And furthermore, they have collected $3 each for each fox bagged.


  “We drive along the roads early in the morning looking for fresh footprints in the snow.”  Bragonier explained.  “When we find them we get out of the car and follow the tracks on foot until we find the fox.”

  A fox in his nightly 15 to 30 mile jaunt crosses and sometimes recrosses many of the country roads, the hunters have discovered.

  Drechsler and Bragonier usually cover a country section by car and they can tell pretty well where the fox is heading by studying tracks where they cross the roads.

  “If the snow is fresh from the night before, the fox is ours,” Bragonier said. 

   That sounds pretty easy.  But there are a few catches.

   According to the pair, if a fox suspects he is being trailed he is off like a flash.  That is why the men don’t use dogs, which they said would scare a fox away before they got close enough for a shot.  Alone they can walk within 25 to 50 yards of the animal

      “After hunting all night a fox usually lies down and sleeps somewhere out of the wind in the afternoon,” Bragonier said.

  “Since the animal is usually lying down when we come upon it on foot, his eyes are closed.  However his nose is keener than his eyes.  As long as you are quiet and keep downwind, you can get pretty close.”

  Telling fox tracks from those of dogs and other animals takes a little practice, too.

  The pair explained that a red fox lopes along while a dog trots.  Also, a dog will linger along the side of a road while a fox will go straight across to get out of sight.


  There is a difference between the tracks of a gray and a red fox, which the two have learned to recognize.  They both concur:

  A gray fox will play around and lead you in circles; a red sets out across country.  A red generally sticks to open country while a gray tends toward brush.

  Of course there is a distinct difference between a fresh track and an old one, which also takes some experience to tell.

  Another peculiarity which the hunters have noticed is that gray fox and female red foxes are much more liable to run into a hole than a male red fox.  When this happens they set traps around the hole and let the fox catch himself when he comes out.

  Drechsler is a veteran fox hunter.  He has taught Bragonier, who is 19 years old, many of the tricks.  They hunt together, one walking a little ahead and apart from the one who is doing the tracking.



Quad-City Times, Monday, August 6, 1964, page 6.


Frank Drechsler


  Services for Frank J. Drechsler, 79, of LeClaire will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at McGinnis Funeral Home.  Burial will be in Davenport Memorial Park.

  Visitation is 5 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

  Memorials may be made to the LeClaire Ambulance Service, American Heart Association or Izaak Walton League.

  Mr. Drechsler died Saturday at Davenport Osteopathic Hospital.

  He retired from Rock Island Corps of Engineers, where he had been employed at Lock & Dam 14.

  Mr. Drechsler married Mildred Haessler in 1931 in Davenport.

  He was an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman.

  Survivors include his wife; daughters, Mrs. Otto Ewoldt and Mrs. Vernon ( Diana) Spring, both of LeClaire, seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sisters, Laura Hansen, Kewanee, Ill., and Mable Filbrant, Bettendorf; and a brother, Alfred, Princeton.










Picture by Robert Jones



The Davenport Democrat, dated August 7, 1896, page 1.







  AT his home, the residence of his daughter, Mrs. C. E. Birchard, 1051 Arlington avenue, at half past 1 o’clock this morning occurred the death of Roswell Allen Edwards, known to the greater part of Scott count as Squire Edwards, of Le Claire.  Two or three years ago he begun to feel the approaching of an ailment that proved in the end to be progressive paralysis.  The advance of the malady was regular and continuous.  For several months past Mr. Edwards has been helpless, depending on the unfailing care of the relatives with whom he was lodged for everything.  He passed away very quietly and easily.

  Mr. Edwards was born in Washington county, New York, May 14, 1835, and was in his 69th year when he died.  He was trained to the vocation of the carpenter and builder, his specialty being the building of boats.  He was married at Willsboro, Essex county, N.Y. to Miss Mary J. Palmer, March 16, 1851.  The Empire state was their home for eight years thereafter, and then they came to the west, settling in LeClaire in 1859.  This place was then in the rise of its important era as a steamboat point, and Mr. Edwards found there a suitable place for the establishment of his particular business.  He worked there as a builder and mender of boats for years.  When the LeClaire Marine Railway company was organized he had an active interest in it, was its leading spirit, and for 16 years was its president.  In the course of those years he did a vast amount of work on the crafts of the upper Mississippi, and the excellence of that work carried his name up and down the river, as well as that of the town.

  Mr. Edwards was always active in desiring and seeking to promote the welfare of his town.  He was once honored with the office of its mayor, and for many years he held the office of justice of the peace, whence his commonly accepted title of Squire was derived.  His probity and uprightness and his conscientious interpretation of the statue, and his unfailing desire to see even-handed justice done between man and man, made his court synonymous with the equitable administration of the law, and confirmed him in the office as long as he was willing to accept it at the hands of a satisfied people.

  Mrs. Edwards died at LeClaire two years ago last march.  She was buried on the anniversary of her wedding day.  Mr. Edwards had retired from active business about a year before, and after her death, which was a sad shock to him, he came to this city and made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Birchard, and here he has lived ever since.  His only other daughter, Miss Carrie E. Edwards, was also an inmate of his home, and the two sisters united in bestowing filial care upon him in his declining days.

  Mr. Edwards was a member of the LeClaire lodge of the United Workmen, but belonged to no other secret order.  He was for many years an active man in the Methodist church, and his openhanded to the clergy of that denomination made his house known as a sort of Methodist preacher’s home.  Its doors stood open to those men as long as they cared to stay.

  Mr. Edwards is survived by one son, Frank A. Edwards, beside the two daughters named.  The eldest of the family of four children, James H Edwards, died at LeClaire seven years ago.  Of his immediate relatives only one is left, a sister, Mrs. Amelia Francis, of Ohio.

  The funeral will be held at the home of Mrs. Birchard, at the number given, at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.  Upon the conclusion of the services carriages will be taken for the drive to LeClaire, where the remains of Mr. Edwards will be laid to rest beside those of his beloved wife.  The services will conducted by Rev. Mr. Doner, pastor of the Methodist church at Olin, Ia., the clergyman who conducted the funeral of Mrs. Edwards, and who has been for years highly esteemed by the family.


The Davenport Daily Times, Friday Evening, August 7, 1896, page 2.





A Prominent Resident of Scott County Passes Away.


  R. A. Edwards, one of Scott County’s well known and respected citizens, and for many years a prominent citizen of LeClaire, died at an early hour this morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. E. Birchard, 1031 Arlington Avenue.  The announcement of his death has not been entirely unexpected, but it will be received with sincere regret and sorrow by a wide circle of friends in Davenport as well as his former home up the river.  For the past year he has been an invalid and during the past few days the members of the family and other friends knew that his death was only a question of a short time.  The immediate cause of his death resulted from paralysis and death came to his relief at 2 o’clock this morning.

  The deceased was sixty eight years of age and has been a resident of LeClaire since the early 50’s until a few years ago, when he made his home with his daughter in this city.  During his long residence in LeClaire he was tendered a number of public offices and met the requirements of all trusts placed in his care.  In the early 80’s he was elected mayor of LeClaire on a prohibition ticket and also served many years as a member of the board of alderman.  From 1880 until the time he removed from LeClaire he was justice of the peace.  From a religious standpoint Mr. Edwards was a consistent member of the Methodist Church and a prominent pillar in the church of that denomination in LeClaire.  From the time of its organization  until after his removal from LeClaire Mr. Edwards was the president of the LeClaire Marine Railway and Lumber company.  Three children survive him, Mrs. C. E. Birchard and Miss Carrie Edwards of this city, and Frank Edwards of Rock Island.

  The funeral will be held from the late residence tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock with interment in the LeClaire Cemetery.






Old Times on the Mississippi

By J. D. Barnes

Port Byron Globe April 4, 1935.


“It appears that John Elliott, John Hanley, Fritz Peterson, Walt Henderson and Herb Rutledge, had been caulking down at La Crosse, but business being rather dull they came up to Still water for the purpose of rafting, so the place (LeClaire) was well represented.  You could have stood on a street corner and seen them all almost any time of the day..”


  “The following names comprised the crew of our raft; John Hanley, John Elliott…..”


  “On our arrival at Clinton a telegram was in waiting announcing the death of John Elliot’s father, so he boarded the first train for home.”

  From LeClaire Rivermen by Georgeann McClure and Susan Rekkas


1870 Census  State of Iowa   Scott County  LeClaire City


                                 Age        Relationship          Occupation

Elliot       John          26          Head                      Works in boat yard

                 Mary H.   21          Wife                       Keeps house

                 Mary          1          Daughter       



Photos by Robert Jones


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sunday Morning, January 21, 1923, page13.





Spent Practically All of  His Life in LeClaire Till Three Years Ago.



  John Elliott, 78, resident of Davenport three years, and former resident of LeClaire, where he spent practically all of his life, died at a local hospital Saturday morning at 11 o’clock.  For many years he conducted a grocery business in LeClaire.

  Mrs. Elliot and a daughter preceded him in death many years ago.  A number of relatives residing in Philadelphia survive.

  The remains were taken to the Ebert & Denkmann funeral homes in Davenport pending the completion of funeral arrangements by the K of P. lodge of LeClaire, of which the deceased was a member.


The Daily Times, Monday, January 22, 1923, page 14.





  John Elliot, former resident of LeClaire, died Saturday at a Davenport hospital.  Mr. Elliot, who was in his seventy-eight year, lived nearly all his life in LeClaire, and conducted a grocery store there for many years.  He came to Davenport three years ago.

  Mrs. Elliot and a daughter preceded him in death many years ago.  A number of relatives in Philadelphia survive.

  The body was taken to the Ebert & Denkmann funeral home.  The funeral will be held from the funeral home tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock with interment in the LeClaire cemetery.  The K. of P. lodge of LeClaire, of which he was a member, will have charge of the services.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday Evening, January 24, 1923, page16.





  Funeral services for John Elliott were held from the Ebert & Denkmann funeral home in Davenport Tuesday afternoon at 1 o’clock, to LeClaire cemetery, Rev. Wm. E. Green of LeClaire officiating at the grave.

  Pallbearers were Arthur Dawley, Lawrence Nesbit, Thomas Kennedy,  James Ryan, George Heldt and J. P. Suiter.


The Daily Times, Wednesday, January 24, 1923, page 2.


John J. Elliott Is Buried in LeClaire


  LECLAIRE, Ia., Jan. 24.--(Special)--Funeral services of John J. Elliott, who died in Davenport, were held  yesterday in LeClaire.  Rev. W. E. Green of the LeClaire Methodist church officiated.  The Knights of Pythias took charge of the services at the grave.  Interment was in the LeClaire cemetery.

  The pallbearers were:  T. E. Kennedy, J. j. Ryan, L. M. Nesbit, George Heldt, A. H. Dawley and J. P. Suiter.






1920 Census, State of Iowa, Scott County, LeClaire Township, LeClaire Town


Feehan   Bridgit       Head        87       none

              William      Son          49       Pilot   Steamboat


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday Evening, March 14, 1935, page 11.





  William Feehan, life resident of LeClaire, died at the family home in LeClaire at 7:30 a.m. today after an illness of the last eight weeks.  Born in LeClaire April 4, 1870, he was engaged in work on the river in various capacities and for the last 26 years had been employed by the government.

  Surviving is a half-brother; T. E. Kennedy, LeClaire; two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Disney, LeClaire, and Mrs. C. B. Christensen, Eugene, Ore., and nieces and nephews.  The body was taken to the Halligan funeral home where funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.  Burial will be in St. Marguerite’s cemetery.


The Daily Times, Thursday, March 14, 1935, page 4.





  William Feehan, a life resident of LeClaire and a river man, died at his home in LeClaire, following an illness of the past eight weeks.

  Mr. Feehan was born April 4, 1870 in LeClaire and was engaged in work on the Mississippi river for many years, the last 26 of which he was employed by the United States government, under the engineers’ direction.

  Surviving are one brother, T. G. Kennedy of LeClaire and two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Disney of LeClaire and Mrs. C. B. Christiansen of Eugene, Ore.

  The body was taken to the Halligan funeral home, where funeral services will be held at 10:30 a. m. Saturday.  Burial will be in St. Marguerite’s Cemetery.


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sunday Morning, March 17, 1935, page 6.





The Feehan Funeral



  Funeral services for William Feehan, 64, a life resident of LeClaire, were held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Halligan funeral home with the Rev. M. G. Morrin officiating.  The St. Ambrose college choral club, directed by the Rev. Cletus Madsen, sang “Sanctus” from the mass “Rosa Mystics,” by Vito Catnevail, and “O Esco Viatorum” by Jsaak.

    Burial was in St. Marguerite’s cemetery.  Bearers were Harold Brennan, William McKinney, Louis Morey, C.C. Thompson, William Suiter and Paul Brown.


The Daily Times, Saturday, March 16, 1935, page 4.


Death Notices



Feehan Funeral



  Funeral services for William Feehan were held at 10 a.m. today at the Halligan funeral home, with the Rev. M. G. Morrin officiating.  Burial was at St. Marguerite’s cemetery.

  The St. Ambrose college choir, directed by the Rev. Cletus Madsen, sang “Sanctus” from the “Rosa Mystica” by Vito Carnevali and “O Esca Viatorium”, Jsaak.

  Pallbearers were Harold Brennan, William McKinney, Louis Morey, C.C. Thompson, William Suiter and Paul Brown.






1930 Census         Town of LeClaire              County of Scott             State of Iowa


Fisher            William            Head             31            Marine Fireman

                      Pearl M           Wife              32            None



Photo by Bob Jones

Times-Democrat, Thursday, November 14, 1968, page 3.


Services Are Held For Victim Of Fire


  Services for William Fisher, 70, of LeClaire, who was found dead near a pile of burned trash at the edge of LeClaire on Wednesday, were to be held at 3 pm. Today in McGinnis Chapel, Bettendorf.

  Burial was to be in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire.

  Dr. R. M. Perkins, Scott County medical  examiner, pronounced Fisher dead at the scene, ruling death was caused by burns and possibly smoke inhalation.  Perkins surmised the man’s clothes caught fire when he got too close to burning logs in the trash pile.

  Mr. Fisher was born in Hillsdale, Ill.  He married Pearl Benner in Clinton July 7, 1925.  The couple had lived in LeClaire 45 years.

  He was the operator of Lock and Dam No, 14 near LeClaire until retiring in 1966.  He had been employed by the Lock office 40 years.

  Since his retirement, Mr. Fisher had worked part-time for the LeClaire Quarries.

  He was a veteran of World War I.

  Survivors include his wife; sisters, Alta Ratliffe, Madison, Fla., and Anna Frandsen, and brothers, John, LeClaire, and James, New Orleans, La.