Watching for the ferry
If you have ancestors who had river men in their background
you are welcome to submit your information
The river is no wider from this side than the other.
Days on the
“J. H. S. Coleman and his brother Egbert, had each a tenth
interest in the great Homestake mine at Deadwood, S. D. and each got about
$40,000 for his share. Egbert
put his money back in the ground in various places looking in vain for
J. H. S. or “Sullivan” as we knew him, brought his money back
home and with his older brother, James and Andrew, contracted for a new
boat, 140 by 28 feet, at
“Hughie Mullin, (above), 84, pioneer resident of Davenport and one of the
oldest riverman in this community, died at Mercy Hospital at 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday after a short illness. He
was born March 7, 1851, in
Surviving are two nieces, Mrs. F. Scannell, Davenport, and Mrs. S. J.
Schmidt, Detroit, Mich., two half brothers, J. W. Swindell and R. E.
Swindell, both of Davenport. The
body was taken to the Runge Mortuary where funeral services will be held at
8:30 a.m. Saturday and at 9 at
St. Anthony’s church with burial in St. Marguerit’s cemetery.
The rosary will be recited by Rev. H. J. Toher at 8 p.m. Friday at
Days on the
“The Verne Swain ran in 1898 in charge of Capt. A. H. Lovett of
TODAY FOR CAPT., LOVETT, LONG A PILOT ON RIVER
A. H. Lovett
Services will be held at 3 this afternoon in the Hill and Fredricks
chapel for Capt. A. H. “Bert” Lovett.
The Rev. F. G. Codd will officiate at the rites, and burial will be
in Oakdale cemetery.
Capt. Lovett was born Dec. 2, 1875, in Lorraine, N. Y., the son of
the Rev. Eldon H. Lovett and Martha MacGlaughlin Lovett, and came to
Davenport with his parents in 1892 when his father served as minister of
Calvary Baptist church. He
Capt. Lovett learned the river under Capt. Walter A. Blair of
Davenport starting in 1892 on the “Silver Crescent” and the “Helen
Blair” After working aboard steamers of the Diamond Jo Lines including the
“Pittsburg” and ------(unreadable)
license. It was then Captain
Lovett received his master’s license at the age of 23, the youngest pilot
on the inland waterways at the time.
Later, Capt Lovett worked on the Streckfus steamers.
He was renowned for his gift of letting exciting and humorous yarns
of the river and of early
In 1902, he became associated with the
In later years he was master and pilot of the steamers of the U. S.
Engineer’s corps of the Rock Island District and in 1929 he worked on the
fleet of steamers of the Federal Barge Line.
In December, 1943 Capt. Lovett retired but continued to do “trip
work” for a number of lines.
He was a member of Masonic lodge No 37 A. F. & M. and was a life
member of the Calvary Baptist church, where he was soloist for a number of
His marriage to Myrtla Buck took place April 18, 1905, in
Survivors include his son, Robert E. Lovett,
Dream of Captian Quinlan
Forty years ago a keen, blue-eyed, bare foot boy of slender build sat
on the banks of the
As he sat fascinated with the sight, in his boyish mind there came
the desire to some day be the sole owner of that ferry.
How he later succeeded in realizing his life’s ambition sounds like
one of Horatio Alger’s novels, yet it is the life story of Captain William
“Bill” Quinlan, today the owner and operator of the
“Bill” is a small, smiling man, a pleasant conversationalist and
quick to make friends. The pride
he takes in his boat is unusual, it is his castle, the idol of his dreams
and last but not least, an excellent meal ticket.
However, all has not been a bed of roses for the captain of one of
the niftiest and strongest steamers of its size.
In his early days he worked on the farm, on barges, in warehouses, and tried his hand at anything that came his way, but with the uppermost thought and desire, cherished close to his heart and resulting from his boyhood dreams of owning the boat. This was his ideal. This was the ultimate end of his labors.
Finally he accumulated enough money to buy a strip of land near the
oil fields of
The thought uppermost in his mind was to sell out and buy the boat of
his dreams. This he did, selling
his land at a considerable profit, and caught the next train for Davenport
where he purchased for $35,000 the Davenport Ferry company, then controlled
by the Henderson’s and at that time, six summers ago, a losing
He had never operated a boat, didn’t know the first thing about
running a company of this kind. All
he had was a fervent desire to own it and this he did.
he Was Crazy
“You’re crazy, Bill,” his friends told him.
“Why that thing ahs been in the ‘red’ for years.
You’ll never make a go of it.”
However, the boat was bought despite the admonitions and free counsel
of his friends.
“Maybe I was crazy,” Mr. Quinlan said to a Democrat reporter “I
was almost convinced of it before I had owned the ferry two years.
During that time I lost $40,000.” He said smiling .
The ferry crosses the river 144 times a day, operating from 6 a. m.
until midnight. It is five
eighths of a mile wide where the boat crosses and therefore it travels 90
miles a day, making a round trip every 15 minutes.
From three to four tons of coal are used a day to fire the boilers
and a crew of then men is employed, including two pilots, Before Mr. Quinlan
began operating the vessel the coal consumption was 12 tons a day.
The average number of passengers for each day, eight months out of
the year, is 7,000 persons. In
the year 1929 the boat carried more than a million passengers and Mr.
Quinlan expects the total to exceed 1,250,000 for 1930.
career was notable
Took an Official part
in first Legislature
Served also as
Assistant Clerk of House at First Session Held at Iowa City Faithful
Official in City and County Affairs-Thirty Years on the River
“In the death of Lemuel Parkhurst announcement of which was made in
Fridays evening’s Democrat, one of the remarkable characters of this
section has passed away. He was
one of the pioneers in the early settlement of this county and in the
various fields of work with which he was identified he faithfully and
efficiently performed the duties that were his.”
Clerked on Noted Boats
After taking up his residence at Le Claire Mr. Parkhurst went to
clerking on the river and some of the noted boats on which he served as
first clerk during the score and a half of years he was steam boating, was
the Royal Arch, the Golden Era and the Grey Eagle.
These were among the finest boats that plied the great river during
that long period, though there were many others of the same magnificent type
and on which he served. Often
times his trips took him from St. Paul to Pittsburg.
It was a common thing in those days of stupendous river traffic for a
vessel to clear all the way from $10,000 to $20,000 on a trip.
That Mr. Parkhurst was one of the most efficient steamboat clerks
that the river has known is shown in the period of service in that capacity
and on many of the largest and most celebrated packets of his time.”
LEMUEL PARKHURST DIES
One of the best known
old residents of this city, Lemuel Parkhurst, died suddenly this noon, at
his home, 1919 Walnut street, this city.
Mr. Parkhurst has been living at his old home with a Mr. and Mrs.
Cunningham who had leased it for residence, and was found sitting lifeless
in his chair at noon today, when Mrs. Cunningham went into the sitting room
to call him to dinner. He had
been reading his paper, and the spirit had left his body as he read, and
flown without his changing his position.
Mr. Parkhurst had lived in Davenport for half a century, was
successful in the conduct of a general store in East Davenport, had been
county treasurer, alderman, and business man, and reached an old age in
which he was enjoying a well-earned rest.
Some years ago he lost an arm as a result of a fall from a stepladder
which so shattered the brittle bones that nature could not carry on the
usual work of repair, making it necessary to amputate the arm at the
Three sons and a daughter survive Edward of Davenport, Alfred and
Clint and Mrs. T. F. Eldridge.
The funeral will be
Researcher Sue Rekkas
* the funeral was held from the home of Mrs. Eldridge at 1340 Third
* the funeral was held from the home of Mrs. Eldridge at 1340 Third
Days of Work and Worry
few who remember the e4arly packet days when the Dr. Franklin and the Argo
were running will remember Captain Blakely.
Captain Blakely entered the Mississippi river steamboat service in
1847 and was one of the most familiar steamboat men at the
In the winter of 1848, Captain Blakely was one the members of the Galena and Minnesota Packet company and when in May 1849 the officers of the new territory who had been appointed by President Taylor arrived by rail at Prairie du Chien they were to enter on their new duties as officers of the territory, they boarded the good old steamer, Dr. Franklin on which Captain Blakely was clerk.
The Dr. Franklin
Blakely first went into the river service in 1847, when he became clerk on
the old steamer Argo. The same
fall the Argo was sunk and the new steamer, Dr. Franklin, was purchased by
Campbell & Smith, Henty Corwith, H. L. Douseman, Brisbois & rice,
Henry H. Sibley. M. W. Lodwick and Captain Blakely.
In the spring of 1848 when the navigation opened on the river Captain
Blakely went on the Dr. Franklin as clerk.
The Dr. Franklin was the crack steamer on the river that year, having
been purchased on the
Another Old Time Boat
servicing on the Dr. Franklin, or the Old Doctor as the boat became known
through the naming of a newer boat Dr. Franklin, No. 2, Captain Blakely
became new captain in 1852. The
next year he was placed in command of the Nominee a newer and better boat,
and in 11855 he was made captain of the
Work and Worry
river days were days of work and worry for the steamboat men for the only
entry into the new land of promise was by was of the
HISTORY OF THE PACKET LINES AND STEAMBOATS OF THE GOOD
OLD DAYS OF STEAMBOATING ON THE
From the Saturday Evening Post
cities to still keep the ferry are
Henderson don’t care if they do, he gets their nickels going and
“From 1875 to 1880 Davenport and Rock Island had a very satisfactory service by the Diamond Jo, followed by the Josephine, running between Fulton, Ill., and Burlington, Ia., James Osborn was agent in Davenport, George Lamont in Rock Island and W. G. Block in Muscatine.
three men were remarkable fine agents, being friendly and attentive to
patrons and very loyal and faithful in promoting the interests of the boats.
The crews of the boats always held them in high esteem”
J.W. Campbell and Captain Hillhouse were prominently connected with these
popular steamers and the three Ruby brothers of Buffalo, Engineers Ben
Wilson, Spence Burtnett Sr., Wilbur Norris, Lew Smith, George Halkes, and
Fred Kramer of Rock Island, Andrew and James Coleman and Tony
Le Claire of Davenport were among the pilots employed on the boats and
their successors. The engineers were “Deck” Scott and E.D. Dixon.
1900 Davenport Directory
McCall, Robert B, wife Abbie C Capt. Stmr Rutledge r
The McCall funeral
services for Robert B. McCall, pioneer Mississippi river pilot, were held
from the E. A. Horrigan & Son chapel at 2:30 o’clock Sunday afternoon,
with interment in
The Rev. F. R. McLean officiated at the chapel and members of Snow Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of Le Claire, held a short service. Several hymns were sung by a quartet, composed of Mrs. Mahlan Bailey, and the Rev. Mr. McLean. A sacred solo was also rendered by A. H. Lovett.
in Le Claire cemetery was in charge of Snow Lodge.
The pallbearers, all members of Trinity Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of
Robert B. McCall, Veteran Pilot on
The Daily Times
One of the
final chapters of the picturesque history of the Mississippi river was
concluded this morning with the death of Robert McCall, pioneer river pilot,
which occurred at 8 o’clock at his home,
was born in
He was a
life-long member of the United Presbyterian church and was a past master of
Snow Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Le Claire.
He was also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Besides his wife he is survived by one daughter,
Mrs. Belle Jackson of
was removed to the E. A. Horrigan & Son mortuary pending arrangements
for the funeral.
William H. Thorwegan, president of a river excursion company and one of the
eldest steamboat men on the Mississippi river, died at his home at
A. Blair of
one of the best known river men on the
Daily Service Between
On February 1892, the Carnival City Packet Co.
was organized at
HOW CAPTAIN JACK MCCAFFREY INVESTS HIS MONEY