Archive for the ‘River history’ Category

CivWar150 str Clara Poe

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The str Clara Poe went up in flames ― burned by rebels on 17 Apr 1865 at Eddyville on the Cumberland River while transporting supplies and barges of hay to Nashville. [i]     The battle for compensation was waged by Capt Jacob Poe for twenty-five years through six presidencies, in vain. 

 

 

 



[i]  Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 99. 

The owners of the str Clara Poe formally requested indemnity from the US Army Quartermaster.  Correspondence between the principal owners and the US government is available at the National Archives in the military “Vessel File” Record Group 92 Entry 1403 Box 81.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

The Calhoon Rivermen

Friday, April 10th, 2015

No doubt Capt Thomas Washington Poe was the most ill-fated steamboat captain from Georgetown.  Singularly, he lost five boats; four to snags and one to arson during the Civil War.  In those five events many lives were lost including his second wife and a young nephew.

 

The Calhoon family also suffered loss in the waters of the Ohio and Missippi.  Their loss was more diverse, and also deeper.  All six sons of William Calhoon (a ranger on the western frontiers) and Elizabeth Hutchinson were steamboat men.

 

Capt John Calhoon (b1809), was claimed by the river on 7 May 1846.  He was a charter member of the Ohio River Pilots’ Society as recorded on 12 Aug 1836.  According to George WE Poe on that dark May night near Marietta, John Calhoon misstepped on the unguarded main deck of Jacob Poe’s boat and fell into the Ohio River.  His body was recovered, returned to Georgetown, and buried in the Mill Creek Cemetery.  After his death, his wife, Nancy Stevenson, with her family of young children (the oldest twelve; the youngest unborn (Elmira wasa born 3 Dec 1846)), moved to Hookstown with her parents.  In the years between 1845-1847, the Hookstown vicinity suffered from a malady called “Hookstown Fever”.  Nancy Stevenson’s father died of this disease on 7 Jul 1847, her brother Andrew died on 1 Sep 1847, Nancy died on 2 Sep 1847, and her brother Jonathon died on 2 Noc 1847.  Seven orphaned children were left with their grandmother and her only remaining son Sampson in an unknown and unsafe condition.  The children lived with other relatives but considered the Stevenson farm home. Thomas Stevenson Calhoon was taken into the home of his Uncle Richard Calhoon who was also a steamboat captain.  For twenty years Thomas S Calhoon lived, and worked, with his uncle until his marriage in 1867.

 

 

Str Golden Gate Llicense dated 1854 (Frances and John Finley Collection)

Joseph MC Calhoon was also a steamboat captain.  He built the str Caroline then sold it before taking possession.  Likewise with the str Parthenia Parr.  He also built the str Golden State which he commanded till his death.  While aboard the str Golden Gate he became ill near Alton, IL. He intended to return home to Georgetown.  He travelled no farther than St Louis where he put up in the Franklin House where he died 21 Apr 1855.  A Masonic funeral service was held on 22 Apr, 1855 and his body was placed in a metal vault in the St Louis Cemetery. At the time, the Ohio River was closed to traffic due to high water.  When the riverway reopened Capt George W Ebert with a skelton crew of Georgetown men drove the str Washington City to St Louis to collect the body.  Capt George W Ebert was his brother-in-law; the clerk, James Wilkins was another brother-in-law; the primary owner of the boat was another brother-in-law, Jacob Poe.  No doubt the mates and crew were also Georgetown men.  The str Washington City returned his body to Georgetown and it was intered in the Calhoon family lot in Mill Creek Presbyterian Cemetery. Capt Joseph MC twin children, a son and daughter, were born after his death.  Joseph MC’s wife died a few years later and his children were placed in the care of the Ebert families in Georgetown.    

 

The early steamboat days were full of hardships and life shortening dangers.  Floods, ice jams, fog, steamer wrecks, snags, sand bars, boiler explosions, and fire were dangers that confronted the officers of a every packet.  Mississippi diarrhea, cholera, jaundice, injury, consumption, and drowning were the constant companions of all of the crew and passengers.  Like many other steamboat families, the Calhoons sacrificed, suffered, and learned to live with their losses. 

 

 

Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Georgetown People Repeat

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

I have mentioned the close connections of Georgetown people from the Poe angle – Special People of Georgetown.  I am always amazed and somewhat amused.  This maze of names focusing on the Calhoon connections is also interesting.  Follow closely.

 

Capt Joseph MC Calhoon was the brother of Capts John, James Hutchinson, Richard, George Goshorn and Thomas Dawson; Joseph MC’s sister Mary Jane married Capt Jackman T StockdaleCapt Thomas S Calhoon was the son of John Calhoon and a nephew of Capt Jackman T Stockdale.  Joseph MC Calhoon married Parthenia Parr.  James Wilkins, the clerk of the str Washington City, married Myrtilla Parr, sister of Parthenia Parr.  Capt George W Ebert  half brother of Parthenia Parr, married Nancy Ann Poe, the sister of Capt Jacob Poe.  Capt Jacob Poe married Mary Ann Ebert, half sister of Parthenia Parr.  Capt George Goshorn Calhoon married Sarah Poe, the sister of Capt Jacob Poe and Nancy Ann (Poe) Ebert.  Elizabeth Calhoon, niece of Joseph MC Calhoon and daughter of Capt James Hutchison Calhoon, married Capt Andrew Hague Parr, brother of Parthenia Parr.  

 

Calhoon, Ebert, Parr, Poe, Stockdale, and Wilkins are surnames entwined with the river and each other.  With more effort Dawsons, Laughlins, Mackalls, and Potts can also be included in the puzzle.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

 

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Steamboat Video from 1929

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

I was led to a fascinating Facebook page on the unusual history of Pittsburgh.  Many thanks to Pat Dunsey for finding this site. 

 

The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh

 

One video shows a parade of steamboats on the Ohio celebrating the opening of the nine foot channel between Pittsburgh and Cairo.  Mrs Howard of Howard Shipbuilding Co strikes a bell aboard the str Cincinnati to officially open the waterway. 

The video was filmed on 18 Oct 1929 just eleven days before Black Tuesday, 29 Oct 1929 when the stock market crashed to begin the Great Depression.

 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1589729194604283

 

 

The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh is definitely time well spent.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

Mammoth Discovery in Georgetown

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Mammoth Discovery in Georgetown (Beaver Valley Times Mar 1988 a1)

 

Mammoth Discovery( BVTimes Mar 1988 a10)

Mammoth Discovery( BVTimes Mar 1988 a10 b)

 

 A choice tidbit from the Beaver Valley Times in Mar 1988.

 

African American Civil War Museum

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

 

AACW Museum Entrance
AACW Museum Entrance

 

Yesterday, Sat 7 Feb, was a travel day.  The goal was the African American Civil War Museum.  On the first Saturday of the month the museum schedules a lecture by a descendant of one of the veterans.  Ms Millicent Hughes presented her ancestor, Capt Charles Trowbridge of the 33rd US Colored Troops Regiment.    The lecture was just the right mix of fun and history.

 

AACW Memorial

AACW Memorial

 

 

How is this topic connected to GeorgetownSteamboatsCapt Andrew Poe, son of Rev Adam Poe (founder of Ohio Wesleyan College), is listed on the African American Civil War Memorial.  In fact his name appears twice because he served with both the 40th USCT Infantry and the 106th USCT Infantry .   The Poe men who were born in OH and enlisted served in the Western Theater.  The Poe men who were born in PA and volunteered, generally saw action in the East.  The Georgetown steamboat captains and pilots were a generation older than the infantry volunteers.  Often I wonder whether the paths of the steamboat men and their Ohio nephews crossed. 

 

Andrew Poe with 40th USCT
Andrew Poe with 40th USCT

 

 

Andrew Poe with 106th USCT

Andrew Poe with 106th USCT

 

 

 Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

 

Capt Thomas Potts

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Cat Thomas Potts (Beaver Valley Times, Oct 24, 1973

A short history written by Gladys L Hoover in 1973 contains invaluable local history of Georgetown and its two churches:  St Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Both faiths have changed their original affiliations since Capt Thomas Potts’ time due to the many splits and mergers in the Methodist and Episcopal Churches.     The wife of Capt Thomas Potts according to this newspaper article, raised a considerable sum of money in 1877 for the building fund of the new Methodist Church.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

Georgetown Landing 1935

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

From my research the ferry at Georgetown had been in operation from 1794 to 1949.  The militia from Buurgettstown marched along the Catfish Camp Trail and crossed the Ohio River at Georgetown on Dawson’s Ferry. The militia was joining Ggen Anthony Wayne in the campaign of 1794.  Other references to the crossing at Georgetown, such as the Moravian missionaries who crossed the river as early as 1772, did  not include the word “ferry”.    The ferry ceased operation due to an accident in 1949.

 

 

Georgetown Landing 1935 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

 


 

The name of the ferry or operating company has changed through the years.  The named changed from Dawson to Smith and back again a few times.  According to the writing on this image, the William M Semple Ferry Company was the operator in 1935.

 

 

 

The home on the bluff was built by the Thomas Poe, sold to Robert D Laughlin in the 1870’s.   

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

 

CivWar Pension Request

Monday, August 18th, 2014

 

Civil war Pension Request by Jacob Poe (Anna L and John F Nash Collection))

On 4 Apr 1881 Capt Jacob Poe penned a letter to Hon CC Townsend requesting that he be awarded a pension for his service during the Civil War.  In support of his request he has enclosed with his letter a newspaper clipping from a Pittsburgh paper indicating that two pilots, Sylvester and Harry Doss, received pensions.  Each Doss received a pension of $15 per month along with back pay of $7,500 (?).

 

The letter by Jacob Poe was written on the letterhead of his son’s livery service. 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

CivWar150 13 Aug 1864

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

One hundred-fifty years ago today, the str Clara Poe was attacked by a rebel force along the Ohio River about 4 miles south of Shawneetown, IL.  The harrowing escape of the str Clara Poe was published in the NY Times on 19 Aug 1864.

 

 

Although the news article does not identify the captain nor the pilot of the steamer, Jacob Poe was probably the pilot who executed the escape maneuvers.   My presumption is based on the correspondence of Jacob Poe after the war.

 

The NY Times article is loaded on page – NY Times 15 Aug 1864.  A fun read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.