Str Buckeye State
The Buckeye State was a sidewheel wooden hull packet built in Shousetown, PA, and finished in Pittsburgh, in 1850. In Way’s Directory, the dimensions of the hull, engines, boilers, paddlewheel, and buckets are provided in great detail. The Buckeye State, a large packet, operated in the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line. Capt Samuel Reno was the captain on her maiden voyage departing Pittsburgh on 17 Feb 1850. 
The original owners were listed on the Certificate of Enrollment in the Custonhouse recrords at Pittsburgh.
Str Buckeye State
|Owners and Partners||Share||Vol:||6633|
|David Holmes||Enroll No :||21|
|Thomas S Clarke||Cert Date:||16 Fec 1850|
|Wm Bingham||Cert Type::||Admeasurement|
|Robert Hays||Build Locn:||Shousetown, PA|
|Samuel Reno||Build Date:||1850|
The competition on the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati route was heated. Capt William J Kountz, as an independent owner, operated the steamer Cincinnati on the route. The fierce competition wore on Capt Reno, who died in Cincinnati on 28 Mar 1850. Command fell to Capt Samuel Dean and Capt Reno’s body was returned to Pittsburgh on the Buckeye State.
On 1 May 1850, Capt Dean arranged a “speed trial” for the new boat. Departing Cincinnati at 05:11 AM, the Buckeye State arrived in Pittsburgh 43 hours later. 468 miles in 43 hours. No boat had ever done so well, and no steamboat ever since that date has equaled the feat. To commemorate the event, a large wooden buck was mounted on the pilot house. Speed records were important. As long as the boat could retain the horns, it would command higher rates for freight and passengers. The officers, the captain, the pilots, the clerks, engineers, and stewards would also command higher salaries even if they moved to other assignments. The crew on this fast run included:
Master: Capt Samuel Dean
First clerk: Standish Peppard
Second clerk: John D Williams
Pilots: William Clark and Tom Witten
Chief engineer: Thomas Kennedy
Second engineer: CB Matthews
Mate: Thomas Davis
Standish Peppard, the head clerk, lived in Georgetown, PA. His wife was Elizabeth Poe.
One year later, PT Barnum chartered the Messenger No 2 and arranged a race with the Buckeye State. The Buckeye State won handily.
Capt MW Beltzhoover was her commander the last few years. In 1857, the Buckeye State was dismantled. 
 Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 63.
Copyright © Francis W Nash
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