Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Two Old Captains.

Marietta Register, May 5, 1892

They Commanded Boats in the Halcyon Days of the Muskingum.

Now Living at Beverly, Ohio.

There are two old steamboat officers yet living in the town of Beverly, Ohio, men who were prominent boatmen forty years ago, and who were abreast of the most able officers in the Zanesville and Pittsburgh trade.  Captains D. T. Brown and Calvin Stull were well-known and they always held responsible positions in the river trade.

At that time many of the brightest adventurous young men in the Muskingum valley were willing to take responsible places on the fine steamboats afloat on the Western rivers.

D. T. Brown's boating career began with his brother John, in the engine room of the May Queen, at the age of nineteen years.  He and David Hann were the engineers at the time the boat was burned at the Marietta wharf in February, 1847.  David T. Brown and William Davis are the only two men that ever held government papers for the offices of captain, pilot, and engineer on the Muskingum river.

Many persons may not understand what is meant by a license for captain, pilot, or engineer, and for their benefit this information is given.  The above named officers have to be examined by the U. S. government officials for captain, pilot, and engineer, as the U. S. laws have charge of the steamboat interest in our government, and no one occupying these official stations can continue on duty without passing such ordered examination except in defiance of the law.

A Signal reporter visited Captains Brown and Stull at their homes in Beverly, and from them information was obtained as follows:

Captain D. T. Brown

After the destruction of the May Queen, D. T. Brown was one of the engineers on the following named boats:  Mingo Chief, Julia Dean, Ludlow, Comet, Del Norte, Newark, Helen Mar, Chevoit, Lizzie Martin, and Zanesville Packet.  He was captain of the Lizzie Martin and Chevoit.

When D. T. Brown was engineer of the Ludlow, on entering the Marietta lock the guard on one side of the boat was all torn off by striking the end of the lock wall.  From bow to stern there was no protection.  Brown procured a rope and fastened it to the stanchions, preventing any person from attempting to pass our on the damaged side of the boat.  The boat landed at Windsor to take on freight.  As Brown was tired he lay on a bench to rest while the men were engaged at their work.  He was suddenly awakened when their work was completed.  He passed forward along the guard, half asleep, to examine the water in the boilers by the water gauge, then in front of them to examine the fire.  In returning to the engine room he ran against the rope.  He exclaimed, "What is this put here for?"  He raised it, passed under and . . .

Fell Into the River.

He swam round the boat and again got on board more wet than wise, but he was thoroughly awake.  In relating the incident, he said, "As soon as I struck the water, I remembered all about the cause of the presence of the rope."

He and Edward Tignore were the engineers of the Helen Mar.  On a trip to Pittsburgh in passing up Horse Tail ripple at the head of Seven Mile Island he had . . .

A Swim For Life.

The current at the head of the ripple is very swift.  He was a cautious, careful engineer.  He went along the guard to try the water gauges, then passing in front of the fire to see that the fireman was doing his part of the work, he passed on down the guard for the engine room.  A truck had been left on the guard.  In the dark his knee struck it and he fell overboard in the swift current, barely missing the wheel of the boat as he was going down the river and the boat up.  He called to John Cox, who was on deck, to waken the other engineer, as he was going in another direction much against his will.

The captain was in bed with rheumatism.  He was unable to turn himself and a sheet had to be used in turning him.  When he heard the cry, "The engineer is overboard," he was excited.  He arose from his bed, his rheumatism was forgotten and he ran out on deck and ordered a boat sent out to save the engineer.

The boat went rapidly through the water.  The engineer was a good swimmer.  He saw lights on Seven Mile island and he went for them.  It was swim or drown with him.

He landed on the island about the same time as the boat did.  There was great rejoicing on the small boat that the engineer was saved.  Soon they were all ready to return to the steamer and there was rejoicing on the steamboat when they were informed "Brown is safe."

During the excitement, the captain forgot his rheumatism.  As soon as the excitement ceased and the engineer was on the steamboat, the captain was again writhing in his rheumatic pains.  It was with difficulty that he was carried to his room.  The anxiety and excitement caused him to forget his aches, but the pains were worse than ever as soon as he saw the engineer was on the boat.

Brown said, "I had lately been married.  As I passed the wheel when the heavy planks were striking the water near my head, I thought there will be another widow."

Captain Stull

was found at his home.  When informed of the business of the Signal reporter, he freely gave him the following:  I was a pilot on the St. Cloud, Ludlow, Loyal Hanna, Viroqua, Robert Wightman, Buckeye Belle, James Watts, R. H. Lindsey, Kate Cassell, Dan Convers, John Bissel, Chevoit, Adelia, Brown Dick, Emma Graham, John Buck, Charley Bowen, Lizzie Cassell, J. H. Best, Prairie City, Ohio, Emma Graham No. 2, Freighter, Falcon, Tom Patten, Silver Bells and Two Sisters."  He also piloted a number of Ohio river boats that were too large for the Muskingum locks.  He was captain of the Falcon, Emma Graham No. 2, and Vega.  He said, "I made 201 trips on the Emma Graham, often carrying 3,000 barrels of flour to Pittsburgh.  We never broke a timber of the boat."  Captain Stull was the pilot at the wheel when the ill-fated steamer Buckeye Belle blew up in the Beverly canal.  He was blown some distance and had a leg broken, which, at time, causes much pain.

Joseph Daniels

The engineer on duty when the Buckeye Belle caused the death of more people than were accidentally killed on all the boats ever on the Muskingum river, was in Beverly last Tuesday. 

The following incidents are related by old people at Beverly about the accident of the . . .

Buckeye Belle

One man said, "I saw a brick that was thrown from the boat to the top of the hill where it fell and killed a rabbit."

Another said, "Dillon was going up when Munsey was coming down, and Munsey spoke.  Dillon replied, "I don't speak to mechanics."

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