Visual display of the Columbia (Packet/Excursion boat, 1897-1918)

Columbia (Packet/Excursion boat, 1897-1918)

  • ca. May 20, 1911
  • BOAT DESCRIPTION: Sternwheel
  • BOAT TYPE: Packet
  • BUILT: Clinton, Iowa, by W. J. Young & Company, 1897
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: Snagged on Illinois River near Pekin, Illinois, and sank July 5, 1918
  • OWNERS: W. J. Young & Company; Captain Walter Blair (1903-1912); Captain H. F. Mehl (1912)
  • OFFICERS & CREW: Cyrus King (master, 1899-1900); Captain S. R. Dodds (master, 1903-1912); Captain William Dipple (master, 1907); William D. Roehring (master, 1913); Captain George F. Mehl (master, 1914-1915); John Houston (engineer, 1915); George Read (master for a while)
  • RIVERS: Illinois River; Mississippi River
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 1246; Built by W. J. Young & Company, Clinton, Iowa, using the machinery and part of the upper works from the rafter Douglas Boardman. She operated as a packet out of St. Louis. Cyrus King was master circa 1899-1900, running between St. Louis and Chester, Illinois, while she was owned by W. J. Young & Company. In March 1905 Captain Walter Blair and others bought her from C. H. Young, in her winter quarters at Paducah. Blair removed ten foreward staterooms, made her into an excursion boat and placed Captain S. R. Dodds as master. In September 1907 John Sagle, Keokuk, chartered her to participate in the Roosevelt parade from Keokuk to Memphis. Aboard were Governor Van Sant of Minnesota, his wife, and Captain and Mrs. Blair. Captain Blair was presented to the President on this occasion. George Read was captain for a while. Captain S. R. Dobbs was master from 1903 to 1912, except during the time when the boat was chartered. Captain William Dipple was master in 1907. The Columbia was sold in January 1912 to Captain H. F. Mehl, Peoria, Illinois, for $14,500, and excursions were run on the Illinois River. Captain William D. Roehring was master in 1913; Captain George F. Mehl was master 1914-1915. Her career terminated in her disastrous sinking on July 5, 1918, near Pekin, Illinois, when she snagged during a fog; 89 (80?) lives were lost
  • PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Panoramic view of the excursion Columbia, see also negative numbers 39881, 41251. Photo by N. H. Losey, Indianapolis, Indiana; taken May 19-20, 1911 at Madison, Indiana?
  • Columbia (G)


Losey, N. H.
  • ca. May 20, 1911
Local identifier
  • Neg. 39211
For Staff