Visual display of the City of Louisville (Packet, 1894-1918)

City of Louisville (Packet, 1894-1918)

  • 1916
  • BOAT TYPE: Packet
  • BUILT: Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard, 1894
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: Sank, due to ice, January 30, 1918
  • OWNERS: Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company
  • OFFICERS & CREW: 1894: Captain John Brennan (master), Charles C. Langhart (purser), George Bumgardner and William C. Lepper, Jr. (clerks), Charles J. Dufour and C. Henry Thomas (pilots), Andy Hazlett (mate), William Turner (second mate), Henry R. McClannahan (chief engineer), George Kinny (2nd engineer), Levi McCain and Charles Baglin (strikers), Henry Culver (carpenter), Charles Clark (watchman), George L. Wick (steward); Later, for 20 years: Captain James Martin; Then: Captain Clarence McElfresh; 1917: Ed Maurer and Wymond Brasher (pilots), Henry McClannahan (at throttle)
  • RIVERS: Ohio River; Mississippi River
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 1095; The City of Louisville was owned by the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company at a cost of $72,500. The big roof bell came from a set of chimes at the Chicago World Fair of 1893 and was adorned with a massive set of antlers. For many years she carried a sign on the pilothouse sides exhibiting the number 9-42 which was her upstream record time. A cannon made by James Hafer, Jr., Newport, Kentucky was carried on the main deck and fired on special occasions. Today the cannon is in the River Museum, Marietta, Ohio. Her whistle, a deep, hoarse, three-toned one was inherited from the Fleetwood. She was built expressly for the Louisville-Cincinnati trade. She had 72 staterooms and slept 160 and she carried an excursion permit for 1,500. Her trial trip was on April 2, 1894. She then left for Cincinnati on April 3, 1894 on her inaugural trip. On Wednesday, April 18, 1894, she departed Louisville at 3:00p.m. and made the record 9:42 hr. run to Cincinnati, which has never been equaled. Two years later, on April 5, 1896, she made the record downstream run in this trade, 5:58 hrs. The City of Cincinnati had only three captains in her career: Captain John Brennan, then Captain James Martin for 20 years and lastly Captain Clarence McElfresh. Her original purser, Charles C. Langhard, stayed with the boat until stricken with apoplexy June 1915; he was taken ashore at Louisville and died several days later. Chief engineer Henry McClannahan lived most of his life on her. The City of Louisville made one Mardi Gras trip in February, 1903 in 4 days, 9 hours including all stops. Her great size and tremendous power called for the supreme pilots of her day. Captain Ed Maurer once said, "When you had her hard down rattling down around Sugar Creek Bend, she was a lot of lumber." The City of Louisville departed Louisville on May 16, 1917 on her last trip to Cincinnati. The next day she was laid up across the river at Covington, Kentucky and remained there until early 1918 when she was returned to Cincinnati because of heavy ice. Her last pilots were Ed Maurer and Wymond Brasher; Henry McClannahan was at the throttle. After a valiant fight on January 30, 1918, the ice got her; she had steam up and her wheels were working ahead when she went down--drafted back and settled at the doorway of the L and C wharfboat. She was dismanted later that spring
  • PHOTO DESCRIPTION: City of Louisville at Madison, Indiana, 1916
  • City of Louisville (A)


  • 1916
Local identifier
  • Neg. 20222
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