BUILT: 1901, Jeffersonville, Indiana, Howard Ship Yard
FINAL DISPOSITION: Burned and sank on Saturday, June 18, 1910 near Victory, Wisconsin
OWNERS: Captain John Streckfus
OFFICERS & CREW: 1901: Captain John Streckfus (president); D.W. Wisherd (passenger agent); 1910: George Nichols (pilot)
RIVERS: Mississippi River
OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 2881; Built in 1901 for John Streckfus, hence the name J.S., she cost $13,450. The J.S. was one of the most luxurious boats on the river and it had a large ballroom on the 2nd deck. She came out as a morning packet from Davenport to Clinton and ran "moonlight" excursions out of Davenport and Rock Island. She was too heavy to run up and down the rapids every day in fair weather and foul, so she was withdrawn and entered the regular excursion business. She scored a great success. While traveling between La Crosse, Wisconsin and Lansing, Iowa, at Bad Axe Bend, she had approximately 1,500 passengers aboard on Saturday, June 18, 1910. A young boy notified a crew member that smoke was coming out from a crack in the deck boards above the hold. After a brief attempt at fighting the fire, the decision was made to evacuate passengers to Bad Axe Island. A man named, John Plein, was confined to the boat's jail located in the hold. He had set the fire and lost his life. A woman jumped overboard and drowned also. The boats North Star and Harriet towed the J.S. out into the river to make it easier to fight the fire. However, this effort failed and the boat burned to the water line in a very short time. It had to be towed and beached on the Wisconsin side about two miles north of Victory, Wisconsin. Numerous boats shortly arrived to assist the North Star and Harriet in removing the passengers to Genoa, Stoddard and De Soto, Wisconsin. Total loss was $50,000 to $60,000
PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Diver ascending from the depths of the hull of the sunken J.S.