Visual display of the Betsy Ann (Packet/Towboat/Excursion boat, 1899-1940)

Betsy Ann (Packet/Towboat/Excursion boat, 1899-1940)

  • BOAT DESCRIPTION: Sternwheel
  • BOAT TYPE: Packet/Towboat/Excursion boat
  • BUILT: Dubuque, Iowa 1899
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: Dismantled at St. Louis, Missouri 1940
  • OWNERS: Captain R. F. Learnerd (1899); D. Grover Gill (1921); Frederick Way, Sr. and Frederick Way, Jr. (1925); John I. Hay Company (1932)
  • RIVERS: Ohio River; Mississippi River
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 0604, T0245; Built by Iowa Iron Works, and the engines by Clinton Novelty Iron Works; whistle from the Stella Wilds. The Betsy Ann was owned by R. F. Learnerd, Natchez, Mississippi, and named for his wife Elizabeth; she ran principally in the Natchez-Bayou Sara trade and carried U.S. mail. She was sold in fall of 1921 to D. Grover Gill, Gallipolis, Ohio, and others who ran her Pittsburgh-Portsmouth, then Pittsburgh-Cincinnati, incorporated as Independent Packet Company. Frederick Way and Frederick Way, Jr. bought stock late 1925 and continued running her Pittsburgh-Cincinnati into 1929. She ran Pittsburgh-Louisville summer 1930, then Pittsburgh-Charleston, and finally returned to the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati trade November 3, 1930 through April 25, 1931. She left Pittsburgh November 2, 1931 and went to Memphis under charter to tow cotton. She made one trip to Caruthersville and another to Vicksburg, returning to Memphis December 6, 1931. She was sold to John I. Hay Company, spring 1932, and was put to towing barges. She was dismantled at the St. Louis wharf in fall 1940. The boat is best remembered for having run three staged races at Cincinnati, on July 24, 1928 with the packet Chris Greene, on July 16, 1929 with the packet Tom Greene, and again in 1930 with the Tom Greene. These events led to the "rebirth" of steamboat racing as a popular sport
  • Betsy Ann (B)


Local identifier
  • Neg. 35554
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