Visual display of the Tell City (Packet, 1889-1917)

Tell City (Packet, 1889-1917)

  • BOAT DESCRIPTION: Sternwheel
  • BOAT TYPE: Packet
  • BUILT: 1889 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: Struck shore headway and sank at Little Hocking, Ohio on April 6, 1917
  • OWNERS: Louisville and Evansville Mail Line Company; Louisville and Evansville Packet Company (1902); Captain Fred Hornbrook and others (1916)
  • OFFICERS & CREW: Captain Fred Zoll (master, 1901); Mike Davis (pilot, 1917); Captain Charles H. Ellsworth (master-pilot, 1917); Dan Patchell (pilot, 1917); Ed Dunaway (clerk, 1917); Holly Barr (clerk, 1917); Jack Spears (clerk, 1917); George Knox (chief engineer, 1917); George McElhose (2nd engineer, 1917); Charles Justice (mate, 1917); Clark DeWolfe (2nd mate); Charles McNichols (steward, 1917)
  • RIVERS: Ohio River; Kanawha River
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 5327; Original price, $21,350. Home port or owner's residence circa 1889, Louisville, Kentucky. She originally had double stages; changed to a single stage in November 1898. She worked in the Louisville-Evansville trade and after 1895 was teamed up with the Tarascon. In 1911 she was rebuilt and widened at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In September 1898 she sank in the Louisville-Portland canal and was pumped out by the towboat Transit. In 1916, after going under the ownership of Captain Hornbrook and others, she worked in the Pittsburgh-Charleston trade teamed up with the R. Dunbar in the Ohio and Kanawha River Transportation Company. She replaced the Kanawha which had overturned below Lock #19. On April 6, 1917 the Tell City was downbound and had landed at Little Hocking, Ohio. Pilot Mike Davis ran into problems leaving the landing, was forced into shore just below the landing on the Ohio side, and hit with enough headway to knock down her stacks. She sank rapidly. Her pilot house was saved and used as a summerhouse in the yard of a couple at Little Hocking. Later it was moved to the Ohio River Museum
  • PHOTO DESCRIPTION: At the boat yard at Madison, Indiana, left to right: Alice Brown, Harry Brown, City of Owensboro, Tell City, City of Clarksburg (Packet)
  • Tell City (A)


Other titles
  • Alice Brown (Towboat)
  • Harry Brown (Towboat)
  • City of Owensboro (Packet)
Local identifier
  • Neg. 14464
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