BELLE OF CALHOUN
Built: 1895, St. Louis, Missouri. Built at the Carondelet Marine Ways, Carondelet, Missouri, and completed at the St. Louis wharf.
Type: Sternwheel, wooden hull packet.
Size: 180′ 9″ x 36′ 4″ x 4′ 7″.
Engines: 15’s – 6 ft.
Boilers: Two boilers, each 44″ by 26 ft.
The BELLE OF CALHOUN was named for Miss Anna Wood, “Belle of Calhoun County, Illinois” in a contest held by the Hardin Herald. Originally owned by the St. Louis & Clarkesville Packet Co., with Frederick W. Swartz president, she was sold in 1897 to Captain T.B. Sims; in 1898 to J.W. Fristoe, Frank P. Hearne and Captain Byrd Burton; in 1899 to the Memphis & Vicksburg Packet Co. who changed her name to the JULIA; in 1905 to the St. Louis; Calhoun Packet Corporation, and Captain Lee Cummings, who reverted her name back to the BELLE OF CALHOUN; and in 1913 she was sold to Captain H.W. Sebastian.
Operating on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, her original crew in 1895 was; Captain Aaron Hall (master); Joe Chatterton and Harry H. Monaghan (pilots); Edward Young (first clerk); Zollie Block (second clerk); Oliver Cotrell (chief engineer) and William Tracy (mate). In 1913 her crew was; Captain George Carvell (master); Captain Roy Watson (master); H.S. Ruby (pilot); William Blaine (steward). In 1914 and 1915; Selby Crader (pilot). In 1915; William Bush (pilot). In 1917; Captain Ed Nowland (master).
In 1895, the Waterways Journal ran a contest to find the most popular packet crew operating out of St. Louis, and all the honors went to the crew of the BELLE OF CALHOUN.
On May 27, 1896, she was badly damaged in a tornado at St. Louis, sinking up to her cabin. She was raised and repaired. In October, 1914, she sank four miles above Alton, Illinois, with 4,700 barrels of apples on board. Her bow was on shore and her stern was in twenty-feet of water. Around 800 barrels were lost, and she was raised and repaired. In October, 1929, she sank again about three miles above Hannibal, Missouri, and was raised yet again. Obviously, she was not destined to sink. In the winter of 1930-31, she burned in Alton Slough.
More boats to be added …