The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

Steamboats on the White River and the Osage River

 Steamboat Sultana at Helena Ark., 1865Springfield (Missouri) Advertiser, January 2, 1847, page 2
 Steam Boat on White River---The steamboat Lucy Wing has advertised to run White River to Forsyth---mouth of Swan---so soon as a sufficient rise will enable the boat to reach that point.  This will be a new era in the history of the South-West.  It will also be the opening of a Southern trade from this portion of Missouri, which will eventually bring wealth to the industrious and enterprising farmer.  The advantages of this Southern outlet for our produce are to be seen at a glance by every observer of the wants of the people.  It will enable the people of South-West Missouri to send their surplus produce to market at any season of the year, White River seldom freezes over, thus giving them a chance to send their produce to market before it becomes glutted from the older western States.

A subscription we believe is in circulation for the purpose of raising a sum of money to be given to the boat as a premium for her first trip.  Those persons desirous of encouraging the navigation of White River would do well to circulate subscription papers here for that purpose.  The people of Taney county have subscribed liberally  Civil War gunboatand our citizens should do something.  It has been suggested that a meeting be held on Monday next to see what can be done. 

An account of early steamboats on the White River can be found in the book Steamboats and ferries on the White River: a heritage revisited

Another newspaper article from the Springfield MO Express 25 April 1890, page 1--Col. R. D. Blair had recently had built and launched at Osceola a steam boat to be used for transportation purposed on the Osage river.  The boat is 130 feet long by 30 wide and unloaded draws only 13 inches of water.

More books about steamboats:
Steamboat legacy: the life & times of a steamboat family by Dorothy Heckmann

Wild river, wooden boats: true stories of steamboating and the Missouri River by Michael Gillespie

Treasure in a cornfield: the discovery and excavation of the steamboat Arabia an adventure by Greg Hawley

Explosion of the steamboat Saluda: a story of disaster and compassion involving Mormon emigrants and the town of Lexington, Missouri, in April 1852 by William G. Hartley and Fred E. Woods

Sultana: surviving civil war, prison, and the worst maritime disaster in American history by Alan Huffman 

Riverboat Dave's Paddlewheel Site has a boat, captain and owner's index which he says is a work in progress.

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