Posts Tagged ‘Portsmouth OH’

The Beloved Fannie Dugan

October 17, 2009
The Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The inspiration for this post was the 1874 article entitled An Appeal, written by the widow of Capt. John McAllister, pleading with the public to not allow the Fannie Dugan‘s new competition to run her out of business, as this steamboat was her sole source of income since the death of her husband. It turns out the Fannie Dugan was one of the most popular steamboats running in the Portsmouth area during the 1870’s.

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RIVER NEWS.
The Mountain Belle leaves for Catlettsburg, every day at 2 o’clock. She was purchased a few days since, by John McAllister, from the Big Sandy Packet Company — price $15,000.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 6, 1870

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Frank Morgan and Capt. McAllister of the Mountain Belle, have gone to Cincinnati to get an outfit for their new boat, the Fannie Dugan. They will return Wednesday.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 6,  1872

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The Fannie Dugan was presented with a new bell by Thomas Dugan.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 27, 1872

Thomas Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Thomas Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Some background on where the Fannie Dugan got her name:

(I) Thomas Dugan. grandfather of Dr. Thomas (2) Dugan, of Huntington, was born, according to one tradition, in Ireland, and according to another in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When a young man he removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he engaged in mercantile business, later becoming a leading banker of that city. He was president of the Farmers’ National Bank of Portsmouth, and loaned the money with which the site of the city of Huntington was purchased. He married Levenia Mackoy, born in Kentucky, and they were the parents of two children: i. James S., of whom further. 2. Fannie, became the wife of J. C. Adams, a prominent citizen of Portsmouth, and died in 1885, at the age of thirty-two years, leaving two children : Earl and William, now engaged in the manufacture of fire-arms and fire-works in Portsmouth.

Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

Fannie Dugan (Image from Portsmouth Public Library)

The steamer “Fannie Dugan” was named in compliment to Mrs. Adams, and her father, Thomas (i) Dugan, gave two hundred and fifty dollars for the silver to be used in casting its bell, and also presented the piano to form part of its equipment. At the time of his death, a sudden one occurring in 1873, ‘”IS ^^’^s in the prime of life. The old Dugan residence still stands in Portsmouth, on the corner of Chillicothe and Eighth streets, and is one of the finest specimens of colonial architecture extant. Mrs. Dugan died in 1894, in Huntington.

West Virginia and its People (1913)
Author: Miller, Thomas Condit; Maxwell, Hu, joint author
Volume: 2
Publisher: New York, Lewis Historical Pub. Co.

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The Fannie Dugan, on her second trip out, broke a camrod and returned to this place on one wheel, where she is to remain until the ice thins out.

The new and elegant steamer Fannie Dugan has purchased a beautiful Valley Gem piano of D.S. Johnston.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 17, 1872

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Capt. John McAllister, and not Jack as we erroneously stated, is sick, but recovering slowly.

Capt. Jack McAllister has sold out his interest in the Fannie Dugan at the rate of $24,000 for the boat, and has purchased the Mountain Belle for $10,000. Capt. McAllister has refitted and refurnished the Belle, and will leave here with her for Pittsburg next Monday, the 22d. We wish Capt. Jack abundant success.

The Fannie Dugan brought 400 barrels of malt from Pomeroy last Monday.

NOTICE TO SHIPPERS AND THE TRAVELING PUBLIC.

The Mountain Belle refurnished and refitted, will leave the city, at the foot of Market street, on Monday next, for Pittsburg and return. Parties having goods to ship to any way landings, or through to Pittsburg, are requested to ship by the Belle.

First class accommodations for passengers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 20, 1872

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Captain John McAllister is prostrated at his residence in Springville, Ky., but hopes are entertained of his recovery.

Captain Jack McAllister has sold his interest in the Mountain Belle To Robert Cook, and purchased an eighth interest in the Fannie Dugan from his brother. The Dugan has been repainted, and with Captain Jack on the roof, is running in the Portsmouth and Cincinnati trade.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 19, 1872

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Capt. John McAllister is still confined to his bed.

The Fannie Dugan has returned to her Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade.

The Mountain Belle is doing a thriving business just now, and Capt. Ripley is looking up freight industriously. Capt. Jack McAllister is on the roof, and the Belle is a good boat to travel on or ship by.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 26, 1872

gravecross

Death of Captain John McAllister.

CAPTAIN JOHN McALLISTER, of Springville, Ky., and well and favorably known as a steamboat captain, died last Monday morning at 8:40 A.M. Captain McAllister had a host of friends on the river and shore, and his loss is one that will be felt by a large circle of friends and relatives.

He was a native of Lewis county, Ky., and was forty-eight years of age at the time of his death. About the year 1864 he purchased the Portsmouth and Springville ferry and removed to the latter place. He afterwards owned the steamers Jonas Powell and Mountain Belle, and last fall built the sidewheel steamer Fannie Dugan, which he commanded at the time he was taken ill.

Although a resident of Greenup county, he took a deep interest in the growth and business prosperity of our city, and by his liberality and enterprise he provided Portsmouth with excellent up-river packets, and did much to increase the trade of the city in that direction. The deceased always bore an irreproachable character, and was a man of generous impulses. The remains were taken to his old home, in Lewis county, on Tuesday for interment.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 9, 1872

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THE Fannie Dugan has taken the fancy collar off her pipes and looks as large as the Great Republic. She blew out a cylinder head last Wednesday on her up trip, and returned here for repairs.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Apr 5, 1873

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Ten couple of Guyan lads and lasses came down on a pleasure trip on the Fannie Dugan last Wednesday. They danced all night, and enjoyed themselves hugely. Clerks, Simon Balmert and Robert McAllister, joined in the Terpsichorean excitement.

Quite a change has been made in the steamer Fannie Dugan. Mr. James Bagby, for many years connected with the commercial interests of Portsmouth, and at present in the mercantile business just across the river, has purchased of Mrs. McAllister, widow of the late Captain John McAllister, one half of the boat, at the rate of $24,000. He has placed Captain Jack McAllister on the roof, and under his command the merchants and traveling public will find the Fannie Dugan the steamer to patronize. These gentlemen have done much to keep up the wholesale trade of Portsmouth and Ironton, the boat having been built under the immediate superintendancy of Captain McAllister to meet the demand for a strictly local freight and passenger packet. So long as they give satisfaction, they are entitled to the entire patronage of shippers at this place and points on the river between here and Guyau.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 12, 1873

Charleston WV Capitol 1870 (Image from www.legis.state.wv.us)

Charleston WV Capitol 1870 (Image from http://www.legis.state.wv.us)

TO CHARLESTON AND RETURN:

A Cheerful Lunatic Writes us a Letter — He finds out how far it is to Gallipolis.

OFF GREENUP,
Monday, in the evening,
May 26, 1873.

EDITOR TIMES — Thinking it would interest your readers, I have concluded to write you a few lines  about (we keep the type standing of all letters up to this place. It don’t fail once in ten thousand times — EDITOR,) a pleasure trip on the Fannie Dugan to Charleston and return. I seat myself to the task. (A large reward offered for a correspondent who will stand up and write us a letter. — ED.)

Through the kindness of Capt. Wm. Ripley, several young folks were invited to take passage last Saturday evening, and at 6 o’clock we rounded out and were soon steaming up the beautiful river. At Haverbill, Ironton, and elsewhere, others came aboard. The distance from Portsmouth to Gallipolis is ninety miles, and from thence to Charleston, sixty-four miles.

MUSIC AND DANCING.

After supper the table was cleared and music, with its voluptuous swell, set many happy lads and lassies tripping the animated toe, which same continued to trip until midnight, when, to avoid mutilating the fourth paragraph on the Mosaical tablet of stone, fond pillows were pressed, and placid sleep, nature’s uncopyrighted and unpatented panacea, was poured upon the weary sons and daughters of Terpsichore.

HOW MEMORY FAILS.

I had forgotten to observe that at Ironton the gentlemanly and accommodating wharfmaster, W.G. Bradford, and lady got aboard, spoke kindly of you, and complimented the TIMES very highly.

We reached Gallipolis Sunday morning at 9 A.M., and taking a Kanawba pilot, departed at 10 A.M. The Kanawba is a meandering stream, interspersed with beautiful islands and Sunday fishermen. Very few towns on the river from Point Pleasant to Charleston. Landed at Charleston at 4:30 P.M.

CHARLESTON SLANDERED.

Charleston is the capital of West Virginia, and if a man don’t care what he says, it is a beautiful city. The population is liberal, and about one-third of it is negroes. The streets are thirty feet wide and two feet deep. Gorgeous mud holes adorn the principal streets, and the delicious musical concatenations of whippoorwill and frog produce an endless chain of discord at all hours.

The artistic crossings are sawed logs raised a foot above the streets, and the dull monotony of smooth carriage riding is broken by the logs and the mud holes. Only one Charlestonian was out riding last Sunday with his dulcines. His buggy was upset, and when his hat was fished out of a mud hole he gave two negroes three dollars to take it home in a wheelbarrow. They have their sidewalks in their cellars. The State House is a magnificent old-fashioned mammoth building, a cross between a hospital and a penitentiary, and is romantically situated in a clover pasture, with no pavements or sidewalks, and in wet weather the Reps go over on stilts or in dugouts. The pious Charlestonians don’t drink wine, ale, beer, or even whisky, on Sunday, but Boggs, (everybody has heard of Boggs,) keeps a soda fountain on Front street, and “flies” are great things to get in a glass of soda water, especially when the soda man hears you wink.

LOVE AND A FREE ADVERTISEMENT.

We left Charleston at 4:30 P.M., nothing of importance occurring between that place and Gallipolis, except the assiduous love-making of two Portsmouth gentlemen to a brace of Gallipolis damsels. It is hinted that certain young ladies of this city should not trust their fickle lovers away from home, especially when the Gallipolitian senoritas are in their company.

Captain Ripley and Simon Balmert, Clerk, were attentive and obliging, and it was hereby resolved that as long as the Fannie Dugan is officered by them, passengers will be pleased, freight will be cared for properly, and the bird of the period, the goose, will be dizzily elevated. The steward set tempting tables, and after midnight Sunday night dancing was renewed, and everybody reached Portsmouth happy.

The Fannie Dugan is the first sidewheel steamer that has been to Charleston for many years, and made the run from Gallipolis to Charleston and return in less time than ever made before by any boat.
SOLBAC.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 31, 1873

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MRS. McALLISTER, widow of the late John McAllister, has purchased the one-eight interest in the Fannie Dugan, owned by Mr. Robert Bagby. Capt. McAllister will continue on the roof, and no more accommodating boatman ever walked the roof of an Ohio river steamboat than Captain Jack. The Fannie Dugan will be off the docks and resume her trade the early part of next week.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 9, 1873

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THE Fannie Dugan has temporarily quit the trade. The logs, rocks and bars of low water were too thick for so good a little boat. She leave this evening on a special trip to Cincinnati. Passengers will take in the Exposition Monday and return the same evening.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 20, 1873

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MRS. McALLISTER has repurchased J. Bagby’s interest in the Fannie Dugan, and the gallant Capt. Ripley is on the roof and will look after the interests of the steamer. Capt. Bagby will superintend the new wharfboat and attend to his store on Second street.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 29, 1873

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Capt. A.J. McAllister will go on the roof of the Fannie Dugan next Monday, and Mate Gray and the old Steward will ship with him. This gives the Fannie her old crew again.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 27, 1873

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An Appeal

To the Merchants and Manufacturers of Portsmouth, Ohio, and elsewhere in the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade, and the traveling public:

PAINFUL as is the necessity of making an appeal of this kind to you, under the circumstances I am compelled to do so, for reasons which appear herein. My late husband, Capt. John McAllister did more in his day to build up a trade between Portsmouth and the cities and towns along the river from this place to Guyandotte then any other man on the Ohio river. That his action tended largely to increase the wholesale trade of the city of Portsmouth, I think none will deny. He built the Fannie Dugan as a first class packet, which has worked in the interests of the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade when no other boat has done so. Upon the death of Capt. John McAllister he left me the Fannie Dugan and the trade he had built up, my only means of support for myself and children.

Since his death a new boat has come in, making an effort to drive me out of the trade, or in the event of my staying to run me in debt and take away my only means for supporting my family. The action of her owners is hardly fair, when the clerk of the new boat when he sold his interest in the Fannie Dugan sold his good will in this trade. While his ingratitude to my late husband could be passed by, his effort to deprive me of my only income does not certainly recommend him to the people of Portsmouth, who knew my late husband so well, and remember him as only a clerk who has obtained the greater part of his money by the kind-heartedness and generosity of the dead man whose widow he is wronging.

While the name of the opposition boat should make citizens feel proud of her, the action of her officers and owners is too expressive of the motive that led them to adopt the name, and hence such as to lead the shippers of the city to give the matter some consideration. They are men able to make their living, and with a new boat it would be more creditable in them to build them a trade from Portsmouth to elsewhere than to attempt to wrest it from a woman.

I have aimed to deserve your support, and the means necessary to spend in an effort to save my boat from being crowded out, have been invested in a large and commodious wharf-boat, for the better preservation of freight shipped to and from the city. This I have only cited to show the merchants and business men of the city that nothing has been left undone to further their interests and the interests of shippers along the river.

As it is used against me by the opposition that I have only to blame myself because I would not put my boat in the Portsmouth and Pomeroy trade, I would say that the proposition was carefully considered, and at the advice of experienced business men and river men, it was made plain that a boat in that trade would lose money to begin with.

I have been thus plain in presenting these facts to you because I have felt the effects of the late panic, and have lost several hundred dollars by the partial failure of one who had all my earnings in his possession. I hope, then, those to whom I appeal will pardon me for so doing when my reason for it are so well taken, and that they will continue the liberal patronage heretofore extended to me, which I shall aim to deserve.

I have secured Capt. A.J. McAllister to command. He has done much to extend the trade of Portsmouth in the past, and will do all he can in the future, having served in the Portsmouth and Guyandotte trade for many years. The clerk, Simon P. Balmert, is a resident of Portsmouth, is accommodating and reliable, and known to you all, and needs no recommendation at my hands.

In conclusion, if the opposition, with their new boat, want to gain laurels, I put it to the gallant gentlemen of Portsmouth if they had not better try it in another field, and if they are successful the hand of scorn wouldn’t be pointed at them, and it couldn’t then be said, “Oh! they only succeeded in defeating a woman.” In the days of chivalry men fought men, have they degenerated so far that women will be called upon to defend themselves from those who should be their protectors?

MRS. CATHERINE McALLISTER.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 10, 1874

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RIVER NEWS. The Rankin has taken the place of the Fannie Dugan, and the latter is now running in the Cincinnati and Manchester trade.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 19, 1874

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MRS. CATHERINE McALLISTER, Mrs. Nannie Thomson, and Miss Lennie McAllister, went up to Huntington on the Fannie Dugan last Saturday, had a very pleasant trip, and returned Monday morning.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 22, 1876

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AN excursion party went up on the Fannie Dugan last Friday. Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson, Mrs. Nan Thomson, Mrs. Catherine McAllister who chaperoned Miss Lennie McAllister, and Miss Helen and Kate Morton were the guests immediately from Springville. Miss Nannie and Sallie, daughters of Capt. A.J. McAllister, accompanied by Miss Pet Thomson, got on the boat at their home, above Springville.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 19,  1876

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The steamer Fannie Dugan will extend her trip to Pomeroy to-day, with the genial Balmert and Bob McAllister in the office, and Capt. Jack on the roof. It is hinted that a grand excursion to Parkersburg is contemplated next Saturday, but of this we are not certain.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 13, 1876

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The colored population of the city will give a picnic at the grove opposite Ironton, next Tuesday. The Scioto and Fannie Dugan will convey passengers. There will be a vast crowd present.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 29, 1876

City of Ironton (steamer) (Image from www.riverboatdaves.com)

City of Ironton (steamer) (Image from http://www.riverboatdaves.com)

Important changes have taken place in the Portsmouth and Pomeroy Packet Co.’s  line, since last report, the new steamer City of Ironton taking the place of the Fannie Dugan, the Dugan in place of the Scioto, and the Scioto daily from Huntington to Pomeroy. There is no change in the crews. Capt. Jack McAllister commands the Dugan, with Will Waters clerk, Capt. Geo. Bay commands the City of Ironton, with Mr. Fuller in charge of the office.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 28, 1880

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Marine Midgets.

The Fannie Dugan is out now, and ready for her run. The boat has been overhauled, repainted, and presents a fine appearance.

The Scioto, which has been running in the place of the Fannie Dugan, will resume her former trade, from Huntington to Pomeroy.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 20, 1880

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THE Bay Brothers are making regular time with their Portsmouth & Pomeroy packets, the B.T. Enos and Fannie Dugan.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 4, 1882

St. Johns River Map - 1876 (Image from Wikipedia)

St. Johns River Map - 1876 (Image from Wikipedia)

Departure of the Fannie Dugan for Florida.

The staunch and reliable Ohio river packet, Fannie Dugan, has been sold by her owners to Capt. C.B. Smith, who will take her to Florida, in a short time, to run in the St. John’s river trade. The Dugan made her last trip from Pomeroy Saturday evening, starting Sunday morning for Cincinnati where she was delivered to her new owner, and put upon Capt. Coffin’s ways, to be repaired before taking her long trip to the South. The price received is understood to be $7,500, which is considered an extra good sale.

The Fannie Dugan was eminently a Portsmouth boat, having made this city the lower terminus of her tri-weekly trips ever since she was built in 1871. In that year her hull was constructed at Ironton, the machinery and cabin being added at our wharf. Her original owners were Capt. John McAllister, Frank Morgan, S.P. Balmert and Capt. “Jack” McAllister, the latter gentleman acting as her Captain from that time until the sale last week. The cost of putting her upon the river was about $20,000 and for more than ten years she made profitable trips from Portsmouth to Huntington, or Guyandotte, and return. The Dugan always made money for her owners — the net earnings during many busy seasons of her career being $1,000 a week. She was a fast boat, well furnished and manned, and was very popular along the route. Numerous changes were made in her owners ?p during the time she was in the trade, Messrs. George and William Bay, S.P. Balmert, William Jones, Wash Honshell and H.W. Bates, of Riverton owning her at the time of the transfer — the two last name gentle men having the controlling interest.

It is understood that no boat will be put in the place of the Fannie Dugan until the completion of the Bay Brothers’ Louise, now being finished at Ironton.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jun 17, 1882

Railroad Wharf on St. Johns River - Florida (Image from www.taplines.net)

Railroad Wharf on St. Johns River - Florida (Image from http://www.taplines.net)

CHARLES W. ZELL has returned from his trip to Florida, greatly pleased with what he saw and experienced. He was at Sanford, and saw the Portsmouth men who are working there, and says they are greatly pleased with the country and have made up their minds to remove their families and make it their home. He was on the Chesapeake, and saw Captain and Mrs. Maddy. The Fannie Dugan was run into by an ocean vessel and sunk, and is a total loss. An attempt will be made to get our her machinery and put it into a sternwheel boat.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Feb 27, 1886

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Read an account of:

FANNIE DUGAN’S 1882 VOYAGE TO FLORIDA (pdf) HERE

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A good article with pictures:

PADDLEWHEELERS ON THE ST JOHNS
c.2005 by Virginia M. Cowart  LINK HERE

(note: if the above link doesn’t work, try THIS ONE and just scroll down)

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A great collection of steamboat photographs can be found here:

UW La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photographs LINK

Specifics about the Fannie Dugan (including picture) HERE (same site)

An Ohio Pioneer Woman’s Obituary

October 16, 2009

pioneers river

From the TRIBUNE.

DIED — December 31st, 1870, Mrs. Martha Alford, re???? of Esquire R.B. Alford, late of Portsmouth. Mrs. Alford was born in Mason County, Kentucky, about the year 1797, the precise date not known. She came to Portsmouth in the spring of 1812, consequently she has resided in Portsmouth and vicinity nearly fifty-eight years.

Her father’s family emigrated from Maryland to Kentucky in 1793, while the Indians were yet prowling along the banks of the Ohio, watching for an opportunity to decoy boats within their power, so as to murder and scalp the defenceless emigrants and plunder their boats of whatever they contained. However, the boat containing the family of Griffith Jones ran the gauntlet in safety without any thing more serious happening to them than a false alarm or two and hearing an occasional war whoop or a yell from the infurate savages.

Mrs. Alford was born into the Methodist church and always lived a consistent member of that denomination, and was a truly exemplary christian mother in Israel. In order to have cicar conception of her christian character it is necessary to go back a little and see under what circumstances she became a christian.

Her father joined the Methodist church before the revolutionary war under the preaching of the first founders of Methodism in America. When such preachers as Freeborn, Garrettson and Abbott, and other of lesser note were carrying every thing before them with their powerful preaching. His house was always the preacher’s home.

A rude log cabin, perhaps it generally was, yet the weary “itinerant,” with his horse and saddle bags, always found a welcome home at the house of Griffith Jones. So that Martha, the youngest child of a large family, as was said above, was literally born into the Methodist church. As to how well she performed the duties of a christian, all those who were acquainted with her can testify.

She was twice married. The first time to a man by the name of Lodge, who died early with the consumption. She had three children by her first husband who inherited their father’s disease and all died soon after coming to maturity. She had no children by her last husband, consequently leaves no descendants.

She was the last survivor of a large family, who flourished here in the early settlement of Portsmouth. Some few of the Glovers and Joneses yet remain amongst us.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 7, 1871

Portsmouth, Ohio Happenings – 1871 – What Goes Up, Must Come Down

October 14, 2009
Market Street - 1865 - Portsmouth, Ohio

Market Street - 1865 - Portsmouth, Ohio

Image from the Portsmouth Library photograph collection.

Chronology for the City of Portsmouth for 1871 by Weeks.

1st week. Mariner stole a pig.
2d week. A landlord was married and serenaded.
3d week. The Tribune don’t believe in spirits.
4th week. The town clock froze up.
5th week. The ground hog came and went.
6th week. Several want to be postmasters.
7th week. Some more fellows want to be P.M.’s.
8th week. Only one got to be P.M.
9th week. Wharf-boat moved further down town.
10th week. Big fire in town; mush and milk supper.
11th week. The TIMES got burned out last week by that big fire.
12th week. It rained Monday.
13th week. Sheriff outruns a jail-bird and catches him.
14th week. Cards are written freely, and the weather is delightful.
15th week. People get saw-dust for the queer. Sheriff takes that chap to Columbus. He won’t run much.
16th week. Irontonians drink about all the beer in this place.
17th week. Had an earthquake along about this time somewhere.
18th week. It is May-day this week.
19th week. The schools are going ahead now.
20th week. Several fellows had been taking it straight. In swapping off with the Mayor he got boot, also. Green cucumbers are ripe now.
21st week. The Ironton Journal man blew the end out of a six inch water pipe serenading these office.
22d week. A boy tried to crawl through that pipe this week.
23d week. Getting ready for the Fourth of July.
24th week. Some more getting ready, and five dog fights.
25th week. Two potato bugs captured.
26th week. More Fourth of July coming.
27th week. A colored deck hand wouldn’t own the baby.
28th week. Looking out for circuses.
29th week. Another circus coming.
30th week. A fellow went up in a balloon. He come down again.
31st week. Another circus coming.
32d week. Going to have a ni**er show.
33d week. Another circus coming.
34th week. Look out for water melons.
35th week. The Germans didn’t deify Horton.
36th week. Bad on mosquitoes.
37th week. Its New Year’s by brevet* this time.
38th week. Mail train comes in some times.
39th week. We’ve got a live peanut roaster.
40th week. Sol Smith Russell is coming.
41st week. If ever I cease to love.
42d week. Look out for water works.
43d week. Straw pile burned.
44th week. MAIL TRAIN ON TIME.
45th week. Col. Kurney has a buffaloss.
46th week. How are you musquito?
47th week. The martins have lit out.
48th week. An old delinquent, having recovered from a sick spell, paid his subscription.
49th week. The man will have good health now.
50th week. Christmas is coming.
51st week. The compiler of this chronology begins his labors.
52d week. He completes it, and the old year lights out.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

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* From the legal dictionary at The Free Dictionary by FARLEX:

BREVET. In France, a brevet is a warrant granted by the government to authorize an individual to do something for his own benefit, as a brevet d’invention, is a patent to secure a man a right as inventor.

This definition seemed to make the most sense, given the context above.

portsmouth circus advert 1871c

The following news articles isn’t funny, but I ran across it looking for an advertisement for the Robinson Circus, and since it was mentioned in the year’s recap above, I thought I would include it here:

Balloon Ascension — The Balloon Goes Up and the Aeronaut Comes Down — A Spectator Injured.

THE balloon ascension which was announced to take place on Wednesday, in connection with Robinson’s circus, terminated in a serious accident. A large crowd was present to witness the ascension. Everything was pronounced ready and the aeronaut called out to “let go.” The balloon started with a rapid whirl, and the basket striking one of the poles used in supporting the balloon while filling, was torn from the balloon, and the aeronaut, Geo. Augenstall, was precipitated forty feet to the ground. A thrill of horror ran through the crowd, and alarm was depicted on every countenance.

He was immediately picked up and conveyed within the tent. Dr. Bing being called in, it was found that no bones were broken, though he was badly bruised.The extent of his injuries could not be ascertained, as the shock to his system was frightful, and no doubt resulted in internal injuries. He was removed to the Legler House and yesterday was taken down on the steamer Andes to Cincinnati, where he resides.

The balloon alighted near Mr. Bell’s residence, in the northeast limits of the city.

At the same time the above occurred on of the poles fell among the crowd. Several were more or less hurt, and one, a young man named George Brown, known as “Dad” Brown, was dangerously injured, the pole striking him upon the shoulder and back. He has been improving, however, and it is thought he will recover. It is a wonder several were not killed outright.

Aeronauts have an unpleasant experience at Portsmouth. Last year the one with De Haven’s circus, who made the ascension, alighted in the middle of the Ohio river and barely escaped drowning.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) July 29, 1871

One-Legged Steamer Pilot Takes a Fatal Tumble … And So Does a Riverboat Captain

October 13, 2009

Fatal Accident Last Night!

CAPT. JNO. PARSONS

Falls Down the Stairway of the Little Grand Theatre, and Receives Fatal Injuries

A DISTRESSING accident occurred last night, between the hours of ten and eleven o’clock, at the Little Grand, which will doubtless result fatally. Capt. John Parsons, pilot on the steamer Logan, who had been attending the variety theater, over the Little Grand saloon, during the acts, started to go down stairs, and having but one leg, and somewhat in his cups, stumbled and fell to the bottom, receiving spinal injuries from which his physicians, Drs. Mussey and Davidson, think he cannot recover.

A TIMES reporter found him at one o’clock this morning, in the rear of the saloon, laid out on two tables, breathing heavily and unconscious. A sympathizing crowd stood around, and every moment it looked as if he would die in a saloon before a place could be found for him at that hour of night. Dr. Davidson was still in attendance.

Parsons lives in Huntington, and has a wife and three children. He is an old steamboat pilot in the Portsmouth and Huntington trade, running on the Dugan and Scioto, but for the last two weeks on the Logan.  He built the Viola. He lost his right leg by amputation some fifteen years ago, from an injury received by a line.

River Scene - Portsmouth, Ohio

River Scene - Portsmouth, Ohio

LATER.

At twenty minutes to two, Parsons was removed to the Europa House, where he lies unconscious at this writing, with no hope of his recovery.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 1, 1879

West End View - Portsmouth, Ohio

West End View - Portsmouth, Ohio

Portsmouth Public Library (postcard collection can be found here)

1879
LOCAL CHRONOLOGY
FOR THE YEAR.

OCTOBER [excerpt]

31st. Capt. John Parsons, pilot on the steamer Logan, a one-legged man, while in an intoxicated condition, falls down the stairway of the Little Grand theatre, fracturing his skull, and causing his death the following day.

NOVEMBER.

14th. Condemnation of the Little Grand Theatre Hall.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 27, 1879

Portsmouth Times Advertisement 1870

Portsmouth Times Advertisement 1870

CAPT. LAFE SICKLES‘ new packet, James Fisk, Jr., came up Sunday, fully furnished and equipped, and took her place in her trade Monday morning. She is a beauty, being the finest finished boat of the class ever equipped at Cincinnati. She is light of draught, swift, and elegant — just the boat for the trade. Her hull was built at Concord, Ky., by Taylor & Shearer, and is 130 feet in length, 26 feet beam, 31 feet over all, and 5 feet hold. The cabin is the work of M. Wise & Co., Ironton; painting by O. Hardin, Portsmouth; landscaping by John Leslie. She has three chandeliers, brought from the East, at a cost of $130 each. Her cabin contains thirty staterooms, and on the door of each is a handsome landscape. Her skylights are made to serve a new feature in advertising, as each one contains the advertisement of some business firm along the line, and at each end of her route. The office is at the front of the cabin, and is of black walnut, and will be graced by a life-sized portrait of her commander. She was built expressly for the trade, at a cost of near $15,000, and is owned by W.P. Ripley, W.A. McFarlin, and W.L. Sickles, all of Portsmouth.

1870 Census Record - Portsmouth, Ohio

1870 Census Record - Portsmouth, Ohio

She will carry the mail between Portsmouth and Pomeroy, making three trips a week, and will be officered as follows: Captain W.L. Sickles; Clerks, W.A. McFarlin and Doc. Hurd; Pilots, John Parsons and Ed. Williamson; Engineers, Jacob Henler and Frank Neil; Mate, William Kennet.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 9, 1870

Portsmouth Times - Feb 1872

Portsmouth Times - Feb 1872

Sad Accident.

CAPTAIN W.L. SICKLES died last Saturday night under very peculiar circumstances. His wife was visiting her father, and he died alone, with nothing but the silent evidence of appearances to interpret the manner in which he died.

The bed chamber was a small one, and in one part of it was the bed, a bureau near it, and between the bureau and bed Captain Sickles had placed a chair, on which he had put a dipper of water. It appears that he had gone to bed naturally enough. His vest had been hung on a nail, the key of the door laid on the bureau, his coat hung on the back of a chair, and his pants lay on the floor.

Sunday forenoon when he was found, he lay with his face in a pool of blood, between the chair and the bureau, one leg and part of his body on the chair, and the other leg under the bed and partly on the chair, wedged between the two, the collar of his shirt sunk in his throat, producing strangulation and hemorrhage. The print of the dipper was on his leg where he had fallen on it, and the water was still in it when he was found, showing that he died in the exact position in which he fell. The following is the

VERDICT OF THE JURY.

We the undersigned jurors impanneled and sworn on the ?th day of January 1872, at the Township of Wayne in the County of Scioto ???? of ????, ?? George S. Pur?ell, Coroner……[too hard too read]….of Portsmouth, Ohio, on the 7th day of January A.D. 1872 came to his death, — after having heard the evidence and examined the body, we do find that the deceased came to his death by accidental strangulation.

THOS S. HAIL?
RALPH W. FA?DEN
J.W. ROCK?OLD
FRANKLIN ????
CHARLES C. SALSBURY,
C C ROW ??

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Feb 21, 1872

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Feb 21, 1872

THERE is a remarkable coincidence in the death of Col. Fisk and Captain Sickles. Captain Sickles had a high regard for Col. Fisk, and named his steamer after him. Col. Fisk appreciating the compliment, forwarded a handsome set of colors for the boat. Captain Sickles was found dead at about the hour Sunday forenoon that Fisk expired.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 13, 1872

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On Google Books:

The Robber Barons: The Great American Capitalists, 1861-1901
By Matthew Josephson

Page 134: Reference to James Fisk, Jr. being called the “Prince of Erie.”

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NOTE: Capt. Sickles full name was William Lafayette Sickles, based on the name variations from different sources.