Osceola, AR Area Steamer MARY E. POE Destroyed, Oct 1873



Memphis, Oct. 18. -- Ten miles above Osceola, Ark., on the Mississippi River, above Memphis, at 4 P. M. yesterday, the freight and passenger steamer Mary E. Poe was discovered to be on fire near the boilers. The flames had gained such headway that she was run on a bar, but the deck passengers were forced to swim for their lives. The clerk reports that there were sixty-five persons on board, of whom the chamber-maid, one cabin boy, one cabin passenger, two female and one male deck passengers, are missing. The pilot, HANS COWAN, was badly burned before he left his post. Several passengers were also badly burned, but none seriously. The Mary E. Poe was a large stern-wheel St. Louis and Red River Carter Line freight carrier.

The steamer City of Helena arrived at the scene soon after the disaster and rendered all the assistance possible. She brought the survivors to this city.

The clerk of the boat, John W. Poe, leaves for St. Louis this afternoon. At the time of the disaster the ill-fated steamer was on her down-river trip.

The steamer Mary E. Poe, reported burned at Dinell's Point yesterday, was owned in St. Louis, Mo., and was valued at $30,000. She was insured for $20,000, of which $6,000 is in Cincinnati, $5,000 in St. Louis, and the remainder unknown. The Poe left St. Louis on Sunday with twenty passengers and 800 tons of freight, valued at about $75,000. Her freight list was insured for $4,500. Among the cargo were seventy-five barrels of oil, which bursted, spreading over the surface of the water in sheets of flame, by which many were burned after leaving the boat.

The New York Times New York 1873-10-19