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Glen Park, Missouri

City of Saltillo Wreck

May 11, 1910

CHIVALRY CAUSED WOMEN TO DROWN

Twelve Lives Lost From Saltillo, of Whom Six Were Victims of Heroism

Fatalities in River Steamer Accident Due, Says Captain, to Hurrying Passengers Ashore

ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 12.
--Chivalry that allowed women passenger to precede the men in leaving the river steamer Saltillo last night when the boat ran on a rock at Glen Park, Mo., cost the lives of five women and a baby and saved the gallant men, according to a statement made tonight by Captain Crane, of the Saltillo.

Of the six men drowned, five were shipmen, who lost their lives in aiding passengers to escape. Captain Crane said that the loss of life was due to the mistake of ordering the passengers to hurry from the sinking boat when it was near land.

"It was a bad mistake," he said. "Had we made the passengers wait a minute before trying to cross the gangplank, none would have been drowned. We let the women go first, which was worse.

"At the time the order was given, however, no human power could tell that the boat was not going to roll over in the river and drown every soul on board. It is easy to look back and see what we might have done."

D. J. Caraghen, second mate, said the alarm on the boat was greatly increased by the cry of fire. Flames were seen to shoot up from the furnaces, but the fire was extinguished by the water when the vessel listed.

Smoke from a lime kiln on the bank and high water prevented the pilot from keeping in the channel. The boat struck a submerged rock. In backing off the vessel turned around. The steamer tonight is on its side almost against the bank.

The boat carried twenty-seven passengers, mostly women and children, and a crew of thirty. She left St. Louis at 7 o'clock with a heavy cargo, including cattle and live stock, and the voyage was considered precarious because of the great amount of driftwood floating in the river due to the annual spring rise.

When the vessel struck the rock and sank in twenty feet of water the greatest confusion prevailed. The noise of rending timbers, shrieks of women and children and the bellowing of the cattle mingled with the cries of the crew.

Passengers and members of the crew clung to the timbers, while those more fortunate lent their aid immediately to the rescue of the helpless. The rescued were taken to the Glencoe Company's boarding house.

Glen Park is merely a river landing without wire facilities. Therefore, Captain Crane after his escape from the river walked two miles to the nearest telephone station and sent the news to St. Louis and to DeSoto. Rescue trains with physicians and relief supplies were sent out this morning.

The Coroner adjourned the inquest until tomorrow in order to summon witnesses.

The "City of Saltillo" was built at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1892 and was 200 feet long, 37 feet wide, and drew six and a half feet. At the time of the accident she was bound for Waterloo, Alabama, on the Tennessee River.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 13 May 1910.

       


NEARLY SCORE PERISH WHEN STEAMER LANDS ON HIDDEN A ROCK

Terrible Disaster Last Night on the Mississippi River Near St. Louis. Two Dead Bodies Have Been Recovered and Eleven Missing Are Believed to Be Dead.

St. Louis, May 12.
-- Two women passengers were drowned and eleven other persons missing are believed to have lost their lives in the Mississippi river when the packet City of Saltillo struck a rock and foundered in reach of shore at Glen Park, 24 miles south of St. Louis, last night. The dead:

RHEA, Miss Ann, Nashville, Tenn., body recovered.
RHEA, Mrs. Isaac T., Nashville, Tenn., body recovered.

The missing and believed dead:
BAKER, S. C., first clerk of the steamer.
HARRIS, Mrs. Joseph, Nashville, Tenn.
PATTERSON, Mrs. Archie, Chester, Ill., and her two-year-old son.
PICKERTT, Wm. J., salesman, St. Louis, Mo.
POST, Fowler, third clerk.
WALL, Miss Lena, Nashville, Tenn.
Head porter, cabin boy and two roustabouts.

Captain Harry Crane, in command of the boat and one of the survivors, announced this morning after checking up the passenger list that it was almost certain those reported missing were dead.

The boat carried 27 passengers, most of whom were women and children, and a crew of 30. She left St. Louis at 7 o'clock with a heavy cargo, including a number of cattle and the voyage was considered precarious because of the great amount of driftwood floating in the river due to the annual spring rise.

The two known dead were the wife and daughter of Isaac T. Rhea, president of the St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet company, owners of the boat. Mrs. Rhea was dragged from the water alive, but died within an hour. The body of Miss Ann Rhea was not recovered.

Miss Louise Rhea, another daughter, escaped.

They were enroute to their home in Nashville after visiting friend in St. Louis.

Glen Park, the scene of the accident, is a river landing, almost inaccessible to telegraph lines, and the news of the disaster came to St. Louis in a round-about way from Kimmswick and Sulphur Springs.

Shortly before reaching Glen Park the vessel encountered a shoreward draw, which was fought frantically by the pilots. The engines were reversed, but the efforts to prevent the collision were unavailing. As the big boat swung from the current on shore, despite the reversed engines and the rudder thrown hard over, she was driven with increasing speed toward land and turned completely around.

With the noise of rending timbers and the shrieks of women and children passengers, the cries of the crew and the bellowing of the cattle, the vessel struck a hidden rock and sank almost in reach of land, at a point where the water was 20 feet deep.

Passengers and members of the crew clung to the timbers, while those more fortunate lent their aid immediately to the rescue of the helpless. The majority of the passengers were in their cabins. The collision came so suddenly, they were plunged into the water before they knew what had happened.

Captain Crane of St. Louis, after his escape from the river, made his way a distance of two miles to the nearest telephone station and telephoned the news to St. Louis and to De Soto. Rescue trains with physicians and relief supplies were sent to the scene this morning.

As soon as occupants of the steamer were dragged to shore they were taken to the Glencoe company's boarding house, where they were sheltered and warmed. Many of the fainting women and men of the party had to be revived with stimulants.

At the river's brink the work of attempted rescue was made disheartening. Sometimes an alert rescuer perched on shore and scanning the dark waters would spring into the waves for a supposed struggler, only to find his goal was the floating end of a water-logged tree.

The City of Saltillo was built at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1892, and was 200 feet long, 37 feet wide and drew six and a half feet. The tonnage was 372.

The vessel is entered in the government bureau of navigation as a passenger boat. It was bound for Waterloo, Ala., on the Tennessee River.

It was ascertained this morning beyond any question that all people reported as missing had been drowned. The river is being dragged by the crew of the wrecked boat.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 12 May 1910

Transcribed by Jackie Harral.  Thanks Jackie!

       

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