Mound City, IL Steamboat MONONGAHELA BELLE Explosion, Nov 1857


A correspondent of the Louisville Courier gives the following particulars of the disaster to the Monongahela Belle.

MOUND CITY, Ill. Nov. 11, 1857.
Editors Louisville Courier – Our citizens were astounded this evening, by the intelligence that the Monongahela Belle, a small steamboat, running between Columbus and the Coal Mines, had blown up.
Feeling some anxiety to know the particulars in regard to the accident, we gained the following:
The Monongahela Belle is owned by WILLIAM & JNO. NELSON, of Hickman, and runs between the above points. When at about noon of to-day, (Saturday) as she was ascending the river quietly, and disregardless of dangers, her starboard boiler exploded, blowing JNO. NELSON from the hurricane deck down to the fore part of the lower deck, badly bruising and scalding him. He was struck just above the eye, by a piece of iron kettle, from the cook-room, leaving an indelible impression.
The cook was blown through the cook-room into the river, and was rescued from a watery grave by the life-boat.
Two of the firemen (white men) were so dreadfully scalded and blackened that it was difficult for some time to determine whether they were black or white.
W. NELSON, who was at the wheel, escaped unhurt.
The B. Belle, which was near, promptly went to her aid, the officers rendering every assistance in their power to render their condition comfortable.
The cook and firemen were taken on board of the E. H. Fairchild, lying at Columbus, and carried on to the hospital at Paducah.
MR. NELSON returned to Hickman.
The accident is supposed to have been occasioned by the water in the boilers getting too low.
The loss will be about two thousand dollars, the fore cabin, pilot house, and chimneys having been blown away.
The accident occurred three miles from Columbus, near the chalk banks.

Philadelphia Press Pennsylvania 1857-11-25