Grand Tower, IL (Off) Steamer LA MASCOTTE Explodes Boilers, Oct 1886



St. Louis, Oct. 5. -- The steamer La Mascotte, plying between this city and Cape Girardeau, Mo., on the Mississippi River, exploded her boilers at noon to-day at Neely's Landing, a few miles below Grand Tower, Ill. There being no telegraph or telephone communication with Neely's Landing, nothing was known here of the disaster until 7 o'clock this evening, when the towboat Eagle arrived at Cape Girardeau with a number of dead and wounded passengers from the La Mascotte. The boat was owned in Evansville, Ind., and was valued at $30,000.

Cape Girardeau, Mo., Oct. 5. -- The towboat Eagle arrived here at 5 o'clock this evening, having on board 35 of the passengers and crew of the steamer La Mascotte, which exploded at Neely's Landing. She also brought down the bodies of three children and one woman, victims of the disaster. It is thought that between 18 and 22 lives were lost, but only a partial list is obtainable at present, that passenger register being missing. The following, however, are among those believed to be dead:
Judge WILLIAM HAGER and wife, of this county.
MRS. WILLIAM H. WHEELER and two children.
FRITZ LIND, son of THEOBOLD LIND, all of this city.
CHARLES ANSEL, (colored.)
The bodies of three children and one of the chambermaids were recovered.
Capt. EBAUGH, of the Eagle, says his boat was in sight when the explosion occurred and that he rendered all the assistance possible, and rescued about 35 persons. He thinks there were others saved and cared for by the people on shore. The La Mascotte burned to the water's edge, floated down and lodged at the shore about a mile below Willard's Landing. Norhing definite can be learned as to the cause of the disaster.

Chicago, Oct. 5. -- The Daily News (Cairo, Ill.,) special says the disaster occurred at Apple Creek, six miles below Grand Tower, and that after the explosion the steamer burned.

The New York Times New York 1886-10-06


Additional Particulars.
Among the persons known to be lost are:
The wife and two little girls of W. H. WHEELER, a bookkeeper in the Cape Girardeau and Southwestern Railway office at Cape Girardeau.
JUDGE WILLIAM HAGAR, presiding Judge of the Cape Girardeau County Court, and his wife.
MISS AMELIA KRUGER, of Cape Girardeau.
J. RAY PERKINS, of Evansville, Ind., first clerk of the steamer.
MISS JULIA ROBECK, of Cape GIrardeau.
The head engineer and one chambermaid; their bodies have not been recovered.
MISS LENA BUEHRMAN, of St. Louis, was rescued, but was badly burned.
Pilot HENRY GEAREAU was injured by a fender striking him in the right side.
The crew injured:
D. S. DAVIDSON, carpenter, badly scalded around head, neck, throat, arms, and legs, and will probably die.
LEW J. ADAMS, second mate, of Rochester, Penn., was scalded all over and died this morning.
MAC SHEARER, deck hand, of No. 4 Public Landing, Cincinnati, and brother of Capt. SHEARER, steamboat agent at Cincinnati, was severely scalded all over and died this morning.
JOE SIMMONS, a scrub boy of St. Louis, was blistered by fire about the face and right arm; chances for recovery are good.
The roustabouts are:
GEORGE KEYWOOD, Nashville; MARSHALL HODEN, Walnut Hill, Tenn.; JACK FINNEGAN, St. Louis; WILLIAM JONES, St. Louis; THOMAS LACY, St. Louis; J. HENRY GORDON, Evansville; WILL DAVIS, of Midway, Ky.; ALBERT RICE, Cape Girardeau; LEVI CHATMAN, Paducah, Ky.; WILLIAM SPARTSELL, Evansville; DALLAS WEBSTER, Evansville. They were all severely and seriiously scalded, except SPARTSELL and WEBSTER. The first named six are now dead and several of the others are liable to die.
The EAGLE also had on board the bodies on one white woman and two children, supposed to be a MRS. BARNES, of Puxico, Mo. Her husband is now at Neely's Landing, and burned on face and hands.
A number of people were rescued from the water by a farmer from the Illinois shore with a skiff. The pilots, J. J. HANDLAN and H. GEARAU, were in the pilothouse, and GEARAN came down when he heard the explosion, supposing a steampipe had burst, but on seeing the fire he ran to the head of the stairs and commenced to throw life floats down to the passengers, requesting them to put them on. Capt. THOMSON, when he realized that the boat was on fire, tried to get to the life boat, but was deterred by fire. RAY PERKINS, the first clerk, is supposed to have sacrificed his life in trying to save the money of the boat, as he jumped off of the forecastle with a life float and swam a short time before sinking. CHARLES GIVINS, a Welshman, jumped at the same time as PERKINS and was rescued, but was severely burned while in the water by the flames from the boat. He is able to be around and will soon be well.
The MASCOTTE was the fleetest boat going out of St. Louis south and easily made 12 miles an hour going up-stream. The first accident she met with was the one that caused her destruction. Her second engineer, E. B. HILL, of this city, had just made his second trip on her. He was formerly on the ROBERT DODDS, of the Schulenburg and Boekeler Lumber Company. MESSRS, DOWLAND & PERKINS, of Evansville, the owners of the ill-fated steamer, reached the city last night by rail just in time to hear of the disaster. They came here to attend the fair and parade of the Veiled Prophet, and had intended to go out on the steamer to-night. They left the city at midnight directly after hearing of the disaster.
MR. PERCY PERKINS, a brother of RAY PERKINS, the chief clerk of the boat, came over from Evansville to take a trip on her, and as nothing has been heard of him he is supposed to be missing. Col. FRANK B. MONTGOMERY, traffic manager of the Gilbert-Nesbett Company, received a telegram this morning from Capt. J. B. THOMSON, commander of the MASCOTTE. The telgram places the number of missing and supposed to be lost at 35. The boat carried an insurance of $15,000 in Evansville and Louisville companies, and was valued at between $28,000 and $30,000.

The New York Times New York 1886-10-07