Setting Up River Traffic

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Re: Setting Up River Traffic

Post  Old Salt on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:15 pm

When the counties of Cowley, Sedgwick and Sumner were settled, about 1870, the question of steamboat navigation on the Arkansas became one of interest to the settlers, who were desirous of finding an outlet to market. In the fall of 1875 A. W. Berkey and A. C. Winton of Cowley county built a flat-boat at Arkansas City and loaded it with flour, which they took down the river and sold at Little Rock, Ark. Upon their return a stock company was formed for the purchase of a steamboat. A light draft boat was bought and it ascended the river nearly to Fort Gibson, when the engines were found to be of insufficient power to stem the current. In the summer of 1878 W. H. Speer and Amos Walton built a flat-boat 50 feet long and 16 feet wide, equipped it with a 10 horse-power thresher engine, and with this novel craft made several trips up and down the river for a distance of 60 miles from Arkansas City while the water was at a low stage.

Through correspondence, the business men of Little Rock were induced to send a boat on trial trip to Kansas. The boat selected was the Aunt Sally, which had been built for the bayou cotton trade of Arkansas. She arrived at Arkansas City on June 30, 1878, and the officers of the boat expressed the opinion that a boat built especially for the purpose could make regular trips up and down the river at all seasons of the year. Thus encouraged, McCloskey Seymore had the Cherokee built at Arkansas City. This boat was launched on Nov. 6, 1878; was 85 feet long, 22 feet wide; and had a draught when loaded to the guards of only 16 inches. Other steamers that were built for the Arkansas river trade were the Gen. Miles, the Necedah and the Nonesuch. But, before the commerce of the Arkansas river was fully established, the railroad came, and the certainty of railroad traffic, when compared with the difficulties attending that of the river, made the operation of the steamboats unprofitable. However, as late as 1884 a steamboat called the Kansas Millers was built for the trade. This was the last attempt at steam navigation of the Arkansas, though some flatboats and barges continued to transport wheat and flour down the river until the railroad lines were more fully developed.

Pages 557-559 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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Setting up river traffic

Post  Admin on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:21 pm

Old Salt wrote:Keelboats were usually from 40 to 80 feet long, with a 15 to 20 foot beam. They were "cigar-shaped," i. e. pointed at each end after the manner of the pirogue of the French or Canadian voyageur.

Keelboats had a carrying capacity of 15 to 50 tons, but usually less than 30 tons. Construction of a keelboat cost from $2,000 to $3,000 each when manufactured in the early 1800’s.

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Very interesting! Great information to have. Thanks!
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setting up river traffic

Post  Old Salt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:52 am

Keelboats were usually from 40 to 80 feet long, with a 15 to 20 foot beam. They were "cigar-shaped," i. e. pointed at each end after the manner of the pirogue of the French or Canadian voyageur.

Keelboats had a carrying capacity of 15 to 50 tons, but usually less than 30 tons. Construction of a keelboat cost from $2,000 to $3,000 each when manufactured in the early 1800’s.

The Old Salt
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Re: Setting Up River Traffic

Post  Admin on Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:17 pm

Old Salt wrote:That is a farmer for you. If one way don't work,they will find another. How much grain or hay or other crops would a keelboat hold? Sharon

Not sure...old salt would have a better idea than I.
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keelboat

Post  Old Salt on Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:20 am

That is a farmer for you. If one way don't work,they will find another. How much grain or hay or other crops would a keelboat hold? Sharon
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Setting Up River Traffic

Post  Admin on Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:23 pm

In the time between 1870-1880 the railroad ceased to run to Wichita, so the farmers had to find a way to transport their crops. During this time, one of the methods for transporting crops was to ship them down to Arkansas Post on a river boat. At first, two young men from the community built a raft to test the water to see if it could be done. Next, a keelboat was taken. They would ride to Arkansas Post and ride horses back up the river to town. Eventually, people began to test the Steam boats to see if they could make it up the Arkansas River and to the Walnut. They finally did and many of them came to town. This expedited the shipment of crops for some time.
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