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Donald J. Sanders, Capts. Shallcross,


Donald J. Sanders
A brief biography from Capt. Donald J. Sanders of the GRAND VICTORIA II.
My first boat was a single screw 55 foot houseboat named the PAL-O-MINE, owned by Walter Hoffmier of Covington, KY. Walt was the one who introduced me to the river. I was just a boy of 10, then. in 1952. My parents bought a sternwheel house boat in 1955, and they named it the MARJESS after their names, "Marge" and "Jess". I graduated from high school in 1959. About two weeks later I started my first summer season on the Steamer AVALON. I was aboard the Avalon again the following summer until she laid up for the season in November. The next year was the last year the Avalon ran, but I wasn't aboard, and regret my absence to this day. Soon after I graduated from college in 1965, I began my first year on the DELTA QUEEN as a Watchman and a Striker in the engine room. I left near the end of the year and enlisted in the US Air Force for four years. Two weeks after I was discharged in 1970, I was back on the DQ. Captain Ernest E. Wagner, the Master, asked me if I wanted to return to the engine room or "go on deck". I chose the deck, because I wanted to become the Captain of the Queen. Six months later I "sat" for my first license, and became the Mate of the DELTA QUEEN, second in command after Captain Wagner. Thirteen months later, I tested for, and received my Masters' license, and became the Alternate Master of the Queen, sharing command of the grand steamer with my mentor, Captain Wagner. In 1976 and 77, two fun-filled years were spent as Captain of the P.A. DENNY, a 100 ton sternwheel excursion boat on the Khanawa River at Charleston, WV. Leaving the DENNY, I became the First Mate of the MISSISSIPsPI QUEEN in 1978 and 79 after I tried some towboating on the M/V's J. PAGE HAYDEN, MARK EASTIN, and the POLO II for M/G Transport. I'm also proud to say that I worked for the great riverman, Captain John Beatty on his salvage boats, the CLAIRE BEATTY and the BEN FRANKLIN as a deckhand and later as a Pilot. A stint at sea on the ACADIAN VICTORY in 1979 was a thrill I'll never forget. A new idea kept me from active participation on the boats for eleven years, beginning in 1980. My bride, Peggy, and I pioneered the recycling of aluminum beverage cans in the Greater Cincinnati area. but we sold our business in 1991, and moved to beautiful Natchez, Mississippi where I awaited the first casino boat that was supposed to begin operating there, the GOLDEN LADY. This never materialized, but I was able to gain employment on their casino boat, the DIAMOND LADY in Bettendorf, Iowa. I started as a mate, and within several months, I was a Captain. When the Iowa operation came to a close, we took our boat to Biloxi, MS, where we joined our sister-boat, the EMERALD LADY. A stint as Captain of the E.L. ended when I was called to Metropolis, Illinois (where I still live), and I became the Master/ Mate of the PLAYERS RIVERBOAT CASINO I for a year and a half. One day the telephone rang, and the caller offered me a job as a Captain of a new boat being constructed on the Fox River near Chicago. in Elgin, IL. The GRAND VICTORIA I was the biggest-looking riverboat, especially floating on the tiny Fox. She was 400 feet long by 115 feet wide, and looked like a huge sidewheel railroad transport steamer, the PELICAN, I saw operating at Helena, Arkansas, back in the 50's. A year and a half later, I was offered the Senior Captain's job on the GRAND VICTORIA II, where I'll soon have four years of service completed, the last of February. Dave, generally, that's my boating career in a nutshell, but the real stories are read between the lines; the interesting characters I met "on the river" are the real tales.
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The Captains Shallcross
New_Shallcross
NEW SHALLCROSS At Howard Shipyard Click on picture to enlarge


This information is from Marion Unkle Shallcross


William D. Shallcross


Capt. William Shallcross (William D.Shallcross) was the son of John Paul
Shallcross (or John Shallcross Jr.) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Reference: To Capt. William Shallcross

Marriages and Deaths Notices of Wheeling Western, Virginia
and the Tri-state Area
1866-1870, Volume 3
By Carol A. Scott
August 1988
Colosson Press, Apollo, PA 15613,
Page 91

Shallcross, W. D. (Capt.) a former citizen of Wheeling died in
Marysville, California, 2 October 1870, 49y. He had been running
a steamboat from San Francisco to Suisin in the employ of California
Steam Navigation Co
.

WI. (The Wheeling Intelligencer) 12 October 1870
1860 CA Census, Film M653, reel 63, Page 144, Dwelling 1307, Family 1219,
Sacramento, Ward 2, Sacramento County, CA recorded June 26th., Lists
Wm D. Shellcross 32 Steamboatman born in Penn, personal estate 2000.
Wife Sara A. 30 born in Ohio.

1870 California Census, William Shallcross, Yuba County, Marysville Township,
California, Page 575


He had a nephew, William D. Shallcross (son of his brother Col. Thomas Paul
Shallcross) of Wheeling, W. Va. He died in Leavenworth County, Kansas,
Nov. 7, 1898, and was buried in Mt. Muncie Cemetery. He was not a riverboat
Capt., as far as I know, he went west to open the stage line from Wheeling
W. Va. Reference; (Ancestry.com Database: Leavenworth, County, Kansas

Henry Clay Shallcross 1842 - 1922
I do have seven steamboat licenses in the name of Henry Clay Shallcross or Henry C. Shallcross that have come down in the family records. Henry C. Shallcross was the son of Col. Thomas Paul Shallcross, too.
 Obituary in The Washington Times Saturday June 24 1922 RITES FOR 
H. C. SHALLCROSS Veteran Pilot and Stage Line Pioneer Will Be Buried Today 

Henry Shallcross piloted vessels on the Mississippi for the Union during the breaking of the blockade of Fort Henry and Donaldson. With his father and three brothers he made the first extension of the stage lines operating from Wheeling, W. VA.

In the Washingon Post same date
Veteran Pilot, Stage Line Pioneer Mississippi for breaking of blockade Fort Donaldson. With his father three brothers he made first (stage) extension lines operating from Wheeling W. Va.
About Henry C. Shallcross' pilot licences

Marion says, "The two oldest are hard to read and his name is spelled Henry C. and H. C. Shallcrof. They are dated 7th of Jany. 1861, and the the year 1864, the month and date are too hard to read to make a positive identification. Both of these Engineer's Certificates are from Inspectors for the District of Cinncinnati. The oldest one is a license for and Engineer and the other for a Second Engineer of Steam Boats. "The next ones are for 1882 -through 1890, and they are license for First Engineer and the Chief H. P. Engineer, and are from Local Inspectors of Steamboats for the District of Wheeling. On the first license his name is Henry Schallcross and on the others his name is Henry C. Shallcross. "The last is 17 June 1913 and it is from United States Local Inspectors, Steam Boat Inspection Service for the district of Pittsburgh, Pa. and the license is to act as Chief Engineer on non condensing river steam vessels. On these his name is Henry C. Shallcross "Henry Clay Shallcross was born in 1842 and died in 1922 so he must have gotten his first license at the age of 19 and his last one three years before he died at the age of 80 years."

 

Shallcross Licences. Click on picture to enlarge

New_Shallcross

 

New_Shallcross

Shallcross boats: JOHN SHALLCROSS, NEW SHALLCROSS

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Capt Edward Tyler "E. T." Sturgeon Jul. 12, 1817 - Jul. 6, 1884
My thanks to Gaye J. Hill at GenDisasters.com for the following information
 Louisville Daily Journal
Louisville, Jefferson County, KY Thursday 19 April 1860

It will be remembered that the steamer Diana lately broke her shaft, and that in the fall of a portion of the immense iron mass two deckhands were killed.
This unavoidable accident was the first one that had ever occurred to Capt. E. T. Sturgeon in his long river experience, as he never before had a loss of life on boat under his command.
The general carelessness which is shown in similar cases, and the almost universal practice of placing dead bodies in rough boxes and shoving them into the bank on the river's edge, to be exhumed at the next rise of the water, are well known.
The conduct of Capt. Sturgeon, on this occasion, was in marked and favorable contrast.
He had neat coffins made for the two unfortunate men, and having landed his boat, he buried them with all proper decency, he himself reading the burial service of the Potestant Eposcopal Church over them.
This shows the worthy Captain is a christian, and will tend to increase the respect and confidence the public already entertains for him.

Louisville Daily Journal
Louisville, Jefferson County, KY Monday 23 April 1860
A CARD
The undersigned, passengers on the Steamer DIANA during her recent trip from New Orleans to Louisville(KY), take great pleasure in voluntarily testifying to the uniform courtesy and kindness of her Officers.
Our thanks are especially due to Capt. E. T. Sturgeon and his efficient clerks, Messers. O. L. Smith, Forsee, and Woods.
In reference to the accident which occurred on the 16th instant to the Diana, we assure the public that it could not in our opinion have been forseen or guarded against by any of its officers.
It was one of that class of accidents which even the extremest caution and watchfullness could not have prevented.
This opinion we have voluntarily expressed in justice to the officers of the Diana.
And we hesitate not to express the further opinion that no more safe or comfortable boat can be found on the Western waters than the Diana, controlled as she is by a captain and other officers whose vigilance, prudence, and attention to the wants of passengers are unsurpassed. (A list of 46 people followed)

 


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