My name is Kent Steinke. I live in Kansas City, Missouri. For several years now I have been writing a historical narrative about events that happened on the Nebraska frontier in territorial days, based on the story of my great-great-great grandparents.

In the phase of the story that I am now writing I am trying to put together a narrative of a vanished Nebraska river town which was called Rockport. Rockport was four miles north of Florence, Nebraska, and about eight land miles from De Soto, just north of the Washington County line. No-one has ever put together a narrative of Rockport, and so I am having to do intensive research in untapped and often [previously] unknown sources, piecing this part of my book together line by line and fragment by fragment.

Rockport was (as the name sounds) for at least a few years an important Missouri River steamboat landing. So, here's an idea I came up with. If I can track down every extant diary of steamboat captains, clerks, mates, pilots, deck hands, etc. I would likely be able to find references to when they stopped at Rockport, or when they picked up cargo and passengers there.

In the process of exploring this I was informed that there is no central respository for diaries of members of steamboat crews, or passenger manifests, that generally these are scattered in various museums, without much organization. Either that or still in private hands.

Here's what I need. If anyone who reads this is aware of the existence of a primary source document from a Missouri River steamboat (particularly one that in its travels passed by DeSoto, Florence, Omaha) I would like to know of the existence of this document. To anyone who reads this I give my permission to share my contact information with any pertinent person who might be able to assist.


Ivan Kent Steinke
5123 East Truman Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64127