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IWC/Upper Mississippi Barge Line

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865
Default IWC/Upper Mississippi Barge Line

Amplifying on the THORPE/VERITY thread:
First of all, the S.S. THORPE was named for Samuel S. Thorpe, who was the first president of the Upper Mississippi Barge Line. When the boat was sold to American Rolling Mills Co (later named Armco Steel), it was renamed GEO. M. VERITY to honor the founder and first president of Armco.
Now, to the history of the THORPE and its 3 sister boats:
Federal Barge Lines was started in 1919 and worked the lower river. In 1924 the Inland Waterways Corp. (IWC) was formed to take over management of FBL. In 1925, the Upper Mississippi Barge Line was organized, and in 1927 the IWC and UMBL got a contract together to build 4 steam sternwheel towboats for use on the UMR. UMBL was to build them, and the IWC would lease them. They were built at Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works. Launched in this order were: C.C. WEBBER, S.S. THORPE, JOHN W. WEEKS, GENERAL ASHBURN. The THORPE was the first one in operation. In 1928 the IWC took them over, and they became part of the FBL.
As Capt. Bill Judd pointed out in the other thread, the configuration of the Texas and pilothouses changed over the years.
Pix 1 shows the C.C. WEBBER in her early years, minus a Texas but with a large pilothouse.
Pix 2 shows the C.C. later with a Texas and a resized pilothouse.
Pix 3 shows the remains of the C.C. in 1981 when Keith and I found her on our UMR safari. She was reposing near the river in the Mississippi Palisades area near Savanna Illinois. She had obviously been altered as her owner was planning to open her as a hotel (sound vaguely familiar PREZDQ), but that never happened. What happened to her after 1981 I don't know.
The C.C. WEBBER was named after an advocate of UMR improvements from Minneapolis. In 1947 she was sold to Hatfield-Campbell Creek Coal Co. and renamed ELLEN HATFIELD.
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