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"Jacob D. Early," Capt. Edward Hollister, Alton, IL

 
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:15 AM
 
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Default "Jacob D. Early," Capt. Edward Hollister, Alton, IL

I am searching for an image of the steamboat “Jacob D. Early.” It burned in 1858 from an accident. One of the owners of the boat was Capt. Edward Hollister. He salvaged the boat and used part of the railing for rails on the second floor balcony of the house he built in 1860. I now live in the house and would love to find anything that showed the railings on the boat to see if they were indeed used on the house as I was told.

Or perhaps there was a known type of railings used during that period of time? Would an expert in steamboats recognize this railing as something that would have been on a steamboat if I post a picture?

ALTON - THE BURNING OF THE JACOB D. EARLY STEAMBOAT

Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 6, 1858

Last night about ten o'clock, a light in the upper end of the city raised an alarm of fire; when, proceeding in that direction, it was discovered that the steamboat, Jacob D. Early, which has been laid up for several weeks, a short distance above town, was on fire. By the time the firemen reached the ground she was too far gone to permit a hope of saving her. They, however, did good service by driving the fire back from her lines, and thus preventing her burning loose from the shore and floating past the city, by which much damage might have been done, as the wind set to the Illinois shore, and there were several boats at the levee. The flames spread rapidly at first, and in a short time the hurricane roof fell in and the boat was completely enveloped in flames. Although it was impossible to extinguish the fire, yet the firemen were able to keep it subdued and prevent its communication with the timber on shore. She burned rather slowly, but the fire did not cease until it had reached the water's edge. Jacob D. Early was five years old, valued at eight thousand dollars, was owned by Captain Hollister and others, and was insured in Cincinnati for five thousand dollars. The origin of the fire is not known. It was first discovered in the roof of the chambermaid's room, and it is thought it may have caught from the sparks from some passing boat. The boat had just been undergoing repairs at St. Louis at an expense of two thousand dollars. The books, papers, and everything of a combustible nature on board of her was lost. It is thought that the hull will be saved though in a damaged condition. The Pioneer Company are entitled to much credit for their promptness, and the untiring energy with which they labored to check the flames. They were the only company of the ground, and were instrumental in preventing much damage. The Washington Company, owing to the great distance at which their engine house is located from the scene of the conflagration, were late in reaching the scene. The Hook and Ladder Company, though out with their usual promptness, were unable to pass through a narrow passage in the road with their carriage, and had to leave it behind. The company went on however, and did efficient service. Additional in Regard to the Burning of the "Jacob D. Early:" We are happy to learn that the hull of this ill-fated boat was but little, if at all, damaged; the deck being burned through in one or two places only, and the boilers and shafts are still standing. This result - a very rare occurrence in steamboat fires - is owing entirely to the steady efforts and hard work of our Fire Department, the member of which, for four hours, fought the flames inch by inch, and finally conquered them. Had the burning boat escaped from its fastenings and drifted past our levee, the damage which would have been done can scarcely be estimated.
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