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    O.F. Shearer & Sons

    Hi all,
    I have a photo of the Oliver C. Shearer towboat from the late 1960s. The company name on the boat is O.F. Shearer & Sons. Would anyone know when or where this company was/is based?
    Thank you.
    Emily (part of the "under 40" crowd trying to learn some towboat history)
    Last edited by Emily White; 12-22-2006, 11:57 AM.

    #2
    It was my pleasure to know "Captain Bert Shearer" when I worked on the P A Denny in Charleston WV. I have heard he passed away. You will get real good feedback here, and I will read it as well.

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      #3
      A steam predecessor to the boat in your picture was the O.F. SHEARER. It was a sternwheel towboat built in 1919 at Dravo Neville Island PA and named the VICTORY. It was renamed in 1940 when bought by O.F. Shearer & Sons to tow between Kanawha River and Cincinnati. She was retired and dismantled at Cedar Grove, WV in 1951(Way's Towboat Directory). Capt. Bert Shearer was the longtime leader of the Upper Ohio Chapter of S&D, most of whose members lived in the Point Pleasant WV area. Listings of towboats in the 1966 Reflectors show the headquarters for O.F. Shearer to be in Winchester, KY. Surely one of our Ohio/Kanawha River posters can give you more info.

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        #4
        O.F. Shearer and Sons began operations on the Kentucky River. Capt. O. F. Shearer and son OCapt. Oliver C. Shearer had homes in the Winchester, Ky. area, also some land based business interests. By the 1950' s O.F. Shearer & Sons offices were located in the Union Central Tower in Cincinnati. The river operations were mainly based in Cedar Grove, WV. In 1973 the firm was sold to the American Electric Power Co. and became its river division. Today AEP and its sister company Memco Barge Lines are major players in the inland river industry. Tons of written stories abound about the Shearer family and their boats. Most, if not all, of the company records are in the care of the Pt. Pleasant, WV River Musuem. The magazine "Reflector" published by the S & D is chock full of Shearer stories.

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          #5
          O. F. III

          O.F. "Butch" Shearer III from Winchester and I went to Eastern Ky. U., away back when, and I always had the idea that he was going to keep away from the river and not follow in the family tradition, but just a few years ago I was talking to a line-boat pilot, and we traded names. When he said, "Oliver Shearer," I asked what ever happened to "Butch", and he replied, "I am he." So we rekindled an old friendship from as far back as the AVALON days. Here is another generation of Shearer pilots, though since retired from the pilothouse, that most folks don't know about.

          His uncle, the more well-known, Captain Bert, was my relief pilot on the DENNY before Cap'ns Tony Harrison, Tom Cook, Todd Mace, and Tom Price earned their Master's tickets; all too late to give me a day off. Bert Shearer, without a doubt, was one of the finest pilots of his day, and he could whip anyone in Snake Harbor when it came to chucking the eye of a line over a timberhead.
          Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 12-22-2006, 06:49 PM.

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            #6
            Also add to that list of Shearers now on the river, Capt. David Shearer of Boonesboro, Ky. a long time pilot for AEP and now semi-retired doing trip work. David also is a leading advocate for re-opening the Kentucky River. David is the son of Capt. Oliver C. Shearer. Also Ed Shearer, probably the foremost naval architect in the industry. Ed is the son of Capt. Bert Shearer.

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              #7
              Does anyone know where the Shearer naval architect firm is located? Do they have an office in Louisville?

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                #8
                Shearer & Associates address is P.O. Box 9576 Metaire, La. 70055. Ed Shearer has always had his office in New Orleans. They also have an office in Houston.

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                  #9
                  Thanks everyone for all the great information. Reading the posts at Steamboats.org is just like stepping into a time machine. So many interesting people, places, and boats! I feel fortunate to at least get a glimpse into the past.

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                    #10
                    Ed and his wife moved to Houston after Katrina. He still has his N.O. ofice, but is living in Houston now.

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                      #11
                      Lelia C. Shearer

                      The LELIA C. SHEARER, built in 1956 by Hillman Barge, was my favorite Shearer boat. When she came out, all the talk on the river was about this pride of the fleet, named for, I believe, the matriarch of that renowned river clan. The LELIA C.'s over-sized smoke stacks set her apart from most other boats, but recently I saw a towboat I did not recognize, and when the IRR was consulted, it was the LC, but wearing a different set of stacks. Who knows the name, now, of that former flagship of the O. F. Shearer fleet? I've forgotten.

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                        #12
                        Happy New Year Sam: I told you fellas at the shipyard to stay out of the anti-freeze barrel last night !!! The Shearer boat with the big stacks that looked like they belonged on an ocean liner was the Oliver C. Shearer. Both the Oliver C. Shearer and the Lelia C. Shearer still carry their original names, but now belong to Campbell Transportation out of Pittsburgh.

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                          #13
                          HNY to All....

                          Oh, Cap'n Billy, if only it was so easy, but these lips have not imbibed from the barrel, or elsewhere for that matter, for twenty-five years come next month. Still, I swear I DID look up a mysterious-looking boat in the 2006 IRR, and it did say say that it was the former LCS. Maybe I should have a snort.

                          HAPPY NEW YEAR from the RABBIT HASH SHIPYARD. Will be heading to the Alabama yard for several days aboard our new workboat, the YWB-1041 NEW DAY.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Tom Price View Post
                            It was my pleasure to know "Captain Bert Shearer" when I worked on the P A Denny in Charleston WV. I have heard he passed away. You will get real good feedback here, and I will read it as well.
                            I worked with Bert also do you know me??? Michael harper

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Shipyard Sam View Post
                              The LELIA C. SHEARER, built in 1956 by Hillman Barge, was my favorite Shearer boat. When she came out, all the talk on the river was about this pride of the fleet, named for, I believe, the matriarch of that renowned river clan. The LELIA C.'s over-sized smoke stacks set her apart from most other boats, but recently I saw a towboat I did not recognize, and when the IRR was consulted, it was the LC, but wearing a different set of stacks. Who knows the name, now, of that former flagship of the O. F. Shearer fleet? I've forgotten.
                              It was the Oliver C Shearer and I worked on the Lelia and Mike Shearer's daughter is named Lelia after the grand mother Lelia she was a kind and wonderful woman.

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