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Capt. Volney E. "Stogie" White

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    I'm familiar with that pic, Jim. And as far as the yard work goes, I've got Walt on that this afternoon after school. However, I thought I'd replace a burned out coach light on the garage. How long? About 2.5 hours -- buy 2 pieces of glass, 2 bulbs, clean out dead bugs, clean the glass that was not broken, etc., etc. Now I'M gonna relax!


      "Rat Trap" band(s) vs. professional musicians

      I'm bored sitting waiting dockspace on the Illinois River, and going through old posts on In reading this thread, I have come up with another history question I hope y'all can answer.

      We see the Rat Trap band in pictures here with the boat's officers doing double duty as band members. I know this was a hold-over from packet boat days and all pretty informal and just fun for most. My question: when did the Greene Line make the transition from somewhat amateur-ish music on the boat(s) to professional musicians? I've read about Harmon Mize and "Happy" Briscoe, two early entertainers on the DELTA QUEEN in the 1950's and 60's. Of course in the 1970's, Vic Tooker and his mom and pop reigned supreme, along with many others: Sheik Coyle, Syl Lafata, Bert Peck among others. Even in the 1970's the Tookers and Mariam Edgar put on "Steamboat Mellerdramas" with various crew members joining as players. Of course we know about professional bands on the big excursion boats.

      When did the transition from fill-ins to professionals take place on the overnight boats? Did the Eagle Packet Co. use pros on the GOLDEN EAGLE when she was in tourist service, or did they just "wing it" as far as entertainment was concerned? How about the CINCINNATI before that venture folded?


        Many years back the REFLECTOR published a picture of the orchestra on the CITY OF LOUISVILLE on one of her Mardi Gras trips. The floating palaces of the 1870's had orchestras aboard. Seems like music drew passengers pretty much throughout the steamboat era. Mrs. Howard used to mention the all female band on the Str. CALHOUN. The GORDON C. GREENE had a band as did the DQ in her early days. The trouble was getting musicians who would stay on the boat not the desire to have professional musicians on board.
        Picture is the band on the GOLDEN EAGLE and I believe the piano player is a young Happy Briscoe...she was aboard that fatefull night when the boat hit the dike and sank in 1947.
        Attached Files


          Henrietta Uxa was the longtime piano player aboard the GOLDEN EAGLE and Hortense "Horty" Wilder was the hostess. The late Marga Finger, who was aboard that fateful night in 1947 when the "GOLDIE" sank at Grand Tower Island, said that Henrietta played and Horty led singing as the passengers filed off the sinking boat. A chair was brought out for Capt. Buck Leyhe, who was a guest on that first trip under new owners and, by daylight, Capt. Buck (who was a BIG man) was sitting with his legs almost straight out as the chair had sunk into the soft river mud! When daylight arrived, Marga Finger, who lived to be 101, took wonderful pictures of the sunken steamboat and of the passengers as they waited to be rescued. The towboat LINDA CHOTIN came by and took the refugees off the island. Truly a night to remember!


            hi all

            I have been struggling to identify the maiden sir name of Stogies's wife. must have at least 20 hours in the search. She is Ann C Bennett according to a entry in his burial records. From the 1940 St Louis census she was born in Kentucky in 1914. They and a son Tom Edward White born in Missouri in 1939 age 6 Months in April 40. I looked for their marriage place and date no luck and for her death date and place. I did not find her in the Mt Washington Cemetery records. I have a feeling that she re-married. but so fr of marriage record for ether Stogie or and new Husband.



              *Stogie's grandson E=Mailed me recently*
              Steamboating colleagues:
              Morning, Carl. Just catching up and clicked reading your recent posting here on Capt. 'Stogie' White of great fame further expanding this discussion thread Capt. Bob Reynolds and others initiated. Apparently the interest and information on 'Stogie' has no end.

              This past week I received and answered an off-line private message to me via from 'Stogie's grandson, Chris White, living down on Florida. Chris and his wife were recently discussing his grandfather when, by happenstance, they looked stumbling on causing him to send me a message [No doubt others he saw here]. His own father, 'Stogies' son, has also passed on. I promptly replied via a private message. Again this a sobering thought amazing me what is floating around out there in cyberspace that "never goes away" even if deleted for people to find.

              I didn't mention much to Chris about his dad, grandmother beyond what I knew/remembered about 'Stogie.' When I return to Cincinnati next weekend, I plan on visiting the Mt. Washington Cemetery, Cincinnati, where my family burials are and have been since 1850 and walk over just a few paces to again see 'Stogie's cemetery stone. I remember the stone I saw being of white marble, low to the ground curved with his name etc. I am not sure now if any additional burials have been made on his plot in recent years. Likewise I have no knowledge of his wife. Perhaps Chris will communicate with some of you here. Again, what do I know?

              R. Dale Flick
              Summer: Northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan until next weekend when I return to Cincinnati.


                Stogie's Granddaughter...

                One of Stogie's granddaughter's has been closely following the DELTA QUEEN's progress and so I thought I would pose some of Carl's questions to her and see what she could provide. Here is what she sent me:

                From Brandi White:

                Yes Bennett was her maiden name. But I will make some corrections My grandmother Ann (Bennett) was born 12/31/1913 , her and my grandfather ("Stogie") married 6/26/1938 . They had 5 sons , Tom Edward White 9/26/1939 , William Harry White 2/18/1941 , John Brooks White (my dad) 8/30/1943 (passed away 10/13/2009), Daniel Robert White 6/11/1947 and Kenneth Raymond White 12/17/1948 .... My Grandmother Ann passed away 11/26/1998. And My grandfather was born 8/11/1901 and passed away 7/26/1966. They had 17 grandkids from their five sons. My grandmother never remarried after my grandfather.

                My grandfather was buried in Mt. Washington Cemetery , Cincinnati, OH ... my grandmother Ann Bennett is buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Alexandria, KY.

                I think since posting this, Brandi has signed up for dot org, and maybe she can provide more info. This sure has been a fascinating thread!


                  *RE: 'Stogie's' granddaughter Etc.*
                  Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
                  Thanks, Phillip, for your timely posting here conveying additional 'bio' information on the late Volney ['Stogie'] White. Again, 'it takes a village to tell a story.' Grandson Chris White did mention about John Brooks White passing away. Much of your above totally new information to me.

                  'Stogie's' birth on 8/11/1901 would have put him right in the same age as that of his good friends Capt. Tom Greene and Capt. Fred Way. Being younger at the time, I only knew/remembered 'Stogie' socially and not professionally. By then he had long moved on with the 'Neare Gibbs Co.' in Cincinnati but still visited the DELTA QUEEN and Mrs. Letha C. Greene frequently. Though a 'social animal,' I gathered that when it came to 'Stogie' business was business, duty was to duty that would have been a bit sharp to those taking up and wasting his time. For years there prevailed the old school that "crew was crew, passengers were passengers." I'm sure Capt. Bill Judd remembers 'Stogie' well...very well. Again, as they say, all the rest is history. Again, what do I know?

                  R. Dale Flick
                  Summer: Shores of northern mighty Lake Michigan


                    Phillips quite right as to an amazing thread. Kind of sad that we don't have more of them. Way back in this thread I said it was the rest of the story, MAYBE. Well the info from Brandi White now really tells the rest of the story. Thanks to Phillip for the contact and the post.


                      Its really quite interesting reading the stories from the grandfather I never got to meet , as many stories as I have heard from my dad (John White) , I absolutely love reading this thread !! Its nice to be able to fill in the blank spaces for everyone wondering about his wife and family =) I will continue to follow this thread and the progress of the Delta Queen .


                        Another Stogie Granddaughter

                        I realize I am a little late to the conversation, but I just discovered this site last night!! I too am one of Capt. Stogie's granddaughters (Dan's daughter). I have always heard stories of his days on riverboats. I was fascinated reading the stories from those of you that knew him. He passed away when my dad was only 19, so I never knew him. I heard on the news last night about the Delta Queen being moved to Kimmswick, MO, which got me thinking about my grandfather. My dad has a book about the Delta Queen (Long Live the Delta Queen by Letha Greene) and in there it mentions that he helped pilot (captain?---forgive my lack of proper terminology) the Delta Queen for a few months when Tom Greene was ill.

                        I am currently living in St. Louis and am so excited to be able to take my 5 children to see the Delta Queen and help them appreciate a little family history!

                        A few other tidbits/family folklore...Volney Elstun White supposedly got his name because his mother was not fond of nicknames. She figured there would not be a nickname for "Volney". So much for that! His nickname came in childhood when he first smoked a cigar and turned green...

                        I'm pretty sure my two oldest uncles (Tom and Bill) were both born in St. Louis, and then the family moved back to Cincinnati and settled in Bellevue, KY, where the other 3 boys were born.

                        I am looking forward to sharing this website with my dad and uncles. I'm sure they would be happy to hear more stories as well and can probably help fill in more blanks!


                          Welcome, Joanna! That's a great story about his nickname and his mother's distaste for them!