George M. Verity

Keokuk, IA

The sternwheeler George M. Verity was built as the towboat S. S. Thorpe in 1927 by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, IA, for the Upper Mississippi Barge Line. Her pilothouse originally was placed forward at the third deck, which gives her a similar appearance to the W. P. Snyder jr.

In early 1930 a texas deck was added, the pilothouse moved to its actual position and also the smokestacks became higher.

In 1940 the boat was sold to the American Rolling Mill Company (Armco Steel) where she got the name George M. Verity. Later the hull was widened (1945) and the paddlewheel was replaced with a new constructed “herringbone” paddlewheel to overcome the vibration (1947).

In 1960 the George M. Verity was retired and sold to the City of Keokuk, Iowa, one year later at a symbolic price of one Dollar. Today the boat serves as a museum, placed on a concrete foundation in a riverfront park.

The George M. Verity has its own website: