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Newspaper Page Text
EASTLAND KNOWN AS CRANKY BOAT TO ALL
BUT COMPANY OFFICIALS
fhe Eastland long before it laid
over on its side and dropped 2,500
helpless people into" the river was
known as a cranky boat Yet W. K.
Greenebaum, manager of the Indiana
Transportation Co., which chartered
the Eastland for the Western Electric
picnic, says he didn't know that
And Walter C. Steele, secretary and
principal stockholder in the St Joseph-Chicago
Steamship Co., which
bought the Eastland for a song after
the people of Cleveland refused to
ride on her, says he never was told
that the vessel was cranky.
So Steele's company bought the
Eastland very cheaply and ran it be
tween St Joseph and Chicago. And
Greenebaum, when the Western Elec
tric employes told him they would
need boats for their picnic on the
24th of July, chartered the boat for
Greenebaum told Daniel Gee, who
made arrangements for the picnic
crowd, that he must know whether
they would have more than 2,500
passengers before July 1.
Gee told him about July 1 that they
would have at least 4,500 and prob
ably more. Then application was
made for a passenger allowance of
2,500, or 300 more. .
And Rob't Reid, inspector, whose
son-in-law held down a fat job as
engineer of the boat, attached his
name to a license granting the trans
portation company the right to pack
the boat with 2,500 souls.
i his m spite of the fact that every
disinterested man connected with
lake boats who testified before the
coroner's jury yesterday said that the
boat was known to be cranky long
before arrangements were made to
haul a mass of women and children.
W. J. Wood, marine architect,
aided in repairing the boat in 1903.
He told the former owners of the
boat that work on the craft had not i Wood. "The addition of
been done in the interests of the I would lessen the capacity.
Later he met W. H. Hull, manager
of the St Joseph Steamship Co., and
told him that the boat was a cranky
one and needed repairs. His offer of
assistance was turned down.
Adam F. Weckler, harbor master,
told the coroner's jury that he knew
the boat was cranky and that it had
listed several times when coming into
the river. He refused to let It throw
off the lines with the load it was
carrying. It sank a few minutes
later. He declared the steamer
should not have been allowed to
carry more than 1,200 people.
Joseph R. Lind, assistant to Weck
ler, said that the boat was a danger
ous one and it was commonly known
among seamen. He remarked to
Weckler that it was a shame to let
the Eastland go out last Saturday
with the load she carried. The craft
turned over a half hour later.
Cap't John O'Mara of the tug
Kenosha said he had seen the
Eastland list before and he knew it
was a cranky boat
The'Eastland's ballast pumps were
not in condition to send water into
the tanks was another theory pre
sented to the coroner's jury.
Weckler told the jury that "if the
machinery was in shape and the en
gines working right the pumps
should have trimmed the boat in from
3 to 6 minutes." Ericson admitted
that he was trimming the boat 17
minutes before she capsized.
Wood, the marine architect, rapped
Reid, the local inspector, for increas
ing the capacity of the boat because
a few life rafts and .life preservers
had been added to the craft's equip
ment at the request of Hull, just be
fore the big picnic was expected.
"The capacity of a boat is figured
from the number of square feet of
deck space which she has," declared