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s^Tromi the Canoe to tim Modern Palm Steamer—lo2 QL^.^^-g^TOV — ~~ ~' "'"~~ J^ iiu ..1^"" '.'" "~" - * *^" m~ M '* '*"''^^fcT'i •'^^^_"~^ — '~^* ff^^p—-; "■■^BBa r ™~ /*^^ \A*—»» \ '- ? '~ ■ "•'-"'-"^-■-'-""-■' V ■;<*./.'". ..* '.*-• .''-f ' ■ rf^*' . ■ ■ —— ' ' "" ' -^ '' ■ J *.>.-. '^s ■ ■.' ' *-.'*.* ■ i :V--..; ■■,--■ *• .-■,"■■* " ■'*"-■- '■***,*'-•* -^ '■■"', ■'. *■ " *""^"^" ' «^——i^^^ ',"."*'» ~^- . I*~ ■ i ... - ... ■ . ' MM"^^"* -" "*■ -#■ ■■ ' . %' • .'-■■'-'• '.\ ' WATERWAYS THAT LED TO GREAT WEALTH The Remarkable St»ory of the Development of Water Com merce in an Inland Empire—Father Hennepin's Coming— The Dawn of Civilization Heralded By a Priest Explorer— Notable River Captains—Golden Days on the Mississippi —The Commerce of t»he Greet* Lakes—A Seaport in the yeart of a Continent*. Father Hennepin entered the Mississippi March 8, 1680. The first steamer on the Mississippi came in 1820. The first line of steamers began running in 1842. Russell Blakely began steamboating on the Mississippi in 1847. William ~*\ Davidson became a river magnate in 1864. Norman W. Kittson established a line of steamers on^the Red in IS6O. Navigation on Lake Superior began over 200 years ago. The first "Soo" canal was completed May 21, 1855. Jerry Simpson commanded a boat on the lakes in 1564. Over 26,000,000 tons of freight passed through the "Soo" last year. One big steair.er now carries the wheat of 100 farms. Several have recently carried 250,000 bushels in a single cargo. If put in barrels after being made into flour the grain carried through the big canal last year would reach 11,000 miles. Not a pound of iron ore was mined in Minnesota in 1883; now the mines and other equipment of the big companies in this state are conservatively valued at $500,000,000. , The value of the freight carried through the "Soo" in 1860 was's6, --• 000; in 1901 it was $259,906,865. : The first steamboat company ever formed dissolved because of the "un ceasing ridicule" which it met. Dur . ing the past year there passed through the "Soo" canal 52,812,636. bushels of Wheat, 24,640,547 bushels of other grains, 18,090,618 tons of iron ore, 7,-" 634,350 barrels of flour, 4,593,136 tons of coal, 1,072,124 feet of lumber, 558,041 . tons of -general merchandise, 143,744 barrels lof salt, "206,443 tons of manu factured iron, 98,600 tons of copper and 46,584 tons of ■ building stone. . :: ■■%' ' -.. ':' John Fitch lies buried in the grave yard at Bardstown,;; :c Nelson ' county, Kentucky, without so much as a pebble to mark: the spot. Robert Fulton is famous -as the inventor- Of the steam-' boat. Fitch failed because his back ers were laughed out of cGurt; Fulton succeeded because his "angel," a cer tain Col. Livingston, who lived on ■ the . Hudson early in the nineteenth: century, turned a deaf ear to the mer ry, multitude which: called Fulton a lunatic and demonstrated to the world • that steam as a force propellant was ' destined to revolutionize water trans . portation. '■ .-';■ • ■■-, '■'. \' ;i-'. • - ■•■ When Father Hennepin came up the Mississippi in the winter of 1680 he predicted that the vast territory which is now Minnesota would some day be the home of 50,000,000 of people, i but . he never dreamed that a few leagues to the north was a chain of lakes over which would two centuries; later be carried more freight than on any other route in the world. :. This, . however, is ', literally true. Its only competitor, gjthe ■ Suez canal, was left far behind * a decade, ago. . > _."" ." . - And a fact of which every resident a cf the North Star state can well be '„'.' proud, is that very much ,, the largest proportion of this traffic is either sent from or brought to Minnesota. From the great wheat fields of the Red River .valley and from the mines of the Ver million and the Mesaba come annually grain and iron enough to keep a tre mendous fleet of lake craft busy from ! the opening to the close of navigation. But from the Indian's birch bark ca noe to the magnificent commerce of the great lakes was a long, hard strug gle, thickly studded with failure. Dozens of brave, brainy pioneers have ■ been forced to succumb when success seemed just over the hills because the money to r push their enterprises was not to be had when the pinch came. . From Flatboat to Steamer. The growth of navigation in the ■; West; particularly of the Mississippi. " Is a study cf much interest. One hun ' dred years ago there were few people - other ; than red men. : But these .; few • had furs and other things they desire-! to trade with •these further south foT clothing and other, necessities. ,Only ; heTe and there a road had been cut through the forests and the river was then the cne route which could be trav eled with cheapness" and a . fair degree of safety. Of course, a - trader' could' not haul pelts to any considerable 'number in a canoe, so he had to devise S seme other means. \ TJie flatboat was the first thing that suggested itself to him, and for a number of year.she : grot along with a fair degree of suc cess with this primitive craft. The f flatboat was followed -by the pirogue, the mackanaw, the keelbcat, the barge, the horseboat and finally by %he "broadhorn." For the fur trader at Mendota, for instance, it was fairly ■ easy to load up "one of - these • queer i craft, push it out into. the current and float down to La Crosse. The re .turn trip was an altogether different matter. It ,was - now a long, steady pull against water flowing in an oppo site . direction. In those early days ■ this was a problem of great weight. Many were . the devises u^ed to aid _: in getting the boat home again. ' The tiver men used sails to some extent. : With the wind blowing ■ strongly from ! . the south, the spread ■of canvas was tpund ef material assistance, v But ] the | win! was capricious and those pioneer j traders - frequently. found that r shortly 1 after starting with a good south wind . a shift ' in the breeze brought them s face to- face with a fight against both air ani water." For such contingen cies they had to be.prepared. They had big, Triad-pa oars, poles and ropes with which to work.. Sometimes in ' shallow water they were " able to make , considerable. headway by put -1 ting poles _ on the river bottom • and pushing, the : craft along. One of the mest interesting of the methods of get ting- up stream was, however, to use the rcpe. -j In the first place, jit was .. necessary :t&. gc along bcth shores r'cf v the stream and here ; and , there ■ chop : off a small tree about six feet from ; , the ; src-undl By poling or rowing to within fifty to seventy feet of the shore a looped rope' was thrown over ;one of these stumps. and. the ' vessel ■':. pulled! " up. to it.' Then another stump, one Bide or the other of the river, was pick- Ed out and the process repeated. Of ten in places Where the channel was narrow-- this method of "getting some where" was quite successful. In those days, too, people were in the main merely trying to get enough together to live comfortably instead as now of at tempting to get rich in six months. As a matter of fact it required four months to travel from New Orleans to the falls of the Ohio. Robert Fulton's Clermont. Compared with a great lake passen ger liner,, like the Northwest, Robert Fulton's Clermont, which sailed the Hudson in 1807 was a queer steam boat. A pedestriari can haniily walk four miles an hour. Fulton's steam boat traveled over the surface of the Hudson at the rate of five miles an hour. It was a strange looking vessel. Its engines were fully exposed, it had no wheel guards and its rudder was ■like that of a sailing vessel and work ed with a tiller. The passengers got a regular ducking from the spray shot. -off by the wheels. At the outset it could net be turned around by its own machinery even with the whole breadth of "the Hudson as a turntable. Its boilers soon began to leak and fifty seven hours after the Clermont began its proud career on the water its en gines refused to work and it had to be laid up for repairs. The steamer was soon repaired and resumed regular trips. Repcrting his first trip to Col. Livingston, Fulton" spoke, with evident pride of having made "110 miles in twentyLfour hours. One of the passen gers, with a tinge of disgust, said: "We met many sloops and schooners beating to the windward and we actu ally passed them." Fulton foresaw what an immense help his invention would be to com merce, for on Aug. 2, 1807, he wrote Joel Barlow, of Philadelphia: "It will give a cheap and quick conveyance on the Mississippi and Missouri and other great rivers, which are now laying open their treasures to the enterprise of our countrymen, and although the prospect of personal emoluments has been some inducement to me, yet I feel infinitely more pleasure in reflect ing with you on the immense advantage my country will derive from the in vention." But Robert Fulton was not the real inventor of the steamboat. As early as 1788 John Fitch took out a patent for the application of steam to naviga tion. It is known that he 'Tiried his boat on the .Delaware in front'of Phil adelphia in the summer of 1786. He interested a number of men in his plans and a company was formed. This or ganization "took to the woods" be cause, as one of its members stated, it was afraid to meet the "unceasing ridicule" which Fitch's project had excited. The Philadelphia people, al ways slow to grasp the full meaning of new ideas, .asserted that Fitch was crazy and those who were behind his invention were engaged in an insane speculation. - Fitch, poor, broken he&rted man,, laid away his models, the dream of a lifetime, with this prophet ic exclamation: "The day will come when some more powerful man will get fame and- riches from my inven tion, but nobody will believe that poor John Fitch can do anything worthy of attention." Fitch drifted hither and thither, and finally died In an obscure Kentucky hamlet. HENNEPIN COMES IN 1680. Courageous Catholic Makes a Hazard ous Journey. Every schoolboy knows that the Father of Waters was discovered by Hernando DeSoto in 1541, but the peo ple of this" section are much more in terested in a later event concerning the river and the part it had in making Minnesota a great center of civilization —the coming of Father Hennepin in 16S0. It was the 29th day of February, that year, that the great Catholic ex plorer left Crevecoeur, reaching the Mississippi on the Sth cf March. Thence his expedition proceeded slow ly northward to the Lake of Tears (Pepin). Stopping here a short time tc rest and secure fresh meat by shoot ing game, the little party took to its bouts and moved northward, a few days later reaching the famous falls of St. Anthony. There was another con siderable stop at this point, whence Father Hennepin piloted his boats northward. After a trip of great hard ship he reached Lake Itasca. On the return trip the whole expedition* was taken prisoners byjfche Indians on the 11th of April, 168O,"and the reds held many long parleys as to whether they should kill theif white captives. N They were set at liberty several months later. The first big vessel to enter the Mis- THE ST. PAUL, GI.OBB,- SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1902. sippi from the sea was that of M. D'lberville, in 1700, at the head of a French fleet. The river's name was in grave danger in 1712, when Ki»g Louis, of France, issued a decree that the Mississippi should henceforth be known as the River St. Louis. The people living along the great water course had, however, become charmed with the peculiar sibilant sound of the Indian word Mississippi and refused to listen to their sovereign. It is just sixty years ago. that navi gation on a large scale began on the upper Mississippi, although the first steamer was the Galena, which reached Galena, 111., in 1823, having come to that point not to engage in the carry ing of freight and passengers, but to tow keelboats which were then in large use as common carriers. The first real upper Mississippi steamboat organiza tion was the St. Louis and Keokuk Packet company, which was launched on the Ist of January, 1842. It was a company and yet it only owned one steamer, the Di Vernon, which cost $16,000. Eight years later the cor poration built another Di Vernon at a cost of $49,000, then considered an enor toous' sum to-put into a steamer. Just at this time there was a tremendous rush of people to that portion of the Northwest which now includes the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. So great was the movement" that, there was a shortage of means of transpor tation and there was a consequent immense increase in the number and character of steamboats. Thousands of new settlers thus reached Minnesota, and these hardy pioneers, such of them as are now living, are now the old settlers of St. Paul, Minneapolis, Still water, Wi'nona and Red Wing. About this time the railroads of the West, acting with susceptible con gressmen, began to make trouble on the Mississippi. Speaking of the con ditions, E. W. Gould, in his "History of River Navigation," says: "The careless and Indifferent manner in which the government has allowed the railroad bridges to be built seems to have pretty nearly accomplished two objects, whether intended or not, viz.: to change the course of trade from, north and south to east and west, and to so obstruct navigation as to destroy competition." WILLIAM F. DAVIDSON ON RIVER. One of the Pioneers of the Mississippi —His Industry and Courage. It was in 1864 that William David son, who died in St. Paul May 26, 1887, became a star of the first magnitude on the Mississippi. He had been known on the river before, but in that year he did something to make himself a name in the transportation world. For some years, under the name of the Northwest Union Packet company, he had been running a line of boats between St. Paul and La Crosse. In 1864, nettled by some action of the companies to the south, he began run ning his boats through to St. Louis. This made trouble for all parties con cerned, as there was not enough traf fic for so many concerns and continu ance in the competition meant the bankrupt court for the weaker con cerns. In 1868 there was a partial con solidation, taking in Jwenty steamers and many barges., The following year there was a compromise, and the Keo kuk Northern Line Packet company was formed with a capital stock of $750,000. In these days of billion dol lar trusts such a sum of money seems like a mere bagatelle, b.ut this capitali zation was for that period too large and soon got those interested in it into disagreeable complications. In 1881 the St. Louis and St. Paul Packet company was formed as the successor to the Keokuk Northern Line company, with William F. David son as president and F. S. Johnson secretary, with a capital of $100,000. This corporation was in successful operation up to the time cf Capt. Da vidson's death in 1887. The Diamond Joe line was estab lished in 1867 by Joseph Reynolds, of Dubuque, although at that time Mr. Reynolds conducted his "line" with only one boat. He was a man of much energy, however, and considerable wealth, and since that time boats and barges have been added in large num bers. The Diamond Joe line is still doing business. The St. Louis and St. Paul Passenger and Freight line was incorporated in 1880. One of the pioneers of the steamboat business in the Northwest was Capt. Russell Blakely, who died only a short time ago. One of the organizers of the Minnesota Packet company, which became a legal corporation June 88, 1847, was Capt BlaKely. The first SBHB SS S3B S JB B% 816 ill en ' ■ * j4&^^ i ml"AnlnSilAL C^^J H^i; ;^^^^^ I : | The Entire Stock of St/PauPs I. ;>v^^x-v--^W^ / : Z \ • Greatest Housefurnishing Store s — —\ RED TAGS m ft? est Stock of Furßiturß'CarpetSt RBgSf Drapßr)f 'Cr6clKrlfi LafflpSr st5WSi Sacrlficß , Di jir '■ TfIPQ ■ . -M ■■■UW t To-m^row morning we begin our Semi-Annual Colored Ticket Graded Discount Sale, now so well known \ -- , ULUL I HIIO s^^ffl/ fllFfl" - b the residents of St. . Paul and the Northwest Everything bears an honest discount ofat* ■ mm ** / #%Bip HI I / ;''ll&'ia least 10 per cent,. Other articles range from ;:- ; r ..?. ; v ■/ •■;'■-•";^..-:.'.;'.. — v '.;-'.. J*% / 139 i^. JU/0 Uri 15% TO 50% OFF fSOSSSt Ld'O Uf I .*&/ Hjsf, ,vh b . I «s^/O B *JPUP/o Vr r ject, to Discount,. , mm\J v VII UliC-nALr rnlbt Vv^ kniw of no more conscientious nor a more convincing way of;; showing to the public the absolute :- ' : TKIIEE-FGURTHS ,OF FRIGE Wri I hill TIAA -' gftvigneness of this GREAT SALE than to otter Discounts from the plainly marked prices pre. . .;' ■Vo-^-—-^-. : i >:.. ■ ' : Yrll'llW i BIJ\ viohjslfprevaiiing. The amount of discounts from regular valuss is denoted by an additional tag attached UiUITC Tfl P 0 ; ■;V>;J/ ILLLy.ff:^:ljnUjU|/.:f ; article, allowing the price tags to remain, 'which many of you will recognize as the same seen ; _ (11 I L I fIUU ■ 3': 0% I ffc '■• / ' ''(F^W^W* ■' before ■ Christmas, but now subject- to , : ''--y';'-) ;. }; r ; '-..-^V";- ;•:-".;. '.'-.y ■ ;.;■;>. '■-.:^ _.' .:-- ,•>:■-;: ■;; ; __^^±v^-v--f: •'■ ■Jm.-'M"'.^,'' fJ fijlly lift 5G^, 33(3, 25, 15 ®S* 10^ DISCOU3HT 1C 0/ ||L C (JO 1/0 OB 1 ■■■ Don't fail: to take advantage of this opportunity to sa^e money. ; Buy Now— pay a small amount to . ; 111/@ ' 1I \ W -V^y/'-u. -^.■:^^- a r-"-- ; secure the goods, and have them delivered later: 4 Liberal Time granted on payments. '"_;-> \ ' :■%#%-:•; ' >,VV^--lsl'.Bvß'"v ' TWO-THIRDS OF PRICE -^ | / riniiiri I OnMDftMV '■ ' ■ v-^^ - FROM REGULAR PRICE sms!Mz:^T JJmITH & FARWELL COMPANY, nochrp?c^o r co= D s out-of-Town Points |J Complete HoHsefuniishers. ~ Sixth & Minnesota Sis. for shipment steamer of this company was the Dr. Franklin, which was purchased in Qin cinnati and put on between Galena and St. Paul in the spring of 1848. The following year the steamer Senator was added and in 1850 the Nominee, the Ben Campbell coming tlie follow ing year. From 1850 to 1853 D. S. and R. S. Harris conducted a rival line. In 1853 there was a consolidation un der the name of the Galena and Min nesota Packet company, four steamers being kept in the passenger traffic. The Northern Belle, then regarded as a beauty, was added in 1855. Did you ever hear of Dunleith, 111.? It those early days it became a rail way terminal point and a city of many pretensions. The Illinois Centre! com pany completed its line from Chicago to Dunleith in 1855 and entered into a compact with the packets of the Blakely company to carry its freight northward. The name of the river company was ■ changed in 1856 to the Galena, Dunleittt and Minnesota Pack et company. The season was a most profitable one, to the immense emigration to Minnesota, and resulted in the usual thing, the formation of a rival company. At the head of this concern was J. B. Farley, who after wards became famous because of his fight against James J. Hill and the late Norman Kittson for a portion of the shares .pf a great railroad.: The headquarters of the Farley company was Dubuque. Again the usual thing happened. Two. companies not make money where one was in 1 clover. Another combination resulted in 1856- 7 under the name of the Galena, Du buque, Dunleith and Minnesota Packet company. During the fall and winter of 1856-7 an arrangement was made with the Milwaukee and Prairie dv Chien road to^yt in a line of boats to run in connecßpn with the railway from Prairie d% Chien to St. Paul. This was caile^ the Prairie dv Chien and St. Paul Packet line. In 1858 a line of boats of the company was run from La Crosse to St. Paul in con nection with the Milwaukee and La Crosse Railway 'company. The boat line was dissolved in the summer "of 1862. Capt. Blakely made his home in St. Paul. He was born at North Adams, Mass., April 19, 1815. Capt. Blakely was Ane of the city's most highly respected citizens. He took much interest in public affairs. His hobby was horticulture, to which he devoted many enthusiastic years. Capt. William F. Davidson was also ',a man of such resources that- he was highly regarded by all men in. St. .Paul misin'ess\\Hfe. He began bis career a|i a stearnTJoat man on the Ohio, hav ing been born at South Point, that ■ state, Feb. 4, 1825. He conducted boats on the Big Sandy, the Ohio and the Sciota. He first became interested in the steamer Gondola, then the Relief, the United States. 'Aid, the Jacob Tra ber, the Frank Steel'and the Favorite. Capt. Davidson made his first visit to St.' Paul i'ti 1855J He went back to St. Louis to live in 1870, but returned to St. Paul in 18S2, Commodore Daridson was in the lat er years of his life interested in relig ious and temperance reform.. He-was identified with both the St. Louis and St. Paul Bethel associations. ,After he became interested in religious work he abolished the bars on. all his steamers and duT a great deal of personal work to reform employes on the river, giving special attention to intemperance and immorality. Capt. Davidson was con nected with many St' Paul enterprises, including the ownership of the old Grand Opera house and numerous other buildings. THRILLING GAME OF : POKER. Mississippian's Eyesight ;v Causes Him V.,vr-.^t6" Lose More I han $3,000, •• One of ,t|e"€^ls T of the : Mississippi in those early days was poker playing. It; -'-' is ;J*ia: -matter _£^£ of history that a i steamer once , ran on ,a > snag .in ' midstregjn sank, the passengers ' being got' -asJtore with the greatest difficulty, the inquiry: which follow- . Ed ;.< it ;,i deve*OTjifp f_ k to a certainty ; ;r that the cause/'^ifJxfie" accident was the pi lot's •■■: carelessness, being at ; the r time the boat struck iin the cabin playing poker wity tlj^; passengers: :'-'■■; ' ~ 11 One- of jiie hicst r thrilling of ; those early gamis tfas played ;on the sth :of ; July, R^pccurred ; on- the North ern Belle. JEt^vas ah ; extremely hot day and #me > was played on the ; shady side 4cf?the.;" deck. ,: The players - • were ■:; a Wisconsin cattleman named Blaylock, a soldier ? boy : named Hyatt, who had just finished serving = his 'full time at Fort Snelltng; : Col. Shoreham, of Missouri; Ben.Tucker, a ; young I fel low of twenty-six from Chicago. Capt. Benson, of the Northern Belle, and Francois Gaulois, a French planter from Mississippi. A jackpot had been called, everybody stayed and the cat tleman had the cards. The soldier boy askea for one card, Col. Shoreham for ore, Tucker for three, Benson for one and the Mississippi planter announced with satisfaction that he couldn't use any more. Uncle Sam's young hero, in the face of a long line of one-card draws, made an immediate attempt to steal the pot with a bet of $50. Col. Shoreham, looking only at the last card he drew, raised the soldier $100. To all outward appearances this excited Tucker to a high degree. He laid his hand down on the table, picked it up, "skinned" it over, laid it down again, grunted a couple of times, and then, after a minute? raised, the bet $350. This set Benson to thinking in ear nest. That he had a good hand was unmistakable, but he felt uneasy, nevertheless. He didn't look at his cards, but stared hard at Tucker, with the apparent hope of gathering some information from the movement of his eyes or features. Tucker was a sphinx. Benson began talking to him self. "Drew three cards and raises $350. Well, well! Some of you fellers are bluffing, bat I'll be blamed if I know which. I'll just call you," and he laid $500 on the table. Gaulois smiled a funereal smile, went over to the boat rail and stood there a full minute looking apparently at scenery along .the river. Returning to the table he bit his lip and shied $1,000 into the ring, a raise of an even $500. The Wisconsin man had already tossed his hand into the deck and it was again up to the soldier boy, but there was a storm breaking and he threw up his right hand to indicate that he had hadrenough. Col. Shore ham, in spite of the ract that he ac tually had a good hand, also bolted for the woods. Tucker pretended to be in a highly nervous state, looked long and intently at the two players beyond him, and then remarking that he didn't propose to lay down the best hand without seeing who had beaten him, tossed two $1,000 bills into the center of the green. Benson had had enough. He wouldn't take the chances of call ing so big a bet. But the Mississippian wasn't through. He said: "I'm down to $385, but I'm willing to bet you my two niggers out there that I have the best hand.". "Trot the niggers in here and let me see rem>" said Tucker. Ganlois summoned the two colored men with a whistle which they seem ed to understand. After sizing them up the Chicago/boy agreed that they should be put in on the basis of $1,000 each. It was now a showdown, and, tossing $1,385 into the pot, Tucker asked the Frenchman what he had. "Oh. -nothing but a straight flush," said the Southerner, and he laid his hand down triumphantly. There the cards were—the five, six, seven f.nd eight of clubs and the nine of spades— merely a straight, a very different, thing from a straight flush! Tucker, who had in that thirty sec onds sweat a gallon of brine, laid down an ace full and raked in the pot, in cluding the two niggers. An error of the eyesight had cost the Mississippian $3,385. The pot which young Tucker wen was worth on its face $7,470. As a matter of fact it was worth $700 more, as Tucker sold the negroes next day for $2,700. The draw had proved one of the most remarkable- on record. Col. Shoreham had made a five full, on fives and trays; Tucker had filled up on two aces by getting a third ace and two queens; Benson had made a nine full, on nines and deuces, and Gaulois had made a straight on a four straight club flush. LOUIS N. SCOTT AS A NAVIGATOR. Manager of the Metropolitan Opera House Becomes Reminiscent. Only one steamboat man of note now lives in St. Paul—Louis N. Scott, man ager of the Metropolitan opera house. Mr. Scott entered the business as a mere boy, his first position being that of clerk on a Tennessee river boat. He came to St. Paul on the steamer Clinton of the St. Louis and St. Paul line, April 26, 1875. The Clinton was the first steamer through Pepin that year. Getting through this lake first was an item of importance in the ear ly days, as then the first boat through got free wharfage at St. Paul for the year. Speaking of his steamboat ex periences yesterday, Mr. Scott said: "When I reached St. Paul in April, 1875, I was just seventeen years old, but I was fortunate enough to get a position in the office of John H. Rea ney, general manager of the Davidson fleet. I started in as check clerk, being advanced to cashier and ticket agent, and succeeded Reaney as general man ager when I was twenty. »I remained in the business steadily until 1882, when I took the management of the old Grand opera house on Wabasha street. Those were big days in the steamboat business on the Mississippi. We brought in settlers in immense num bers and carried freight for a vast territory. We gathefed freight from all over the Southwesf, sending much of it from this point west over the Northern Pacific to Bismarck, whence it was carried by Missouri river boats to Fort Benton, from which point it was transported to its destination by ox carts. In return for the westbound freight we were brought carloads of buffalo skins, hides of other animals and a great deal of silver ore, as in those days there were no smelters north of St. Louis. We had a boat each way every day and we averaged fifty carloads north and south every twenty-four hours. "The boats from the St. Louis and St. Paul line in those days were the Clinton, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Du buque, Centennial, Belle of La Crosse, Alexander Mitchell, St. Paul, Gem City, Davenport, Rock Island and War Eagle. "The business on the river continued immense until 1880, when the Northern Pacific was cut through from Bismarck into Montana, thus taking away a large share of our far West business. Then the Burlington parelleled the riv er to Dubuque, thus taking away an other large section of our traffic. "In the days when I was connected with river business accidents on the upper Mississippi were few and sel dom serious. This was due in large measure to the fact that on this end of the river there are not many of those snags which are constantly jeop ardizing the boats en the lower Missis sippi. Our biggest accident happened late in the seventies, when the War Eagle struck the bridge piers at Dav enport and sunk, being a total loss. The Golden Eagle, which was in the St. Louis-Keokuk trade, was burned- Outgide of these two accidents there was* nothing of a serious character. Even in these two there was no loss of human life. "I think Commodore William P. Da vidson was the greatest of the steam boat men of his. day. He had lots of foresight and industry, and dris ener .gy was so he could in his prime work to death three ordinary men. He began steamboating when seventeen years old. He once told me a story of a thrilling 1 experience he had while in the Cincinnati-Kanawha* trade. Skilled help was hard to get in these pioneer days, and Davidson found on one of his trips that he had to act as captain, clerk and pilot. Af ter an unusually busy day in Cincinnati he started for the 1 Kanawha about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. He had had no sleep for twenty-four hours but, in spito of this, after attending to his duties as captain and clerk, he went into the -pilot house for the night. Here after a time he fell asleep on his wheel. Awakening with a start he found his cr,aft not twenty feet from a great rock cliff. Ringing the bell instantly he succeeded in geting the boat backed up before he reached the cliff, where the vessel would certainly have been dashed to pieeqe. • "When Davidson came to this section of the country he brought the steamer FavorUe all the way from Cincinnati. He made a great deal of money, the funds which gave him a start on a large scale in the steamboat business on the Minnesota river. He ran up to Shakopee, New Ulm and Mankato and brought out the wheat of the farmers of that section. The crops of that section were large in those days, prices high arid freight rates excellent. "Commodore Davidson continued to own boats of the St. Louis and St. Paul line up to the time of his death in 18S7, when they were sold by the estate to a syndicate composed of Richard T._ O'Connor, Thomas A. Prendergast, Wiliam Hamm, Edward C. Long- and others. This company operated the line about two years, when it sold its steamers and wharfs to the Diamond Joe line, which still controls it. "The stage of water on the upper Mississippi has always been a perplex ing-problem. It has frequently hap pened that when business promised best there -was so little water, particu larly north of La Crosse, that naviga tion was extremely difficult or impos sible. It' is also of ten the case in sum mer, when tourists want to see the beautiful river scenen', that the water is so low that steamers of large siza cannot run. This is unfortunate, aa there are always many people in the hot weather who desire to take the St. Paul-St. Louis river trip. "Commodore Davidson's career on the river was meteoric. He came to Minnesota with one boat. At that time his competition was ten boats on the Norhern line and three on the White Collar line. Inside of ten years he owned all of the boatiTTTf importance on the Upper Mississippi. With the money he made in the business he fcuilt the Davidson block, Fourth and Jack son streets; the Union block, Fourth and Cedar streets; the Court block, Fourth street; the Grand opera housa and Grand block, Wabasha street, and his home at Tenth and Jackson streets. He also owned a block in Third street at the corner of Cedar. The Grand opera house on Wabasha street, the first St. Paul theater worthy of the name, was built by Commodore David son without a dollar of aid from any body. "Few of the old steamboat men now live in St. Paul. When business in that line became slack here most of them went elsewhere. One of the old timers, however, is still here; at least he was a few years ago, I hare not heard of his death. This is Capt. Jerry Weber, whose life has been spent for the most part in pilot houses. Weber has worked^ at his calling over a wide territory. He was once a pilot on the Nile and later kept craft off the shoals, the rocks and snags in the Red river of the north, the Saskatchewan, the Missouri and the Mississippi. Weber is a typical river man, a good story teller and always popular with those with whom he came in contact in the boom days of Western rivers." KITTSON ON RED RIVER. St. Paul Pioneer Runs Line of Steam* ers and Red River Carts. The pioneer navigator of the Red River of the North was Norman W. Kittson, who shipped furs in Red River carts 500 mfles from Pembina to Men dota as early as 1843. These Red River carts, by the way, were unique as modes of transportation. They were constructed wholly of wood. They were merely a big box attached to shafts and set upon an exle connect ing an enormous pair of wheels. The tires were of rawhide drawn tightly around the wheels. The axles of these queer vehicles were never greased and the noises they sometimes made are said to have been sufficient to wake the soundest sleeper. Acting as agent of the Hudson Bay Fur company, Mr. Kittson established a line of steamers on the Red River of the North in 1860. The St. Paul & Pacific railway had been completed to Grand Forks, and the Kittson boats for a time got a tremendous traffic intended for Winnipeg and other Can adian points, much of it being broughi to St. Paul over the Mississippi, seni by the St. Paul & Pacific to Grand Forks and thence north to that sec tion of the country known as Mani toba. When the Manitoba and the Northern Pacific roads were extendec along the Red river to Winnipeg, traf fic on the river was killed. Mr. Kitt son, however, one of the shrewdest mci of the Northwest, got in on the "groun< floor" on the St. Paul & Pacific an< made a great deal of money. Mud of this he expended in building in St Paul, including a $140,000 residence on. Summit avenue, the Globe building and the Astoria hotel. He also took a great interest in horses, expending on the stables and track at Kittsondale and on horses over $1,000,000. One of his holdings was the famous pacer, Johnston, who held the pacing record for many years. Another of his horses was Minnie R, who paced a mile as early as 1884 in 2:03%. This however, she did with a running mate. Not more than one or two white men came to Minnesota before the time of Norman W. Kittson. He came to Fort Snelling in 1834 when just twenty years of age. He began to reside in St. Paul In 1852 and was chosen the city's mayor in 1858. Previously, he had represented what was known as the Pembina district in the Territorial Commenting on the farms of the Red River valley, four of which made a total of 75,000 acres, a traveler of the early eighties said: "Big farms! _Great Scott! Why, there's farms out there bigger'n the hull state of Rhode Island. A man starts out in the mornin' to plow a fur- Continued on Twenty-third Page.