Tyler, MO Steamer ROWENA LEE Explosion and Sinking, Mar 1899 - Not So Bad


Only Three Lives Lost in the Sinking of the Rowena Lee


Who They Were and How the Bad Account Occurred--Other News of Interest.

MEMPHIS, March 30--Only three lives were lost by the sinking of the Rowena Lee according to the officials. The dead are: M. T. Kelly, mail clerk, Memphis; Mrs. Chambers, passenger; unknown colored woman. No details have as yet been received by the general officers of the company.

ST. LOUIS, March 30.--A special to The Republic from New Madrid, Mo., says: The steamer Rowena Lee with about 31 passengers aboard besides her crew, exploded opposite Tyler, Mo., about 4 o'clock and immediately sank with all on board except Captain George Carvell and one of the crew.

The steamer left Cairo with 16 passengers on board bound for Memphis. At Caruthersville, Mo., she landed and took aboard 15 more passengers. It is estimated that with passengers and crew, she then had aboard about 50 people.

She made the next landing at Tyler, Mo., and at 4 o'clock backed into midstream from Tyler to proceed on her journey. The steamer had just reached the middle of the river when she suddenly stopped and lurched as if a snag had been struck. The next moment the boat parted in the middle, a volume of steam and debris arose and the detonation of an explosion thundered over the water. She broke in two and sank immediately.

Her officers were as follows:

Captain, George Carvell
first clerk, L. K. Booker
second clerk, Gus Mitchell
third clerk, Sam Lewis
pilots, Sid Smith and M. Banks
mates, John Crasty and Patrick Flanagan
engineers, Albert Calder and Frank Stull
steward, George W. Todd
mail clerk, M. T. Kelly
Most of the crew live in Memphis. The names of her passengers cannot be learned.

The boat was the property of the Lees, at Memphis.

Hornellsville Weekly Tribune, Hornellsville, NY 21 Mar 1899