Glen Park, MO Packet CITY OF SALTILLO Sinks, May 1910 - Chivalry Caused Women to Drown


Twelve Lives Lost From Saltillo, of Whom Six Were Victims of Heroism

Fatalities in River Steamer Accident Due, Says Captain, to Hurrying Passengers Ashore

ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 12. --Chivalry that allowed women passenger to precede the men in leaving the river steamer Saltillo last night when the boat ran on a rock at Glen Park, Mo., cost the lives of five women and a baby and saved the gallant men, according to a statement made tonight by Captain Crane, of the Saltillo.

Of the six men drowned, five were shipmen, who lost their lives in aiding passengers to escape. Captain Crane said that the loss of life was due to the mistake of ordering the passengers to hurry from the sinking boat when it was near land.

"It was a bad mistake," he said. "Had we made the passengers wait a minute before trying to cross the gangplank, none would have been drowned. We let the women go first, which was worse.

"At the time the order was given, however, no human power could tell that the boat was not going to roll over in the river and drown every soul on board. It is easy to look back and see what we might have done."

D. J. Caraghen, second mate, said the alarm on the boat was greatly increased by the cry of fire. Flames were seen to shoot up from the furnaces, but the fire was extinguished by the water when the vessel listed.

Smoke from a lime kiln on the bank and high water prevented the pilot from keeping in the channel. The boat struck a submerged rock. In backing off the vessel turned around. The steamer tonight is on its side almost against the bank.

The boat carried twenty-seven passengers, mostly women and children, and a crew of thirty. She left St. Louis at 7 o'clock with a heavy cargo, including cattle and live stock, and the voyage was considered precarious because of the great amount of driftwood floating in the river due to the annual spring rise.

When the vessel struck the rock and sank in twenty feet of water the greatest confusion prevailed. The noise of rending timbers, shrieks of women and children and the bellowing of the cattle mingled with the cries of the crew.

Passengers and members of the crew clung to the timbers, while those more fortunate lent their aid immediately to the rescue of the helpless. The rescued were taken to the Glencoe Company's boarding house.

Glen Park is merely a river landing without wire facilities. Therefore, Captain Crane after his escape from the river walked two miles to the nearest telephone station and sent the news to St. Louis and to DeSoto. Rescue trains with physicians and relief supplies were sent out this morning.

The Coroner adjourned the inquest until tomorrow in order to summon witnesses.

The "City of Saltillo" was built at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1892 and was 200 feet long, 37 feet wide, and drew six and a half feet. At the time of the accident she was bound for Waterloo, Alabama, on the Tennessee River.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 13 May 1910.