Sheboygan, WI (Lake Michigan) Steamer PHOENIX Fire, Nov 1847

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We are indebted to an Extra Free Press, of Detroit, for the heart-rending news of the destruction by fire of the Propeller Phoenix, together with upwards of 200 persons, near Sheboygan, on Sunday morning of last week. The following particulars of the disaster were furnished the Free Press by the Engineer:
The Phoenix was bound up, and on Sunday morning last at about 4 o'clock, when within 17 miles off Sheboygan, she was discovered to be on fire. After finding it impossible to extinguish the fire, and that all who remained on board would perish in the flames, many jumped overboard and endeavored to save themselves as best they could. About thirty got into the small boats and were picked up by the Delaware, which hove in sight after the Phoenix was in flames, but not in time to render any assistance to those who remained on board, or who were unable to get into the small boats.
The engineer furnishes us with the names of those known to have been lost, and who he recollects by name:
MR. WEST and lady, Racine.
MR. FINK and lady, Racine.
MRS. HEATH and sister, Little Fort.
MRS. LONG and child, Little Fort.
J. BOROUGHS, Chicago.
D. BLISHA, Southport.
About 30 cabin passengers, together with 150 Hollanders.
Of the officers and crew were lost:
D. W. KELLEY, steward.
J. C. SMITH, saloon keeper.
N. MERRILL, 2d Mate.
W. OWEN, 2d Engineer.
H. ROBINSON, 1st porter.
J. NEWGENT, 1st Fireman.
Deck hands -- T. HALSEY, J. FERLAW, J. MURDOCK, A. MURDOCK, GEORGE _______.
Cabin Boy H. TISDALE.
Wheelsman L. SOUTHWICK.
The names of those saved are:
Capt. SWEET.
3d Engineer M. W. HOUSE.
1st Mate H. WATTS.
Wheelsman A. G. KELSO.
Deck hand J. MOON.
Porter R. WATTS.
The Phoenix had the largest load of passengers and freight she could carry.
The loss of life above is the largest we believe, which ever occurred on the lakes, and the property lost is immense. It is supposed that those 150 Hollanders had considerable money with them, as they were seeking a location in the west; but how uncertain life is ! It is indeed mournful to record this sad catastrophe.

Marshall Statesman Michigan 1847-11-30


Additional passengers on Phoenix

Family records indicate that Joseph Heath (b. 1817 to 1820) and his wife Sarah A. Austin and their child were aboard the Phoenix and died along with other passengers.

Ancestor Perished on Phoenix

My great great grandfather, David Austin, and his niece perished on the Phoenix.