La Crosse, WI J S Excursion Steamer Fire, Jun 1910 - Lives Lost

J S Excursion Steamer, photo from familyoldphotos.com J S Excursion Steamer, photo from familyoldphotos.com

LIVES LOST IN BURNING OF STEAMER

THREE KNOWN TO BE DEAD AND FATALITIES MAY BE GREATER STILL

MANY LIVES ARE SAVED

PROMPT WORK OF CREW AND COOL-HEADED PASSENGERS HAS RICH REWARD

La Crosse, Wis. June 24 - Three persons lost their lives and almost three-score were injured in the destruction by fire of the Acme Company's excursion steamer J.S., between Victory and Genoa, 24 miles south of La Crosse on the Mississippi River late last night.

The dead:

MRS. EMMA RANDALL, New Albion, Iowa, drowned

JOHN PLANE, Waukon, Iowa, burned to death

Unidentified woman, drowned.

Seriously injured:
JOSEPH COYLE, Lansing, Iowa, both hands burned and severe injuries about the body.
MRS. MEYER, Lansing, leg broken.
MRS. JOHN JOSEPH, De Soto, seriously injured about the head and shoulders and possibly internally injured.
ARCHIE FALKY, Victory, ankle mashed.
MRS. GUS KAEPPLER, Victory, ankle sprained and severely bruised about the body.
Fifty estimated to have received cuts and bruises of minor nature.

The escape of all but a handful of the 1500 passengers who thronged the decks of the big boat when the fire broke out is regarded as a miracle.

Prompt work by the crew and by cool headed passengers in controlling the frantic passengers is all that prevented hundreds of people from jumping into the river in mid-stream.

MRS. RANDALL was the only one who broke through the guard on the edge of the decks, and twenty men had arms outstretched to grasp her when she plunged into the water. Her body has not yet been recovered.

JOHN PLANE was locked in the hold for disorderly conduct, and in the excitement no one thought to release him. His body is undoubtedly in the river bottom with the steamer, which sank after burning to the water's edge.

It is still possible that other excursionists are missing, although other passengers have thus far sought by relatives have been accounted for.

Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada, 27 June 1910