Saginaw, MI Steamer HANDY BOY Bridge Accident, Apr 1890


Passengers Drowned Because of a Steamboat Captain's Carelessness.

The Handy Boy, a little steamer carrying about seventy-five passengers, plying between East Saginaw, Mich., and Bay City, on the Saginaw River, left her dock on a regular trip with about thirty-five passengers.

It was necessary for her to pass through the draw of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad bridge, and at her signal the draw was opened for her passage. Just at this moment Captain DOLSEN left the wheel and began collecting fares, giving the wheel in charge of some one, nobody seems to know whom. At any rate the boat shied off and struck a pier with a terrific crash sixty feet from the middle of the draw passage.

The whole upper deck, with about eighteen passengers, was swept off into the water, part of the debris crashing down on the deck below. Boatmen on the shore saw the disaster and at once put off to the rescue of the people struggling in the water or clinging to the wreck and the piers. The Handy Boy did not sink, but lay a wreck against the pier, thus averting greater loss of life.

Most of the passengers were easily rescued, but those in the water were saved with much difficulty. It is certain that six were lost. MISS MARY HEIGHT and MRS. CATHERINE NAVIT, of East Saginaw, are among them.

Captain DOLSEN, as soon as he reached the shore, disappeared and could not be found. It was supposed that he had fled.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1890-04-18


Handy Boy Ferry Accident April 13, 1890

Per the Genesee Democrat newspaper of Flint, MI, the Captain of the ferry, Dolson was arrested and lodged in the jail on April 15. Victims listed were Mrs. Nevine, Mrs. George Montgomery, Mrs. John Walsh, Miss Haight and Miss Owen.