Water

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Entry Category: Water - Starting with W

Waverly [Steamboat]

The Waverly, under Captain Phillip Pennywit, was the first steamboat to ply the White River as far up as Batesville (Independence County), arriving there on January 4, 1831. Phillip Pennywit was a veteran river boat captain who, in 1828, had established the first regularly scheduled service on the Arkansas River, going as far west as Cantonment Gibson in the Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) with his vessel the Facility. In addition to moving freight and passengers, the Facility in June 1829 “had a keel-boat in tow, containing several Cherokee families, who are emigrating from the old nation …to the new nation, on the west side, of the Mississippi.” In December 1829, Pennywit had a new boat, the Waverly, that was designed to …

Webster [Steamboat]

The Webster was a steamboat that caught fire near Island 86 in the Mississippi River off Chicot County on May 2, 1851, resulting in the deaths of forty passengers and crew members. The Webster, a 324-ton sidewheel paddleboat built in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848, was 182 feet long and twenty-seven feet wide with an eight-foot draft. Commanded by Captain Samuel Reno, the Webster was steaming up the Mississippi with about 100 passengers and crew when it caught fire around 3:00 a.m. on May 2, 1851. The flames spread rapidly, and a newspaper portrayed what happened as “a scene ensued which it is impossible to describe, and, mingled as it was with the burning boat, from which the flames were spouting …

White River

The 722-mile-long White River flowing through northern Arkansas and southern Missouri is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The river begins in northwestern Arkansas in the Boston Mountains and flows northwest toward the Fayetteville (Washington County) area, where it then turns north. Near Eureka Springs (Carroll County), the river enters Missouri. It then flows southeast back into Arkansas past Bull Shoals (Marion County), Mountain Home (Baxter County), and Calico Rock (Izard County). At Batesville (Independence County) begins the second section of the river, known as the lower White. From Batesville, the White River flows south for 295 miles through Arkansas’s Delta region, past Augusta (Woodruff County), Des Arc (Prairie County), Clarendon (Monroe County), and St. Charles (Arkansas County), before …

Wilmington [Steamboat]

The Wilmington was a steamboat that burst a boiler while traveling on the Mississippi River near the mouth of the Arkansas River on November 18, 1839, killing several passengers and crew members. Baltimore’s Watchman & Bratt firm built the Wilmington for the Raleigh Rail Road Company, working from a design by shipwright Langley B. Culley and launching the steamboat in early September 1839. The $60,000, 400-ton steamboat was 182 feet long and forty feet wide, with a ten-foot draft. Powered by a 135 horsepower Watchman & Bratt engine, the Wilmington (according to promotional material) “has one of Raub’s patented double self-acting safety valves, the first which has ever been introduced to operate successfully, on board of any boat on our …