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Monday, February 2, 2009

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Five

The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

Steamboats Arrive

The chronicling of events transpiring in connection with the various steamboats playing up and down the Trinity (during times that the water was high enough to make it navigable) also makes interesting accounts to read. Hall's Bluff did a thriving business on these days, for instance, take this account which James Madison [HALL] entered in his Journal: February 27th, 1890 -- Today, the steamer Queen passed Hall's Bluff, bound up the river. The steamer Lone Star passed down.

Other steamers plying up and down the Trinity River were named in HALL's Journal. He wrote accounts of the steamers each time they appeared at the Bluff, and whether going up or down the river. Here is a fair example of the names of the steamers --

  • The Mary Hill,
  • the G. H. Bell,
  • the Kate,
  • the Swan,
  • the Lucy Guin,
  • the Alice,
  • the Ruthven,
  • the Alamo,
  • the Sunflower,
  • the Oricaba,
  • the Royal Arch,
  • the Mary Lenard,
  • the T. J. Emery,
  • the government steamer Col. Stell,
  • the Indian No. 2,
    and the sloops
  • Grey Hound, and
  • Luna.

There were, no doubt, others.


The cargo varied with each shipment from Galveston up the river. Household articles, store supplies, furniture, matting for carpeting of floors, salt, nails and many various items were brought up the river on steamers. Beef, hides, wood, bales of cotton and other varied supplies were transported down the river.

Old Man River

When torrents of rain descended for several days, and perhaps lengthened into weeks of rain, Ole Man Trinity River would go on a rampage. As it rained, the river would RISE, and, as it rose it would bring destruction, to crops, cattle, horses, the mill that the HALL's owned, and barns and everything in the river's wide path of destruction.

To be continued . . .