The Fourth Generation
William A. (Billy) had one son to follow the river, he was Gus, a steamboat pilot-who later became a railroad engineer.
John R. had no sons who followed the river occupation.
James C. (Shoofly) had no sons that followed the river occupation.
Children of Thomas C. (Tom) and Susan Watson:
1.) Edwin was a lockmaster of dam #24 on the Ohio River. He died in 1918, and left two sons; John Edward and Hiram, neither followed the river.
2.) Dana was a chief engineer, and married into the riverboat family "Stanleys" at Henderson, West Virginia.
3.) Loyal married ??? Roberts. He and his brother-in-law Charlie Roberts purchased a fleet of three boats and a fleet of wood barges. The venture was illfated from the start, and by 1938 all had sank or burned.
The two sons of Tom and Mamie Erwin that followed the river were:
Harold B. who was a lockmaster at dams 17 & 19 on the Ohio River and later he was with the U. S. Corp of Engineers in Huntington, West Virginia. He is credited with saving several lives in January of 1915.
Francis was the youngest of Captain Tom's children and was living in 1984 at St. Albans, West Virginia. According to Captain Mace-Francis at the age of thirty was master and pilot of coal towing boats on the Kanawha River.
Children of Major Anderson were:
1.) Henry Stapleton (Stape) was a fireman.
2.) R. Cecil (Scary Cecil) was an engineer, and after a number of years purchased and operated the Ravenswood Ferry.
Children of James Brady (Brady) were:
1.) Fred was a pilot on the "A.C. INGERSOLL, JR."
2.) Brady, Jr. (Rip) was a fireman.
Children of Edward (son of Stapleton) were:
1.) Russell was an engineer.
2.) Irvin was an engineer who after years on the Kanawha River, moved to Pittsburgh, where he continued to work for the Pittsburgh boats. On May 9, 1927, a severe wind storm literally blew the boat that he was on across the river, and capsized it. This took place near Jopp, Illinois. Russell and the other engineer Clayton Wright escaped (I don't know if Clayton is related to our family).
Children of James S. (Jimmy-Rabitt) were:
1.) Andrew (Goose) was a captain and talented artist.
2.) Harry Hamilton was a captain on "SEMET SOLVAY" boats and others.
3.) William McKinley served on many boats and was a gifted artist.
4.) Ralph, because of a handicap didn't work as a steamboat man, but played the drums, piano and calliope on show boats.
The Fifth Generation
Child of Edwin Wright is:
1.) John Edwin (John Edie) was an engineer until his recent retirement. As of 1984 he lived at Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia.
Child of Harold B. Wright, Sr. is:
1.) Harold B. Wright, Jr. served as captain for the Union Barge Line. Harold learned his skills from his Uncle Francis Wright. He recently retired and is living in Huntington, West Virginia.
The Wright's have always excelled at their line of work, whether it be cabin boy or master. It seems unfortunate that after more than 150 years that this line of river boatmen will no longer be. It seems that early generations produced a majority of males, while later generations have been mostly girls.
I am the son of Harry Hamilton Wright and Marcella Lou Ball.
Ernest H. Wright
All of the information on this page was
compiled by Ernie Wright, while he was
doing genealogy research. It has been
put on this page with his permission in
hopes that it will help him to find some