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On the H. K. Bedford

H K Bedford.jpg

STR. H. K. Bedford

The H K Bedford, the beginning of the famous Greene Line of today was built in 1886 at Jeffersonville, Ind. for the upper Cumberland River trade; 149 1-2 ft long, 26 ft beam, tonnage 139.

In 1890 she was purchased by Capt. Gordon C Greene from Tim Armstrong and George M Greene and brought to Newport, O., Capt.. Greene's home. On June 20, H. E. Bevan, known as "Sandy," went aboard of her on this date and remained with Capt. Greene until Sept. 1896.

Being a good low water boat she ran in all the trades from Pittsburgh to Louisville, KY, most of her work being in Cincinnati-Maysville trade. The boat was bought for Wheeling-Pittsburgh trade and ran there in good water until March 13, '96, when she entered Pittsburgh-Charleston trade.

When  in Cincinnati-Pomroy trade, Sandy was one day receiving freight at the upper wharf he saw fire at Memphis wharf boat where the sidewheel "Big Sandy" was lying. The Carrolton lying at the wharf just above the wharfboat and the Bedford with her wheel almost overlapping the Carrolton's bow. All boats were cooled down, cleaning boilers. A fleet of barges lay just above the wharfboat. Knowing this and thinking of a new line which Capt. John A. Wood gave Capt. Greene for landing a Coal boat, it being on the reel just at the side of the stairs, Sandy told the deck hands to lay a warp line as quick as they could to those barges, which they did and all hands began to pull the H. K. out of the big fire which was burning up the Big Sandy, the Carrolton and the two wharf boats. The fire lasted about 30 minutes. Capt Jack Ward took charge of the deck crew. Sandy took the cabin crew, shut all doors and transoms, then took pails of water and patrolled all over the roof and deck, putting out all sparks of fire that fell on her. When we were getting to safety a little towboat took hold of her and swung her to the Kentucky side, where thousands of people were cheering, "Hurrah for the old H. K, Bedford."

Capt. Greene sold her to Henry Craft and Gus France, they running in the Pittsburgh and Marietta trade, and in March 1912, after being laid up for ice, was overloaded which pulled a hog chain footing loose, She went down for the last time and her hull lies in the mud today, 8 miles above Marietta, Ohio. She served her owners for 36 years, never losing a dollar in her life.

Yours truly,
"Sandy." 1930

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H. K. Bedford in the Ice

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H. K. Bedford at Newport