Scioto Tragedy – Day 2 Part 2 1882
July 6, 1882
William Flohr – I saw this boat about nine o’clock yesterday morning. She was very heavy loaded. On this side she was rubbing the water. When the pilot started further out he started out straight, then towards the warehouse and the boat got to surging around. We all said she was hard to pilot or he didn’t know much about it. I didn’t see the collision.
John Zimmerman – I first saw the Scioto going down in the morning about 10 o’clock. She had a pretty good crowd and not running very fast. She seemed backing with one wheel and running with the other. We were sitting here about half-past eight and saw her going up the river. She was then running very fast. She still appeared to have a good load. There were a good many on the guards and a good man on the top, too. I was in a skiff on the river a little piece below the Scioto. I heard the boats whistle, but I could not say which boat whistled first. The boat that whistled first I think gave on whistle. The two boats whistled close together. I was behind the Scioto and could not tell the distance apart of the boats. When they whistled, I heard the crash as they run together. The Lomas, I think, struck on the Virginia side of the Scioto, then I think she pulled back. The Scioto sank immediately. She went down very quick. I don’t think it was three minutes. There was a great deal of screaming and confusion. We got seven out of the river. Jos. Davis was in with me. I don’t know the name of any one we got out of the river, or where they were from. The depth of the river there I can not tell. She has now sunk about two feet and a half since. I expect there was about eighteen or twenty feet of water there last night. When the Lomas struck her she landed her passengers and went to the rescue of the other boat. I think she made four trips, and brought, I suppose about a hundred each trip. It wasn’t very dark at that time. We could see the other shore. I don’t think the moon was up at that time. We could see the Scioto plainly for a mile down. I don’t believe that I saw the Lomas until she struck, as I was behind the Scioto.
Fred Hoffman – I saw the Scioto go down in the morning. I didn’t think she was overloaded. She was only running one wheel when going past here. The people all appeared to be on the left hand side, I next saw her about half past eight in the evening. She was about three quarters of a mile or a mile down. I could see her plain about half an hour before it was dark, but it had cleared up then and was tolerably light. I heard the upper boat (Lomas) first. She gave one whistle; that means to steer to the right or the Ohio shore; that th3e Lomas would keep to the3 Ohio shore. The Scioto blew her whistle twice about five seconds latter. That meant that the Scioto would keep to the Ohio side. The boats then, I should judge, were3 six or seven hundred yards apart. Then the Scioto whistled one whistle when they were close together. That meant for the Scioto to keep the Virginia side. They were then not over two hundred yards apart. Then both boats stopped their engines when they were about 150 or 200 yards apart. I don’t think they had time to back until they struck. The Scioto was going up stream but heading to the Ohio shore. She was struck in about the coal box on the far side, or Virginia side from here. When they struck the Lomas kind of rolled around towards the Scioto’s left and pulled back. She landed her passengers and went to the relief of the Scioto, making four trips. The Scioto seemed to go right down in a minute or two after she was struck. I didn’t see anybody jumping off. We caught the watchman of the Scioto in the river. We were on the upper side. When the Scioto whistled the last time her engines were still going. I couldn’t say whether the Lomas had stopped or not. The boats came together with considerable force. I cannot say the extent of the damage done to the Scioto.
Joseph Davis – I went out on the river in a skiff with John Zimmerman, W. Henry and a young fellow by the name of McDonald. When I first saw the Scioto, I was about 250 feet away from her. It was light enough to see up the down the river without trouble. The Scioto kept up ordinary speed as she went up. She was pretty heavily loaded. When we were out I think the Scioto whistled first. She was probably six hundred yards away. The other boat then whistled, but I can’t remember whether once or twice. I don’t know the meaning of the whistles; I didn’t hear any more whistling until after they struck; I didn’t notice how the engines were; the Lomas when she struck swung round to the Ohio shore; the Scioto sank right away as soon as she drew back; I saw her fires drop. I think she was struck on the Ohio side; It made a big crash; I heard the screams, but didn’t see many in the water; I could hear them on the water; we picked seven up; I don’t know them; a fellow with a black mustache went down just before we got to him; we took several loads into the boat after picking these fellows up in the river; I saw the captain, but didn’t hear him say anything about the accident.
John Peak – I am from East Liverpool. I was on the boat with my wife. She was saved. I was dancing and came through the door and clumb out on top. I got to shore on the Lomas with my wife. When the boat struck the men and women went to jump on the Lomas when she pulled out, A good many got in the water; that was right after she struck; I suppose he was afraid of his passengers; I think the Lomas whistled first; I think there must have been six hundred on the boat; it has been to Moundsville; we pulled the people through the window; there was great confusion; I don’t see how the people got out of the cabin so quick it was so crowded; I saw a great many in the water; they were swimming every way, I don’t know when the engines stopped. But not until after she was struck.
W. J. Moncrief – .I was standing right here on the bank holding a lamp waving to the Scioto; it wasn’t quite dark yet; just as the Scioto passed I think she whistled twice and then the up boat whistled once; then the next time the down whistled twice and the Scioto once. I don’t know what those signals mean; I couldn’t say how far apart they were when they whistled; then I ran down to the river; now the Scioto was going up straight and the Lomas was on this side, but kind of turned in toward the Scioto then she went in and struck her; the Scioto reversed her engines right after she whistled the second time. I couldn’t see what the other one done; they crashed together very hard and the people screamed,; I seen the people coming out of the water; I held the light; the Lomas made four trips rescuing the people; they couldn’t have been more than forty yards apart the last whistle, for as they whistled they went right; the Scioto whistled first—whistling twice; I couldn’t say how far apart they were then.
Walter App – We just saw the Scioto; she was out here, and me and Fred Huffman and William Henry jumped in the skiff to go out and ride rollers. It was pretty dark night; you couldn’t see very far; we had got nearly across when we heard the Lomas Whistle; she gave one whistle is all that I heard; they were then about 450 or 500 yards apart; the Scioto then answered with two whistles; they might have been 250 or 300 yards apart then; I got excited then as I saw there was going to be a wreck and can’t say whether where was any more whistles or not; I saw them strike; I didn’t notice their engines; there was a big crash and when the Lomas backed out, she went right down in a minute; the first person we saw was the watchman; we took him ashore and then went out to the boat and rescued nine with two; the Lomas made ? trips.
William C. Henry – I first saw the Scioto in the morning can’t say how she was loaded; next seen her about half-past eight going up; she seemed to be going straight up, but was nearest the Virginia shore; I can’t say which boat whistled first; I heard the Scioto give one short whistle, all I heard; I couldn’t say whether she kept straight up before she was struck or not’ I think she was struck on the left hand side going up; I didn’t see the other boat until some one said there was a boat above; I didn’t see her strike; I heard her and looked around and seen the Lomas going back from her; I didn’t notice anything about the workings of the engines after the Scioto was struck she sank in a very few minutes; I didn’t see many in the water, I t was just moderately dark;’ you could see objects in the river but you couldn’t tell what they were; I saw the Captain of the Lomas last night; I heard him saying, Oh my God what will I do, how can I go home after this, what will I do? He seemed to me to be distracted.
Arthur F. McNally – The first I saw of the boat was when the second signal was blown, which attracted my attention; I heard he first signal blown by the Lomas; I don’t know how far they were apart, it was one whistle; the next whistle I heard was two sharp whistles, given by the Lomas again; I couldn’t say how far apart they were; I heard no more whistles, the Scioto, I believe, answered with two sharp whistles; when I first saw the boats, it was just upon the instant of the collision, the boats were very discernible to me the distance I observed them from on the Virginia shore; I heard the crash; I couldn’t say whether the engines were running or not; did not notice the speed of either boat; The Scioto was struck on the Ohio side of her; After the crash I noticed the fire fly up all out of the front of the Scioto, over the bow of the Lomas; the Lomas backed out then and turned to the Ohio shore; she disembarked her passengers and immediately returned to the rescue of the Scioto; as near as I can judge, the Scioto was sunk inside of 8 or 10 minutes from the time they struck; there then appeared to be general confusion, I saw people jump off the boat; I got five out of the water and brought them in from Wellsville and Liverpool
James Brooks – I was down here; I heard the collision, but din not see it; the first I noticed was that boat in the river and people in it and I saw some two or three jump off it into the river; the next was the Lomas bringing in a lo0ad; I think the captain came off on the Lomas that last trip; they were all gone before he got off; I seen him on the shore and he didn’t want to leave the river; we took him up on the shore; he was after his boy; all he would say was about his son being lost; I heard a boat whistle but don’t know what boat it was; the river was about 15 or 16 feet.
Received from Thomas P. Fogg, Coroner, the body of David Fogo, and the effects of the deceased, lost off steamer Scioto, on July 4, 1882 Joseph R. Junkin.
Contributed by Bonnie