IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
SATURDAY EVENING POST
Capt. Edward Thomas of Ottumwa will write a series of articles for publication in this paper, giving his experience as a steamboat pilot on the upper Mississippi. The town and the Des Moines rivers in the days when the river steamer was the principal vehicle of commerce in this country. Capt Thomas will write this story as a chapter at a time, and will stay on the job until he finishes it. We feel certain that all of our readers will enjoy his story and that they will be sorry when the final chapter is reached.
Capt Thomas filled a place as a pilot fully as unique and unusual as that occupied at one time by Mark Twain on the Mississippi. He also is a fluent writer, having been at different times the editor of newspapers, at Oquawka, Burlington, and Dallas City. He has a host of friends all up and down the valley who will rejoice at this opportunity to open up communication with him again. Thirty and forty years ago Ed. Thomas was a familiar figure in the pilot house of upper river steamers. He also made many trips up the Iowa--in fact he is the only pilot now living who has held the wheel of a steamboat on the Iowa river. Capt. Thomasís friends express the hope that he will make his story full and complete, so that so interesting and valuable matter may be permanently recorded and preserved. Chapter 1 of this interesting narrative will appear in THE POST of Saturday, august 19, and we hope to be able to give weekly chapters thereafter until the entire story has been printed.
Captain Thomasís letter making this announcement follows:
Post Office E. South Ottumwa, Iowa, August 10. Editor Post, Some of my friends have asked me to print the story of my recollections of the golden times. The balmy days of steam boating on the upper Mississippi river. My hand is shaking at the age of 70, and my manuscript is not the best, but you have had remarkable success in deciphering it. So, if you wish to use my river story, hand it out to the boys. I will furnish it in chapters as I have time to write it. Yours Truly E. H. Thomas
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