On the River
compiled and copyrighted by
William Hysell, Capt.
The Davenport Democrat & Leader
Sept 1, 1925
Capt. Hysell, River and War Veteran, dies
Muscatine, Ia., Sept. Captain William A. Hysell, aged 79 years,
a survivor of Andersonville prison, and for years a Mississippi
river pilot, died at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon in his home, 613
Hope avenue, following a stroke of apoplexy sustained Friday
afternoon, from which he never rallied. Captain Hysell was stricken
by apoplexy in 1923 and although he improved from that attack, never
fully regained his strength and the second attack brought his speedy
He was born March 20th, 1846 in Middle Port, Ohio, and at 19,
enlisted as a private in Company F. One hundred Seventy-fourth H. F.
regiment, Ohio infantry. He was not discharged from service until
June 27, 1865, at Camp chase, Ohio. He was united in marriage May
16, 1871, in Galena, Ill., with Miss Ida May Gunsalus, who proceeded
him in death four years. Of ten children born to the union, six
survive. The are; W. A. Hysell of Erie, Pa., Mrs. Bessie Schmidt,
Mt. Pleasant; Mrs. John Wray, Wrayville, Ill; Mrs. Guy Alexander,
Mrs. Fred Height and Mrs. Herbert Bracewell of Muscatine, six
grandchildren also survive.
Burial will be in Greenwood cemetery.
Captain Hysell moved to Muscatine in 1886 and had made his home here
since. He piloted the first ferry at Muscatine, the Ida May, until
it was wrecked on Geneva island in 1899. Then he built the Waunetta,
which he piloted until he retired from the river five years ago.
Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Historical Section,
1879, pages 501-555
THE FIRST THREE YEARS.
In 1836, as has been stated, R. C. Kinney (ferryman) opened the
first tavern. The original part was 16x30 feet in size, divided into
three rooms below and three above. This was the first frame building
in Bloomington. It is a great pity that no record of the events
which transpired in that house was preserved.
The steamer “Muscatine” (old ferry-boat,) Capt Tunick in
command, is making daily trips to Ballads slough, (about 8 miles
above the city bringing down cargoes of railroad ties and cooperage,
with occasional shipments of wheat from Drury’s landing. This is the
trade which Capt. Phillips is so ambitious to secure for the “76”
Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
“May the waters that took you away, bring you back to us”