Ships of Osceola County Immigration

Hekla, of the Danish "Thingvalla Line"

The Hekla was actually the Hekla II, since the first ship of that name sunk in 1883 after less than a year of service.  Part of the "Thingvalla Line", the steamer had quite a long life-span,  launched from Christiania, Norway on Feb. 29, 1884, and beginning her maiden voyage to New York two weeks later from Copenhagen, Denmark with a full load of 990 passengers. Approximately half were Danish, the other half Norwegian, as was typical for most of the Hekla's trips, although the boat was not always filled to capacity.  The Hekla suffered its share of mechanical problems, but was always repaired in due time and continued to serve the "Thingvalla Line" until the demise of that line in 1898, at which time the Hekla was sold to the "Scandinavian America Line", and after changing hands and also names a couple of times after that, was scrapped in 1910.


Geiser, of the Danish "Thingvalla Line"

The tragic history of the Geiser started in 1882 when it began its maiden voyage from Copenhagen on New Year's Day as part of the "Thingvalla Line".  She had a capacity of 1000 passengers, most of them in steerage (third class) and for a few years had good service with few mishaps.  On Aug. 14, 1888, while sailing from New York to Christiana, her sister ship Thingvalla (also the flagship for the "Thingvalla Line") rammed her at sea and the Geiser sank in less than ten minutes, with a loss of 105 lives.


Thingvalla, flagship of the Danish "Thingvalla Line"

The Thingvalla began her career as a passenger-cargo vessel on the exotic East Asian trade route, and was purchased by the Danish "Thingvalla Line", making her maiden voyage on October 25, 1879 from Copenhagen to New York. She became the flagship of the line, in service from 1879 until 1898 when she became part of the "Scandanavian America Line", after the demise of the Danish company. Her long record was marred by the 1888 collision with her sister ship Geiser at sea, in which 105 lives from the sunken Geiser were lost, and the Thingvalla fearfully damaged. She did, however, manage to make it back to port for repairs, backing up most of the way. After being sold to private owners in 1900, she was scrapped in 1903.

Thingvalla, showing damage caused by the tragic collision with the Geiser

Angelo, 1874-1906

Osceola County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project