In the 1840’s and 1850’s steamboats did not furnish breakfast to the passengers or crew members if the boat arrived in port before sunrise. Capt. Jim had a reputation for making sure that his boat always arrived in port before dawn. Years later he also had the reputation for having the “best table” on the river. Farmers and planters brought him their best produce knowing that he would purchase whatever they brought to the river for him to examine. In the 1870’s and 1880’s he had disagreements with his sons James Lee Jr. and Stacker Lee about how the table should be set. Capt. Jim’s food bill doubled the cost of the stewards pantry whenever he was aboard a Lee Line boat. Later the Anchor Line of St. Louis put into place what was called the “restaurant plan” where passengers paid for their meals ala carte. His son Capt. James Lee Jr. tried to enact this change but was overruled by Sunrise Jim. Other Memphis steamboat men also rejected the restaurant plan as well.
Interesting spoon circa late 1880’s early 1900’s. A person definitely knew where they stood when dining on a PMSP steamer.
James Lee 3rd had a brief career working for the C H Karr Company a river and industrial supply company. His father Capt. James Lee Jr. took over the business sometime in 1887 or 1888 following the companies financial difficulties and renamed the business Lee Brothers Co. which became the sole supplier to the Lee Line for all repair and maintenance items. James Lee 3rd worked for Lee Bros. for a brief time before engaging in a number of business ventures and occupations prior to his passing in 1919. He married his fathers law partners daughter Bodine Warinner. Together they had one daughter Sadie Ardinger Lee. They are buried in the H C Warinner family plot at Elmwood Cemetery.
James Lee 3rd son of James Lee Jr. and Capt. James Lee Sr.
Bodine Warinner wife of James Lee 3rd Elmwood Cemetery Memphis, TN
Samuel Stacker Lee is buried in his wife’s family plot in Elmwood Cemetery. Stacker was the younger brother of James Lee Jr. A newspaper account reported Stacker becoming sick with Yellow Fever sometime in the early 1880’s. He recovered but died at a fairly young 46. Several years after his death, his widow Lizzie Lee and son moved to California.
Another Memphis river front postcard from an EBay seller. I have not seen this card previously.
HARRY LEE: Boat 2540 Way’s Packet Directory page 207. Stern Wheeler, Packet, wood hull, built Clarington Ohio 1899. Originally named CITY OF WHEELING. Renamed by the Lee Line. Sank at Brandywine Landing 45 miles above Memphis August 1911 and was raised. Burned at Memphis March 19, 1914. She carried the whistle of the Lee Line ROBERT E LEE. The S&D Reflector noted in the September 1984 issue that “They (Lee’s) took good care of her and in 1913 gave her new boilers, engines, and put cylinder beams on her.” The S&D also noted following burning on March 19, 1914, “the hull was sold to Watkins Tie Co and converted into a barge. The machinery and boilers were used in the building of a new steel hull HARRY LEE at St. Louis
Thank you Stephanie P for sharing these pictures of your St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co. red plate. This very nice plate has been in her family since 1912. The writing on the back of the plate was done by her grandmother.
This picture was taken at the Bohlen-Huse Ice Company following the great flood of April 1913 which inundated the companies facilities. This picture along with a number of others was taken to support a flood damage claim. The Bohlen-Huse Ice company was founded in 1850 and was purchased by James Lee Jr. around 1884. The tall rectangular container to the left of the boiler tubes is an ice mold. The series of pictures taken to support the flood claim were in the possession of my second cousin Rowena Lee daughter of Capt. G Peters Lee. A Memphis couple who looked after Rowena inherited her collection of family papers, graciously permitted me to copy these pictures along with other documents.
Another Lee Line postcard from EBay. The writer inscribed the following on the front of the card. “Caruthersville Mo. Sept. 28, 1908. Here’s a view of the most renowned boat that caught on fire. This picture was taken when the boat stopped to load on board 2800 sacks of wheat S. of Cap. Girardeau. My stateroom was about at the X. The message on the back of the card was addressed to Miss Helen Cross, Columbia Mo. and reads “This picture is the best I took on the way down here. I had a few extra finished. They cost 5 cent each + $.70 for the package of film. Gee! This weather is cold – hope you are not frozen out.” (Way’s Packet Directory makes no mention of a fire on the PETERS LEE.)