Way’s Packet Directory Boat #0461: Sternwheel Packet built at Jeffersonville Ind., by Howard Shipyard, 1899. 190 ft x 38 ft x 5.8 ft. Built for the Lee Line of Memphis, which ran her to Friars Point. When still very new she was bought by Capt. E.W.B. Nowland, Memphis, who promptly renamed her DELTA for the Memphis-Vicksburg trade. At the time of this sale she had roof signboards reading LEE LINE-PADUCAH AND WATERLOO. She had been built to “buck” the St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Co., but differences had been settled. The Nowland Line relettered the signboards to read REGULAR MEMPHIS and VICKSBURG PACKET. Sank after hitting an obstruction at Mayersville, Miss. in March 1903, raised. Burned at Harwood Island below Greenville Miss., early March 1905.
The BAYLISS LEE entered the Paducah & Tennessee River trade March 18, 1900 and was withdrawn from the Tennessee River April 6, 1900 following a meeting between my great grandfather James Lee Jr., my great uncle Robert E. Lee and the owners of the Tennessee River Packet Company. The BAYLISS LEE started a rate war to capture business, however my great grandfather and great uncle were persuaded to withdraw the BAYLISS LEE when sufficient funds were provided to persuade the Lee Line to withdraw. Previously the Tennessee River Packet Co. had entered the Mississippi River to take Memphis St. Louis trade as well as Friars Point trade. The Lee Line was successful in restoring rates in late 1899.
The above picture of the DELTA is used with permission from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Collections.