City of Huntington' Towboat


The towboat "City of Huntington" was launched Sept. 27, 1956.


Steam-powered sternwheelers still ruled the river in 1925, when the Ohio River Co.
first began transporting coal and other commodities on the Ohio.

The company steadily grew into one of the biggest and busiest on the river,
ultimately becoming the leading carrier of coal on the inland waterway system.

In 1926, the company's first full year of operation, it carried 399,000 tons of cargo.
By the 1950s, it was carrying more than 12 million tons every year.

On Sept. 27, 1956, the Ohio River Co. terminal at 24th Street in Huntington was the scene for the colorful
christening of the newest addition to the company's fleet of modern diesel-powered towboats, the "City of Huntington."

Hundreds of invited guests crowded aboard a canopy-covered barge to witness Mrs. George E. Theurer,
wife of the mayor, crack the traditional bottle of champagne over a capstan. Ohio River Co. President
Mike Creditor and the new towboat's captain, Jack Hamlin, looked on.

The 104-foot "City of Huntington" was built by St. Louis Ship. Today, while it's no longer
part of the Ohio River Co. fleet, Huntington's former namesake towboat is still in service on the river.
Now owned by Ozark Transportation of Paducah, Kentucky, it was renamed the "Capt. Bill" in 2002.

In 1959, the parent firm of the Ohio River Co., the West Virginia Coal & Coke Corp. changed its corporate name
 to Midland Enterprises. By the 1990s, Midland was carrying more than 60 million tons of river cargo a year,
with coal accounting for roughly two-thirds of the total. In 2002, Midland was acquired by the
 Ingram Marine Group, the largest carrier on the inland waterways.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Feb. 02 , 2015


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