I was born in Pennsylvania in 1830, and fifteen years later I found myself in Cincinnati. Steamboating was not my first occupation. It was not until the late 1850s that I actually began working on the river; first as a clerk, then later as a master of steamboats. When the War broke out, I enlisted in the 48th Ohio and rose to the rank of major. Illness, however, forced me to resign after only a year. Following my recovery, I returned to the river. In 1865 I became superintendent of a local packet boat company. Over the years I invested in a number of steamboats, and I was also partner in a steamboat supply business. I am now retired, but I have not turned my back on the river… for once the river has touched you, it always remains a part of your life.
James S. Wise [1830–1890]
Officers of the Memphis & Ohio River Packet Company (Captain Wise center)
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