J.R. Wells steamboat & barge at Linn Creek

After the Civil War commenced, boat traffic on the Osage diminished. The Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers (1887) documents the reduced role of river transportation on the Osage: 

“There was no steamboat commerce above Tuscumbia during the year. Only $45,960 of shipments went upriver while $559,956 worth of railroad ties and lumber was rafted or hauled downstream. 

“The tie commerce is about what it was five years ago; the steamboat commerce has decreased, due in part to short crops, and in part to railroad facilities.”

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