Captain Anthony Meldahl

Captain Anthony Meldahl was one of the best known and beloved of the entire river fraternity when he died in 1923.

His association with steamboats began when he was still in his teens.  During the half century of his active river experience he served on or commanded many of the best steamboats in the Pittsburg-Cincinnati trade.  These included the Emma Graham, Hudson, Andes, Katie Stockdale, Ohio, Queen City, and Fashion.

He was part owner of the Fashion, which sank at Manchester Island in the Ohio, November 2, 1888.

He took the famed passenger Steamboat Queen City off the Cincinnati ways in 1897 and served as her master and senior pilot from that year until 1910.

In 1916 he became Master and Pilot for the U.S. Army Engineer Steamer Cayuga of the Cincinnati Engineer District and was serving in that capacity at the time of his death.

Such was the esteem in which he was held that the Cayuga was assigned to transport his body to Neville, Ohio, where it was interred in a family plot overlooking the river to which he had devoted his life.

During the period when he commanded to Cayuga, that steamboat was assigned to carry then President and Mrs. Warren G. Harding from Cincinnati to Point Pleasant, Ohio, the birthplace of Gen. U. S. Grant.  Captain Meldahl was at the Cayuga's wheel during that 1922 trip.

In 1895, Captain Meldahl had purchased 77 acres of farm land near Neville and established “Maple Lane Farm.”  He maintained his home there until his death.  A steamboat landing at the farm property was named “Meldahl's Landing” and is so recognized by the elders of the river fraternity.

Captain Meldahl, a pilot house perfectionist, is credited with having trained many who became the best pilot's among his younger contemporaries.


From an 1897 edition of Headlight: Sights and Scenes Along the C. & O. Route which featured Augusta.