P-5: Dorothy Heckmann Shrader Collection | UMSL

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P-5: Dorothy Heckmann Shrader Collection

ABSTRACT: This collection consists of writing and photographs from multiple members of the Heckmann family, representing significant involvement in river industry along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Varying members of the Heckmann Family owned a packet company, captained boats, wrote for the Waterways Journal, collected and took photographs of vessels, and kept diaries alongside this work, all collected and kept by Dorothy Heckmann-Shrader. Portions of this collection are availlable on the digital library (see link below.)

SCOPE: At present, this collection contains:

Series 1 - Diaries of Mrs. Shrader's grandmother, Mary Louise Miller Heckmann (wife of Capt. William L. Heckmann, Sr.), who kept a daily diary from the age of 13 until her death at age 62;

Series 2 - Papers of Capt. Edward Heckmann, Mrs Shrader's father, and the Heckmann Packet Co.;

Series 3 - Photographs of Missouri River vessels, river men, and other river and ocean vessels;

Series 4 - Steamboat Bill columns from The Waterways Journal, written by her uncle, Steamboat Bill Heckmann, who has been dubbed the Mark Twain of the Missouri River, and clippings from the Advertiser Courier;

Series 5 - This series consists of one item, a diary, written by Capt. Edward Heckmann from 1875 to 1885.

EXTENT:This is Special Collection P-5. Approximately 9 linear feet. Manuscripts, archival records, and photographs.

HISTORY: Dorothy Heckmann Shrader was a Missouri River historian, who came by her love of steamboating and river lore naturally. She was born and raised in Hermann, Missouri, which was the busiest port on the Missouri River. As a youth, she spent summers tramping up and down the Missouri River aboard her father's excursion boat, the steamer John Heckmann. The large Heckmann Family, through the Herman Ferry and Packet Company, owned and worked on the last privately owned steamboats on the Missouri River.

(Image: Str. PEERLESS, built at Hermann, MO, 1893, owned by the Hermann Ferry & Packet Co., ran on the Missouri River until 1905. (Dorothy Heckmann Shrader Collection))
Str. PEERLESS, built at Hermann, MO, 1893, owned by the Hermann Ferry & Packet Co., ran on the Missouri River until 1905. (Dorothy Heckmann Shrader Collection)

ACCESS: This is Collection P-005. This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building. More information about conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.

Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”

Portions of the collection are available for remote & online viewing on the UMSL Digital Library as the P-005: Dorothy Heckman Shrader Collection.

Dorothy Heckmann Shrader Finding Aid (.pdf)


Shrader, Dorothy Heckmann. The City of Herman: Missouri Presents Hermann 1836, a Dream in Philadelphia, 1986, a Town in Missouri.(Hermann, MO: Graf Printing Co., 1986)

---. Steamboat Kid: Memories of a Missouri River Childhood. (Hermann, MO: Wein Press, 1993).

---. Steamboat Legacy: the Life and Times of a Steamboat Family. (Hermann, MO: Wein Press, 1993).

---. Steamboat Treasures: the Inadvertent Autobiography of a Steamboatman. (Hermann, MO: 1997).

(Image: Captain Edward Heckmann)

Capt. Ed Heckmann
(From Collection P-005)