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Capt Silas Ottley Hemenway
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Birth: Jul. 9, 1834
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 9, 1905
Webb City
Jasper County
Missouri, USA

Title: Reminiscences by personal friends of Gen. U. S. Grant and the history of Grant's cabin
Compiled: J. L. Post
Pages: 120-124
Transcribed by contributor 47360587, Webb City MO

CAPTAIN S. O. HEMENWAY. Born in Geneva, N. Y., in 1833, his parents shortly afterwards removing to Buffalo. In 1841 he was a messenger boy in a general store, and m 1850 to 1852 he was station agent at State Line between Pennsylvania and New York. In 1854 he became purser on the steamer Oriental, running between Buffalo and Chicago, and learned navigation from Captain Heber Squares.

In 1857 Captain Hemenway went to Kansas, going by steamboat from St. Louis to Westport Landing, now Kansas City, and from there by stage to Lecompton, then capital of Kansas, where he kept a hotel for one year. At this time gold was discovered in the mountains and the city of Denver was laid out. The following year he removed to Denver and opened a hotel in a log cabin of one room, without door, window or a floor. One of his guests took Hemenway's pony and traded it for a claim, out of which he took $7,000 in one day, giving Hemenway half. After a time Captain Hemenway and his family moved back East.

He started for St. Paul, but switched to New Orleans, in order to recover a drove of horses that he had left at St. Joseph, Mo. This was just prior to the opening of the civil war, and there was some trouble in getting North. At St. Paul he accepted the management of the International Hotel. A year later he helped to build the St. Paul & Pacific Railway, while the now millionaire James J. Hill was a shipping clerk for a firm in St. Paul. He later took the management of the Nicollet Hotel at Minneapolis, incidentally serving as a captain against the Indians during their uprising. He later contracted with the Union Army to supply General Shelle's army with hay which was cut between the White and Arkansas Rivers.

Toward the close of the war Captain Hemenway went to Cincinnati and bought the steamer Miami, which he ran between Memphis and Little Rock. This proved a successt financial venture until the steamer had the misfortune of a boiler explosition, at which time 187 of her 312 passengers lost their lives. At the time of the explosion Captain Hemenway's family were at Memphis, and he was on a trip to St. Louis.

The loss of the Miami bankrupted Hemenway, but in a short while he started with the little steamer Goldfinch, making trips between St. Louis and Chester. In 1867 he was offered and accepted command of a boat in the Memphis & St. Louis Line, and was on the G. W. Graham, Belle of Memphis and the Adam Jacobs, finally becoming agent of the company. While master of the G. W. Graham he made a trip up the Missouri to the mouth of the Yellowstone in the employ of the Government. The trip to Fort Buford took 76 days, the return to St. Louis being made in eight days and nine hours. Captain Hemenway left the agency of his line for one year, during which period he ran a little steamer in the lower Coast trade from New Orleans to Belize, but at the request of the company, returned to St. Louis and resumed the agency again.

He has always taken considerable interest in politics, and at the time referred to placed in nomination for Congress Erastus Wells, father of Mayor Rolla Wells. Captain Hemenway ran for County Auditor, but was not elected. His Republican competitor proved a defaulter for $225,000 and went to the penitentiary. Captain Hemenway was at one time Assistant Doorkeeper to the House of Representatives. Captain Hemenway has bought and sold a number of well-known steamers and has also been identified with the promotion of many well-known enterprises.

He brought from New York and erected at Monterey, Mexico, the first electric light plant operated in Mexico. General Diaz was so pleased with the result that he invited Captain Hemenway and his family to spend several months with him at the City of Mexico as his guests.

At the solicitation of Senators Brice, English and Barnum, Captain Hemenway became an advisory member of the National Democratic Committee and served in that capacity in the city of New York during the campaign of 1888.

He is at the present time identified with one of the most successful enterprises in the World's Fair City, acting in the capacity of President of the American Hotel, which is situated at the terminus of the Transit and Suburban lines.

Family links: 
  Minerva Hemenway (____ - 1905)
Bellefontaine Cemetery
Saint Louis
St. Louis City
Missouri, USA
Plot: Block 77 lot 1985
Created by: Webb City Mo
Record added: Mar 31, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67727272
Capt Silas Ottley Hemenway
Added by: Webb City Mo
Capt Silas Ottley Hemenway
Added by: Connie Nisinger
Capt Silas Ottley Hemenway
Added by: Connie Nisinger
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- Becky M
 Added: May. 9, 2011

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