Lemuel Gray was the pilot of the steamboat Gold Dust, the boat that Mark Twain boarded in St. Louis in 1882 after an absence of 20 years from the river. He wrote the second half of "Life on the Mississippi" based on the ensuing journey. Twain changed Gray's name to Styles in the book after learning he had been killed in a boiler explosion on the Gold Dust. The two men had been friends during Twain's own piloting days. During Twain's trip on the Gold Dust, he lost his corncob pipe while knocking ashes over the side. Lemuel Gray sent a box of corncob pipes to Twain's stateroom to replace the lost pipe.
Bio by: Connie Nisinger