Story and Photos by Ed Emmons
The Tazewell County Museum and the community paid tribute today to the 87 people killed when the Steamer Columbia hit a stump and sank just offshore near Creve Coeur 99 years ago.
The Pekin South Side Social Club sponsored an Illinois River excursion heading form Kingston Mines to just north of Peoria.
The Steamer carrying over 500 men, women, and children hit a tree stump around 7:30 pm on July 5, 1918 and sank. Of the 87 killed, 57 were from Pekin. The last known survivor from Pekin Lucille AdCock passed away at the age of 106 in 2006. Her two daughters, Pat Lohmann, and Beverly Bauman still survive.
Left: Ken Zurski author of a book about the Columbia disaster, ( THE WRECK OF THE COLUMBIA ) was guest speaker. Ken is also the Author of (PEORIA STORIES), a book about when President Teddy Roosevelt visited Peoria in 1910. His book may be bought online for $16.95.
Right: Ginsey Campbell played special music for the event, playing Amazing Grace and Hail Columbia.
Right:Reading of the Victims was done by great grand-daughter of Lucille AdCock Lucille Bruder Adcock, and below, Bryan Soady.
Pekin Firefighters Local 524 International Association of Firefighters were also represented.
Lucille AdCocks daughters Beverly Bowman and Pat Lohmann lay flowers by the marker of the Columbia by the River.
Steamer Columbia wreckage in 1918
Author Ken Zurski signs his book for Carol McCabe