Historian Louis Intres
made one of the more interesting program presentations
before the University Heights Lions Club Tuesday. He
talked about “The Sinking of the Sultan,” an 1865
occurrence on the Mississippi River near Marion just
after the end of the Civil War.
A four-boiler double
sidewheel steamer, The Sultana was overloaded with some
2,500 people, the vast majority of them Civil War Union
soldiers who had been released from prisons in Alabama
and Georgia and were on their way to Cairo, Ill., and
Intres said more than
1,800 perished when the ship’s boilers exploded setting
the wooden superstructure ablaze. He said that event was
the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history. Some 300
more died then than during the Titanic. Only some 500
Intres said a museum
dedicated to the Sultana has opened in Marion and a new
film about the disaster premiered Monday and is due to
be released this fall.
The club meeting
started at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday when President Jim Watkins
called order and Tail Twister Bill Dickens began his
spiel. Lion Ron Erwin, badge 24,won the pot drawing;
Lion Donnie Kissinger, with assistance from Lion Brad
Baker, led the song; Eric Grant the pledge and Lion
Bill Levins the prayer.
Members were reminded
of White Cane at Walmart on Highland Drive Thursday and
There were 22 present
including one guest, Angela Howe, guest of Brad Baker
and Intres, the speaker.
Adjournment was at 7:37