Tag Archives: Mississippi


Cover of "Life on The Mississippi"

Cover of Life on The Mississippi

“The steamboats were finer than anything on shore — like palaces.”
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi.

The first time I saw the Mississippi Queen on the Tennessee river, I was at a friend’s house north of Guntersville on PIne Island. Betty hollered for me to get the binoculars. There were white rocking chairs on the deck and you could hear a Calliope playing all the way down the river until you could see her no more. We must have stood at the edge of the lake for thirty minutes, just watching and listening.

The link above tells of her final demise, being turned into scrap. The condition of the boat had become deplorable, and would be too costly to renovate.

Just the thought of floating along on these grand ladies conjures up images of early life on the Mississippi. I think I will pull out a copy of Huckleberry Finn.


The Pickwick Belle is currently docked at Ingalls Harbor, Decatur, Alabama. Sounds like a fun day cruise or for a nice dinner.

Pickwick Belle

The Pickwick Belle has been based in Florence, but, is now in Decatur permanently. The beautiful twin deck Pickwick Belle riverboat is available for public and charter cruises including sight-seeing cruises, dinner cruises, private functions, and other themed cruises on Wheeler Lake and the Tennessee River.

I have lived in Decatur for six years, but, have visited here for ten. Every once in a while, you would see a riverboat docked at Rhodes Ferry Park. It is nice to have one here again.





W T Pickens and L C Pickens, brothers

Josephine Pickens

I come across documents and headstones, that tie everything together. This is one such document.. And it led me further into the search for more Pickens. In Texas, they have great records online. Death records I have found on many ancestors.

I have ben able to tie family members to each other. I had suspicions, but, never concrete evidence. These death records gave me what I need to verify branches on the Pickens side. It did not take me as far as I would like, but, it did help a great deal.

Below, you will see the death records of some ancestors that I traced to Alabama. Where I live now in Decatur Alabama, that would be about 3 hours south, near Montgomery in Lowndes county.

Julia A. Brown Pickens

This states her father was M. Brown, she was born in Alabama. She was the wife of William Pickens, they married Lowndes county, Feb 28, 1841. Julia A is my 3rd great-grandmother.

Tom Pickens, listed as witness, was son, W T Pickens. I find it a little funny the cause of death is listed as senility, she was 95 years of age.

Josephine Pickens

Josie Pickens was the daughter of William and Julia Ann Brown Pickens. It looks as if she never married. I have found census records of her living with brothers. In 1900-1920 census, she lived with mother, who was a widow, brothers Tom and Leonidas and a sister Mary Snell. Mary married Simeon Snell and was a widow by 1891. The informant on Josie Pickens death record, was niece, Julie Essie Graves. She was the daughter of Harvey H Pickens. my 2nd great-grandfather.

The Pickens I have found came from North Carolina, to Alabama, through Mississippi all the way to Fannin county Texas.    



In my records, I have that William Pickens married Nancy Craig. Their son, Capt. Samuel Pickens married Eleanor Kirkpatrick. Both families can be found in the 1790 census of Mecklenburg North Carolina. Eleanor was the daughter of Valentine Kirkpatrick and Martha McMurray. There is a book on the descendants of Valentine Kirkpatrick. 

It appears that in 1850, Captain Samuel Pickens and Eleanor were living in Lowndes county, Alabama. They had three children, James Valentine, William H and Lloyd Allison. William would be my 3rd great-grandfather. He married Julie Ann Brown in Lowndes county in 1841.  All I have on William is that he died in Bradley Arkansas in 1860. I can find no record of his family with him in 1850. It is possible they were in route to Arkansas at this time, through Mississippi.

Name: Eleanor Kirkpatrick
Spouse: Samuel Pickens
Marriage Date: 4 Feb 1803
Marriage County: Cabarrus
Marriage State: North Carolina
Source Vendor: County Court Records at Concord, NC
Source: County Court Records at Concord, NC
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