Search billions of records on


Excerpts from
The Salt City of the Inland Seas
Anniversary Number of the Manistee Daily News
Published May, 1899

The Manistee and Milwaukee Transportation company was established in the year 1892, and has since been prominently identified with the lake carrying trade which centers in this city. The dock and offices of this company are located at the foot of Greenbush street, within easy reach of the business section of the city, and the steamer Mark B. Covell, which the company operates between Milwaukee and Manistee makes this line one of the most popular passenger routes among those, who for business or pleasure, make trips to and fro across Lake Michigan.

The Steamer Covell was originally operated by the firm of Smith & Kitzinger, but upon the death of Mr. Otto Kitzinger, the junior member of the firm, the name of the business was changed to that of the Manistee and Milwaukee Transportation Company, and under which it has been continued to the present time. The members of the company as at present organized are Captain John Smith, Captain H.L. Saunders, the commander of the Covell, and Gus Kitzinger.

The Steamer Mark B. Covell, which makes the Manistee and Milwaukee run for this company, was built in 1888 by Burger and Burger, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and rates A1. She is 131 feet in length, 27 feet beam, and ten feet in depth. The capacity of the Covell is 261 gross tons. She is licensed to carry thirty-five passengers, and three hundred excursionists. The Covell was thoroughly overhauled last fall; during the winter her boiler was remodelled and machinery put in order, and this spring received a new coat of paint throughout, leaving her in excellent condition for the Summer's business.

The Covell in addition to her passenger trade, carries a large amount of freight between here and Milwaukee, and also makes a specialty of carrying lumber from this port to Milwaukee.


The Steamer Mark B. Covell leaves the dock of the Manistee and Milwaukee Transportation Company, Manistee, every Sunday at 6 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday of each week at 7 p.m.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week the Covell leaves Milwaukee from P.J. Kline's dock, corner of Buffalo and West Water streets, at 7 p.m.

The Covell is the only passenger and freight steamer plying direct between this port and Milwaukee, and for this reason is very popular with the traveling public.


The Smith Tug Line was established in 1872,  by Smith & Rumbell, who for a time operated a ferry boat called Ide, which they ran for a year until they built the ferry boat John Smith, which made the run between Manistee and Stronach, touching at all points. In 1874 the partnership was dissolved, and the business continued by Mr. Smith, who in 1876 built the ferry boat Tiger, and purchased the tug boats Rumbell and Parnell. In 1887 he sold the Parnell and bought the tug boat Annie L. Smith. The tug Ruby was built by Mr. Smith in 1889, who now operates the tugs Smith and Ruby, and does a general towing business. In 1896, Mr. Smith purchased a dredge, and has added this business to the Smith line.

Captain John Smith, the owner of the Smith Tug Line, was born in Newark, New Jersey, September 10, 1850, where he lived six years, his parents removing to Chicago in 1856. In 1865, Mr. Smith came to this city and sailed from this port for a number of years, or until he went into the tug business in 1871. He is one of the owners of the Manistee and Milwaukee Transportation company, having an interest in the steamer Mark B. Covell, which the company operates.

Return to Manistee Surnames From Published Works

Return to Manistee County