March 2, 1904
After a weary wait of months for the D’Arbonne to become navigable, our people were delighted last Friday to hear the whistle of the “Handy,” the elegant new steamer which is to ply the waters of the Ouachita and D’Arbonne. This new steamer was built at Evansville, Ind., on plans suggested by Capt. M. W. Wilson, and is a credit alike to the designer and builder. It is doubtful if a finer craft navigates any tributary stream in the South. The Handy has a capacity of 500 bales of cotton and perhaps 50 passengers. From keel to pilot house every inch of plank and metal is bright and clean. Her hull and entire super-structure are built for speed, steadiness and carrying capacity.
In the afternoon nearly every man, woman and child who could get to the wharf went down to inspect the Handy, and received a courteous and cordial welcome from Capt. Wilson; and many partook of refreshments served. At 9 o’clock in the evening there was a reception and dance given aboard which all greatly enjoyed.
The stockholders of the Handy are to be congratulated upon the entire appearance of their beautiful craft, and doubly so on securing the services of so popular a gentleman and efficient officer as Capt. M. W. Wilson.
The Handy is fitted up with electric lights, life preservers and a splendid fire-fighting outfit. We hope to see this excellent steamer at our wharves frequently with large and lucrative consignments of freight.