PARKERSBURG, West Va., Nov. 27.-- The steamer Emma Graham which left Pittsburg Wednesday evening last, bound for Cincinnati with numerous passengers on board, sank in the Ohio River at Ripley Landing, near this place, at 9 o'clock last night. In swinging into the landing the Graham struck a large barge filled with staves. The barge was tied to the landing, with no danger signals displayed. The steamer struck on her starboard side with terrific force, overturning everything on board. The barge was torn loose and floated off down stream. The officers of the Graham, not knowing the extent of the injuries to their boat, made an effort to catch the barge, but the Graham began to sink and the Captain then tried to beach the steamer, but the hold filled with water so rapidly that he found it impossible to do so and she sank in mid channel in 20 feet of water. The wildest excitement prevailed on board, women and children shrieking and rushing frantically about.
The men were greatly excited in their efforts to save their families and themselves. Capt. Cooper and Clerk Slavin stood manfully at their posts, and It was by their coolness and bravery that a fearful loss of life was prevented. Many passengers in their excitement were about to jump into the icy cold stream. Several of the deck bands and dock passengers were swept overboard into the swift running water. The firemen and Second Mate Pendleton caught the stage plank and clung to it until Fireman Mylo Cooper climbed up on one end, when it turned over, throwing its four occupants again into the river. Their heartrending cries for help attracted attention from parties on the shore, who put out in skiffs and rescued three of them. Mylo Cooper gave one loud cry, "For God's sake save--" and sank to the bottom. After an hour's hard work all who were yet alive were taken to the neighboring houses, where all that was possible was done for their comfort. Fire man Cooper is the only person positively known to be lost though it is supposed that several more of the deck hands have met with a similar fate, as they are still missing. All the passengers were brought to Parkersburg on this morning's boat.
New York (New York) Times, November 28, 1885.