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St. Louis, Mo., June 30, 1894.

SIR: The Missouri River Commission beg leave to submit herewith their annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894.


During the past year work has been pushed as rapidly as possible on the preparation and publication of a complete set of maps of the Missouri River from its mouth to its headwaters. These maps, which embody not only the results of surveys made by the Commission, but also of all others which are considered reliable, are well advanced, and it is expected that the whole set will be completed and published dur ing the coming fiscal year.

A careful revision of the elevations of all bench marks of a permanent character has been in progress and their connection with the line of precise levels has been completed. The tabulation of this work is not yet finished, but it is expected that the results will be made available during the coming year.

As a further check upon the secondary triangulation executed by the Commission, connection has been made with the primary triangulation of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey near Kansas City, Mo. Connection with this system had already been made at St. Louis and near Jefferson City, Mo.

A monument giving geodetic position, elevation, and direction of meridian was placed in the capitol grounds at Jefferson City, Mo.

Twenty-one gauges were read throughout the year and two others during a portion of the same. Bulletins were established at all gauges at and below Kansas City to enable passing boats to ascertain the stage of water without landing. Those pertaining to gauges estab lished on bridges are also designed to indicate the clear height under the superstructure available for the passage of boats.

In addition to the above work the reduction and study of physical data has been continued, as well as much work of a miscellaneous char


For details see report of the secretary of the Commission (Appendix A).


For details see appendixes B, C, D, E, and F.

Council Bluffs, Iowa.-The break in the revetment constructed near this place, and which was alluded to in the last annual report, was repaired during the late fall and early spring, 2,600 feet of bank being protected. No further damage has occurred at this point.

St. Joseph, Mo.-The damaged portion of the Belmont Bend revetment, described in our last report, was thoroughly repaired during October and November of 1893, 4,500 feet of revetment being constructed. A further slight break occurred recently, which could not be repaired owing to the high stage of water. Until this subsides the extent of the damage can not be definitely ascertained, but it is not thought to be serious.

Kansas City, Mo.-No work was done here during the past season, and the plant which had been used in the spring was sent to the Gasconade division. The harbor lines in front of Kansas City, Kaus., and Kansas City, Mo., which had been recommended by the Commission were approved by the Secretary of War under date of December 9, 1893.


The first reach, herein referred to, extends from the mouth of the Osage River to the mouth of the Missouri. For convenience of work and administration it is now divided in two parts, the Osage and Gasconade divisions, which, respectively, cover work in the vicinity of the mouths of those two streams.

The Osage division work extends to the head of Murrays Bend, 14 miles above the Osage. This extension was found necessary to get a secure heading for the work and to get the river in proper training before reaching the formidable bars at the mouth of the Osage. Murrays Bend is revetted. Below that point groups of permeable dikes have been put in wherever the necessity was apparent, the object being to keep the river along the rocky shore at and below Jefferson City, and in a concentrated channel of suitable width as far as the mouth of the Osage. From this point it is to be led on as nearly a straight line as possible through the wide shoals outside of Dodds Island, touching the detached bluff of Cote Sans Dessein, and reaching the right-hand bluffs again near Isbell Station. During the season work was carried on over a distance of about 20 miles, at all points and in such measure as the conditions warranted. The revetment of Murrays Bend, begun the previous season, was completed to the foot of the bend, a distance of 6,867 feet. Of permeable dike work, 10,472 feet was constructed, involving the driving of 3,426 piles. To prevent the escape of water into Osage Chute at low stages, a dam of brush and stone was built across the head of it. The dam proper is 1,525 feet long, and its crest is 2 feet above standard low water; with its shore connections it is 2,425 feet long. It was built late in the fall, and its immediate effect was to deepen the channel at the head of Dodds Island some 2 feet.

The development of the desired channel through these shoals is progressing rapidly and surely, though several seasons will probably be required to get the full effects. It is not possible at present to complete all the dikes required for this rectification for fear of obstructing the present boat channel, but such work as is possible must be done every year till the system is complete. Better or rather more rapid results might have been secured if higher stages of water had prevailed, but for the last two seasons only very moderate floods have been experienced. With the greater scour incident to greater volumes of water it is probable that the Osage Bar would have been entirely removed by this time. In anticipation of this result work has already been begun below Dodds Island, and as fast as funds enable the work to progress it will be extended downstream till it connects with the work of the Gasconade division, probably near the town of Chamois.

Work on the Gasconade division had been at the date of last report confined to preparation for active operations. August 16 dike work was commenced at Little Tavern Creek, a few miles below Portland, Mo. The work, essentially similar to that on the Osage division, was designed to control and rectify the river channel from Portland to the mouth of the Gasconade. During the season 10,175 feet of permeable dike was constructed, 3,200 piles being driven to an average penetration of 21 feet. In addition several large rocks obstructing navigation were blasted out and removed.

It is too soon to judge of results at this point, but so far the indications are very favorable.

Further operations in this division include the extension of the rectification upstream to Chamois and downstream to the Gasconade.

When this work and that of the first division is completed, 45 miles of river, from Murrays Bend to the Gasconade, will be fairly under control. As this portion embraces many points of very difficult navigation a fair test of the scope and value of the improvement will be afforded. The Commission hope to be able to do all the work needed for this purpose during the next two years, although probably several years must still elapse before full results are obtained.

In addition to the construction work here described a great deal of time and money has been devoted to the repair and reconstruction of the plant which had greatly deteriorated during the ten years which have elapsed since it was first built.


The snag boat belonging to the Commission began work August 3 and was kept actively engaged till November 16. The river was cleared as far as Bushwhacker bend, 256 miles from the mouth, and a second trip was made as far as Barkersville, 142 miles from the mouth.

In the spring of 1894 the boat worked over the river again as far up as Kansas City. She is now laid up waiting for funds to enable her to resume this very important work.

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As at the date of this report the appropriation bills for the current year have not been passed by Congress, no programme of work for the year is possible.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896, the Commission beg leave to submit the following estimates:

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Money statement.

July 1, 1893, balance unexpended....

June 30, 1894, refunded during fiscal year on account of overpayment, etc.


June 30, 1894, amount expended during the fiscal year..

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$851, 682. 39 164.86

851, 847.25 820, 504. 54

31, 342. 71

13, 136. 38

18, 206. 33

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1896 750, 000. 00 Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and harbor acts of 1866 and 1867 and of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

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