1 family has captained local fleet and given Memphis proud tradition

Photos of Dale & William Lozier by Amie Vanderford.

For the late Capt. Thomas Meredith Meanley, his daughter Dale Meanley Lozier, and now his grandson, William Lozier, a love of the river has provided Memphians and visitors a trip on the “Mighty Mississippi.” They’ve built, owned, and operated a fleet of boats that have headed out from the Cobblestone Landing for 50 years. And they’ve done it with little support from the City.

After a stint in the Navy, Capt. Meanley, the grandson of newspaper tycoon E. W. Scripps, moved to Memphis and (click read more below)

became a reporter for the now-defunct Memphis Press Scimitar. Assigned to cover outdoor news, he became intrigued by the Mississippi River and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his stories. In the early 1960s he traded his press pass for a captain’s hat, bought a fleet of riverboats, and launched a new career.

His love of the river became a family affair. As he taught himself how to design and build boats, his family learned too. “We all have mud in our blood, and catfish in our bones,” said Dale Lozier. “Our goal is to give the passengers of these vessels a glimpse into the soul of this city.”

The boats have delighted Memphians and offered a chance to experience the Mississippi to out-of-town visitors including such well-known public figures as Mother Teresa, Ringo Star and Al Gore.