Since 1948, Crounse Corporation has been an industry leader in the river
transportation industry. George P. Crounse, Sr., was a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to
World War II, he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority and for Arrow Transportation, a
river towing company located in Sheffield, Alabama. During those years he learned the
fundamentals of river transportation. Mr. Crounse’s river transportation career was interrupted
by his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon leaving the Navy in 1945, he
was offered a job with another river company, Igert, Inc. (Paducah, Kentucky).
At Igert, Mr. Crounse observed that Paducah, at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio
Rivers, was ideally situated for a river-related business. During his two years with Igert,
he became convinced that a more dependable propeller-driven diesel towboat could be
built and operated more efficiently than their sternwheel diesel towboats. However, unable
to persuade the Igert management to build such a boat, he left and started Crounse
Corporation in April 1948.
The company’s first towboat, the M/V ALICE, was built by St. Louis Shipbuilding and
began service in May 1949. This single-screw 500 horsepower boat was purchased for
$84,000. A second boat, the M/V LOUISE, began working in September 1952. The ALICE started
its career towing chemical barges on the Ohio River, but by 1952, with two boats and 20
hopper barges, the Company’s primary focus was on the transportation of coal.
the towboats and barge fleets were expanded steadily. Operations on the Green River in
Western Kentucky were started in 1956 when the present locks were built. Coal moving from
the Green River was delivered to electric generating plants, and to other industrial
customers on the Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers.
grow, in June 1965, the Company moved from a converted residence into a new headquarters
building at 2626 Broadway, Paducah. A major expansion was signaled to the industry in 1969
when Crounse Corporation opened a branch office located at Maysville, Kentucky (near
Cincinnati, Ohio). Focusing on shipments from the Appalachian coal region to various consumers
on the Upper Ohio, Kanawha, and Monongahela Rivers, the Company’s growth was further
In October of 2008, Crounse Corporation celebrated it's 60th Anniversary by
moving into it's new headquarters at 400 Marine Way, Paducah, Kentucky. Today, Crounse
Corporation, employs over 300 people and with a fleet of 35 towboats and 1122 barges it transports
more than 30 million tons of cargo each year along the U.S. inland waterways. Crounse has
become one of the largest carriers of coal on the inland river system with a reputation for
superior service to its customers.