Dorothy Heckmann Shrader
DOROTHY HECKMANN SHRADER WAS BORN Dec. 3, 1913 in Hermann, Mo. She attended school in Hermann, living with her grandparents. She spent her summers living and working with her parents aboard her Uncle “Steamboat Bill” Heckmann’s boat, the Steamer John Heckmann.
In her critically acclaimed “Steamboat Legacy,” published in 1993 and the first book of her Missouri River trilogy, Shrader told the poignant tale of her grandparent’s generation of steamboaters. In “Steamboat Treasures,” published in 1997, she traces the writings and career of her outspoken uncle, “Steamboat Bill Heckmann,” sometimes called the Mark Twain of the Missouri River. In the third of this series, “Steamboat Kid,” published in 2000, Shrader recalls what life was like for her growing up on the Missouri River. These books have won numerous honors since publication, including the Literary Award from the Missouri Library Association and the Donald B. Wright Award, a national prize for maritime journalism.
Shrader received two degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, one in journalism in 1935 and one in education in 1947. She was principal of Wilson School for the Educably Retarded and founder of the Beloit Campus School for the Emotionally Disturbed in Ames, Iowa.