. HIS BOOK
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE WATERS FROM PITTSBURGH
TO CAIRO, WITH ACCOUNTS OF THE DESTRUCTION
OF PROPERTY, AND INCIDENTS BY EYE-WIT-
NESSES AND SUFFERERS; TOGETHER WITH
USEFUL AND IMPORTANT INFORMA-
TION AND STATISTICS.
THE WORK OF THE GALLIPOLIS RELIEF COMMITTEE.
JOHN L. VANCK.
THE BULLETIN OFFICE;
COPYRIGHTED 1884, BY JOHN L. VANCE.
THE STORY OF THE FLOOD OF 1884.
A new leaf must be added to the history of our country ;
not a pleasant one, but one of the saddest and most calami-
tous with which our people have ever been visited. It is not
our purpose, in adding this leaf, to enter into exhaustive details,
and* dwell at great length upon the hundreds and thousands
of sad but interesting incidents in connection therewith, but
to present, in a brief and comprehensive form, an account of
THE GREAT KLOOD
that rendered desolate, for the time being, the beautiful Ohio
Valley, extending from Pittsburgh to Cairo. It is a calamity,
the like of which no living man ever saw before in this Valley
or that of the Mississippi. Nor is there any well defined tra-
dition handod down by the aborigines of anv such occurrence
during the ages the country must have been occupied by
them. The widespread ruin it has wrought it wal take years
to repair, and th< usands will never be able to resurrect their
industries nor recuperate their fallen fortunes. We trust that
it may not be the fate of the inhabitants of this Valley to ever
again be compelled to cope with such a combination of cir-
cumstances as produced it.
During the preceding month of January we experienced
the se erest and most intense cold of the century. There
were several heavy snow storms extending over a vast extent
of territory, embracing New York, Pennsylvania, West Vir-
ginia, Kentucky, Indiana nnd Ohio. Snow was reported
four feet deep in the m mntains, and it covered the hills and
i HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
valleys of all the tributary streams of tVe Ohio River. The
proverbial "January thaw'' did not come with its accustomed
vigor. The weather moderated towards the close of the
month at intervals, but before the great snow falls had been,
converted into water and found their way to the channel of
the river, they would be caught and locked in the icy embrace
of returning cold in all of the small streams and rivulets.
However, with the expiring days of January came mild, mod-
erate weather, that began to start the ice gorges in the Alle-
gheny, Monongahela, Youghiogheny, and in the interior of
Ohio. There was less than the usual amount of damage at
headwaters by the breaking of these gorges, by reason of all
the headwater streams being well in bank, as was also the Ohio
River to its mouth. Steamboat navigation was beginning to
resume, business was reported very active at many points,
and the usual awakening of hope and cheerfulness, after the
severe cold, had begun to inspire confidence, enterprise and
life in the whole Valley for nine hundred miles.
So much for an introductory to our little history of this
ever-to-be-remembered deluge. In order to get as many
facts in as small a compass as is consistent with our purpose,
we shall arrange the revelations of each day under the date
of their occurrence, beginning with
On this date the weather was reported clear and pleasant
throughout the whole length and breadth of the Valley.
The Allegheny and Monongahela were reported falling.
At Wheeling and Ironton the river was stationary. The
Kanawha and Licking Rivers were falling.
The Monongahela had fallen nearly five feet in the last
twenty-four hours, standing at twelve feet nine inches. At
Wheeling, Pomeroy, Point Pleasant and Gallipolis the river,
though in rather robust stage, was falling. At Ironton, Cin-
cinnati, Evansville, Louisville, Cairo and Memphis it was
rising, and at Cincinnati had reached forty-nine feet nine and
one-half inches, and had begun to excite sufficient interest to
HISTORY OF THE OR. AT FLOOD OF 1884. ^
cause the inquiry, "How high do you think it will go?"
Some said, " It's about as high now as it will get." Others
said, "It may go to fifty-five feet here;" but none thought
of sixty or sixty-five feet, although on this very day it was
twenty-three feet higher than it was on February 3d, 1883,
rising rather rapidly, a ;d threatening rain. On the night of
the 3d it w:s advancing so rapidly at Cincinnati that arriving
steamers would not discharge their freight upon the landing,
for fear of it being reached before morning ; and the towboats
in that vicinity began to take an active interest in the situation,
and there was a slamming and banging and restless moving
-all night, among every sort of craft.
Things began to look ominous for a repetition of 1883,
though it was not a certainty. The weather was warm, and
raining at Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Marietta, Pomerojs Point
Pleasant, Charleston, Gallipolis, Portsmouth, Boston Station
on the Licking, Cincinnati, Madison, Evansville, Louisville
and Cairo, but falling between Pittsburgh and Maysville.
At Cincinnati, however, it continued to rise, and marked fifty-
one and one-half feet, and rising.
The situation now began to be alarming indeed, all along
the river. Heavy rains throughout its entire length, of twen-
ty to thirty hours' duration, were beginning to tell. The
weather was yet mild, and it was known that there was yet
much snow in the mountains, and that the warm and *heavy
rains must not only melt it rapidly, but dissolve the ice cover-
ing the whole land area of the Valley and reaching far into
the interior on both sides of the Ohio River, bringing every
tributary stream to its highest point.
At Pittsburgh, the greatest apprehensions were felt of a dis-
astrous flood, especially among those whose homes were along
the banks of the Alleghen}' and Monongahela. Stocks of
goods and household effects were at once taken in all haste to
more elevated positions, and the day was spent industriously
in endeavoring to meet what all felt certain now would come
the highest water since a year before. From Parkershurg,
Pomerov, Point Pleasant, Charleston, Gallipolis, Huntington,
Catlettsburg, Ironton, Portsmouth, Carrollton, Frankfort,
Madison, Evansville and Louisville there was but one cry
6 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1664.
"RISING- AND RAINING!"
These were words of terrible import to hundreds of thou-
sands of people who already saw the banks in front of them
full at many places, and who knew that in a few hours at
furthest the resistless waters would be engulfing them even
w'herc yet to this moment they had rested in fancied security
that the flood of 1883 would not be repeated in half a cen-
tury, and possibly never again. " Rising and rr.ining" at
every point told them oely too certainly of disaster, devasta-
tion and irreparable loss. It sounded like a death knell in
the ears of the poor and needv, many of whom had already
been waiting for weeks for the opening of mills, mines, navi-
gation and all species of industry, and whose very existence
depended on the speedy opening of uninterrupted business.
Thousands in the (owns and cities sat up till midnight to h.ar
the latest telegrams, and when they came they conveyed in-
telligence even more gloomy and foreboding.
At Pittsburgh, the water had reached a point higher than at
any time since 1865, while the Kanawha, Big Sandy, Muskin-
gum and Scioto were reported overflowing and pouring their
angry and wasteful waters into the great river of the Valley.
At Cincinnati, the water had now reached a height of fifty-
five feet three inches, and was rising at the rate of four
inches an hour. At Wheeling, it was thirty feet, and rising a
foot an hour. At Louisville, in that part of the city known
as " The Point," the inhabitants spent the night in moving
their household goods from their habitations to higher
ground. White River, at Indianapolis, was within six feet
of the' highest point ever reached, and the rain coming down
in torrents. At Falmouth, Ky., it had been raining continu-
ously for forty-eight hours. Trains were delayed by land-
slides. Licking River was running over and rising eight
inches an hour. At Cleveland, the Cuyahoga was higher
than at any time during the flood of last y>-ar. The Valley
Railroad, and the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Road between
Newburg and Bradford, were under the water in many
places. At Canton, streets and cellars were full of water in
the northwestern part of the city. The Valley and Connot-
ton Railroads were disabled, and trains had to be abandoned
on the Coshocton Division of the Connotton Road. The
Mahoning River was booming, and at Youngstown was over-
flowing its banks and driving many families from their homes,
and rising rapidly. At Findlay, the Blanchard River was
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 7
inundating a portion of the city, pouring into the gas-works
and driving people from the lower end of the town. The
village of Arlington, that county, was flooded, and a large
amount of lumber swept away. Trains were delayed at Akron
by flood damages, and a large iron bridge over the Cuya-
hoga at Peninsula was weighted down with heavy stone to
hold it in place. The Ottawa River was out of its banks at
Lima. Hocking River was carrying everything before it,
and at Nelsonville the indications pointed to a great flood.
This was the situation at midnight from all points of the
compass on the 5th of February. Could it do otherwise than
carry consternation and dismay to every inhabitant of the
Ohio Valley whose home was on the bank of the Ohio, to
know that every turbulent tributary of that mighty stream
was adding its force and weight to this already mighty ocean
of water? At Cincinnati, its waves and swells were already
splashing over the curbstones at the corner of Second Street
and the Public Landing, and climbing higher and higher with
each succeeding wish-wash, which kept up with unvarying
and monotonous melody. The Cincinnati, Washington &
Baltimore Road stopped receiving freight in the afternoon.
Steamboat navigation was about suspended. All the inhabi-
tants of Millcreek were preparing for the very worst.
Thousands of head of cattle were being removed, at great
expense and trouble, to the Stock Yards. AbeFurst. a deal-
er, had 4,000 head that had to be removed with all possible
expedition. The situation at Newport was a mournful one
to contemplate. Already visited by a flood in two successive
years, she was now preparing for a third visitation, and with
every prospect of far greater calamity than before. One
hundred families left their homes on this day. Many were
deserving of the kindest pity. The business disarrangement
of the city had thrown many out of employment for months,
and their scanty supplies were even now about exhausted,
and here was cruel fate tossing them in a heap entirely upon
the charity of the world. Six feet more of water that none
doubted now would come would put out the fires of many
mills, and anxious and worried faces were seen on every hand.
The same state of affairs existed at Covinglon. Fear and
anxiety were depicted on every countenance the rich and
well-to-do as well as the poor. At ill-fated Lawrenceburg
the situation was desperate. Six thousand inhabitants, who
had, in the flood of 1883, endured enough of such experiences
for an ordinary life-time, waited with fear and trembling the
8 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
fearful onset of 1884. In the meantime, however, they had
not been idle. Fully one thousand families had moved from
their homes to places of greater safety, to avoid the remorse-
less tide that seemed to have no limit. The public schools
had closed ; court had adjourned ; all business save that of
taking care of property was suspended. Watchmen patrolled
the levee to give the first note of a break bv the waters. The
anxiety was so great that hundreds neither ate nor slept.
The sick, the aged and infirm, and children of tender years
were removed to places of safety and placed in charge of com-
mittees appointed to take care of them. The hurry and
panic of all this was like the evacuation of an army before
the advent of superior forces. It -baffles all attempt at de-
Business was now entirely suspended at Pittsburgh. The
Allegheny gas-works were flooded, and that city and a large
portion of Pittsburgh were in total darkness, and the rain
still came down in torrents. The water was nearly as high as
in 1832, and rising, the damage up to this time amounting to
$2,000,000. At Wheeling, it marked forty-three feet and
rising, with steady rain. At Marietta, forty-one feet and
rising, with steady rain. At Pomeroy, forty-five feet ; rising
four inches an hour and raining. At Point Pleasant, forty-six
feet six inches ; rising three inches an hour and raining ;
everybody moving out of the lower end of the town ; nothing
short of 1883 expected, and every preparation possible being
made to receive it ; the space under the suspension bridge only
forty-six feet. At Charleston, the Kanawha was stationary,
with only nineteen feet in the channel, but raining, and a rise
momentarily expected. At Gallipolis, the river had risen five
feet in twenty-four hours, and was still advancing three inches
an hour, and lacking only eight feet of February pth, 1883.
The creeks of Gallia County were all reported full and over-
flowing. The rain had fallen incessantly for twenty-four
hours. The thermometer marked fifty-eight degrees, and
there was no mistaking the indications. The Bostona, Captain
John W. Hollo way, went to the bank here and discharged
her crew, by the order of Superintendent Chas. M. Holloway,
of the Big Sandy Packet Company. No mail arrived, owing
to the flood in the Hocking River and the carrying away of
the large bridge at Logan.
At Ironton, the river marked forty-eight feet three inches
and rising, with heavy rain. At Portsmouth, fifty feet six
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 9
inches, and rising three inches an hour was reported. Licking
River was booming all along the line, and heavy rains re-
ported from head to mouth. At Madison and Louisville the
same cry went up " raining and rising three inches an hour."
The prospect was indeed gloomy. Between Evansville and
Paducah one million bushels of corn was reported to be lying
in the fields that it was impossible to move, and which must
be swept away.
At Cincinnati, ten miles of river front were being swept
by raging waters, and the greatest excitement prevailed. The
First Regiment and Second Battery went on duty, supplement-
ing the police force in the preservation of life and property.
A floating relay of fire engines was placed in readiness to
render further assistance to the beleagured city in case of
need. At midnight the height of water measured sixty-one
feet, only five feet four inches less than in 1883. General
Hazen's dispatch from Washington added to the intensity of
the excitement. It was as follows :
CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICE, WASHINGTON, February 6, 1884.
From two to three inches of rain reported in the Ohio Valley during the last
'twenty-four hours. River rising rapidly at all points. Seven to eight feet above
the danger line at all points from Louisville northward. Floods will increase,
and prove very destructive. Give general warning. Property and stock should
be removed to points above the danger line. Floods will reach the Mississippi
early next week. W. B. HAZEN, Chief Signal Officer.
It was a mournful day at Cincinnati. Business men went
about as if a leaden weight were already hung to their heavy
hearts. Nothing was thought about or talked of but the
deluge, and speculations as to where it was likely to stop and
when it would end. The Chamber of Commerce met, but
transacted no commercial business. It voted to duplicate its
donation to the relief fund last year of $5,000, and started a
subscription that in less than twenty minutes augmented the
donation to about $8,000. The Legislature was requested to
authorize the City Comptroller to borrow a sum not exceeding
$100,000 for the use of the Relief Committee of the Common
"Council. The Relief Committee organized with H. C. Urner,
President; S. F. Dana, Treasurer, and Colonel Sidney D.
Maxwell, Secretary. The southwest corner of Fourth and
Race streets was chosen as headquarters. Committees on
food, on clothing and on various things needful were at once
appointed, and went immediately to work. " The Associated
Charities " met and organized an Executive Committee, and
-I" i..,-iOKY OF " IE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
the great city, with its 260,000 inhabitants, was in fighting trim
to save lite if it could not save property. The streets pre-
sented a wierd and woeful appearance. The following ex-
tract from a Cincinnati paper will give the reader an intelli-
gent idea of the situation, and his imagination can depict the
" At the foot of every street, as far east as Elm, were skiffs, yawls, improvised
flats, and other light crafts engaged in removing property of poor people wha
had been driven from their homes. Wagons were hurrying through mud and
water, removing portable property from manufactories, the teams being driven
as never wagon teams had been driven before. One small wagon, on the
cover of which was painted the name of a yeast company, was suggestive
of a further rise.
" Families were congregated on sidewalks, the mothers and eldest children
carrying the smallest children, and the children of medium size carrying chairs,
tables, and other house property that would float, and all jostling and pushing
one another as though time was to them of great importance in the effort to get
in each other's way, and thereby accomplish as little as possible."
The view of Covington and Newport from the bridges pre-
sented to the eye a sea of desolate waters, with partially
inundated dwellings and manufactories, and fleeing people in
the streets, many of them with all they possessed loaded in a
wagon or on a dray, with husband, wife and children follow-
ing along behind, seeking safety. A thousand houses at least
were under water in Newport. Boats and barges and all sorts.
of river property moved oftentimes far out from shore with a'
net work of cables, the bridge itself being only approachable
by boats, the water covering the first floor of every building
on the Public Landing at Cincinnati, and in the second stories-
of buildings at the foot of Commercial Row, Walnut Street
and Broadway, and extending up Sycamore and Main Streets,.
and Broadway north of Second Street.
At Loveland, the Little Miami was playing sad havoc.
The city was full of homeless people and wrecked and wasted
property. The same was true at Miamiville, Milford, Mor-
row, Plainville and Middletown. At Columbus, travel was sus-
pended on nearly all roads centering there, in consequence ot
the washing away of tracks, bridges, trestles and culverts, and
the telegraph service was in a badly crippled state. The Scioto,
Hocking and Hockhocking were all dangerously high, getting
higher, and doing great damage to railroads, farmers and
villages. At Steubenville. the water had reached a height
never before known. The Susquehanna was exciting alarm
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
at points in Maryland. The Wabash was sweeping away
bridges and all sorts of property in Indiana. The flood was
on the increase in Western Pennsylvania, and the Schuylkill
was doing great damage at Philadelphia.
The first thing on Thursday morning, February 7th, was
Chief Signal Service Officer General W. B. Hazen's telegram
of warning, dated and reading as follows :
WASHINGTON, February 7 i A. M.
The floods will increase in the Ohio, and be very disastrous. Property should
be removed to points above the high water mark of the floods of last year. The
floods will extend to the Mississippi, between Cairo and Memphis.
At this hour it was marking sixty-one feet and one-fourth of
an inch at Cincinnati, or only three feet three and three-
fourths inches less than it marked at five o'clock on the morn-
ing of February I5th, 1883, when it stood at sixty-six feet
four inches. It would seem that the warning, was almost
superfluous from the fact that on this day the Monongahela
and Allegheny were stationary, having touched their highest
points. At Pittsburgh, the Monongahela, by which all com-
parisons are made, registered thirty-four feet, or only twelve
inches less than it did February loth, 1832, its highest known
mark, as will be seen by the following record of big floods
in Pittsburgh since 1832 :
Ft. In. Ft. In.
Feb. 10, 1832 35 o
Feb. 10, 1840 26 9
Feb. i, 1847 26 o
April 19,1852 31 9
April, 1858 26 o
April 12, 1860 29 7
Sept. (29, 1861 30 9
Jan. 20, 1862 28 7
April 22, 1862 25 4
March 4, 1865 24 o
March 1 8, 1865 31 4
April i, 1865 21 6
May 12,1865 2I 6
Feb. 15, 1867 22 o
March 13, 1867.. 22 6
March 18, 1868 22 o
April 15, 1868 20 6
April 1 1, 1872 20 6
Dec. 14, 1873 2 S
Jan. 8, 1874 , 22
Dec. 30, 1874 21
August 3, 1875 21
Dec. 28, 1875 21
Sept. 18, 1876 23
Jan. 17, 1877 23
Dec. 11, 1878 24
Jan. 29, 1879 20
March 12, 1879 20
Feb. 14, 1880 22
Feb. 10, 1881 25
June 10, iSSi 28
Jan. 28, 1882 21
Feb. 22,1882 21
Feb. 5, 1883 25
Feb. 8, 1883 27
12 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
The Allegheny registered thirty-four feet six inches. At
Wheeling, there was fifty-one feet of water, and rising ; at
Charleston, West Virginia, twenty feet and rising ; at Galli-
polis, still rising three inches an hour, as it had been for thirty-
six hours ; at Huntington, fifty-eight feet and rising three
inches an hour; at Ironton, fifty-three feet and rising four
inches an hour ; at Portsmouth, fifty-five feet nine inches and
rising four inches an hour ; in point of fact, rising from
Wheeling to Cairo, and so frightfully high that all towns not
absolutely above high-water mark were already inundated,
and suffering untold damages, amounting to millions of dollars.
Pittsburgh and Allegheny were in a deluge of water. In
the two cities exist a population of about 300,000 inhabitants,
against 20,000 inhabitants in 1832. Along their miles and
miles of river front stand great manufactories, representing
almost every imaginable enterprise, and in which millions of
dollars were invested, besides railroads, with all their valuable
rolling stock, and dwellings for from 25,000 to 30,000 people,
all inundated some swept entirely away some damaged be-
yond repair some requiring the additional investment of
fortunes to save what was left of them, and from 20,000 to
' 30,000 people driven from their homes. The confusion,
anxiety, distress and suffering incident to such a state of
affairs in these two cities alone could not be described in a
dozen volumes like this. A relief fund was at once started,
and I. M. Gusky headed the first paper with $500, suggesting
that the mayors of the two cities appoint committees to take
charge and manage the funds, and recommending prompt
action. The cities were in darkness, owing to the flooding of
the gas-works, and the military were called out, and their
tramp was heard adding to the many strange and novel
scenes that crowded upon each other.
Steubenville was mourning that she had one hundred
houses submerged and many washed away, some caving in,
and miles of railroad track wrecked, and some of them sus-
pending business. Her water-works were under water. Her
iron works were submerged, with thousands of kegs of nails
rusting in the muddy element, and many other industries and
products of industry in a like condition. Yet Steubenville is
one of the highest located towns on the river, and it is usual
with her to lose but little when many other places are in great
distress. The water got two feet higher here than in 1832.
Wheeling was already counting her loss at over*a million
dollars, and fifty-three feet marked her water level at ten
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 1
o'clock that night, standing twenty inches on her post-office
flo'-.r. Every inch of rise had caused fear and trembling,
but happily it was now high enough, and went no farther j
15,000 of her citizens had been routed from their homes;
5,000 were quartered on their neighbors, in boarding houses
and hotels, while 10,000 found homes as best they could
in churches, school houses and public halls, and many could
find no roof to shelter them. All day long those of her citizens
who had homes and were comfortably situated were witnesses
of the desolation of others. From point to point they went,
many closing their places of business and vieing with each
other as to who should see the most of this awful and majestic
sight that had never before been presented to this generation
of men. The water was now over four feet greater than the
historical flood of 1832 at this point, as may be seen by the
following table :
Tear. Month. Ft. In.
1810 November. 48 . .
1832 February 48 1 1
1852 April 48
1860 April 43
18,61 September 44 2
1862 April 37
1865 March 41
1873 December 39 8
1874 January 38 8
1878 December 34 9
1881 February 38 8
1881 June 40 9
1883 February 38 9
1884 February 53
A much larger area of the city's surface was of course sub-
merged. The island was entirely under water, and not a
house not inundated. Skiffs paddled their way directly over
the roofs of all one-story dwellings. The water reached to Main
Street (in Wheeling), above the foot of the hill ; on Market
Street to the alley above the City Bank ; on Fourteenth Street
to a point some distance east of Market ; on Twelfth Street to
the Zeitung office, and on Sixteenth Street east of the Luth-
eran Church, and the water was six feet deep in the counting
room of the Intelligencer office. Skiffs navigated East Wheel-
ing almftst at will. Center Market Sqnare was flooded. The
fair grounds on the island were a complete wreck, and the
14 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
association bankrupted. It was a sickening spectacle. There
was hardly any other cry went up from the island but " For
God's sake send us aid." Fortunately no lives were lost, but
it was altogether owing to the almost superhuman exertions
of the volunteer life-saving crew, who worked as men never
worked before, and for humanity's sake alone, not accepting
a red cent from any one. The following are the names, and
\ve give them a place in our little history, that they may be
more safely remembered for th^ir heroic services : Gus.
Wagner, Jake Dressel, D. C. Kuerner, Frank Woodmansee,
Harry McLure, Chris Wincher, Will Kuerner, George
Kuerner, Philip Knabe, Tom and Al Martin, Captain Tom
Duff, Sam Norton, George Reinacher, Sam Leonhart, Mart.
Douglass, Ad. Ebbert, Tom Kenny, J. M. Belleville, W. F.
Butler, Jr., George Dressel, George Humphries, Hall and
Will Sadler, Harry Young, Captain William Dillon, George
Loos, William Lutz. H. P. McGreger, F. C. Darby, Mike
Crawford, Charles Hamilton, G. Naegel, Henrv Riester,
Will Jungling, A. A. Franzheim, Charlie Rose. Robert B.
Woods, Will Beans, Wally Lukins, John and William Arm-
strong, Charlie Clouston, Tom Wilson, Fred Huseman,
Tappan, Will F. Klett, H. D. Dupke, George Clator, Frank
McNeil, Henry Merkle, Superintendent Lawson, W. C. Wil-
kinson. Perhaps there were others, whose names are not
there. If so, we are sorry, and it is no fault of ours. We
clip the following from the Wheeling Intelligencer, which at
once brings to the mind comprehensively what the flood of
February, 1884, did for Wheeling and vicinity :
" The work of destruction done by the flood exceeded any ever experienced
hereabouts by war, fire or storm. The greatest calamity to property ever re-
corded before was a mere trifle to the damage and loss done by the raging flood.
The railroads were demoralized and travel was suspended. Telegraph and
telephone wires were thrown down and broken, and the poles uprooted and
washed away. Fields were swept bare of the soil, fences were carried toward
the gulf, outhouses and barns demolished or swept far away, and houses were
overturned or floated from their sites, many of them crushed to pieces, and
others stranded miles from their former locations. Household goods of all
kinds were irretrievably ruined, to say nothing of the damage sustained by
mills, factories and stores. All told, the loss in the immediate vicinity of
. Wheeling was not overestimated by the Intelligencer when it was placed early
in the progress of the flood at $6,000,000. Many houses fell or were torn down
to prevent a disastrous fall after the flood had subsided."
HISTORY OF THE GKEAT FLOOD OF 1884. 15
From a private letter to us from Mr. R. Aleshire, Jr., from
"Wheeling, we make the following extracts :
"Al. Martin and brother rescued from the Island, or Garden-Spot of Wheel-
ing, so called here, seventy people, working day and night gratuitously, the
thanks of those rescued being sufficient to pay them, while many others were
charging exorbitant rates, merely for the use of their boats. The citizens of
Wheeling have raised a fund for the purpose of buying a fine watch and chain
for Captain William Prince, for very valuable services in saving lives and
property with his steamboat. Quite a number of the principal business mr n
were on the go all the time, night and day, to relieve the distressed. The fol-
lowing deserve honorable mention: Ed. Larkin, Jacob Grubb, A. A. Franziem,
I. C. Alderson, Alexander Laughlin, Alfred Paull, P. B. Dobbins and F. Reis-
ter. These and many others, whose names I do not know, would load skiffs,
wagons and steamboats with provisions, which they would deliver in person.
Mr. John Schellhase, mother, two sisters and brother, Mrs. Lashley, Mr. and
Mrs. C. S. Howell. and Mrs. Sandrock (grandmother of young Schellhase),
aged eighty-five years, were driven to the roof of their house by the rising
waters, and the ladies were rescued by buckling a cartridge belt around (hem,
into which was fastened a rope, and were lowered from the roof of the building
to the John-boats below."
At Martin's Ferry, with its 6,000 souls, and Bridgeport,
with its 3,500, the situation was fully as bad as at Wheeling,
proportionately. They were entirely cut off from Wheeling,
except by means of boats. At Martin's Ferry, the fires of
the Laughlin mill were put out, and also those at the Buckeye
and Elson glass works. All the space between Martin's
Ferry and Bridgeport, except a portion of ^Etnaville, was a
rushing river. The sight from the Ohio hills here is said to
have been awful in its destructive grandeur. It was literally
a sea of desolation. The amount of destruction entailed at
Martin's Ferry is estimated at $85,060, and at Bridgeport at
$60,000. After the subsidence of the water 1,200 people had
to be cared for at the former place, and 200 families at the
latter place, else they would have starved. As soon as the
people living in the country back of these places heard of the,
distress, they responded with the most liberal contributions.
Committees were at once organized, and the suffering and
distressed were promptly relieved. To add to the distressing
situation at Bridgeport, a fire broke out in Wells & Dent's
drug store, and for a time threatened the whole town with
destruction. George GifFen's grocery, in the same block, was
destroyed with the drug store. The loss was $18,000. The
fire caught from the explosion of chemicals in the upper story
16 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
of the drug store, where a vast amount of goods had been
stored, to be out of reach of water.
While the foregoing was the state of affairs up to 10 o'clock
on the night of the yth at Wheeling and vicinity, when the
water came to a halt, what were the raging waters doing at
other points? Let us take a peep at Wellsville, and the little
towns and villages in that vicinity. We see a surging, seeth-
ing sea of water sweeping through the streets of Wellsville,
from one end to the other, and from five to ten feet deep at
many points. In that portion of the town known as Toppet,
the water in many places was fifteen and twenty feet deep.
The strength of the current was so great as to carry many
houses away by mere force, tearing them from their founda-
tions like cockle-shells, turning them over, and either mash-
ing them in wreck or floating them so far away as to be almost
total losses. The river reached its highest point here, the
highest ever before known, at midnight on the 6th. A few
hours previous to that the scene in the river was one of grand
and impressive ruin. There was a constant procession of
floating property passing, valued at thousands upon thousands
of dollars large and valuable dwellings, well-filled stables
and barns, smoke-houses, granaries, stupendous oil tanks
one large planing-mill, intact, and filled with lumber, being
one of the novelties in the passing tide of wrecked wealth.
That night, to add to the difficulties of the situation in rescu-
ing property, the gas went out, by reason of the flood, and,
wrapped in total darkness, the frightened and awe-stricken
citizens could do nothing but listen to whirling, swirling and
hissing waters, trusting to an almighty providence to at least
save their lives and those near and dear to them. The loss
here has been estimated at $100,000. At Hamilton, West
Virginia, opposite Wellsville, the citizens were already out
of provisions, the water up to the second story in nearly ev-
ery house, and the situation of the place getting well-nigh
desperate, when relief boats came to their assistance. The
, track of the C. & P. R. R. between Rochester and Bellaire
was mostly under water, and all traffic suspended. The lit-
tle towns of East Liverpool, Industry and Smith's Ferry were
in a terrible plight. At Industry, small dwellings were lifted
up from their foundations and swept down stream, the occu-
pants barely escaping with their lives.
At New Cumberland and McCoy's, Ohio, an awful spec-
tacle of destruction presented itself on all sides. The rich
and poor had suffered together, but not equally, as the poor
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 17
were reduced to a point where they had nothing with which
to begin life anew. The savings and accumulations of years
were swept away as with a breath. Over 200 families were
rendered homeless in that neighborhood. The losses in these
two places alone footed up more than $50,000, and fell most
heavily on the brick manufacturers. James Stone's loss, at
McCoy's, was above $15,000. With water, loss is loss
there is no insurance to come in and help men to start in;
business again. The men engaged in active, profitable busi-
ness along the Ohio Valley before the flood who will never
make an effort to build up again may be counted by hun-
One of the worst sufferers among the little towns below
Wheeling was Cochransville, Monroe County, Ohio, where
out of forty-one houses but two were left to tell the tale. Her
loss is put at $60,000 to $75,000. At Fish' Creek there
seemed to be more debris for some reason or other in sight
than anywhere along the river. Eye witnesses describe it as
remarkable. The river would at times appear to be black
with floating timbers, hay, fodder, buildings of all kinds, and
live and dead stock swimming or floating.
At Moundsville, where tJte West Virginia Penitentiary is
located, the work of the flood was to be seen, but Mounds-
ville took care of her own. About twenty families were
washed out, and the loss was about $20,000. The large sta-
bles and St. Claude Hotel were carried about 500 yards, and
lodged on the railroad track. Several small houses were also
shifted from their foundations and located on the track, and
had to be demolished.
At Bellaire, the situation was deplorable. Her loss is esti-
mated at near $300,000. At least 250 buildings were swept
away or damaged beyond repair. The water reached a point
four feet three inches above 1852, and three feet three inches
above 1832 on Friday night, February 8th. The scene
here, when the water was at its height, was grand. On the
bosom of the resistless tide came the wealth of ruined homes
and desolated households in seemingly endless procession.
Furniture, bedding, machinery, barns, bridges, houses, hay,
straw, boats, everything that would float, came crashing
against the piers of. the bridge, and houses and factories, car-
rying with them almost everything they struck. A part of
the Bridgeport and Island Bridge came crashing down, and
struck the piers and ironwork of the great river bridge at this
point, making a noise like distant thunder, jarring and shak-
18 HISTORY OF THE GRKAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ing the immense structure, for an instant threatening its over-
throw, bnt the next instant yielding to the tide and melting
away, a shapeless mass of moving timber. The Bellaire
Window Glass Works lost (estimated) $12,000; the Union
Glass Works, $8,000 ; the C. & P. Railroad, $25,000; its
passenger coaches, engines and cars were nearly buried in
water, and a large amount of perishable freight in the depot
and cars was lost ; the river tipple at the Belmont Coal
Works, with several houses, was carried away ; loss, $5,000 ;
the Crystal Glass Works lost $5,000, the -^Etna, over $10,-
ooo ; the Baltimore & Ohio road lost here, it is supposed,
$10,000; the Enterprise Works, $3,000; the National Glass
Works, $5,000; the Ohio Valley Cement Works, $2,500;
the merchants about $15,000; not counting the damage to
household goods. The houses that floated offer were damaged
could not be replaced for $50,000. The Bellaire Tribune of
February 13th, five days after the water had begun to re-
cede, said :
" The most vivid imagination and the most brilliant pen can not fully pic-
ture the terrible effect of the flood. Now that the waters have calmly subsided
within their channel and again assumed the placid flow of the " Beautiful River,' 1
we are at a loss for words to describe the effects of their mad overflow. The ter-
rible destruction beggars description. Reflecting men who have thought of the
havoc and tried to imagine the condition produced, when they look upon the
results at once agree that they have no adequate conception of it. Great mas-
sive houses tossed from their foundations and left overturned, immense piles of
manufactured articles and raw material a mass of ruin. The contents of
houses piano or organ, fine furniture, clothing, dishes, provisions pans and
everything in the house, covered to the depth of six inches with filthy, slimy
mud this picture multipled 500 times within the limits of Bellaire will
describe the situation a to private loss. The account of losses heretofore given
as sustained may be a little high as to one or two establishments, but in the ag-
gregate is much below the real loss sustained.
"THE DAMAGE AT BELLAIRE. It is difficult to estimate the damage done
by the flood in Bellaire. All the manufacturing establishments, except the
Belmont, Lantern Globe and Bottle Glass Works, Bellaire Stamping Works
and Ohio Lantern Company, have suffered very heavy damages. The coal
works upon the river have also suffered very heavy losses, but perhaps the
losses to real estate from houses destroyed or floated off and otherwise dam-
aged, and the terrible destruction to household goods, including pianos,, organs,
fine furniture, carpets, bedding, clothing, etc., will greatly exceed the losses by
the factories. The aggregate loss, in the opinion of the best informed, will fall
little, if any, below $300,000."
Benwood, a town of 2,500 inhabitants, opposite Bellaire,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 19
suffered terribly. Her manufacturing establishments, from
which nearly all of her people obtained their living, were all
flooded out, and many could not resume, after the waters
subsided, for weeks. About forty families were rendered
homeless, and after the flood three-fourths of the people were
in absolute want. The good people living in the country
back of Benwood, Bellaire, Bridgeport and Martin's Ferry
hauled provision from as far back as points twenty miles away,
and were the first to respond. Not less than 20,000 people be-
tween Wellsburg and Moundsville had to be fed and clothed.
Wellsburg itself was entirely submerged, and her people en-
dured great privations.
At Marietta a sad scene presents itself. This is the oldest
and one of the prettiest and most flourishing towns on the
Ohio River. On Wednesday, February 6th, at three
o'clock P. M., the water had reached a height of thirty-eight
and a-half feet, and was rising four inches an hour. Her
business men and citizens generally were fully alive to the
situation, and having been forewarned by the flood of 1883,
were determined to meet it as best they could, without pro-
crastination, and if the flood failed to reach expectations of
possibilities, they would be on the side of safety. Every man
that could was providing himself with a boat. Merchants
were moving and storing their goods in places not reached
by the flood of the previous year. But, alas ! it kept coming
with a slow r and steady march, and far more invincible than an
army with all the paraphernalia of war, and carrying with it
far more destruction to the accumulation of years of enter-
prise and toil. Families moved to higher places only to have to
move the second time, often the third time, and in some cases
the fourth time, and those less fortunate and unable to move
saw themselves cut off, surrounded and engulfed in the deluge.
The water at three o'clock Thursday afternoon was register-
ing over fifty feet and still advancing. The wildest scenes
were taking place. People worked as they never did before
ill through Thursday and Thursday night. At three o'clock
Friday morning one span of the Marietta and Harmar
bridge was carried away by a large floating house striking
igainst it with great force. The balance of the bridge hung
until Saturday night, when it followed suit. The railroad
bridge lodged on Blannerhasset's Island, the county bridge
rive miles below, and the draw-span sfx miles below. The
Lowell bridge was also swept away, and lodged far below.
On Friday, the 8th, the water had traveled up Putnam
20 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
Street to Fourth, and filled the houses all along the street to
the depth of between four and five feet. Jenvy's grocery,
which the year before had escaped, had now from eight to
nine feet of water in it. There was four feet of water on the
floors of her court-house and jail. The court-room upstairs
was filled with families who had been driven from their
homes. The Cleveland & Marietta trestle, weighted with
freight cars, was in bad shape, and the cars scattered in con-
fusion. The composing and engine rooms of the Leader
office were both upset. The lower Front Street bridge was
raised from its support. The doors of the wharf-boat were
thrown open by Mr. Charles Best, and a large amount of
property taken on for safety.
The steamboats became asylums for fugitives, generously
and humanely opening their cabins to all, and hundreds
availed themselves of the privilege, carrying on board in
many cases all they possessed. All the churches except the
Presbyterian and the two German churches were caught by
the water. The water was fourteen feet deep in the street in
front of the office of the Marietta Times ; and still the river
advanced until 9 o'clock Saturday morning, February pth,
and then it seemed to hesitate and ponder on whether it
should again take up the line of march, remain, or fall back;
and there it stood until Sunda}*-, the loth, and actualty began
to rise again. Monday, the nth, however, it took up the line
of retreat, and gradually withdrew its slimy folds from the
city. The highest point reached was fifty-two feet nine
inches, against forty-three feet two inches in 1883, and three
feet one inch higher than in 1832. On Thursday evening,
February 7th, it reached the great height of 1832, and, sin-
gularly, at Gallipolis it did the same thing. Let us tarry
awhile at Marietta, regardless of the date at the head of this
chapter, and look about us during the flood and after its sub-
sidence, for nowhere along the river, perhaps, than at Mari-
etta and in its vicinity are there more incidents to show the
variety of destruction and the scenes that accompany a ter-
rible flood of waters. We have already spoken of the people
being quartered in the court-room of the court-house, and on
the steamboats and in public halls. Some, with their fami-
lies, were living and guarding their household goods on coal
tows. Fifty or more families were quartered in the German
Methodist Church. Every public building in the city was
thrown open and occupied. There were no mails and no
telegraph connection, and the most startling and exaggerated
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 21
stories from above and below were in constant circulation,
adding to the alarm of the already terror-stricken people.
Communication was cut oft' even with Parkersburg. Nearly
or quite all of Front Street had their valuables on the house
tops. More than two-thirds of the business houses on this
street had water in the second stories, and the stocks of the
stores beneath, consisting of all kinds of merchandise, such
as dry goods, boots, shoes, books, stationery, and every con-
ceivable species of wares, were on the roofs. It was a scene
fit for the painter of " The Last Man." One-story buildings
that had been fastened so that they could not float, were com-
pletely under water, whose depth here was fourteen feet. A
Nezvs "Journal correspondent graphically describes the situa-
tion of the streets as follows :
" It would be much easier to tell what portions of the city escaped the water
than to enumerate the submerged districts, but it would scarcely be as satisfac-
tory. All of the city below Butler Street was flooded. Front Street was navi-
gable from end to end; Second Street to within one-third of a block from
Washington Street. Third Street was in the same situation. Fourth Street was
under water up to the hill on Scammel Street, and most of the houses on the
west side had water on the first floor. Putnam Street was open for boats for
about fifty feet above Fourth Street. The College fence had about twenty
inches of water over it. * * * Passing down Front Street from
Washington, one could see the harm wrought by the water on either side of
the street. Strauss & Elision's mill escaped with little damage. Below it one
could see all the barns and outhouses from three blocks drifted and piled to-
gether by a whirling eddy. A little further on the handsome boat-house lay on
its side. The view down the Muskingum was unobstructed by bridges. Both
structures went out at three o'clock Friday. Friday morning all that was left ol
the county bridge, save one draw, was swept off and moved with a swift, splendid
motion down to the railroad bridge. It struck with a tremendous crash, and a
shower of sparks shot into the air as the iron of the two bridges and the cars on
the lower one ground together and melted into the flood. Rowing on down
Front Street, one saw the canal bridges hurled from their fastenings and the
half dozen buildings attached to them tilted forward at a dangerous angle.
Wittlig's jewelry store and McClaren's gallery were torn from their places
The front of Mason's store was torn out. Down in "Texas" the sight was
appalling. Dozens of houses were entirely buried under the water. Whole
families escaped with their lives. Block after block and street after street
show not a single house unmoved by the water. The number of houses and
other outbuildings that were overturned could not be counted from a boat.
Floating barns were as numerous as leaves when they are whirled over the wa-
ter by the winds of autumn."
We quote further :
22 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
" The relief commitlee had its headquarters in the College dormitory, and
made that a depot of supplies. The distributing room was the busiest place in
the town. The city was divided into districts, and two boats assigned to each
district. The first day the relief boats were occupied in removing people from
their homes. In many cases whole families were taken from the highest point
on the roof, where they had been driven by the water. Two children were
drowned in the lower part of town. One poor woman was taken from her
bed sick, and gave birth to a child in the boat before land was reached. Friday
the committee furnished food for 600 people. The next day the number who
were unable to get food for themselves reached 1,000. The committee sent
men to every house on the- hill to solicit money and cooked food. The can-
vassers met with generous and prompt responses. People gave beyond their
means in many cases. * * * The town is coated with an inch of
yellow slime. A disordered mass of drift, barns, boxes, barrels, furniture and
pianos strew the streets. Some will look for their homes and look in vain.
Hundreds of houses will not be inhabited for months. The Register office
was fourteen feet under the water. The paper did not get out at all last Fri-
day. It was printed on the Zeitung press this week. The telegraph wires be-
tween here and Belpre are down in two places. There has been no telephone
or telegraphic communication since last Wednesday. At one house the relief
boat which was sent to remove the family found them all stowed in the attic.
The children were taken out and the boatmen waited thirty minutes for the
''young lady of the house," who finally sallied out when the water began to
creep over the floor, dressed in her best, with her bangs adjusted and a heavy
coat of powder and paint on her face. High water will not drown vanity. The
Leader office was almost wholly beneath the waves. The engine room and
composing room were overturned, and a quantity of paper stock and type lost.
The outside was printed on Wednesday, February 6th, and the last paper was
struck off just as the rising water extinguished the fire under the boiler. The
paper was printed on the Zeitung press the following week. At the foot of
Plum Street, on the east side, stood Levy's stable, which has been carried by
the water to the middle of the street, where it yesterday rested in an uneasy-
position. Between Elm and Plum, on Third, are eighty-five hogsheads of to-
bacco and many tons of gas and water-pipe, hauled there from localities that
The great losses, as usual, fell upon those least able to
bear them. The wealthy merchants, with their four-story
buildings of brick and iron,.saved almost everything, though
a few of the rich lost heavily. Among them may
be mentioned Hon. Thomas W. Moore, of Harmar,
the Phoenix Mills, George Rice, A. Ducks & Com-
pany, A. W. Tompkins, G. Meister, Marietta Chair
Company, all above $2,500 and up to $10,000. The stores of
the small dealers, the small homes, the small shops of the
mechanic, the new beginners, and those who, after a life of
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 23
toil, had saved a little home, were those who mostly found
their savings swallowed up in the flood. Four hundred build-
ings constitute quite a little city. These many were either float-
ed off or removed from their foundations. The wet wheat in
the elevator at the Phoenix Mills swelled until it broke the
large iron bolts that confined it as though they were but
pieces of cotton twine. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
bridge, with five cars of valuable merchandise, was lodged
on Blannerhassett's Island. The company will rebuild im-
mediately. The losses, big and little, direct and indirect,
will not fall short of half a million dollars. In the midst of
all this distress and destruction, Marietta had some big-
hearted people, however, that were willing to part with yet
more to make comfortable those that were homeless and des-
titute. Gen. A. J. Warner threw open the doors of his
residence to the multitude. Douglas Putnam did likewise,
entertaining and feeding all that could get in, estimated from
125 to 200 persons, and giving to the relief fund largely be-
sides. Capt. Davis took on board of his steamer 150 persons.
David Putnam, at Harmar, received and cared for eighty
under his roof. A new resident of the place, Mr. H. P.
Whitney, laid down fifty dollars on the altar, and 500 bushels
of coal, for the needy. In the start, something like 3.000
people had to be fed, and it cost some money to give them
three square meals a day ; but it was done, until, day by day,
the number dwindled to a few hundred. In the midst of this
great calamity, as at other places, there -were those who took
advantage of the excitement and confusion to impose on the
committees and donors, and those who had not contributed a
cent to anybody were the ones who raised the greatest com-
plaint over it, and so it will ever be ; but the warm-hearted
charity that finds an abiding place in the great American
heart can never be stifled in time of great calamity or need by
the cry of the croaking craven, that somebody got a loaf of
bread or a pound of meat that could have gotten along with-
But let us take a view of Harmar, just across the Mus-
kingum. The water reached it highest point here Saturday
morning early, February pth, five days, be it remembered,
before it reached its highest point at Cincinnati. The depth,
or height, reached was about the same as at Marietta. Al-
most the entire population of Harmar was driven out, and
Harmar Hill was crowded with people, camping out in tents
or in the open air, wagons, box-cars and shanties of every
34 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
conceivable architecture serving to shelter them from a cold,
driving rain. The mayor of Harmarwas with the rest, camped
in a board shanty, out on the hill. Some had all their earthly
possessions on flat-boats. But six out of all the houses in the
place were out of water, and communication from one point to
another was very difficult. Owing to the swiftness of the
current, it was only by the exercise of the greatest labor that
a skiff could be rowed through the streets. Only thirty
houses were not flooded in the second story. All the business
houses had water on their second floors, and the merchants
lost much more than those of Marietta. Fifty buildings
floated away, and a great many were lifted from their foun-
dations. This was a horrid state of affairs ior a happy, pros-
perous little city, as Harmar was known far and near to be ;
and no one, surrounded with the comforts of home, can re-
alize it unless he had been subjected to the same bitter ex-
periences. Harmer has only a population of 2,000, but when
you find nine-tenths of that 2,000 out of their homes, and quar-
tered here and there, on friends, back on the hills, in the
country, in tents, in shanties made of fence-rails and brush,
with but an old quilt or blanket to cover them from a pitiless
rain of twenty-four hours' intermittent duration, then Harmar
that was looks indeed desolate and distressed.
There are persons who cannot believe but that these things
are exaggerated, and that the situation was not quite so bad ;
but facts are facts, and there is not a tongue or pen that can
begin to tell what the people of this Valley endured in that
great flood. When the flood was at its highest, a relief-boat
was sent up the river trom Gallipolis to take provisions and
clothing to the washed-out all along, as far up as Pomeroy.
[We are going to speak more particularly of this by and by.
We only want now to give an illustration of what some folks
call " exaggeration."] A relief committee was on the boat,
composed of the first citizens of Gallipolis, and gentlemen
who went to see for themselves, and get the solid facts. On
their return they invited newspaper correspondents and
others to meet with them and hear their report. One of the
most reputable, as well as on'e of the most prominent, citizens
of the place, Mr. C. Fred. Henking, arose and said, almost in
the following language: " Gentlemen, I can't undertake to
describe the situation. I thought I had read full descriptions of
these flooded towns and this desolating river, but I had no
conception of the situation until my visit to Pomeroy, this after-
noon. Almost everywhere above Gallipolis the river reaches
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 25
from hill to hill. In many places the people are camped upon
the hills. We saw them on the hills back of Pomeroy, and at
several other places, and suppose that between here and there,
there are not less, right now, than 5,000 people out in this ter-
rible rain. [It had been pouring down incessantly for twenty-
four hours.] We must do something, and do it .quickly, lor
these people. Provisions are now short in Pomeroy, and those
that are now dividing will soon be out, and probably by the last
of this week there will be 10,000 people actually enduring a
famine if not assisted." The newspaper correspondents took
it up, and the people took it up, and it was wired and heralded
to the whole State that night, and there were actually pro-
visions, clothing and blankets atGallipolis within twenty-four
hours, from the interior of the State, and on to Pomeroy and
between, that night, and they kept coming like an avalanche,
and there was hardly any danger of too much coming. All
at once some one at Pomeroy, who was so stupid and stolid,
in all probability, as never to have left his own snug quar-
ters, began to get jealous of the help the people were getting,
and began writing letters and telegraphing to the newspa-
pers that accounts were greatly exaggerated by Pomeroy's
friends, down below ; that she didn't need anything more,
etc., etc. Here was the "one" among 10,000, and alto-
gether lovely, that was afraid of" exaggeration."
We say bo the reader that he can never, from any source,
get the details of the flood of 1884 in the Ohio Valley. It is
like describing a ten days' battle from beginning to end by
one man. To stand here at Harmar, Marietta, Parkersburg,
Williamstown and Belpre, all adjacent towns, and look to-
wards Pittsburgh and Allegheny, taking in Lower Newport,
Upper Newport, St. Mary's, Grape Island, Bayardsville,
Wade Postoffice, Long Reach, Murraysville, Sistersville,
Centre View, Witten's, Sardis, New Martinsburg, Raven's
Rock, Proctor. Pine Run, Clarington, Woodland, Powhat-
tan. Blairsville, Businessburg, Cochrunsville, Grand View,
Weegee, Bellaire, Benwood, Wheeling, Bridgeport, Mar-
tin's Ferry, Corkville. Portland Station, Warrington, Rush
Run, Wellsburgh. Brilliant, Mingo Junction, Steuberiville,
Brown's, Jeddo, Torrento, Calumet, Elliottsville, McCov's
Station, Port Homer, Linton, Yellow Creek, Wellsville,
East Liverpool. Smith's Ferry, Industry, Baker, Freedom,
and countless other small villages and railroad stations clear
on to Pittsburgh, and consider that at every one of these
points there was a week's battle with this great flood of wa-
26 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ters, not only for property, but oftentimes for life itself, and
talk of exaggeration of this great calamity in the Ohio Val-
ley is preposterous. Without turning our eyes toward the
gulf from here, there is material of disaster, accident and loss
sufficient for volumes of naked facts without the slightest em-
bellishment. An eye witness, who had before been a doubt-
ing Thomas, and would not believe except he saw the print
of the nails, and put his ringer into the print of the nails, and
thrust his finger into the side, boarded a relief boat at Pitts-
burgh, and came down the river, and this is what he says :
"The valley between Steubenville and Wheeling is indeed a magnificent one,
but to-day it presents a melancholy spectacle. The fertile fields are the bottom
of the river. The water has gone out into the woods, carrying with it and
lodging there a miscellaneous assortment of debris. In the branches of the
trees straw, rubbish and wreck of every description is hanging. In many places
the telegraph poles were lying flat. All the fences adjacent to the river have
disappeared. Logs, lumber, coal-flats and barges have drifted out into the corn-
fields and meadows.
" Probably the most distressing picture was at Warren, Jefferson County,
Ohio. This little town of probably 300 inhabitants is a total wreck. Thirteen
of the few houses there before the flood have entirely disappeared. Others are
twisted off their foundations. There is not one in the village with a window in
it. The only brick house in the place is an absolute wreck. Rubbish of every
description has been washed to the front doors of the, dwellings. Everything
indicated misery and distress.
"Just below where the town once stood, a coffin and a wheelbarrow were
clinging to the topmost branches of an ordinary-sized tree. There were no
visible signs of death in the immediate vicinity, but a few hundred yards further
down the river a desolate-looking graveyard had been made the receptacle for
trees, railroad ties and telegraph poles. It is not known whether the coffin was
swept from that desolate spot, or whether the people in that section had adopt-
ed the old Indian custom of burying the dead in tree tops."
Not onlv did this wide, sweeping body of water attack the
towns and" the railways and the bridges, but oftentimes you
will see that from hill to hill, a distance varying according
to the width of the bottoms of from one to four and five
miles, everything swept bare of fences, corn, fodder, hay,
straw, outbuildings, barns and stables, besides carriages,
wagons, agricultural machinery, and everything that water
could bear upon its bosom. Here and there, owing to some
peculiar bend or turn in the torrent, the debris of buildings,
barges, coal tipples, freight cars, bridges, stores, shops and
rafts of logs, lumber, staves, shingles, hoop-poles, gunwales,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 2T
skiffs, John-boats, barrels, tierces, kegs, straw-ricks, hay-
stacks, and things too numerous to mention, would be found
spread over some man's fine bottom farm, and although re-
presenting an independent fortune in themselves, utterly
worthless, buried in mud, and piled and tangled and twisted
among each other to such an extent that to get them out and
haul them to where they could be shipped would require an
army of men and teams for weeks, and entirely consume
what little value they now possessed. So it is loss dead
loss that will require a long season of prosperity to replace.
The $500,000 of Congressional appropriation, and the $200,-
ooo of Ohio State appropriation, and the $100,000 of Ken-
tucky State appropriation, and the appropriations of all the
towns and cities, and all the generous donations of the peo-
ple of all the States in food, clothing, bedding, tenting, etc.,
will not pay the losses for 100 miles below Pittsburgh in this
long one-thousand-mile stretch of devastation and ruin. If
the roll could be called of all those living between Parkers-
burg and Pittsburgh who, oh the first day of February, 1884,
were worth from $500 to $2,500, and who, in the short space
of seven days, had been made penniless by this flood, it would
be a terrible disaster alone. Across the river from Marietta
and Harmar lies the little town of Williamstown, which was
flooded to the depth of about eight feet. Both towns were
literally gutted by the swift currents. Several houses were
carried away. The citizens moved to the flat back of the
town and were well cared for, but many lost their household
goods. When the relief boat first visited them, only one man
came to meet them. Powhattan, a village of 500 people, thirty
miles below Moundsville, was one of the great sufferers, not
a single inhabitant escaping loss and inconvenience. They
were overjoyed when the relief boat met them, and were full
to overflowing with gratefulness. Nowhere along the river,
perhaps, were they in greater need. Bayardsville, eight miles
below Powhattan, was washed out, and most of the people
were compelled to resort to temporary sheds for protection
from the weather. In all of these small towns and villages,
especially those cut oft* from railroad connection, the distress
was much greater and the losses fell more severely than in
the larger and more prosperous places, where the well-to-do
element, uniting with those who escaped the visitation of the
water, took care and gave assistance to those who suffered.
New Martinsville, a place of 300 families, was a great suf-
ferer. Not a family escaped loss, and about 100 families
28 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
were made desolate. The river not only swept the town sev-
eral feet deep, but stretched back toward the interior as far
as the eye could reach. Cut oft", and like an island surround-
ed with water, their situation can better be imagined than de-
scribed. The loss here is estimated at $125,000. Sisters-
ville was in, if anything, a worse condition. It presented the
appearance of a huge drift pile, and indeed thousands of dol-
lars' worth of property gathered here, though When moved
from where it belonged and served a purpose, was of little
value. Matamoras, like Gallipolis, was "high and dry,"
and performed the same mission of feeding and transporting
food to her suffering neighbors.
But let us now look down the river ten or twelve miles to
Parkersburg and Belpre :
Parkersburg is on the West Virginia shore, a city of about
10,000 inhabitants. The Little Kanawha empties into the
Ohio here. Belpre is an Ohio town, just opposite. At
Parkersburg the river reached a height of fifty-four feet.
One hundred thousand dollars will cover her losses, though
they were estimated before the fall of the water at not less
than three-quarters of a million. The water reached Pax-
ton's store, just above the market house, on Market Street.
It was all around the M. E. Church, parsonage, and custom
house. All the small houses on the low grounds are upset or
gone. Governor Jackson's stable, at the Jackson homestead,
was lodged against the Star foundry, and the water was two
feet deep on the floor of the homestead. The water was all
along the Cook road up to the pottery. All the stores on
Court and Market Streets were invaded. The walls of sev-
eral buildings fell out. The Ohio Pulp Mill lost everything
that would float. Those that lost in the hundreds, ranging
from $100 to $1,000, were as follows: F. Jenkins & Son,
Shattuck & Johnson, C. A. Moss, Vaughn & McKinney, S.
E. Kuykendall, M. S. Thanhouser, J. W. Mather, j". H.
Leed, Caroline Bohler, Mullen Bros., L. P. Neale, F. Nelly,
Mrs. L. J. Heinsfurter, Mrs. Annie Maloney, Cunningham
& Sutton, R. B. Taylor, W. L. Logan & Co., Logan Car-
riage Co., Smith's China Palace, Ralph Covert, Mitchell,
Stevenson & Dunbar, Chas. Rauch, H. Weinberg, I. W.
Dils & Sons, W. J. Hill, T. R. Leonard, E. A. Ingersoll, T.
B. Clark, T. Nelly, I. H. Anderson, M. Egan, Matt. Ward,
W. H. Neale, Jno. Gibson, Jr., Jno. Powell, I. A. Moosman,
F. M. Morninger, J. Figdor, I. Wetheral & Son, I. M.
Heinsfurter, Eagle Mills, J. Wagner, G. E. Smith, E. Brai-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 29
don, Isaac Prager, W. H. Broyvn, A. Hunter Smith, W. H.
Smith, Jr., & Co., Second National Bank, Als' Central Ho-
tel. C. & H. Witman, C. C. Martin, L. Nathan, W. S. Cas-
well, Wood County Jail, Gibben's Bindery, Jacob Selig, F.
Stahlman, T. I. Boreman, J. L. Gilbert & Co., A. B. Smith,
Stevenson & Wade, D. S. Plumb, John Busch, J. Good. Tom
Rowland, L. B. Kirby, Thos. Dolan, W. N. Chancellor,
Chas. Porter, W. H. Bush, W. H. Hunter, Those that lost
$ 1,000 and under $2,000 are as follows : T. E. Saunders &
Son, R. G. Caldwell, Keller Bros., L. L. Hall, James Hunt-
er, Swann House, A. R. Kennedy, The Sweetser Oil Co.,
Chas. Gambrill. Other losses were as follows: Jack
Harne, $4,000; Frank Rex, $5,000; Dudley Bros. (Neall
Island, etc.), $3,000; Gibbens estate, $2,000: G. R. Shaw
& Co.'s tannery, $5,000 ; Jeff. Tracewell, unestimated ; Nov-
elty Mill, $10,000; Parkersburg Mill Co., $15,000; the
Commercial Oil Co., unestimated. The losses below $100
are very numerous. The Ohio River Railroad had about all
itstrestling washed out, and there were some bad land-slides ;
but every bridge was found to be all right when the water
went down, and having secured a great deal of the rolling
stock lost, their losses dwindled down to half what they ex-
pected. $75,000 or $100,000 will make them solid as ever.
She came out of the flood in very good shape.
Belpre did not fare so well. At the maximum of the waters
she presented a fearful picture of ruin and desolation a whole
section of the town carried away, her people massed in the
churches the stores, flouring mills, pump factory, and about
fifty dwellings washed away she had anything but a smiling,
prosperous face. One hundred thousand dollars will cover
losses, but it makes a far greater showing in Belpre than
$100,000 in Parkersburg, and $100,000 is not a small amount
of money. Think of it ! It would accomplish what 100.000
laborers could perform in one day at $i each. The scenes
that ensued in Belpre were much the same as seen all along
for about 200 miles as the flood progressed. Some fine build-
ings would burst and come down with a crash ; some were
weaving like a drunken man ; some snapping the cables that
held them, like so many threads ; merchants moving, and
piling their stocks again a little higher, as the waters en-
croached ; the gravel approaches to the railroad slipping and
sliding out ; the bank caving off here and there ; some of the
citizens trying to organize relief committees, with nothing tc
distribute. The water reached its highest point on the morn-
30 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ing of the 9th, at six o'clock, three feet two inches above 1 832.
It only left about fifteen acres of Belpre and Blannerhasset,
an addition to Belpre, out of water. The following is an
estimate of her losses to business men :
H. Gettle, feed and groceries, $500 ; Mrs. Robb, saloon, $1,000 to $1,100 ;
Bosworth & Oneal, $50010 $700 ; Thomas Harkins, coal dealer, grist-mill, and
John Gilchrist, tailor, $80 in cash and $100 in stock ; blacksmith shop, $2,000 ;
T. H. Coksey, $100 ; Caswell & Oneal $8,000 to $10,000; N. B. Adams,
drugs, $3,000 ; J. M. Stone, groceries and queensware, $500 to $800 ; C. A.
Brown & Son, groceries and books, $1,000 ; J. Alderman, dry goods, $3,000 to
$3,500 ; William Hill, shoe-shop, $150 ; Downer Bros., shoe-shop, $125 ; Hawk
Bros., meat market, $490 ; Carmi Smith, hotel and livery-stable, over $5,000 ;
Guthrie Bros., drugs, $2,000 ; O. L. Davis, hardware, $600 to $800 ; A. 8.
Combs, drugs, $850 ; S. M.Taylor, barber, $150; L. E. Stone, flouring and
planing mill, $13,000; Buckeye Pump-Works, $4,000 to $5,000 ; Jas. Cordner,
woolen-mills, $500 ; H.Jones, blacksmith, $250. No estimate has yet been put
n losses of buildings and household goods.
The pump works of A. W. Glazier floated off full of pumps.
Many were gathered up along down the river below Galli-
polis, where they were found piled up on the banks. Belpre
was kindly cared for, and her sad situation soon relieved, but
the trials she passed through will not soon be forgotten.
What we have related has carried us only up' to the 9th of
February. Let us go back one day now, to
and see what is going on along the tributaries of this "Beauti-
ful River,", to which our sweetest bards and most eloquent his-
torians have paid homage when it was in a milder and more
gentle mood, carrying upon its amiable bosom the products
of peace, thrift, and enterprising industry.
Beginning at Pittsburgh we will enumerate its principle
tributaries on both sides, and we can have a better idea of
where those mighty volumes of water came from, in the first
place being careful to remember that the great falls of snow
in January covered the great Central States from the tops of the
Alleghenies to the Mississippi ; that the snow was in the last
days of January and the first of February, supplemented
with thawing weather and incessant rains, letting loose the
great reservoirs of all the rivers of Western Pennsylvania and
West Virginia, making the Monongahela, Youghiogheny
and Allegheny a sweeping flood at the same moment that
every tributary for a thousand miles of the Ohio River was
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 31
in the same condition. On the north were the Beaver, Sun-
fish, Tuscarawas, Little Muskingum, Muskingum, Little
and Big Hockhocking, Scioto, Little Miami, Miami, and
W abash. On the South were the Little Kanawha, Kanawha,
Big Sandy, Licking, Kentucky, Cumberland, and Tennessee,
besides numerous large streams not dignified with the names
of rivers, and yet great feeders of the Ohio, all full or over-
flowing from the same causes as were the head-waters, and
all flowing into the Ohio between Pittsburgh and Cairo. In
consequence, all the river bottoms and towns in the interior
of Ohio, and some in Indiana, were undergoing the same
trials as were being experienced by the farmers and towns
people along the Ohio. Huntington, West Virginia ; Evans-
ville, Indiana ; Bellefontaine, Urbana, Mt. Vernon, Youngs-
town, Delaware, Zanesville, New Comerstown, Coshocton,
Franklinton (a suburb of Columbus), Dayton, Nelsonville,
Logan, Greenfield, Batavia, Plainville, Loveland, Miami-
ville, Milford, Monroe, Middletown, Canal Dover, Navarre,
Bremen, Van Wert, and many other places, were all partially
or totally submerged, rising with dripping garments, or about
to plunge into the icy waves. Pikes, railroads and bridges
were overflowed, bottom lands swept bare, and fences, hay,
corn, fodder, straw, and small buildings carried off in much
the same way as on the Ohio, where the water rolled not as a
river, but as an ocean, sometimes five and six miles wide, and
backing into outlets oft* the river in a few cases as far as
twenty miles, overflowing the banks of creeks, and doing in-
calculable damage. In the Kanawha River the water backed
to within about ten miles of Charleston, a distance of fifty miles.
These people in the interior were also seeing some of the
horrors attendant upon the flood of the Ohio, in being driven
from their homes and crowding into narrow quarters, often-
times as many as twenty-five persons in a room, though they
were happy in not having to endure such miseries for so long
a period of time. There were instances along the Ohio
where people were huddled together in this way for ten long
days and nights, with no egress or ingress to their narrow
quarters save with a skiff or boat, the sick, hungry, aged and
infirm mothers with infants at their breasts confinements,
deaths, toddling little ones, that were in constant danger of
accident, requiring unceasing attention, and countless mis-
eries that even half that were flooded could not realize ; so
many different degrees of misery are there that many be-
carm happy and jubilant even bv comparison ; even those not
32 HISTORY OF TIIK GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ill knew nothing of the horrors of the flood compared with
those that were racked with pain, and unable to get medi-
cal attendance or remedies for their troubles. The hor-
rors of those that went through those anxious nights of
storm and flood could hardly be exceeded by. any circum-
stances that might arise in this life. There are many
small towns and villages along the river that were so
covered with debris after the flood, and so many houses
swept away, that lot-owners could not tell where their
own lots were. Take the little town of Cochransville, before
alluded to: It is, or was (for it is no more), located on a
beautiful site. It was the market town and shipping point
for a large section of adjacent country. It contained forty-
two houses ; forty are gone ; the one dwelling that was left at
last accounts had four families in it, and the little frame
church that had been spared had three families in it, each
family with a bed on the floor. The water had been up to
the ceiling of the church, and what kept it from floating off
is a mystery. The straw still hangs from the chandeliers.
Some of the mottoes used at their last Christmas festival still
adorn the walls. " Welcome," and "In God we trust," still
hang behind the pulpit. All the families save those men-
tioned above have gone entirely away and may never return.
The town is a drift pile of logs, brush and refuse.
Let us now, on Saturday,
turn our face down the river. Blannerhassett's Island was
overflowed, but caught a great many of the wrecks, and they
are still to be seen clinging to it. Little Hocking was favor-
ed by the flood, and was not injured much. The county bridge
was carried away, and that is her greatest loss.
Hockingport did not fare so well. Thirteen of her houses
had been carried off", and as many more moved or loosened
from their foundations. The people report that Messrs.
Knowles, Kesper, Dalton, and Ira Huntington, of this place,
are entitled to the everlasting gratitude ot the people for what
they did for the destitute before relief arrived from other
points. George Sims, H. Bumgardner, and John Dick-
inson are probably the heaviest losers. Mr. Sims lost his
store-house and warehouse ; Mr. Bumgardner, his saw mill,
and 100,000 feet of lumber, and Mr. Dickinson, his cooper
shop, tools, timber, and material used in his business. The
flood throwed many out of work here, and there was consid-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 33
erable destitution until relieved. The large bridge over Lee
Creek, in Wood county, West Virginia, will have to be re-
built, having been washed off, and stove to pieces.
At -Harris Ferry, four miles above Belleville, says corre-
spondence of State Journal (Parkersburg), lived Old Man
White and wife, in the same house the}'- occupied in 1832, at
the time of that flood, and the old '32 flood marks were yet
visible on the side of their house. They lost their little all
this time, and were made quite destitute.
The town of Belleville, W. Va., was a great sufferer. A
large number of her citizens were obliged to go to the coun-
try for shelter and food. Capt. Cooper, of the steamer So-
noma, rendered great assistance to the unfortunates, inviting
them to come on board his boat, and giving them all the sup-
plies possible. Thirty-three buildings were washed away,
and twenty-five more were moved from their foundations.
The water was seven feet six inches higher than in 1883, an< ^
between three and four feet higher than in 1832. The water
was into the second story of every house but three, and pre-
sented a picture of desolation, if not despair. Trees, logs
and wrecks of houses were scattered about in great confu-
sion. W. A, Cooper, Hod. Mitchell and Anthon}' Wil-
liamson & Son were among the heavy losers. The latter
firm lost their store-house and entire stock of goods. At
Long Bottom the people sheltered themselves in the churches
and school-houses. The water here rose eight feet six inches
higher than in 1883, and was about ten feet all over the town.
The total loss here is from $15,000 to $20,000. At Murray-
ville, a place noted for thrift and industry, there was but little
to see but desolation on every hand. As, in most of the
towns, the churches and school-houses were on the most
elevated ground, and served a good purpose in giving shelter
to the people in this hour of great extremity. When the
water went down here, the people found many of their house-
hold goods buried in the sand and mud of the streets. The
water reached a height here of nine feet above '83, and two
and a-half feet above '32, and would average nine feet on all
We forgot to mention that the village of Reedsville, just
below Belleville, stood high and dry above the waters, and
was one of the few places able to render assistance to her
neighbors, which she did in a royal manner.
We now come to and enter what is known as the
34 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
GREAT POMEROY BEND.
To show the extent of this bend we will state that it is
twenty-seven miles from Letart, Ohio, to Point Pleasant by
the way of the river, and only sixteen miles between these
points across the country. It is a continuous stretch of bend
for about thirty miles, counting from Murrayville, or Long
Bottom, to Pomeroy, though usually reckoned for half that
distance, or less, counting from Racine down.
Over twenty towns are in the bend, embracing a population
of more than 50,000 people. The bottoms are generally wide
and fertile, averaging on the north side one and a half miles
in width. It is a great coal and salt region. The water took
away the tipples of all the mines. Six of the largest mines
were flooded. In this bend there is probably more heavy
labor done than anywhere along the river for the same
extent in miles, and the interruption of business at this season
of the year was particularly severe on the laboring classes.
From Murrayville down are the following villages and towns :
Muse's Bottom, Portland, Ravenswood, Great Bend, Pleasant
View, Saxon, Willow Grove, Ripley Landing, Apple
Grove, Letart, Letart Falls, Plants, Antiquity, Racine, New
Haven, Syracuse, Hartford City, Minersville, and Mason
City (opposite Pomeroy), and Pomeroy itself.
Portland is a little town in the extreme upper end of Meigs
County, with a population of nearly 200 people. We take
the following correspondence relative to Portland from the
Meigs County Telegraph:
"The wild waters drove every family in town from their homes except those
of G. W. Clark, Captain N. W. Wheeler, and Rev. Bell. The water was
sixteen inches deep on the grinding floor of the mill, and one side of the boiler
wall fell down. The mill company sustain damages to the amount of $200 at
least. L. Bramble's store-house floated off with about $300 worth of goods ;
the building lodged three miles below, on James McKay's farm, and a part of
the goods have since been abstracted. Bramble's dwelling house and ware-
room were afloat and moved from their foundations. He also lost 20,000
*taves and heading. Mr. Bramble thinks his loss will approximate $1,000. R.
Allen & Son's store was afloat, and was only saved from floating oft" by tying.
'The goods were transferred to a barge, where they held forth in true ''floating
palace" style during the high water. A. E. Allen's dwelling was moved from
the foundation by the waves of the Stockdale. Damage to store and dwelling
$200 to $300. John Bell's skiff shop floated off and lodged on the liead of
Buffington's Island; loss $150. George Thompson's skiff shop was moved
from the foundation, and some of his lumber floated off; loss $100. A small
building belonging to H. Price, and occupied by Doc Blain, floated off. Matt.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 35
Bennett's dwelling floated fifty yards and lodged in Mrs. Gale's lot ; will cost
$50 to get it back again. George Taylor's dwelling was afloat, and is badly
racked. His kitchen and the contents floated oft"; loss $200. Jesse Gandee's
dwelling floated oft" the foundation ; damaged $100. Bill Smith's shoe shop t
also used for Pos' - iffice, was afloat ; his kitchen was also detached from the
house ; loss $200. One end of R. M. Taggart's house rose in the water, but
settled back. Urrcle Billy Barringer's house floated off the foundation. Mrs.
Carrie Powell's house floated off the foundation. Mrs. Browning's kitchen
was turned over. Mrs. Carter's house floated too yards and lodged on George
Taylor's lot. The Pat Carder house floated and lodged on Taylor's lot.
Scarcely any of the buildings which where afloat could have been saved but for
the timely aid rendered by the towboat Onward in the use of her lines, by
which the houses were made secure. The town is literallv jammed full of drift
of every description, and much time will be required to clean up the rubbish
before some of the buildings can be replaced. At DeWitt's Run several build-
ings floated off their foundations. M. L. Fitch's dwelling was almost covered
with water, but was weighted down so that it did not move. He had several
hundred bushels of corn under water. The school house, a mile up the creek,
floated across the stream. We have one that beats Major F. C. Russell's pig
story : Thomas Coleman, on Muse's Bottom, took thirty hogs up stairs in one
end of his residence, and he occupied the other end. On Buffington Island
3,000 bushels of corn were under water."
Ravenswood was another one of those fortunate towns that
only got a taste and flavor of the "Great Flood of '84."
The water reached its highest point here on Sunday, Febru-
ary loth, when it stood seven feet above '83. In the houses
right along the river the water got eight feet deep, but back,,
the town was not overflowed probably only one square of
the place was in water. She was but very little damaged,
and stood viewing the flood with serenity of mind incident to
a knowledge of perfect safety. Yet she was alive to the
wants of the distressed around her, and did all she could in
At Letart, the damage was light comparatively, only the
lower part of the town being submerged. At Antiquity, the
losses were heavy. Racine, for a small town, suffered im-
mensely. Her losses exceed $25,000. The following is a
list of the persons who lost property in Racine, ranging from
a few dollars to over $1,000:
B. E. Sibley, Rev. E. Sibley, Jacob Schaffer, J. B. Kay, B. Kay & Son, R.
H. Harpold, Matilda Harpold, W. H. Williams, Peter Petrel, Racine Brass
Band, J. C. Hayman, Condery & Haning, Rev. Stanley Stivers, Horace Congs,
W. A. Ellis & Co., W. A. Ellis, L. A. Weaver, William Applegate, T. W.
Mercer, T. Smart, Reed Richards & Co., Martin Wolf, Michael Beacer, Abner
36 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
Curtis, Lewis Curtis, Alberta Curtis, Sylvester Curtis, William Donaldson. S.
S. Sarbre. Leander Bell, L. S. Cross, Harvey J. Wolf, E. Aumiller, John Wolf,
Mrs. Berges, Lydia Sayre, J. R. Philson, W. G. Sibley, Andrew Lone, Dr.
Gregory, Mrs. Chany Bouls, W. B. Clark, J. J. M. Suit, J. L. W. Bell, George
Ogden, A. J. Smart, Frank Filson, J. R. Ellis, Angie Boyd, Cassie Wolf. J.
Perry Wolf, H. M. Danley & Co., Ben Congrove, Mrs. Jane Brierly, Emma Jen-
kins, Capt. Geo. Aumiller, Mrs. C. Merreil, R. E. Rhodes, H. E. Amsdcn, Mrs.
Watkins. Chas. Jay, Chas. Bell, David Cowdrey, Mrs. E. B. Amsden, Z.
Rhodes, John Wilson, Adeline Ellis, Frank Weaver. Josh Harpold, D. M.
Wolf. Mary Coe, Capt. George Smith, John Buffington, E. B. Deweese, Allen
& Clark, T. Mallory, John P. Wolf, Jr.. J. M. Ellis, J. F. Neglor, B. B. Mallory,
John Weldon, A. M. Carson, Rev. J. C. Arbuckle, C. G. Beach, A. M. Bell,
E. S. Mays, Ed. Egan, John Beagle, R. E. Ellis, J. D.Jones, Elias Smith, John
Banks, G. W. Wolf, William Lane, Dr. E. C. Fisher, Mallory & McElroy,
Capt. Dor. DeWolf, W. B. Skirvin, A. W. Paden, William Dum, Mrs. R. Mc-
Elroy, S. D. Pickens, E. Reed, Mrs. A. Cooper, G. N. West, W. S. Wolf, D.
Garen, H. H. Blackmore, John Smith, S. R. Wolf, Waid Cross, Cross estate,
Noah Weaver, J. G. Wolf.
Racine, after the flood, looked worse than almost any other
place. It seemed to have gone more to pieces. The water
at its highest stage covered two of the Methodist church steps.
The old Lallance House, Eph. Aumiller's dwelling, and
numbers of the residences on the hill that have been consid-
ered above high water mark for a generation, were flooded.
It lacked only one inch of entering the residence of Mrs.
Doctor Philson. The entire lower end of town was com-
pletely drowned out. W. A. Ellis & Go's store 'was the only
one in which the water did not reach the second story. Five
baby boys were born in the town during the flood, belonging
respectively to Riley Wolf, Frank Filson, Finley Banks,
Cullen Gilkey, and J. C. Hayman. "Little Gath," corre-
spondent of the Telegraph, and from whose article the above
facts are gleaned, said it would cost $500 to get the streets in
shape, they were piled so full of drift and rubbish.
" C. A. R.," writing to the Telegraph from Long Bottom,
says : "Taking the dwelling houses of this village that were
situated low enough for the water to reach, fourteen out the
twenty-eight went down the river ; one stopped a half a mile
below and broke in two. The damage amounts to one-third
the value of the village before the flood. The flood of 1884,
on the pth of February, by a careful measurement, was eight
feet and one inch higher than the flood of 1852. The flood
of 1883 was seven inches below 1852."
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 37
The flood used Miners ville very badly. Her coal banks
were flooded last year, and again this year.
The following is from an esteemed lady resident of Miners-
On Tuesday, February 5th, we began to realize that the river was rapidly
rising. On the 6th its upward course marked four inches an hour. That even-
ing four stout horses hauled Mr. E. Williams' caulking float up the road to re-
move the household goods of those dwellings threatened by the flood. Right
here we may say this same float did service last year during the flood. Mr.
Williams' boat and skiffs have always been at the disposal of the people free of
charge during high water. Thursday and Friday, the 7th and 8th, three inches
an hour was the reply to the anxious inquiry of how rapidly the river was rising.
And even the man who reasoned because the river never had reached a certain
point, it never would, was ready to admit his logic bad. Saturday, the gth, two
inches and a half an hour ; and Sunday one-half an inch, and one-quarter, and
finally " a stand." When on a stand, the Ohio River reached from hill to hill.
" On the stand " was hailed with joy, and hope once more dawned on a flood-
stricken people. But who shall picture those dark days when the great heart
of nature seemed touched, and she poured a flood of tears, or brooded in the sullen
silence of a dense fog. The sun refused to shine. Those nights full of terror
and darkness, whose stillness was broken by the roar of the water as it flowed
over the slate tip ; the pitiful lowing of cows, squealing of swine, and crowing
of roosters imprisoned by the flood in Virginia; the blowing of conch shells,
and cries for help from the other shore, made a night that few would care to
repeat, and never could forget. " The river on the stand," but what destruction
had been wrought ! Of one hundred houses in the school district, averaging six to
a household, but thirteen houses that the flood had not to some extent deso-
lated. Where did the people go ? Those that could, moved up-stairs ; where
this was impracticable, they sought refuge on higher ground, and packed like sar-
dines in a box in those houses not inundated. Many household goods might
be seen on the hill-side in the drenching rain, while others fared worse by being
completely submerged in the houses. Then to add to misfortune, Mr. E.
Williams' coal banks flooded, and their means of livelihood was cut off. For a
time it seemed as though starvation and ruin stared our people in the face.
But private aid began pouring in, first from the grand distributing point ol
Gallipolis ; the boats over which floated the stars and stripes, whose side bore
the inscription of " U. S. Relief," came, and with them such store of good pro-
visions, blankets, comforts, and clothing for a needy people, that it made one
feel like thanking God he lived in such a country, where none, no matter what
calamity might overtake them, were allowed to suffer. The supplies came in
plenty, and were distributed generously by the relief committee. They con-
tinue to issue rations, and will so continue until the works are started. To re-
tarn to the flooding of the mines : Mr. E. William's dam stood like adamant,
and up till Saturday p. M. all hoped the mines would be saved ; but then it was
discovered the water was coming in from the old works. The men filled up
38 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
the closets along the foot of the hill, and an opening where coal had heen
gotten out years ago was thoroughly protected. But still the water came in.
Then that night men went in the bank, and hastily constructed a dam in one
of the old entries, in the vain hope they might save the mine. They then dis-
covered the water was coming through the old works, the Yost bank ; the
breaking through caused by the flooding of Morton's bank, which had occurred
several days previously his mine flooding both this year and last, from be-
ing insecurely dammed. The dam built Saturday night to stay the waters held
till Sabbath, when it had flowed through the old mine, and the great body of
water had risen neaily to the top of the dam, when it broke with fearful force,
producing a report like a cannon, and a large body of water came rushing into
the mines. The few who were laboring near the entrance to the salt furnace
lost no time in escaping, for none knew the extent of the danger. But there
were the two engineers, back over a mile at the engines, under ground they
must be saved ! Few care to enter a mine under such circumstances. So John
E. Williams started in alone, to warn the men of their danger, but could not
proceed far, as the water from the old entries had forced the bad air out, and
the lights would not burn ; so he retraced his steps, and started over the hill to
enter the slope. Billy Bath was the only man who volunteered to go with him ;
soon Charlie Hood came up, and learned the situation (his brother was one of
the engineers) ; he and Bath lost no time in making their way there. Mr.
Williams being very fleshy, and short of breath, could not keep up with them.
They made fast time down the slope, and found that the engineers, Wall Hood
and John Redpath, had become aware of the danger, and sought places of
safety. They were soon rescued, and the joyful news spread that the en-
gineers were sale. We heard one of the mine owners rejoicing, and saying,
" As the boys were all right, the bank might go." Sunday there was but one miner
who would enter the bank, and go any where, and brave any danger. That man
was David E. Evans, a man who has few equals, and no peer in coolness and
bravery. It is the opinion of the owners that had not the temporary dam been
constructed, so as to let such a vast volume of water come in at once when it
broke, that some men could have been found to work in the bank, and their
pumps and machinery might have been saved. But after-sight is always the
best. As it was, when the waters ceased coming in so rapidly, and seemed
nearly on a stand, the next week, the men saved a great many wagons, tools,
brick, &c., and the new boiler, that had never been placed, was brought out.
Mr. Williams has purchased a large Blake pump, now that is out at the shaft,
and will be placed in position as soon as possible, and doubtless will speak for
itself as to what it can accomplish. Mr. Jubles, as yet, has not had an oppor-
tunity to make an accurate estimate of his losses at the White Rock Salt Fur-
nace, but calculates it will be at least $5,000. They labored to save his property,
but with all their efforts 2,000 barrels of salt were lost, a number of grainers
destroyed, and other property wrecked. To return to the relief committee
the active members being Dan Thomas and John Redpath we have no figures
to give of their work, but they render their account to Uncle Sam. We believe
they have faithfully, and to the best of their ability, discharged their duty. Of
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 30
course, they have not pleased all that would be beyond human power. The
following is a list of those who lost by the flood : Harry Stobart, Samuel
Runion, IJavid H. Williams, Thomas Auflick, Mrs. John R. Jones, John Sands,
Mrs. C. Davis, Mrs. Nancy Hood. Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, Edward
Rees, Perry Wise, Arch McCuilum, Robert Hughes, William Bath, Sr., Mrs.
Peter Jones. J. R. Arnold, William Edwards. Thomas Stobart, John West
moreland, Daniel L. Thomas, E. Williams ($S.ooo), Jacob P.Jones, Thomas
Williams. James Karr, John Rodgers, Daniel L. Lewis, Mrs. Kaziah Jones,
Thomas Powell, Sr., William Thomas (the second), I. N. Hall, Mrs. Doyle.
Camp-iires and blanket-shanties along the hill tops, says the Meig* County
llnrultl, were not unfamiliar sights. Many buildings were picked up and jammed
around promiscuously. Thos. Francis had the only house out of water,
and at one time had seventy -five persons in his house Syracuse came near
going under entirely. The buildings, says the Herald, " along the river bank
were entirely submerged with the exception of the roofs. The College building
was used as a refuge for the homeless sufferers. Provisions were short. Suf-
fering here was probably not so great as at other places ; but it was bad enough.
The Syracuse Coal and Salt Co. could not furnish an estimate of their
losses, but it will be away up in the thousands. Both the Slope and the Shaft
mines are flooded. It will take at least six or eight months to pump them out.
Upon these works many hundred men depend for their living, and if the mines
are destroyed Syracuse is gone. The loss of household property was consid-
erable ; residents expected no such rise, consequently failed to move their goods
in time. Not a house nor a building of any sort has drifted away, but many
are in bad condition.
"A city set on a hill cannot be hid." Little New Haven is about the only-
place in the vicinity of Pomeroy that was anyway out of water. The salt
works were damaged slightly, but to no considerable extent. A few hundred
dollars will cover the entire loss. The coal banks were above high water, as
were most of the company houses. Suffering was not very great, the furnaces-
had been running pretty steadily, and most of the hands had something to their
credit. New Haven fared well.
When we came to Hartford, the same old familiar sight, of a drowned out
town, greeted our eyes. The town is almost perfectly level, and the water
covered the place clear to the hills. Mr. A. L. Sehon was unfortunate enough
to lose several head of cattle, hogs, etc., by drowning. Household goods, and
property in general throughout the town was destroyed. Winkleblack's stave
mill was left, but the heading, staves and lumber had been swept away. Hart-
ford suffered very little for want of provision. The people packed up what
stores they could get. and took to the hill. People lived in rough shanties a*
contentedly as though they were palaces.
Mason City was only partially covered by water. The back end of the town,
owing to its height, was not touched by the flood. John Mees & Son's saw
40 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
mill was covered by water. They succeeded in saving most of their lumber,
saw logs, shingles, staves, etc. The Hope Salt Company's loss is between
$4,000 and $5,000. A portion of their salt sheds was carried away. The loss in
manufactured salt to the company is considerable. The Mason City Salt Co.'s
sheds, etc., are mostly all O. K. This furnace has not been in operation for
over a year, so they had no salt to lose. Learner's bromine sheds broke loose
and floated down against the Hope Salt sheds.
Clifton, not to be outdone, went under water, with the rest of the world. The
Bedford Salt Company lost, and is damaged, to some considerable extent. The
Standard Iron and Nail Works, flooded ; loss $10,000. The Sterling Coal
Works lost $1,500. Clifton has not suffered so terribly as it might. G. W.
Heinisch, leading merchant, lost $3,500.
The Nora Belle, relief boat from Gallipolis, left on her
first visit of relief to these places, including Pomeroy, with
supplies for the following number of persons: Camden,
W. Va.,30o; West Columbia, W. Va., 400; Clifton, W.Va.,
600; Middleport, O., 2,000; Pomeroy, O., 925 ; Mason City,
W. Va., 400; German Furnace, W. Va., 100 ; Minersville,
O., 1,200; Syracuse, O., 700; Hartford City, W. Va., 500;
Racine, O., 125 ; Antiquity, O., 150.
A correspondent of the News 'journal, accompanying the
Stockdale on a relief trip just after the waters began going
down, says :
"To paint the scenes of destruction in the ruined towns, of demolished build-
ings, overturned and wrecked houses and bridges, mud and debris, needs simply
this one word, ' awful.' Let the imagination picture its worst, and it will not
equal the work of the flood upon this once bright land of Pomeroy Bend."
It has been ascertained that 500 or more houses were swept
out of the bend. Six of its twenty coal mines flooded, 8,000
people idle and next thing to homeless, is the situation on
this Saturday, February 9.
the water reached its greatest height at Pomeroy. It aver-
aged all along the bend a depth of sixty-four feet, but here it
was sixty-four feet six inches. It went down very slowly, as
it had done above, and as it was best for it to do, as a
rapid decline would have carried more buildings and property
into the current ; but, as the Pomeroy Telegraph said, "It
seemed a long and wearisome time to our people, penned up
in second stories and other quarters to wait before they could
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OY 1884. 41
get into their places of business and workshops to clean them
out and prepare to resume the avocations of life." Thirty
six houses left the town ; among them Epline's drug store,
Mike Epple's wareroom, Mrs. B. Weiskettle's baker shop,
the Pomeroy Reading Room, Schont's saloon, E. Joseph's
residence, Geiger's harness shop (caught at Gallipolis),
Geo. Smith's tailor shop, Sam. Garen's business house, with
all its goods, John Wipple's shoe shop, A. Blumenthal's dry
goods and notion store, N. Curtiss' saloon, the drum-house
of the Buckeye Salt Works, J. Elberfield's store-house,
Henry Neutzling's store-house, Sam. Hodges' music store,
Nick Renter's saloon, the Pomeroy Soap Factory, Juhler's
bromine works, Con. SteifTs saloon, Mrs. Kepp's residence,
C., H. V. & T. R. R. depot (caught on the Jenkins farm
below Gallipolis), Jedro's dwelling, and various other dwell-
ings, business houses and barns, to the number of thirty-six,
besides about 150 that were moved from their foundations.
From Racine, ten miles above Pomeroy, to two miles
below, the devastation was wide-spread, and had only the
appearance of general wreck and ruin in a sea of angry
waters. It was a frightful picture that can hardly be realized
now that the water has gone down. We append a list of
losses as given by the Telegraph, with a few slight changes
as we have been informed through other sources :
City Bank, $50; Will Scheiber, 50.00; Dr. J. H. Jones, 350.00; John S.
Davis & Son, 150.00; B. Baer, 150.00; Geo. Masser & Co., 200.00; J. C. Probst &
Son, 500.00; E. W. Rine, 75.00; D. Geyer, 350.00; David Lark, 25.00; Peter
Rappold, 600.00; V. F. Frizell, 1,200.00; Mrs. Milly Henderson, 300.00; Adam
Barthel, 300.00; Mrs. Martin Stahl, 200.00; Fred Turner, 100.00; Wm. Wehe,
20000; Mrs. Vincent, 100.00; Levi Woods and Henry Streets, 50.00; Geo. P.
Stout, 1,000.00; D. L. Geyer, 300.00; Mrs. Wm. Lee, 100.00; Henry Koehler,
700.00; Frank Humphrey, 100.00; Wash Russell, 250.00; Ed. Hennessey,
200.00; Jacob Dors), 200.00; Henry Neutzling, 100.00; Dr. Hysell, 100.00; Ed.
Hampton, 150.00; W. J. Prall, 50.00; John Bartlett, 125.00; Dr. Allard, 200.00;
Geo. Eiselstein, 75.00; C. Dale, 250.00; H. Priode, 35000; W. A. Aicher,
joo.oo; Nick Curtiss, 600.00; Monkey Run Coal Co., 50.00; Leonard Kepp,
750.00; John Dyke, 250.00; John Voss, 75.00; C., H. V. & T. R. R. ticket-
office, 25.00; B. S. McComas, 550.00; Mrs. M. Shilling, 100.00; Andy Geyer,
700.00; Peter Rappold, 700.00; Conrad Steiff, 4,000.00; Abraham Mees, 500.00;
C.. H. V. & T. R. R., 5,000.00; Thayer Morton, 500.00; Mrs. Duncan Sloan,
200.00; Welch Calvanistic Church, 300.00; Judge J. P. Bradbury, 500.00; John
Loudansheis, 400.00; Mrs. Anna Michael, 200.00; Henry Fisher, 50.00; O. H.
Odell, 150.00; Dabney Salt Furnace, 4,000.00; Pomeroy Coal Company,
1,000.00; Mrs. Miller, 250.00; John Hopp, 350.00; Sam Silveman, 400.00: T.
42 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FJ.OOD OF
J. Juhler, 5.000.00; A. D. Weed, 950.00, August Goesslcr, 300.00; Mrs M. P.
.Barclay, 100.00; D. Geyer, 200.00; Thos. White-side, 250.00; A. W. Seebohm,
2,000.00; J. C. Meininger, 700.00; Mrs. Denbach. 100.00; Sey fried Bros., 600.00;
B. Keehler, 100.00; German Furniture Company, 1,000.00; Miss Antoinette
Osborn, 500.00; Frank Wipple, 50000; Henry Ewing, 225.00; B. F. Biggs,
54000; Henry Dilcher, 200.00; J. C. Marris, 50.00, George McC^uig^, 600.00;
S. A. M. Moore & Co., 1.300.00; Wm. WollV. 300 oo; Mrs. I'niion. 50.00; Geo.
Weyersmiller, 100.00; M. Frank, 40000; Nick Klein, 150.00; Clias. Schorn,
100.00; Peacock Coal Co., 50.00; Pomeroy S;(lt Furnace, 7.000.00; F. F. Hum-
phrey, 100.00; Henry Werner. 100.00; Mrs. Susan Hobt, 100.00; Adam Darling,
100.00; John Thress, 2800.00; Walter Jenks, 150.00; A. Hlumenthal, 2,500.00;
W. H. Remington, 1,000.00; Chris. Koontz. 100.00; Edmund Gregory, 40.00;
John Tnomas, 100.00; Mrs. Catherine Gray, 300.00; John 13 mm, 500.00; John
Geyer,ioo.oo; John Franz, 51000; Geo. Rubt-nstall. 30000; Wm. Lust, 25000;
Isaac Baer, 500.00; 11. M. Morton, 200.00; H. S. 1 loriou. 200.00 ; A. B. Donnaliy,
800.00; Samuel McKnight, 450.00 ; Robert Richardson, too oo ; E. F. Feiger,
400.00; George Wandel, 400.00; B.R. Remington, loo.oc; Isanc Bradlield, 100.00;
Geo. Keyser, 50.00; Mrs. Ruse. 100.00; Mrs. Robert Atkinson, 50.00; Robert
Craggs, 300.00; Mrs. John Brechl el, 600.00; John Schantz. 250.00; Central
School Building, 200.00; Syracuse Coal & Salt Co., 1 15.000.00; Mrs. Jane
Walters, 1,000.00; Pomeroy Machine Co., 800.00; D. L Geycr's mill, 400.00;
Buckeye Salt Furnace, 4,000.00; Wendel Kantz, 150.00; D. S. Lewis, 2,000.00;
Mrs. Samuel Church, 300.00; Mike Blaettnar, 600.00; Joseph Conde, 200.00 ;
Henry Wehe, 100.00; John Krause, 200.00; Mrs. Fritz Ohminger, 400.00; Col.
C. Grant, 1,000.00 ; B. C. Nye, 200.00 ; Crescent Iron Works, 500 oo; Theo.
Niggermeyer, 800.00; G. Wildermuth, 5,000.00; Mike Schlaegel, 1,500.00;
Edwards & Bro., 400.00; Geo. Fahnle, 400.00; Dr. Eppeline, 500.00; Jas.
Bryne, 500.00; Frank Diehl, 300.00 ; Mike Eppel, 1,000.00 ; Chas. Katz, 500 oo;
Dr. Rehm, 150.00; Welch Baptist Church (Kerr's Run), 200.00; C. M. Morton,
300.00; Pete Dorst, 400.00; Wm. McClain, 200.00; Mrs. Edwin Weeks, 400.00;
Benedict Davis, 300.00; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 250.00; Rev. Wm.
Schmidt, 125.00; Thomas Wheatley, 125.00; John Bartlett, 125.00; Presbyte-
rian Church, 300.00; D. Reed & Son, 300.00; D. Reed, 600.00; J. C.
Probost & Son, 500. oo; Coalridge Salt Furnace, 4,000.00 ; Mrs. Frank Taylor,
25.00; John Mora, 500.00; Louis Godfried, 200.00; Mrs. B. Weiskittle, 50000;
August Zahl. 700.00; Mrs. M. M. Kennedy, 1,000.00 ; Mr. Weidt, 500.00;
Poinerov Journal, unestimated ; G. W.Geiger, 200.00; Mrs. Mary Himmelein,
250.00; Ed. Joseph, 500.00; Excelsior Salt Works, 2,500.00; Herman Lerner's
Bromine Works, a total wreck, unestimated ; McKnight & Fisher, 500.00;
Capt. Ed. Williamson, 1,250.00; Wm. Tucker, 100.00; Frank Lucke, 500.00;
Cha<. Arhen, 50.00; Rev. T. T. Williams, 100.00. Total, $123,905.00.
This is a fearful contribution on a little city, not falling in
most cases on those best able to bear it, but often on those
whose last dollar was taken from them. Every man who is
fifty dollars ahead in the world is independent. This is fifty
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 43
dollars each for over 6,000 people. And honestly as the list
may be given, it will not cover actual loss by many thousands.
Many ot" those enumerated above are great losers at other
points up and down the river. It does not include thousands
of dollars of labor in trying to save what was left, nor loss to
streets, nor getting in shape stores and residences, the destruc-
tion to streets, sidewalks, culverts, nor the losses which will be
counted for a year hence in the way of trade from those who
lost in the whole surrounding country their crops, fences and
out-buildings. All the way up Leading Creek to Rutland
the losses to farmers were very heavy, and that village itself
was put to great loss and inconvenience that we have not
space to note. At this place the water was eight feet above
1883, and caught many farmers in all the surrounding
country, who find it hard to estimate their losses in fences,
fodder, straw, outbuildings, and the like. The drowned
stock alone on the farms between Pomeroy and Pittsburgh,
will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are
many instances given of scores of horses, mules, cattle
and hogs being drowned.
The story of Middleport's woe is but a repetition ol
Pomeroy's fearful experience. The following is a partial list
of losses in that place :
Berry & Skinner, $900.00; Ed. Powell, 90.0.00; E. Davis & Co., 2,000.00;
Burt Green, 2,600.00; Barnes & Chase, 2,000.00; T. H. Dawson, 500.00; T.
B. Lawson, both stores, 2,500.00; Ohio Machine Company, 1,000.00; Hayes
& Cook, 200.00; I. Jones, 400.00 ; Ed. Lark, 300.00; F. P. Bryan, 300.00;
Robert Barnes, 800.00 ; T. R. Smith, 1,500 ; P. Hugg, 200.00; James Park,
1,000.00; W. B. Probst, 1,400.00; William Horden, 1,000.00; S. M. Hysell,
700.00; Thomas Turner, Soo.oo; T. I. & Charles Williams, 500.00 ; Gussie
Mack, 200.00; D. Enoch^ 200.00; Marine Docks and mill, 800.00; R. R.
Hudson, extra labor, 850.00; Grif. Michael, 2,500.00; E. D. Jones, 200.00; H.
Scharff, 500.00; W. M. Hartinger, 600.00; Grogan & Berg, 300.00; W. M.
Swallow, 100.00; A. Calderwood, Sr., 1,500.00; A. Calderwood, Jr., 400.00; J.
A. Rumsey, 600.00; Paragon Drug Store, 75.00 ; McElhinny Bros., 600.00;
Charles Root, 500.00; C. F. Besserer, 75.00; W. E. Stansbury, 1,500.00; J. C.
McElhinney, 1,200.00; Mrs. Anderson, 250.00; Wm. Swisher, 2,000.00; German
Furniture Company, 2.500.00; W. B. Pennington, 2,000.00; S. S. Tubbs, 500.00;
R. W. Vaughn, 300.00; S. D. Webb, 2.000.00; Chair Factory, 1,000.00; A.
Burkert, 1,000.00 ; Joseph Fahnle. 300.00; Talbott & Bro., 200.00; S. F. Smith,
300.00; Finley Welle, qoo.oo: Adam McLain, 200.00.
The Middleport Republican says : " This does not include
losses in the homes, for 99 out of every 100 homes in Middle-
4-i HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
port were under water. The woolen mill is a great loser,
and all traders and dealers are in the same boat, or rather
out of it."
To stand here and look up the river, and see nearly the
whole population that was able to remain in their houses
at all in the second and third stories, and thousands in
churches, school-houses, public halls, iails, court-houses,
flat boats, steamboats, even on rafts, and in brush and board
shanties, tents and blankets spread on poles, with one side
against some huge rock or hill, for a distance of over 200
miles, was enough to move a heart of adamant, and although
provisions and all sorts of supplies were hurried to them as
fast as their condition became known, yet many in isolated
places were pushed for something to eat, and drowned cows
and hogs were caught in the mighty flood, and towed to shore
and cut up and eaten. Cattle were only too glad to get on a
hill or knoll where there was nothing for them to browse on
but the tender twigs of trees, dead leaves, and weeds. Horses
and mules were often taken to high points, and hastily cor-
raled or fastened to fences or trees, and no opportunity occur-
ring afterward to remove them until the water went down,
were found drowned or barely able to stand alone from hun-
ger, having gnawed the fences and trees to which they were
hitched, till it was ghastly and sickening to look upon. Many
horses, hogs and cattle were saved from the parlors and best
rooms of the lower stories of residences, where they had been
driven or found their way in, and there some of them re-
mained, and when the water went down were found dead on
staircases and in halls and parlors. These things appear
almost incredible since the flood passed away, but were veri-
table facts, as can be testified to by hundreds. Indeed, it
was in the fine bottom lands along the river where the great-
est trials and most thrilling scenes occurred, and if it were
possible to ascertain individual losses of fences, buildings,
crops and stock, they would come near averaging with the
towns that are interspersed along between. There are the
Cheshire bottoms, below Middleport. The fences are in a
manner all gone, and they are high bottoms, too. The river
was four or five miles wide here, and the village of Cheshire
was nearer to the West Virginia hills than it was to those of
( rallia County. Many farmers only saved their stock by
making huge piles of straw and hay and huddling their cattle
upon them. About 100 head of all sorts of stock was rescued
by steamboats from Gallipolis. The loss to the bottoms and
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 45
to the village was great. T. R. Weed lost $1,300 ; Franklin
Smith, $600; William Boice, $3,000; Dayton Ashworth,
$1,500. Frank Boice was a heavy loser, part of his house
being turned over and smashed up. The St. Charles Hotel
was badly damaged. Resener & Co. lost heavily. The
Globe Coal Works were heavy sufferers. Milo Guthrie,
$500. C. A. Carl & Co., coal miners, also lose heavily.
Many farmers around lost cattle, horses and hogs. Wash.
Swisher's house went to another man's farm. The people
of Cheshire were greatly alarmed, and they had good reason
to be, as the water, according to Captain Alf. Day's marks,
was eight feet and an inch above last year. The water was
flowing several feet deep through the village, and the people
were all trying to live as best they could in the upper stories
of their houses. The water was nine feet deep in the old
Kyger Church. The relief boats were hailed with joy and
gratitude. The Pittsburg towboat Lioness rendered great
aid here by supplying the destitute with coal and taking
stock on her barges.
Several farmers above Cheshire had to move from their
homes, among them Henry Watson's family, William Roush,
Meek. Switzer's family, Mrs. Philanda Watson, and others.
After the water subsided Mr. Sig. Mauck was engaged in
drying out his residence, the old Joseph Mauck homestead,
when it caught fire from a flue made defective by the flood,
and burned down. Loss about $2,500. At Addison thev
had hills to flee to, and the stock in that vicinity were driven
to them. The houses along the river, however, took water.
The store of Mr. D. R. S. Schafter was flooded, and several
families were obliged to move, and were put to much incon-
venience and loss. Some strange and novel incidents were
met with in these bottoms, such as rabbits, cats, rats, and all
sorts of varmints of the small kind being "found in tree tops.
Snakes, even, were found in some bottom lands in the boughs
of the trees, and some are known to have been killed that
were over five feet long, the remorseless waters driving out ot
their holes everything that had life, and putting in motion
even the things without life.
We now come to Point Pleasant, W. Va., a bright, pros-
perous little city, at the mouth of the Kanawha River. To
look at her to-day,
one can hardly refrain from tears. The Point Pleasant /?<%>-
ister is authority for the statement that the water was six
46 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
feet seven inches above 1832. In the lower part of the city
houses were overturned and swept away, and many poor
people left homeless. There was not a toot of dry land in
the town'. The Register says :
" In Henderson, just across the Kanawha River, many of the houses have been
swept away, and a number overturned and floated from their foundations, chief
among which was the storehouse of Hutchinson & Co., and the dwelling house
of Andy Wilson, together with its contents. Every home in Point Pleasant
was inundated, except the residence of John W. English and the old cooper
shop. Those fortunate enough to have two-storied residences moved above as
the flood came, and provided for those of their less fortunate fellow beings, so
far as their space and larder would admit. Many of the citizens, with com
fortable little homes, saw their all swept away in a few short hours. The
hearthstones of many, around which naught save happiness and peace clustered,
have been forever rendered desolate by an angry flood. Circuit Court, which
was in session, saw the approach of the flood, and gave up the Court House to
those who, at that early hour, the 5th inst., were compelled to flee from the
waste of waters. A large number of the colored people sought the friendly
shelter of the comfortable building, and many moved their household goods
and merchandise therein, and remained until the flood abated. The water was
on the lower floor of the Court House four feet and two inches by actual measure-
ment, and the law offices on that floor were completely submerged, many losing
valuable papers and law books. Simpson & Howard, John W. English, and
John E. Timms saved their libraries almost intact. The greatest sufferers were
Menager, Hogg & Spencer, who, besides losing many of their books, were so
unfortunate as to get the valuable law library of the late H. J. Fisher, which
was in their charge, considerably damaged. Judge Guthrie and John A. Gib-
bons also lost some of their books, as did Tomlinson & Polsley. Rankin Wiley
and James H. Couch escaped with but little damage to their libraries. During
the time when the water was at its highest, the hardware store of Mr. W. B.
Cable took fire from slacking lime, and burned to the second ston'. His loss
will exceed $5,000 over and above his insurance of $3,500. Everv house in
town that had a second story above water was crowded to its utmost capacity
with people. Those who had houses on high ground, whether in town or near
to it, kindly threw open their doors and their tables to the distressed people.
The Register office was in a sorry plight indeed, and it will take lots ot money
to put it in the condition it was before the flood. It has resumed business at
the same old stand, however. The Gazette was more fortunate. The office
was moved to the upper story of Dr. Barbee's office, and did not sustain much
damage. A couple of hundred dollars will make the office all right again.
Colonel Smith rendered great service to the people. He commanded a flat
boat, and went to the assistance of the distressed day and night. It will take a
hundred thousand dollars to put this town to rights again. Mr. Gideon Brown,
in the lower end of the county, lost some $500 in grain and fencing."
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 47
For some time after the waters fell 1,500 people were fed
by the committees, and they were packed in the unflooded
upper stories like sardines. Two hundred and fifty were in
the second story of the court-house.
We give Editor Tippett's experience in his own language,
and it will find an echo in the heart of many an Ohio River
editor who ran through the same gauntlet of trouble :
" We went to the expense of moving our office on the night of the 5th, just as
the water was coming over the pavement in front of our office. We placed our
stationery and types in the office of Messrs. Wiley and Couch, which was
said to be some five feet higher than the great flood of 1832, but notwithstand-
ing this precaution all our material was completely submerged, and our types,
stationery, cases, stands, desks and office furniture danced a merry jig to the
laughing waters. Besides this, our household goods and wearing apparel of
self and family were completely submerged, and much of it rendered unfit for
use. Our house was also badly damaged, and all our out-buildings floated off
and fences destroyed. When the waters had receded and we entered our resi-
dence and printing office building, the last named which tried to leave us, our
heart was dismayed, and we were discouraged, and almost despaired of ever
again trying to regain our former position, but when we reflected that th re
were many others who were greater sufferers, we looked at the matter philo-
sophically, and at once determined to do or die. Our house is now rather
habitable, and we issue this paper from our old office, yet incrusted with mud,
and with difficulty have picked enough type from our leaky cases, filled with
mud, to print it. Only those who have tried to get out a paper under such cir-
cumstances can appreciate our trial. We propose to stay among our friends
and assist in whatever way we can to rebuild this town and help her gain that
position among towns that she ought to hold. Then let us all go to work and
help one another. There is no use to stand around regretting and pining over
our losses. The only way to recover is by hard and constant vrork."
We append the following list of losses, as given by the
Mason County (Point Pleasant) Gazette, with some slight
E. J. Mossman. $400 ; J. H. Gilmore, $400 ; Mrs. Jennie Martin, $500 ; the
Misses Risk, $200; Isaiah Gibbs, $300; Gazette, $200 ; C. C. Miller (County),
$3:000; Wm. Smith, $2,500; J. W. Bryan, $1,200; C apt. Jos. Hein, $2,400;
P. S. Lewis (County), $5,000 ; E. S. Bright (Brighton), $3,500 ; W. T.
Wiley (County). $1,500 ; Jas.- H. Couch (County), $4,000; Sam'l & Peter
Couch (County), $4,000 ; J. H. Miller & Co. (County), $6,000 ; Jas. W.
Long (County), 3,000; W. A. Long (County), $4,000 ; Jno. R. Couch
(County), $2,000; J. B. M. McGuffin (County), $1.500; and down in Mercers
Bottom: C. T. Beale, $2,000; J. W. Steenbergen, $6,000 ; Jos. Arrington,
$1,500; Judge Moore, $2,000; C. M. Moore, $2,000; E. L. Neale, $1,500 ~,
48 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
John S. Hanl v v, $1,000 ; A. A. Hanly, and Hanly & Neale, $3,000; total,
$64,400. But this does not include damaged dwellings or houses swept away.
The following suffered, some very heavily, in various ways, but the amounts
are not estimated : Dr. L. F. Campbell, Dr. W. S. Hoy, Dr. S. G. Shaw,
Kline House Stable, T. Stribling Stable, W. B. Cable, five buildings moved;
school-house, colored school-house, both Crooked Creek bridges, Perry
Kenwood, Gibbs Bros., three houses; G. B. Thomas' iron roofing factory, A. C.
Vangilder, Geo. Jordan, Col. J. P. R. B. Smith, B. Gilmore, J. D. McCullough,
P. C.Eastham, J. S. O. Roark & Co., Friedman & Co , Hess & Co., B. Frank-
lin, J. G. Stortz, Mrs. Vollerts, Misses Jones, Geo. B. Sayre, Polsley & Shaw,
and scores of others in the town and country.
Turning up the Kanawha River, we find scarcely a farm
but was damaged, and some to a great extent, the water
reaching from hill to hill, as it did in the Ohio, and often-
times between four and five miles between the hills.
The town of Leon, thirteen miles up the Kanawha. suf-
fered severely. There was hardly a house in the town but
what was submerged, and many were moved from their
foundations. The merchants lost heavily by having their
goods damaged. The loss to the timber men along Thirteen-
Mile creek, in saw logs, lumber, staves, railroad ties and
tan-bark, can hardly be estimated. Many people in that part
of the county have lost their accumulations of years, and
now find themselves without a cent in the world. The town
presented the appearance of a huge pile of blocks, all thrown
promiscuously together, but the people were very "gritty"
and at no time were much inclined to receive aid without
paying for it. Besides several houses being carried off, the
county bridge across "Thirteen" was washed to pieces.
Leaving Leon, we strike out for Buffalo. Hardly a man we
meet but tells of stock drowned, fences, cribs, granaries,
carriage houses, smoke-houses, or barns carried away, to-
gether with corn, hay, and fodder. The sight all along is a
sad one. Staves, cross ties and saw logs adorn the banks
on both sides, and in some places seem to have been carried
high up on the hill sides by the mighty tide. The Ohio
Central Railroad is in a fearful condition from Point Pleas-
ant to Buffalo not a trestle or bridge standing, with the
exception of the bridge across "Eighteen." Some of the
bridges are nearly washed oft* the abutments, others are
turned upside down. Forces are at work repairing, but it
will be a long time before trains are running to Charleston
again from Point Pleasant. Some sickening stories are told
of want and destitution in the lower part of the Kanawha
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 49
Valley when the waters were at their highest ; hard to be-
lieve now, but from what has come under our own observation,
we have no reason to dispute them, though it would have
taken too much time and research to answer the purposes of
a work like this, to have ascertained the exact facts in all
cases. It is said, and we believe it to be true, that several
women suffered confinement, almost entirely without protec-
tion, in the pitiless storm of February loth and nth. One
lady gave birth to a boy baby in a skiff in the darkness of
night, while the rain was pouring down in torrents, and
while being conveyed to a place of safety by her husband,
who had been the whole day gone in search of a skiff, and
only arriving in time to rescue his wife and little boy, while
she was in the pangs of labor.
The flood was very disastrous to Buffalo, inundating the
lower ground of the town and submerging about 50 houses,
some of them almost entirely. " The citizens of the flooded
portions were compelled to seek the more elevated parts of
the town for temporary habitation. Among those who lost
merchandise were L. A. Carr & Co., John Nease, Robert
Alexander, C. C. Workman and Mrs. Horn. The wants of
the Buffalo people were readily looked after by the Govern-
ment boats, Winona and Bee." Mr. L. A. Carr deserves
credit for the charity extended by him to the sufferers. He
ordered the Telephone there ( he being the President of the
Kanawha Packet Line ) from Gallipolis, on the loth, to save
lives and property, and invited all the citizens of the town
to come on board of her and the Sallie Freeze ( another boat
of the line ) and stay and sleep and eat until the flood was
over. The people were only too glad to accept his kind
offer. Her little sister town of Win field, more fortunate in
being above the tide, sent about $100 worth of provisions for
her immediate use, and she did not come to actual want, but
yet so near that the recollection of February loth, 1884, will
never fade. Not only will the bitterness of that day be
remembered, but, as a citizen said to us, " neither will the
brotherly kindness manifested by all on that terrible occasion
ever be forgotten." If the people had dreamed of the water
reaching the height it did, they could have made ample pre-
paration and saved themselves from all loss on household
goods and stocks of merchandise, at least ; but with stoves, pro-
visions and bed clothing, and all other clothing, except what
they had on their backs, under water, they came through the
vale of suffering right side up. The bridge below Buffalo is
50 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
wrecked and the road caved in, and will be a great loss to the
town and neighborhood.
Above Buffalo there was no suffering except in isolated
cases of farmers, whose wants and necessities were in a
great measure immediately relieved by friendly neighbors ;
but there were the usual losses in lowlands, such as have
been heretofore depicted. Fortunate indeed was it that the
Great Kanawha did not reach some of its more formidable
heights, or the scenes in the Valley would have been too
great to have been told in a work of the dimensions of this.
As a matter of interest and reference we append the follow-
ing from the Charleston Tribune:
From the U. S. Engineer's office we obtain the following interesting data,
showing the water gauge in the Kanawha at Charleston: Nov. 25, 1877,111
1:30 P. M., 35.10 feet ; Sept. 14, 1878, at 2:00 p. M., 41.60 feet; Jan. 14 1879. at
2:00 A. M., 36.60 feet; Feb. 8, 1883. at 6:00 A. M., 25.95 f eet > Feb. 12, 1883,
at 12:00 M., 26.05 feet; April i, 1883, at 11:30 A. M., 25.09 feet; April 7, 1883,
at S:3o A. M., 25.35 feet; Feb. 12, 1884, at 4:00 p. M., 28.80 feet. The frohet
in September, 1878, brought the water along Virginia Street, so that skiff*
passed from the woolen mills up as far as Col. Appleton's residence on Dun-
bar Street. On the Virginia Street Square, where the Tribune office now
stands, only a few feet along the pavements remained above the flood. This is
the highest tide in this city for the last fourteen years. The renowned 1832
freshet is said to have reached a point several feet higher.
Returning from the Kanawha and entering the Ohio, we
are confronted with the little village of Fair Haven, Ohio,
opposite Point Pleasant. It was generally flooded to the
depth of several feet, the water extending clear back to the
Ohio Hills, and so clear on down the Ohio to Mill Creek,
above Gallipolis, a distance of four miles. There were very
few farmers (none in the bottoms), even those living upon
the highest knolls and points and closest to the hills, but had
to move, and were swept bare of fences, dwellings or out-
houses, and put to great loss and labor in saving stock and
property, and indeed, in many instances, could have saved
-nothing had it not been for timely aid received from sympa-
thizing friends below. The residence of Mr. Emery Bailey,
on the Ohio side, below the mouth of the Kanawha, was
located just after the flood of 1832, and is the verv highest
.point off of the hills between the mouth of the Kanawha
-.and Gallipolis. At that time the water did not come over it,
"but it was now four feet in the house. From Fair Haven
down to Mill Creek, above Gallipolis, the losses foot up, in-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 51
eluding Fuller, Hutsinpiller & Co.'s lumber, piled at Gate-
wood & Co.'s saw-mill, and Gatewood & Co.'s damage to
mill machinery, fully $12,000. This is in the territory of river
bottom, about one mile deep, by about four miles of river
front. Those who suffered mostly are as follows : Jas. Black,
Reuben Alien, Frank Guthrie, Wm. Stone, Henry Shepard,
John Sanns, John T. Hampton, Edward Willis, John Roth-
geb, Emery Bailey, S. G. Keller, Mrs. Sarah Graham.
Sam'l Logue. Capt. J. J. Maxon, Adam Carter, Mrs. Joshua
Canaday. These all come under $1,000. Those who lost
$1,000 and upwards are as follows : John Deem, John Bryan,
C. D. Bailey, D. W. Davies, Gatewood & Co., and Fuller,
Hutsinpiller & Co.
Jake Banks, Joshua Page, Adam Carter, Joe Webster,
Gaines, the plasterer; Jas. Viney, all colored, and John M.
Cherry, the carpenter ; Isaiah Walters, Jas. Peck, Sam Logue,
E. S. Tippins, Basil Betz, Jas. Compton, Mrs. Henshaw and
Mr. Clinger, all living above Mill Creek, had to move out ol
Passing Gallipolis for the present, which was entirely sur-
rounded with water, bv Mill Creek emptying into the Ohio
above, and Chickamauga Creek below, their waters uniting
between the town and the hills behind, and the broad, sweep-
ing river in front, but the city itself above water, we will
note the situation of Millersport and Athalia, villages below,
in their order.
We are indebted to Dr. H. V. Sanns, of Millersport, for an
account of the situation of things there. The Doctor writes:
Millersport suffered severely from the flood. Two-thirds of
our village lies on very low ground, the other third more ele-
vated and known as " The Raise." The water in places was
eighteen feet deep, and averaged about twelve feet on the
low ground, and about five feet on " The Raise." There were
only two houses in the place not in water. Eighteen dwell-
ings floated entirely away ; also one drug store, one millinery
store, and one cooper shop ; six dwellings floated oft' their
foundations that did not leave the town. [The drug store al-
luded to was the property of Andy Griffith, and was taken
ashore at Ashland ; Reckard & Hay got all their goods on
the wharf-boat and saved themselves from great loss.J A
store house belonging to J. M. Bakerfloated off, and lodged
in an orchard a hundred yards away. All outbuildings and
UMIO-S in the lower part of town floated off. The total loss is
e>timaled here at $11,000, Mr. A. Griffith being the heaviest
52 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
loser. The loss at Athalia was about $9,000, Mr. Robert
Wylie being the largest loser at that place. The town is sit-
uated similar to Millersport, a portion being very low land.
Eight dwellings, one drug store, four cooper shops, besides
all outbuildings, were carried off here. The depth of the
water over the town was about the same as at Millersport,
and there were also two houses there not in the water. The
farmers living between the two towns lost very heavily, mostly
in fences and fruit trees. We are at this date, March i3th,
still living on government rations, the weather having been
so bad, people could not go to work. Some will rebuild, but
quite a number are unable to do so. It will take quite a while
to put these towns back as they were before the flood.
The losses below Gallipolis, on the Ohio side, began at
Clipper Mill, about three and a half miles down the river. In
this region the principal losers were, Mr. Wm. Kinder, the
John Nesbit estate, Rev. Hathaway, on the old Monroe Coff-
man farm; Ohio Chapel, Alf. Kinder, Mrs. Cottrell, Mrs.
Phoebe Willey, Mrs. Hempfield. Below, clear on down to
Chambersburg, the county suffers greatly in loss of bridges,
viz. : The Walker iron bridge, the bridge at Plymales, the
Pool bridge, Raccoon bridge, and the new bridge above
Chambersburg. These bridges cost the county an immense
amount of money ; some of them were very new, all of them
were first-class. In the Chambersburg region, Wm. Barker's
loss is about $3,000; Marshall & Wilhelm, $200 ; Wm.
Marshall, $300; ^Walter Thorniley, $350; Wallace Thorn-
iley, $350; Jehu McDaniel, $500; W. D. Graham, $400;
Commissioner Jacob Riggs, not far from $1,000. Bladens-
burg, a village a few miles below Chambersburg, suffered
slightly, G. R. Smith and Col. J. H. M. Montgomery being
the principal losers, suffering to the extent of about $500
each. The losses below here on the Ohio side were princi-
pally sustained by the farmers in the way of fences, fodder,
corn, etc. Crown City suffered but little.
Green Bottom, W. Va., was one of the unfortunate locali-
ties that suffered severely. It embraces a fine farming
country, extending from Little Guyan to Eighteen-Mile
Creek, or about opposite to Millersport, Ohio. The cele-
brated Jenkins estate, of nearly 2,000 acres of land, has a
river front in Green Bottom of about seven miles. This is
where the late General Albert Gallatin Jenkins, of Confeder-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 53
ate fame, lived, and his brothers, Dr. Wm. Jenkins and Jef-
ferson Jenkins, all dead now. The widows of the Doctor
and Jefferson still live on these old farms. Mrs. S. L. Jen-
kins, widow of Jefferson, is a highly educated and refined
lady. Her maiden name was Holderby. She is a graduate
of the Ohio Wesleyan Female College at Cincinnati, and at-
tended there at the same time Mrs. R. B. Hayes did, and
they were great friends. Mrs. Jenkins was a great sufferer.
Her losses will amount to six or seven thousand dollars by
the flood. The homestead is a large brick mansion of four-
teen rooms. This is Left, but her portico and all frame out-
buildings were swept away, and much valuable furniture, in-
cluding a $1,000 piano, elegant sideboard, bookcase, etc.,
entirely ruined. Twenty-one tenement houses were swept
off of her farm, besides fences and much other property. A
young orchard was washed up by the roots. Wheat fields
were ruined in the same way. Their bee hives were piled
up on scaffolding on the porch, but the water reached them
in the night and they floated off. All the corn, hay and pota-
toes reserved for their own use were lost. All the mills in
the neighborhood were ruined. Mrs. J.'s son Jefferson lost
his mill, but secured the engine and mill after the flood, and
energetically rebuilt. All the laboring portion of the com-
munity suffered terribly from the loss of these mills, not being
able, many of the.m, to buy, and depending on their own
grain for breadstuff's. During the height of the waters a
woman was brought over from Millersport to the Dr. Jenkins'
farm, at 3 o'clock in the morning, who had just been delivered
of a child. Mrs. Jenkins' situation is but an illustration of
nearly all that had as much to lose as she, but notwithstand-
ing her losses, and notwithstanding that every day she saw
many getting rations and supplies that lived in the hills back,
and who had not suffered, she steadily refused all aid, and
would hardly let one of her tenants do so. This was in
bright contrast to so many who seemed to desire to hog it all
in and divide nothing.
or Quaker Bottom, next engages our attention. The water
reached its greatest height here on Tuesday,
just one year exactly from the flood of 1883, an d seven feet
two inches higher than at that time. Nearly all of Proclor-
54 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ville was under water. It only lacked five inches of getting
into the Wilgus residence. There was two feet ot" water in
Dr. Rickett's house, and three feet in R. W. Magee's. It
was away up in the Methodist Church, and ruined the organ,
and did much other damage. Mr. Mauck, merchant, got his
stock well out and lost but little. Bush's mill suffered much,
damage. William Reckard lost all his tanbark. The col-
ored settlement in the Bottom was cleaned out as it never was
before. Fences, corn and hay took the general road to ruin.
Miss Emma Beckett was buried the Sunday previous, the
funeral cortege going to Rome in boats. It was a wilderness
of woe in every direction. Supplies were furnished after the
flood for sixty families. A letter from Mr. James P. Beall, a
merchant of Proctorville, to his mother, Mrs. Henry Beall, of
this city, gives a pretty good idea of the situation, and we
make some extracts :
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio, Feb. 17, 1884.
Dear Mother and Folks at Home:
I worked myself nearly to death Saturday (gth) to get my goods three
feet above the floors of both store and warehouse, and never thought of watei
reaching them. I then went to helping others in lower places. I carried chil-
dren from the second stories of their houses, putting them in skiffs and taking
them to the ferry boat. I even waded in the water, and carried men in and out
their houses to enable them to save their goods. The water got five feet deep
in my store and four feet eight inches in my warehouse. One of my counters
capsized with nearlv ij^oo worth of clothing on it, and left the clothing covered
with sediment. I got into the store on Wednesday and carried the clothing to
the water and threw it in, getting all the dirt off we could, and then stretched
lines and hung it out to dry. My boots and shoes were also in bad shape.
Cashmeres, worsteds, domestics, prints, etc., suffered in the same way. In the
wareroom I had nine barrels of sugar, which came to total loss. Sacks ot
coffee and barrels of rice swelled and bursted. . Corn, wheat, pork, molasses,
nails vinegar, lard, and both of my wheat scales, and 100 bushels of potatoes
that I had carried from the cellar, and many other smaller articles, were soaked
in water. Horses, hogs and cows were taken to the hills on the ferry boat.
Mr. B. J. Robinso^i and rnyself took our pails and went to milk for the benefit
of those who were living in the second stories. I got a few ears of corn and a
halter, and would give one bite to a cow while Mr. R. did the milking. If she
failed to stand we would lasso her to a tree. We also killed, dressed and
cooked chickens at Mr. Jacob Proctor's house. These good people assisted me
greatly, besides many others, with my goods. Mv loss will not be less than
$2,000; from that to $2,500. Our town, however, fared better than many
others. Many people floated off in their houses along the river.
Your obedient son,
JAMES P. BEAI.L.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 55-
The following persons in Proctorville had their houses
float oft' of their foundations: Thomas Losey, C. P. Tracy,
Clark Bros., Calohan Miller, Benjamin Neal, Lewis Jones,
James M. White, George W. McComas. The water was in
every residence in town except those of Captain George W.
Bay and Mr. Charles Wilgus. Some 90 or 100 families,
were obliged to move. Many took their pigs into their par-
lors, but soon found that would not do, and moved them up-
stairs with the balance of the family. William G. Smith
took his ferry boat up Front Street to Bush Bros', mill, and
took on sixty barrels of flour, and brought it to the B. T. Enos,
to keep it from being carried off by the water. The Enos took
the flour and crossed the water back of the town to the hill,
and tied^ip at the lower end of Magee's orchard.
At Haskellville, R. W. Wiley, merchant, lost his cooper
shop with 4,000 nail kegs, 500 flour barrels, 400 apple bar-
rels, and had his machinery and shop damaged to the extent
of $3,000. Thomas Losey lost his home and contents. He
had nine in family, and when driven out only had four days*
rations. Clark Bros, and John A. Bowen lost considerable
in staves, poles, etc.
Gwinn Brothers, at Glenwood, Ohio, have furnished us
with the following list of losses between Eighteen and Little
Guyan : Henry Gwinn, $500; Gwinn Bros. ,$900; C. W>
Hogsett, $500; Joseph A. McClary, $75; J. E. Hannan,.
$125 - H. C. Campbell, $1,200; Jesse Wells, $225 ; George
Barrows, $50; E. C. Hannan, $100; E. S. Hannan, $200.
The following chapter on Guyandotte is from the pen of
J. R. Wiatt, Esq., a citizen of that place :
" On the morning of February 8th, our people awoke to find Guyandotte sur-
rounded by water, which continued to advance steadily at the rate of three
inches an hour throughout the whole of that day. By twelve o'clock a great
many houses in the lower portion of the town were flooded, and the building,
of boats and rafts, and the moving of live stock to the hills back of town began in
earnest. Those who lived in two-story houses moved to the second floor, and their
less favored neighbors placed their household goods on scaflfolds,and moved to the
school house and Catholic Church, which are above the marks of the greatest
floods of which we have any record. At three o'clock on the morning of the Qth,
the water reached the maximum height of 1883, and continued to advance at
the rate of two inches an hour. The oldest inhabitant moved his perishable
property above the marks of '32 and '47 (which latter at this place is just' one
foot above the mark of '83), and rested content, saying it was impossible that
the water could reach him there. But his predictions had not the slightest
tendency to stop the sullen swelling of the river, which continued to rise two
56 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
inches an iiour up to eleven o'clock, when it checked, and up to two o'clock in
the afternoon had not risen an inch. Hopes were entertained that the worst
was over, and that the water, now ten inches higher than ever before known,
would soon begin to recede. But it was soon apparent that a second rise w;is
coming, and the greatest apprehensions were expressed as to the probable con-
sequences. Before the next morning there was not a foot of dry land in the
town. At seven o'clock on the morning of the loth, the water was rising at
the rate of one inch an hour. The people who had moved to the second stories
of their houses, and who had neither expected nor prepared for so long an im-
prisonment, began to be in want for fuel and provisions, and on learning of
their condition, Joseph Anderson, J. K. Suiter and others, procured a small
lighter, and loading it with coal from the coal yard of Freeman & Burks, and
with provisions from the grocery of A. E. Smith, which had been moved to the
Odd Fellows' Hall, proceeded to distribute supplies to those who could not
help themselves. By two o'clock, people who had taken refuge m the two
Methodist churches had to decamp, and were removed in boats to the railroad
depots. The rate of the rise had increased to one and a half inches an hour,
and as the shades of night fell like the shadows of doom over the woe-stricken
town, to add to the horror of the situation, the rain poured down in torrents.
The rise continued at this rate throughout the entire night. On the morning of
the nth, the sun rose on the turbulent waters sweeping through the streets at
the rate of five miles an hour, and still rising. The relief boats and patrol skiffs
had been busy all night moving families from houses in which the wa4er was
getting to the second floor. The water was now rising one inch an hour, and
the suffering and distress were sensibly increased with every inch of advance.
In response to an appeal for aid, the Secretary of War telegraphed Mayor E.
S. Doolittle to expend $500 in provisions for actual sufferers, which irrcluded
at least half the entire population. This with the timely arrival of the Galli-
polis and Logan Relief Committees on the Nora Belle, with an abundant sup-
ply of cooked provisions, went far towards alleviating the immediate suffering.
The Mayor appointed J. K. Suiter, Jos. Anderson, John Hite, Z. T. Welling-
ton and J. D. Sedinger a relief committee. The committee established itself in
Dusenberry's Hall, and distributed supplies in boats. The water reached its
maximum height at three o'clock on the morning of the I2th seven feet and
one inch higher than on the same day one year ago. From this point it began
to fall, but it was not until the evening of the I7th that it was entirely off the
streets. The water was from four to twenty feet deep all over the town, on the
first floor of all the houses, and on the second floor of a great many. The
view from the hill back of the town was a scene of desolation beyond de-
scription. The towns of Proctorville and Guyandotte seemed almost
together in the middle of a sheet of water, that extended from hill to
hill. The hardy mountaineers of Logan County, who happened to be
here with their push boats, rendered great assistance. On the morning of the
1 4th the U. S. relief boat Katie Stockdale arrived, and left a liberal supply of
provisions, blankets, clothing, etc., and was followed by the Claribell, from Gal-
lipolis. As the waters abated, the scene of desolation became more appalling
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 57
houses oft" of foundations, fences torn up and the streets blockaded with im-
mense piles of drift of every description. The loss of the town cannot be ex-
actly estimated, but is not less than $20,000. The following is a list of the
business men who lost: W. H. Douthit, A. E. Smith, A. Roseberry, L. M.
Darling, Julius Frentil, Jno. Scheneberg, Page & Everett, Page & Co., J. L.
Caldwell, Wright & Co., Smith & Wellington, Mr. McCormick, J. L.
Douthit, John Woodrum, Phipps & Wells, and G. Ritz. Charleston, Gallipolis
and Barboursville responded promptly to our appeals for aid, but the ambi-
tious town of Huntington halted between two opinions whether to pose as a
high and dry town, or acknowledge the corn, and call for assistance, and finally
decided on the latter course. The money and goods received here amounted
to about $3,000. Business of all kinds is completely prostrated. It will be
many months before all the houses are repaired, and fences replaced. The ef-
fects of the flood will be felt for years. The memory of it will last for genera-
tions, and the ten-year-old lad of to-day, who has the good fortune to live four
score years, will be authority, as the oldest inhabitant, tell more impossible
stories about the flood of 1884 than Moses told of the freshet in which good oid
Noah distinguished himself."
The flood at high tide reached Huntington Tuesday,
at 7 130 A. M., being sixty-three feet, against fifty-six feet two
inches on the same day of 1883, thirteen hours later, making
the flood of 1884 six feet ten inches above 1883. The Hunt-
ington Advertiser says that the high waters of 1832 and 1847
both reached the same notch at that point (fifty-eight feet
nine inches), and were just four feet three and a half inches
lower than February 12, 1884. It stood three feet six inches
deep on Third Avenue, between Ninth and Tenth Streets, and
extended eastward on that thoroughfare to a point about half
way belween Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. From this point
to half way between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets, this
avenue was out of water the exact point being at the ice-
house of J. W. Verlander, next door to H.C. Harvey's resi-
' On Fourth Avenue the water was eighteen inches deep between Eighth
Street and Eleventh Street, and something deeper both east and west of these
points. All of the cross streets were covered from the river to Fourth Avenue
except Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets. At the Advertiser office, on Ninth
Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, the water was fourteen inches
deep, and stood ten and a half inches deep on the floors of the office. The store
rooms on Second Avenue had from five to eight feet of water on their floors,
and on Third Avenue they ranged from four feet at Seventh Street, to three
and a fourth at Ninth. Tenth and Eleventh Streets. Marshall College was about
58 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ten feet above the flood. The Ensign Car Works had L-ight feet of water. The
old Holderby mansion had two feet on its first floors. At West Huntington,
in T. W. Taylor's dwelling, the water lacked six inches of reaching the second
floor. J. W. Verlander's tine brick residence had twentv-one inches on the
second floor. Three or four small frame dwellings were moved from their
foundati ins, but none were washed away. At St. Cloud, one and one-fourth
miles below Huntington, six houses were carried oft", one belonging to Mr.
Leete, three to Jethro Parsons, and two to McCullough and Couch, of Mason
County, West Virginia. A large number of people from the section of the
citv where the houses were invaded by the water were quartered in the city
building and school houses, and rationed ; besides, a large number of people who
did not leave their flooded houses, were cared for and fed. The total number of
people thus fed by the relief committee in this city was 280."
The losses in Hunlington for 1883 and 1884, by reason of
the flood, must have been large, though no estimate at this
time has been made public. She was placed at great incon-
venience, however, and 800 people, the Huntington Commer-
cial said, had to be fed from the general supply fund for flood
sufferers. She saw the " elephant " enough to make her
twice happv, it is certain, and we hope it is for the last time.
West Huntington, says the Huntington JVetcs, was all in-
undated, there being no houses but that the families had to
move out, or upstairs ; many of the smaller houses were
moved from their foundations, and the larger ones badlv dam-
While the water was yet in the city the house of Charles
Peyton, in West Huntington, still standing in the water, was
found to be on fire ; the fire engine could not get to it on ac-
count of the mud, and the house, with all its furniture, which
had already been greatly damaged by water, was burned to
the water's edge. It is supposed to be the work of an incen-
The C. & O. R. R. officials offered free transportation for
all provisions and supplies sent along its route to the Ohio
River sufferers, and also had several boats built, which were
for the free use of any of their employes.
The water was from four to six feet deep in all the stores
on Third Avenue, between Eighth and Eleventh Streets, the
business portion of Huntington.
As to the depth of water, the Republican says: "The
water attained a height of six feet seven and three-fourths
inches above the rise of last year, which placed the water in
ihe channel of the river at sixty-two feet nine and three-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 59
A great number of snakes were seen during the flood, in
the upper end of town, that had been driven by the water to
trees. In one instance a large black snake was seen coiled
partially about a knob on the door of a dwelling on Third
In Rockwood, Ohio, opposite Huntington, several houses
were floated from the foundations, and a few carried out in
the river. Only two houses on the river front remain in
position. Indeed, there was nothing but destruction to see,
look whichever way you might along the .river one con-
tinued panorama of passing woe to earthly possessions, such
as is not witnessed more than once in the life of any man.
Immediately below Huntington lie Burlington, Ceredo, and
South Point. Burlington is one of the ancient landmarks of
Lawrence County. Her people viewed the flood in security.
They saw the whirlwind as it passed, but felt not its touch or
breath. The backwater covered the fields behind her to a
depth of twelve or fifteen feet in places, and destroyed some
fences and hay, but brought no one to want or destitution.
Around Charley and Buffalo Creeks, above, a few persons
were driven from their homes, but the damage was slight.
The site of Burlington must be about on a level with Galli-
polis, for it would have taken from seven to eight feet more
of water to have damaged her. South Point also has a high
location, yet a few in the low lands suffered to some extent,
and were driven from their houses. All that we heard ot
were as follows : William Elkins, John Ricketts, Samuel
Kowns, William Johnson. S. K. Chatfield, John Owens, and
Robert Hale. The latter moved into the church. J. P.
Shipton's first floor, and S. White's grocery, had the dust
laid on them, and that was about all. Mr. Davidson's resi-
dence was surrounded. The water was over the engine in
the South Point Flouring Mill, and the back water formed a
large stream between the river and the Baptist Church, suffi-
cient to make it navigable for big steamboats. Many of the
farmers lost largely in fences.
Ceredo, W. Va., suffered great damage. The large num-
ber of 288 persons had to be furnished with supplies as soon
as it was possible to reach them.
Catlettsburg, Ky., was one of the little cities on which the
flood bore heavily. Think of a town being under water for
twelve long days. It was a fearful experience. Over 1,500
people were driven from their homes, and 500 more lived in
the second and third stories of their houses, surrounded by a
(50 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF
sea of water. The water exceeded by six feet ten inches the
flood of 1883. The scene here, when the river was at its
highest, was one never to be forgotten. Every street sub-
merged, and houses here and there, on every street, turned
over on sides and on end, weaving and shaking about,
breaking with every wave that jostled them. Many with
comfortable and happy homes before the flood, have now
nothing but their bare lots to look upon. We take the list of
sufferers below from the Ashland (Ky.) Democrat. T. D.
Marcum, the editor, says in connection, that it is only a
partial list, he having been unable to go where the loss was
greatest. J\lorc than one hundred thousand dollars is a fright-
ful levy to be laid on a prosperous little community, and on
short notice, too. If it could have fallen upon the Kentucky
Legislature it would'nt have been so bad :
Noah Wellman, Mims & Borders, Barton & Wolfe, John M. Porter, Z. C.
Vinson, P. S. Marcum, A. J. Baker, J. W. Garrison, Smith, Mitchell & Co.;
Joe Ziegler, D. W. Eba, Ree. Vaughn, J. W. Damron, Damron & Honshell,
W. J. Williamson, Ratliff & Bowles, S. Bishop, F. M. Wellman, Patton & Bro.,
W. A. Patton, Pawpaw Printing Co., J. S. Wood, S. P. Hager, John B. Brom-
ley, John B. Wellman, G. W. Andrews, W. A. Anderson & Son, John I.
Williamson, C. Runyon, H. W. Covington, C. W. Berger, M. B. Goble, D.
H. Carpenter, Mrs. Delila McCoy, Wellman & Prichard, J. A. Wellman, J. L.
N. Dickens, R. B. Owens, Presbyterian Church, W. B. Williams & Co., A.
Lark, Wm. Bruns, Fred. Bruns, E. R. Sample, Mrs. Margaret Easthan, W. H.
Nickles & Son, D. S. Martin & Co., J. C. Gunther, C. & O. Railroad, C. S.
Ulem, C. L. McConnell, Herman Krish, Chris. Fisher, J. J. Sturgill, A. M. Crow,
G. N. Brown, Thomas R. Brown, E. Mays, Dr. J. D. Kincaid, Chas. Hastings,
John E. Burchett, Rev. J. H.Jackson, G. R. McGuire, Wayne Damron, L.
Damron & Bro., L. F. Damron, J. G. Patton & Co., Joseph Patton, S. W. Pat-
ton, G. J. Dickseid, S. W. Ratliff, S. G. Kinner, Dr. Wm. Ely, Elba Ulen, M.
A. Bell, Samuel Galligher, W. W. Montague, Harding Pennington, J. M.
Davidson's estate, G. S. McNeil, Hugh B. Wellman, Craft & McClure, R. B.
Riggs, Tone Wellman, John H. Eba, T. M. Cecil, Mrs. Kessiah Burns, C. C.
Prichard, Ohio River Transportation Company, R. R. Barton, A. H. Goble,
G. F. Gallup, Frank Stafford, Flem. Justice, Green Short, W. H. Jackson,
John Smith, L'. P. Garrett, Mrs. A. L. Lykins, Charles Ely, Dan. Workman,
George Layne, Dan. Davenport, William Cantrill, Alex. Short, Frank Mott,
Mrs. Smiley, Steve Short. W. H. Henley, John M. Burns, Andy Moore, John
Davis, Dave Fields, Nancy Davis, Dave Stanley, John B. Fields, Joe Fields,
S. Hite, Noah Foster, E. W. Baker, J. W. Dillon, A. Borders, A. P. Borders,
Catlettsburg Pottery Company, Stein & Son, John Meek, J. M. Burns & Son,
Joe Newman, Andy Scott, H. L. Boggs, A. E. York, Sol. Williamson, G. M.
Whitten. T. H. Baldridsre. R. H. Kilgore. Ellen Tones, T. L. Ford, Mrs. Kim-
HISTORY OF THE GkEAT FLOOD OF 1884. 61
ball. Mrs. A. F. Mnrre. Henry Williams. A. J. Booker, Scott G nil key, Dave
Davis. W. L. K bbie, Win. Shoemaker, T. Mims, Anelia Fuller, W. J. Mc-
Nealey, Cas. Wilmore, Mrs. Jane Bart ram, Grace Guilkey, Mrs. A. Botts. J.
F. Jones, J. M. McGuire, Mrs. J. M. Elliott, Mrs. Lizzie Price, Oliver Hainp-
ion, George Cole, P. P. Sbauer, Dick Bartram, C. W. Sheritt, T. Craft Dan.
Davis, C. Cecil, Sr., Ford & Cecil, Thomas L. Mars, W. H. C. White, George
Killen, R. B. McCail. McCall & Cecil, A. H. Clawson, Catlettsburg National
Bank, M. E. Church, M. E. Church, South; C. Cecil, Jr., Aaron Owens, A.
H. Hogan, William Smiley, David Kinner, L. P. Davenport, Coon Waits, Mrs.
H. S. Johnson, W. S. Clark, Cal. Wellman, A. C. Hailey, C. H. Hampton.
Masonic Lodge, M. N. Hambleton. J. W. Miles, Kirk Culver, J. N. Hamilton,
John Faulkner, Aaron Stead, D. D. Eastham, Mrs. Matilda Rice, Mrs. S. V.
Firor, Mrs. Mary Burk, J. C. Merrill, N. P. Andrews & Son, James Sparks,
Mrs. Elizabeth Campbell, David Chadwick, Mrs. Klauder, William Troy, Al.
Cameron, J. H. Porter, John McSurley, Squire Ross, Mrs. Amanda Rice, Jas.
R. Ford, K. F. Prichard, Feuce Davidson, T. D. Marcum, M. F. Hampton,
Mrs. Jake Meek, D. B. Vaughan, Contracting and Building Co.
It is estimated that it will take $10,000 to rebuild the fences,
replace the houses, and clean up the streets and alleys, and
repair the pavements. Mrs. Eads, an aged lady, died in the
court-house on the same day that there was a birth in the
court-house. Two daughters of Rev. Mr. Fannin died
during the high water. There was nothing but gloom and
woe to the entire population for many days, but the people
are full of perseverance and enterprise, and are doing the
best they can under the circumstances to make glad the waste
places and revivify business.
Ashland, the next town of importance below Catlettsburg,
fared much better than did the latter. J. M. Huff, Esq., of
the Ashland Re-publican, issued from his office a diagram of
the streets and avenues of Ashland, showing the high water
marks of 1883 and 1884. The flooded district included Front
Street, Greenup Avenue, and extended about three-fourths of
the way from Greenup Avenue to Winchester Avenue, being
forty-eight inches deep in the middle of Front Street, forty-
four inches on Greenup Avenue, and thirty-three inches on
the alley between Greenup and Winchester Avenues. This
was about the average. Greenup Avenue is immediately
back of Front Street, and Winchester Avenue immediately
back of Greenup, and is eight feet higher than Front Street, so
that the two front streets only were flooded for the length of
the town, and they only in the first stories. It, however,
compelled about seventy-five business firms to move into tlieir
second stories, and also thirty-six families. About 200 other
62 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
houses were overflowed and compelled to move, so that there
were very lively times in the place. There was considerable
damage, but nothing that will affect the business interests of
the town, though it was seriously threatened. Ashland
mainly provided for her own destitute, and even sent much
aid to Catlettsburg and Greenup, which was very commend-
able in her citizens. According to the water marks of Ash-
land, the water was four inches higher in '32 than in '47, '47
was four inches higher than '83, and '84 five feet four and
one-half inches higher than '32. The following were those
compelled to move by the flood :
I. W. Norton, Mrs. Hambleton, H. Tinsley, Oliver, Dave Lloyd, Ma-
chine Shop, Spoke Factory, Nath. Balbridge, Saw Mill, Planing Mill, Union
Depot, Coal Tipple, G. Reynolds, Coal Tipple, Ashland Fee, O. N. Johnson,
R. H. Chattaroi, R. Baumgarten, G. Hambleton, Thomas Bird, Walter Holden,
R. Williams, John Durgen, Nath. Booth, E. Goulette, Lot Ridgeway, Sidney
Hart, Geo. Morrison, Mrs. Brain, A. H. Burnett, G. McNaughton, John Spicer,
Nick Helt, Mrs. C. J. Wilson, John Dever, Geo. Carp, Richard Carey,
Moriarity, A. Starling, Jos. Hunt, John Hopkins, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Gibbons,
John Reed, A. Ferguson, John Biggs, Chas. Morris, Dr. Wilson, John Friend,
Wm. Hart, Walter Burk, Geo. Compton, Maxen, S. Yungkau, Frank
Judd, Martin Sourwin, Thos. Bullington, Benj. Dixon, T. J. Langshore, Mrs.
Broddess, John Fry, Manes, J. Weinturtner, Dennis Sullivan, Jas. Davis,
John Bell, Wm. Hulett, Wm. Howell, Newton Jones, Grift" Davis, C. C. Chinn.
Jns. McDonald. George Sands, John Campbell, John Stump, Wm. Parven.
I Icnry Miller, Charles Long, Kit Poage, Miss Merriman, Thomas Connor, Ed.
Comer. W. Harrison, Pat Leehy, Robert Ross, Mrs. Dwyer, Thomas Hardy,
N. R. Bulger. J. W. Shaw, Wm. Diederich, Oliver Payne, Thos. Murphy, Lew
Beach, John Kobbs, Raison Stamper, Aleck Jamison, Thomas Spicer, Mrs.
Halley, J. Messersmith, C. Gerlinger, Moore, Peter Langshore,
Paden, Jacob Emmons, Postoffice, A. & H. Lampton, Charles Raison, Mrs.
O'Brien, Al Mellor, Broadway Hotel, C. P. Gaige, John Brubaker, Meinhart &
Co., C. M. Wilson, I. N. Pollock, W. L. Geiger, Hager & Russell, John
Zeigler, John Schmidt, R. Baumgarten, John Calder, James Dent, Veyssie &
Jones, Jacob Seal, Tom Newman, Jehu Hold, Ben W. Singer. Mrs. Keener, J.
C. Herman, E. M. Branstrup, J. G. Fisher, W. A. Lawson, G. Nicholson, W.
H. H. Eba, Thos. Howard, John Leisure, Joe Rankins, John Meyers, Daniel
McGarvey, John Connors, Joe Lordier, Jas. Bivens, A. M. Thompson, J. Sauve-
geot, Lon Callihan, Hotel Aldine, Jacob Geyer, Peter Stiles, Mrs. Daniels, A.
S. Hunt, Thomas Russell, Peter Moats, Alex. Wilson, Charles Gaver, A. C. &
I. Office, Hiram Miller, Capt. Mayo, John Horr, Frank Powers, W. W. Hack-
worth, Thomas Houghton, P. Barber, Poage's Mill, John Jackson. John Jack-
man, Arch. Rodgers, Wm. McMullan, Mrs. Lyons, John James, John Henry,
Harry Thomas, Henry Schroder, Lambert, H. Culbertson, G. Donaldson,
Thos. Cassidy, M. Stiefvater, Andy Kelly, Wm. Cook, Pat Haney, Joe Ofield,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 63
Geo. McKnight, Mot McKnight, Thos. Lyons, B. Broomfield, J. Hellwig, Win.
Kouns, Mrs. DeRossett, S. Casebolt, John Petre, Al. Skiles, Milt Hern, Alfred
Kizee, Margaret Johnson, Wm. Cummings, Frank Long, Geo. Shomers,
Robert Fugett, Henry Riley, Jas. Runion, A. J. Crawford, E. C. Roll, Charles-
Lynch, Mrs. Maynes, Lon Hood, Gus Rodgers, John Henthorn, Miss Smith.
John Griesbeck, Mrs. Kane, Thomas Kane, George Bell, George Jones, John
Layman, L. Fearing, Sr., J. K. Johnson, Dan Kelly, Mrs. White, Oliver Birch
Morris Conner, Millard Clark, Obe Galligher, Rena Downie, Jacob Bloom.
August Schemer, Samuel Wise, Lewis Snider, Mrs. Kilgore, H. H. Braden, T.
Northwood, W. H. Bagley, Andy Falls, Arnold Wyatt, Peter Clay, Fred
Merriman, P. L. Howell, Frank Ketterer, James Kingery, Mrs. Lynn, W. H.
Kouns, John McCleary, S. Davenport, Pat Suddith, Robert Page, Reuben
Bolt, Robert Jeffers, Geo. Bornheim, J. C. Maisch, H. A. Nolte, C. F. Bartell
John Wittig, Geiger & Powell, George Geyer, J. C. Miller, W. C. Ireland
George Porter, Geo. Wheatley, F. H, Bruning, P. T. Nagle, Charles Kouns.
N. F. Faulkner, Jandes Bros., Harris & Coburn, Andrew Jackson, George
Prater, Reuben Downey, Peter Miller. Wm. Jackman, Pat Moriarity, Repub-
lican Office, Henderson & Lane, Hugh Russell, Daniel Turner, Jackson
Mason, Peter Crosby, Faulkner Bros., J. R. McBreyer, Mrs. Frazier, Ber.
Ridgeway, Samuel Frazier, E. B. Waggoner, James Smith, Lewis Fearing, Jr.
Chris Lightner, Charles Fedder, Matthew West, John Layne, Mrs. Pyles.
David Martin, Mrs. Ray, Henry Rundy, Jack Bailey, Z. T. Miller, Henry
Fisher, Fred Myers, Coon Myers, G. W. Bryson, G. Weinfurtner, George
Riddle, Charles Cline, Coon Hyman.
They were all put to nearly the same inconvenience as the
people in much worse flooded towns, but were spared the
sight of seeing all their property swept away as by a prairie
fire, as was the case at many places, and even the flooded
ones could see dry land on six streets the length of the town,
while at many towns there was nothing but miles of water in
every direction, and the entire population on the hills or in
the uppermost stories, or on the very roofs of their houses.
We next come to
Ironton has a population of about 10,000, and is a flourish-
ing business place, largely engaged in making iron and
manufacturing. The flood was particularly severe upon her.
She had had her hands full for many weeks taking care ol
the destitute within her borders, who had been idle for want
of employment, as, indeed, was the case in all the manufac-
turing towns and cities along the river, and the flood was like
a second calamity. The people, however, of the well-to-do
sort are very public spirited, have an exalted opinion of their
64 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
town and their capacity to cope with the vicissitudes of this
life, let them come in whatever shape they may, and though
made to contribute about $200,000 to the rapacious Ohio
River in the way of loss and damage, she has done it with as
much grace as could be expected, and has gone to work with
a hopeful energy to repair the loss. The water reached its
greatest height here, the Ironton Busy Bee says, on Tuesday,
at 10 A. M., measuring sixty-six feet one inch, against sixty
feet last year. The Ironton Register of February 14 said :
"The events of the past week have been simply heartrending. Pen cannot
describe the sorrowful scenes which this city has witnessed. We thought we
had, a year ago, an experience so terrible that, in the nature of things, came
but a time or two in a century, but now the calamity returns in proportions
that are perfectly appalling. As we write, Monday morning, the waters cover
more than half the town of Ironton. All West Ironton is deep in the flood.
The entire business portion of the city has been invaded by the deluge, and in
every store the waters are from a foot to eight feet deep. From Fourth Street
to the river, the entire length of the town is a sheet of yellow water, and at
the lower end of town the flood sweeps from the river to the hills. Not only
the lowlands back of town are submerged, but the railroad track is covered as
far along its way as Dupuy's tannery, while the waters from the river have
crept along Railroad Street clear to Fifth.
"On Hecla Street the flood reached to Wesley Chapel; on Buckhorn, to Dr.
Moxley's; on Railroad, to Fifth; on Centre, to the Centre House; on Olive,
the water line runs beyond Dr. Livesay's house; on Vernon, to Mrs. Raine's
house; on Adams, to the middle of Culbertson's lot. Fourth Street is entirely
covered, and skiffs ply up and down with perfect freedom."
On Thursday the backwaters from Rachel began to appear on the cross
streets, and to submerge the lower end of West Ironton. On Friday, the tide
backed up over the culverts and invaded some of the stores. A tontinuous
sheet of water held West Ironton in its cold grasp. The inhabitants of the
one-story houses had long ago fled, and all others had taken themselves to the
second stories. The court-house, engine houses, and all vacant rooms were
filled with the unfortunates that had fled from desolated homes. By Friday
night, Rachel reached the farther gutters of Third Street, and began creeping on
Hay ward's floor. All the store rooms along Centre from Third to Fourth had been
abandoned. Mrs. Gunn's millinery store. Slater's drug store, Jake Clark's, H.
Pancake's, J. T. McNight, Miss H. Bowen, A. Wieler, were all caught by the
advancing wave. Most of the goods were carried to second stories or raised
on counters or shelves. At 8 o'clock, Friday night, the tide was within a foot
of the mark of 1883. On Saturday, it began to sweep over Second street. It
got on the pavements in front of Davey's and Steece's buildings, and came out.
beyond Second, on Lawrence.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 65
Saturday was a day of great alarm. The flood had gone beyond the 1883
mark and still advancing. The rain added to the sorrowful scene. The water
swept up Second Street as far as Lambert's foundry, and on the cross streets
below town the waters of Rachel and the river were meeting. In the after-
noon, the waves lapped the door sill of the Sheridan House, and on Lawrence
a swift current started through the street. The water began creeping into
Keer's and Murdock's stores in Union Block. The flood had reached the door
sills of nearly all the stores on the west side of Second Street. The only cross
street passable was Railroad street, and the waters had reached the track in the
afternoon. That little narrow strip was jammed with people all day. The
Second Street pavements were crowded with people. The military was out,
ostensibly for the protection of property, and yet no vandalism seemed immi-
nent. Under the supervision of a large number of ladies, a soup house had
been started at the Davey building, and many of the hungry went there and
got a nice dish of soup, a piece of bread and cup of coffee. But by night the
water had about closed all access in front, and the only way of getting it was
by raised planks. By dark, only the T rail of the railroad across Rachel was
visible, and over that narrow passage the crowd slowly wormed its way. The
boats were plying along Third Street everywhere. The stores of Hay ward,
Bickmore, Lewis, Henry, Peters & Ehriich had water from one to two feet on
the floors. Approach to the Post-office was cut off, and by dark the water
was half a foot deep there. Otten & Norton's drug store showed a foot of
water on the floor, and Alderman's, opposite, was equally unfortunate.
And still the waters kept on advancing at the rate of an inch an hour, and
Saturday night the people went to bed discouraged and dismayed. By
the scene was desolate indeed. All the previous night the flood kept gaining,
and sent the waters up at least a foot This covered the floor of every busi-
ness house in town except the First National Bank. We took a skiff and
rowed through town down Adams to Second, down Second to Railroad, out
Railroad to Third, down Third to Buckhorn, out Buckhorn to Fourth, down
Fourth to Hecla, and out Hecla nearly to Fifth, then back, and up Fourth to
Railroad, in Railroad to Third, up Third to Centre, out Centre to Fourth, up
Fourth to Adams. We describe this route simply to give to the oldest inhab-
itant of the future a little support if he finds any one to doubt his word. And
this was Sundav morning, with the waters still coming up.
The people on the west side of Fourth had abandoned their homes or were
till hanging on the second stories, hoping and praying that the waters would
oon recede. Seme were hoping, from the slender basis of the last inch, that
the waters would not come up to rout them. Others who had piled their
goods high in the first story were watching with hopeless eyes the encroaching
waters, or were struggling in the yellow flood to get their goods h'gher up.
The stores along Centre were an appalling sight; counters were upturned or
floating, and goods drifted about on the surface. One could see everywhere,
how weak were all human calculations compared to the aw fulness of the flood-
66 IIIJSTOKY OK Tin- <;KKAT KI.OOD OK 1884.
Sunday afternoon, the waters rose to the show windows on Second Street.
Manv of the merchants had been contented to place their goods on the count-
ers and now thev were at work putting them up higher. Faith in the flood
ever stopping began to be seriously fractured. The waters got into the Ironton
House and drove the boarders to the second story. The Second National
Bank was two feet deep in water, Sunday afternoon. A swift current reached
from the river out Railroad. Front Street was hard to row up. Sunday
night, at seven o'clock, we got in a skiff in front of R. Mather's residence and
rode through the streets; passing around in front of the Sheridan and Ironton
Mouses, and then up Second and Third to the rear of L. T. Dean's, where we
landed in the alley. The water was not then in Mr. Dean's house, but was
within a few inches of it.
It was raining at nine o'clock Sunday night, and the water still making its
usual progress. In fact, it seemed to be advancing more rapidly after dark.
Reports came that Sandy was running out heavily. Anyhow, the waters kept
coming up all Sunday night, and on
the tide had gained a foot, and was still going up slowly. The bad weather
kept up. Still hard at it worked the merchants and housekeepers in the inun-
dated districts. The channel on Second Street was five feet deep in many
places. A big store boat had been brought around and was moved between
Enterprise and Steece's blocks, helping remove some of the store goods.
All day Monday boat building went on. At every cross street where the
waters ebbed, was a miniature boat yard. Every little while the word went
forth that the waters were at a stand still or raising slowly, but the counter re-
ports were as numerous and decided. The merchants began to distrust high
shelves and upper stories even, and many goods were sent ashore, but all more
or less damaged.
The crossing of Railroad and Fifth was a favorite landing place. Crowds
of people gathered there and at other crossings where the boats were con-
stantly landing with goods or refugees from the flood. Some of the awning
roofs on Centre Street were under water on Monday. In the afternoon, the
waters strike the sill of the front door of the First National Bank. The tip
of the iron fence in front stick out about four inches above the water. As we
write, we observe a skiff has stuck on the post of the hitching rail in front of
the bank, and is struggling to get off. The waters are within a couple of inches
of the lower window sills in the freight office of the Iron Railroad.
Sunday night, Gooch & McQuigg were putting their goods on the high
shelves, but to-day ( Monday ) they are boating many of them ashore. Kauf-
man is taking some of his goods in the second story of Ward's building.
Steece, both Neekamps, Weil, Mtttendorf. Aaron Winters, Butterfield, David-
son and Murdock are working hard, boosting their goods into second stories,
and still, a* one goes bv the business houses, he can see within vast quantities
of property going to ruin. The water works gave up the ghost Saturday
night, and this added to the calamity of the situation, for the idea of drinking
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 67
the water that swept over Rachel and through the gutters of Ironton was too
repulsive to even think of.
Monday afternoon, we took a voyage down Second Street to the Belfont
mill. Thos. Griffith's brick building on Second Street, below Buckhorn, caved
in under the force of the water. The lower wall is left standing, but the entire
roof, floors and middle walls tumbled right in. The wreck is a desolate one.
No one was hurt, for at the time all had fled from the house.
At Belfont, hundreds of cords of keg timber were floating about. The
water is five feet deep in all the mills. This catches immense quantities of
iron and nails. The Bellbnt Company had transferred their nails from the
warehouse to the platforms in the factory, on which the machines rest, but the
waters have got there, and ruined a great many nails. Lawrence and Iron
-& Steel Companies are similarly situated.
The river is nearly to the tops of the doors at the gas-works and hoe fac-
tory. It covers the new Storms Creek bridge, except the tops of the railing.
The havoc in West Ironton is indescribable. As we rode through, strong cur-
rents from the river were rushing out the streets. Hugh Mahafty's house, with
all there was in it, had floated off. Many people were still holding the fort in the
second stories of their houses, but they seemed terribly anxious about the rising
water, for up it was still going v The top of a gas-post was here and there visible.
From West Ironton we went straight across to Fifth Street, or the "Green,"
and then back to Fourth, down which the current was very swift. The water
on Ilecla was just meeting the water on Fifth, and on Buckhorn it had caught
Dr. Moxley's residence, and was creeping to Fifth Street there. The market
space was entirely covered, and on Railroad, the waters extended beyond Fifth,
o that Fifth Street was not passable. Through the gutters on the side of the
Railroad, the waters from the river and from the backwater of Storms Creek
mingled. Back of town, the water had enveloped everything, and was within
five or six feet o the Children's Home. The road to the Cory tunnel was,
however, high and drv.
The waters sweep up Fourth Street toward the Mission Church, and all in
between that and the river is covered by water. The flood nearly reaches the ceil-
ing of Bester's store. I. A. Kelly flees from his residence, near the Kelly Nail
Mill, which the waters have begun to invade. Belfont furnace is in the waves
but not damaged. Most of East Ironton has followed the example of their
unfortunate neighbors in the west end, and fled to the heights back of Fourth
Street. The school houses have been opened to the sufferers, and dim lights
flicker from those buildings, the engine houses and other public places, as the
reporter walks about at midnight. The town is very quiet at night. The
silence is wierd and solemn. An occasional militiaman is met, quietlj
walking his beat. Here and there a boat slowly creeps across the waters.
At the shore, on any of the cross streets, two or three persons linger and
quietly talk of the prospect. We ask if the river is still coming up, and
the response is invariably "yes." The moon shines dull in the mi-ts ; and in
the quiet the people are trying to catch a few hours of rest from the terrible
anxieties and labors of the day.
68 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
It raised six inches last night, and is still advancing slowly. The waters
have met at Fifth and Duckhorn. opposite II. Campbell's. Thev have driven
D. Nixon from his house on Lawrence, and have got beyond the Centre Street
steps of the Court House Square. Looking down on Centre, we see the tide
has reached the top of the doors in Slater's drug store, and is half way up the
front door of Dr. Morris' residence. The portion of the town which is now
out of the water is from a line running between Fourth and Fifth, beginning
about Washington Street, and ihence straight across to the intersection of Fifth
and Buckhorn, down Fifth to Etna, out Etna to Eighth, and then around
on the high banks of Storms toward Dupuy's tannery, and along to the east
of Eighth Street, up into the Kelly addition; and still as we write this territory
is being encroached upon. The sun is shining to-day, and the watery avenues
of Ironton are lively with flying craft. The moving is about all done, except in
stray cases. Many people are voyaging around to see the universal havoc. Not-
withstanding the ruin everywhere, those who have been visited severely are
ready to look upon the ways of Providence with serene contemplation, while
many others are throwing jokes above their own dark misfortunes. The shore
line above town starts between the Railroad Round House and Etna Furnace;
thence north-east, through Willard's orchard, below Thos. Kemp's, and below
Bud McDaniels; thence between the Holt residence and II. Dettmar, and over
toward Mrs. Miller's green house, but missing that. All below this line is in the
water. Kelly's mill is surrounded and the water is about an inch within the
packing floor. The platform where the nail machines are located is crowded
with refugees from the flood. The water is not in the mill, but fills the fly
wheel pit. The Belfont lime piles are utilized by the skifFmakers. The water
is away up in W. D. Kelly's front yard.
It is impossible to give many names. It would take columns to describe the in-
dividual misfortunes. All the houses in the district which we have
described are more or less in the water. We should say that two-
thirds of the houses in town have from one to ten feet on the floor. The
personal losses will be inestimable. Many abandoned their houses last Satur-
day with the idea that the flood could not raise much more, but found next
morning their goods floating through the houses. There are hundreds of in-
stances of this kind. But the serious damage, after all, will be to the merchants'
stocks and the houses themselves. The havoc to the wall paper and plaster is
tremendous. Fences have popped up all over town. The course of Rachel
Creek is a tumbled up mass of stables and out-buildings. Gutter crossings have
To-day (Tuesday) the sun is out. and the air is warm and genial. There is
noie on the wafers. We should reckon a thousand boats are plying the streets
of Ironton. Collisions are numerous, and loud laughter and ofl -repeated
jokes burden the air. Ladies are out in jo-boats and skiffs to see the waste of
waters, and their cruel desolation. There is often a shade of merriment to all
We afccended the Presbyterian spire last Sunday, to view the flood. From
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 69
'that point, it could best be seen in Ironton and the region between Sarah fur-
nace and the Rock, though the hill tops, perhaps, aflorded a better view for a
wider range. It was a dreadful scene. Two-thirds of the expanse before us
seemed under water West Ironton, the Storms Creek Valley, the region of
the old fair grounds, the lowlands back of town on either side of the I. R. R.
track and up the Tenth Street valley as far as the Kelly Building Association
lots, beside the immense territory washed by the River itself from between
Fourth and Filth Streets, to the Kentucky shore. Russell was a peninsula,
tapering from a point opposite the saw-mills to the bend above the Rock. At our
feet crowds of people walked the streets and gazed with wonderment at the
edge of the flood. Boats and rafts floated everywhere. People in the sub-
merged districts looked out from their porch roofs and balconies with a weary
attitude and a disconsolate look, which the imagination could see. Teams
struggled to navigate Railroad Street, and an occasional horse and buggv went
along Second and Third with the driver's feet elevated to keep out of the wet.
These were the higher portions of ground, and along the cross streets the water
marked its depth high up on the first stories, and touched the eaves of very
many houses on still lower lands.
The Ironton Bee of the I2th said:
We took soundings at quite a number of points in this city, and found the
following depths of water: Two squares below the bridge, on Second Street,
W. I., ten feet; on the new Storms Creek bridge, supposed to be above high
water mark, there was six feet four inches; on the corner of Second and Ve-
suvius, the approach to the bridge, ten feet; on the drag-out bed of Bel font
Mills, nine feet; opposite door of Belfont office, six feet six inches; corner
Hecla and Second Streets, six feet three inches ; Etna and Second, five feet six
inches E'na and Third, nine feet ; Etna over Rachel, twelve feet; Etna and
Fourth, seven feet six inches; Fourth and Hecla, eight feet; Fourth and Mill,
thirteen leet; Fourth and Vesuvius, right feet ; Fourth and Buckhorn, eight
feet ; Fourth and Lawrence, eight feet six inches; dironacher's corner, on
pavement, six feet six inches; Fourth and Railroad, five feet six inches; Fourth
.and Center, seven feet six inches; Fourth and Olive, eight feet six inches. The
water was more than half way from the gate to the court-house steps; Fourth
and Vernon, seven feet six inches; E. II. Jones' stable, eleven feet; Third and
Vernon, eight leet ; Third and Olive. Mayor's office, seven feet nine inches;
Third and Center, eight feet ; Second and Center, six feet; Third Street in front
of Post office, seven feet; Third and Railroad, six feet; Second and Railroad,
five feet four inches; foot of Dee office stairs, five feet; Second and Buckhorn,
ix feet eight inches; Second and Lawrence, six feet six inches; Third and
Buckhorn, seven feet four inches; Lawrence and Second, seven feet two inches;
Railroad Street, over Rachel, six feet eight inches. These measurements are
as accurate as could be secured, and will be found just about the correct depth at
the various crossings mentioned, at ten o'clock this morning.
The Irontonian of the i6th said:
,70 HISTORY OF THE GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884.
The City Council met Wednesday evening in the County Clerk's oilice,.
at the court-house, and appointed the Mayor, Township Trustees and
City Engineer J. R. C. Brown as an Executive Relief Committee,
to receive and distribute supplies to destitute sufferers. Owing to the
Township Trustees being engaged at the soup-house at Dupuy's tan-
nery, and the death of Mayor Corn's son, which occurred Thursday after-
noon, another meeting of the City Council was held, in the Sheriff's office, at
the court-house, Thursday evening, and the following named gentlemen were
added to the Relief Committee: J. F. Rodarmor, H. B. Wilson, II. S. Neal,
Ralph Leete, John Campbell, E. Bixby, Geo. N. Gray and E. Nigh. The Re-
lief Committee met and organized by electing J. F. Rodarmor, Chairman ; J. R.
C. Brown, Secretary; F. C. Tomlinson, Assistant Secretary, and H. B. Wilson,
Treasurer. The committee then appointed the following sub-committees, upon
whose orders relief is furnished: First Ward Peter Rogers, Jas. Kitmey,.
Col. J. Weddle. Second Ward S. B. Steece, Henry J. Brady and T. J.
Hayes. Third Ward Geo. Lampman, Rev. J. F. Brie and F. A. Dupuy.
Fourth Ward Levi Henry, John Culkins and T. R. Butler. Fifth Ward
D. C. McConn, T. R. Hall and J. C. Evans. Upper Township John A..
Jones, M. J. Cullen. Jno. Wro, Sol Wood and John Morgan. The Relief
Committee appointed Col. E. Nigh^ Chief Commissary, and W. S. Kirker and
Charles T. McKnight, Assistants, to take charge of the stores and supplies, and
see that thev are properly distributed. Thursday, the soup-house at Dupuy's
distributed 1.746 rations. Friday forenoon, the Relief Committee, with head-
quarters in the Sheriff's office, distributed 1,000 bushels of coal, which they
purchased from the Kelly Nail & Iron Co.
The Irontonian of the 23d of February said :
But for the great heart of the people whose voluntary tribute poured in from
Jackson, Coalton, Oak Mill, Winchester, Berlin, Chillicothe, Fayette Court
House. Lebanon, Dayton, Springfield, Bellefontaine, Cleveland, Xenia, and
though last, not least, Columbus, many of our people would have perished from
hunger and cold. The people of Ironton and this county should always re-
member, and never forget the untiring zeal and efficient aid procured through
the efforts of E. McMillen and Chief Justice Johnson.
The Busy Bee of February 19 said:
Never did we appreciate the true nobility of the American people as now..
Their's is a character which shine* brighest when the darkest hours have come.
A week ago the people of the Ohio Valley were in the midst of calamity and
desolation. Our own city was but a sample of hundreds. The relentless flood
had driven thousands from their comfortable homes. Women and children,
in the pitiless rain, were crying on our streets for shelter and food.
Our local relief committees, backed bv the bi^ hearts of generous citizens, were
energetically providing all possible relief. But such supplies as had not been
destroyed would soon be exhausted. It was a dark and terrible outlook. The
HISTORY OK THE GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884. 71
toutest hearted looked upon the still encroaching flood with feelings of despair.
Yet, trusting in God, the good work of relief went manfully on. We could get
no word from the outside world. Would the rising waters, already far beyond
any former height, ever be satisfied ? At last thev began to go back, and their
slow departure only made more apparent the sad wreck they had wrought.
Many a poor man sought his little home to find that the fierce current hnd
wept away the last vestige of his habitation. The hard earnings of a fru ,;il
life were gone forever. The last week has been a sad and dreary one. It has
planted on many a brow the wrinkles of care, which time cannot efface. But
the first beam of sunlight breaking in from the world brings the glad tidings,
that the people of the Ohio Valley are not forgotten.
The story of Hanging Rock, just below Ironton, is but a
repetition of the sad tale told of Ironton, except on a lesser
scale. A large number of houses have been moved from
their foundations. The long, brick row, facing the river at
Hanging Rock, fell with a terrible crash. There -were thirty
persons in the house at the time, but none were injured. The
front of the house fell outward, and the inmates rushed to the
rear and escaped by boats before the balance of the structure
fell. This building contained the office of Means. Kyle &
Co., telephone exchange, a ware-house, J. B. McKee's two
stores, mid a carpenter shop, on the first floor, while the
second was occupied by residences.
The following correspondence from that place to the Iron-
ton Bee describes the situation :
The ruin to this town cannot be fully described, and will have to be seen to
be realized. The flood of last vear and the damage done was nothing in com-
parison to that inflicted on us this time Taking everything into consideration,
we gol aloii'/ pretty well, when we remember that but three houses were above
water, and they entirely surrounded. Through the untiring efforts of Means,
Kyle & Co . and other good people, the houseless ones were well fed, and no
one was allowed to suffer for food. Some of the refugees are moving back into
their homes, and a gleam of hope and sunshine comes back to us.
The little town of Greenup, Ky., saw the highest wave of
the flood on the I2th. At 3 o'clock, that afternoon, it began
falling. The town was altogether submerged and tire suffer-
ing was very great. Some fled to Grayson and other points,
some camped on the hills, without food or sufficient clothing,
and a more distressing time could not well be imagined. At
Riverton, the terminus of the Eastern Kentucky Railroad,
the water was into the general offices, as well as the fine resi-
dence of the General Manager, a few rods below. Several
small buildings floated off their foundations, the lower portion
72 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
of the town bearing pretty ugly scars. The Little Sandy
bridge lost three spans.
At Haverhill, Ohio, it was much the same. The merchants
were all caught with their goods too low, and alter the flood
they were to be seen hanging in every direction, clrving out.
Between these little places, on both sides of the river, the
farmers lost much more than did the villages, and many had
a difficult task to save their stock and grain, and many did
not succeed in doing so, and it will require years for them to
get back to where they were before the flood.
We are indebted to a much esteemed friend, a resident of
Portsmouth, and an eye-witness of the flood at that point,
for the following account of
THE FLOOD IN SCIOTO COUNTY.
To look back over the wreck and ruin inflicted by the ravages of the swollen
waters of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers in this county, and compare the condition
of affairs as they exist with that of the ist of February, 1884, is not a pleasing
task. The crops in the fertile valleys of the two rivers had been bountiful.
Sun and showers, and a fructifying season had tilled the granaries, and huy
stacks were thick in the meadows. The patient farmer had happily turned the
glebe in autumn, and the wheat was green-growing, and gave promise of a
more lustv growth and a fruitful harvest. His horses, cattle, and hogs were
thriity. and while in the manufacturing, industrial, and commercial world the
closing year had fallen short ot the hopes and wishes, the farmer looked for-
ward to that healthful reaction which his bounteous crops unerringly indicated
The angry waters from their mountain feeders, growing in volume from the
many tributaries on either side, overleaped the banks and swept away the air
castles, and well-grounded hope gave wav to the desolation of a great despair.
Fences were carried oft", and yet the waters crept up, and the massive hay
stacks and the golden shocks of fodder were swept away by the resistless tide.
Cattle, panic-stricken, stood belly deep in the flood, and lowed piteously, until
the waves swept over them, and yet the waters reached up to the farm house
and drove the occupants to the higher ground, helpless, thinly clad, and hungry,
with the waters behind them unbridled in the work of destruction.
For sixteen miles up the Scioto Valley, the Ohio Rrfcer spread over the low-
lands, as far back as the Scioto Inn, a historic old landmark, dividing the line
of Pike and Scioto counties, the stopping place of the early pioneer, in the
brave old days of primitive life, simplicity and genuine hospitality, taking wreck
and ruin as it advanced.
In the village of Sciotoville, six miles above Portsmouth, the center of the
fire-brick industries of the county, with its population of three to five hundred,
was almost completely submerged, and many of its handsome cottages over-
turned or removed from their foundations, while the suffering appealed to the
charity of strangers for immediate relief.
The village of Buena Vista, thirty miles west of us, the seat of the celebrated
freestone quarries of this section, with its enumeration of four hundred souls,
fared still worse, many of its houses being swept away by the current. This
village was cut off from telegraphic communication for nearly a week, and
hunger and destitution added to the perils of the flood.
All down the Ohio Valley, below Portsmouth, for thirty miles, the currents
of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers, both of which had attained the greatest height
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 73
linown to their history, swept stock, fencing, barns and houses away, like feath-
ers in a lusty gale, and at all hours of the night there was fleeing from water
invaded houses in frail barks, the rush of the angry torrent being heard above
the cries of frightened children, and the prayers of anguished mothers for the
safety of their loved ones It would be impossible to exaggerate the sutiermg
which this wild wa^te of waters painted with a master hand of terror upon the
memory of those who survived such scenes and incidents as have daily come
to the knowledge of the writer since the subsidence of the flood. The pencil
of a Guido could not put the cruel life of agony onto canvas, suffered by many
who fled from their homes for their lives, not daring to look back upon the
lavitges which were being left behind.
Hundreds who never knew what it was to eat the bread of charity, and would
have shrunk from being pensioners upon the bounty of others, huddled together
in deserted cabins on the hillsides, grateful for food to sustain themselves, while
the waters covered their possessions below them, and thanked God that the
great heart of humanity could sympathize and feed them in this hour of their
desolation and enforced destitution.
Coming to Portsmouth the picture is even more desolate and piteous. True,
the farmer lost his growing crop, much stock, and many of the products of his
farm, but the land was left, and in the economy of nature he has but to till the
soil, and, like Job of old, his possessions will come back to him. But it is dif-
ferent in the city.
We had suffered greatly by the flood of 1883, but we had the inherent
strength to care for our distressed, and with a just local pride declined the many
offers of our more fortunate neighbors, who were willing to share with us the
burden of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and restoring the residences
removed by the flood of that period. We did all this, and asked no outside aid.
Following swiftly upon this unavoidable visitation came the financial reverses
of 1^83 in the furnace region, of which Portsmouth is the well conceded center.
So heavy were the failures in the furnaces outlying, which largely drew their
supplies from the manufactories and business houses of this city, that it was
a serious shock in our commercial and monetary circles, not less than from a
quarter of a million to half a million of dollars being tied up by the failures,
besides the falling off in the trade and traffic of the city by iheir suspension
thereafter. To this add the lethargy in the iron market, and the stoppage of
projected railroad building consequent upon the general dullness of the coun-
try, the blowing out of the upper rolling mill, and other local disturbances in
manufacturing circles, and we can see how illy prepared our people were for the
greatest flood of the century.
For one week the waters gradually rose higher and higher, until one-story
houses were either hidden from sight or swept away. Tho*e who took refuge
in second story buildings cried out at midnight for boats to take them from
their rooms fist filling with the alien waters.
The wrathful Scioto raised even higher than the Ohio, and our avenues run-
ning north and south were many feet deep in water, with a current that could
not be stayed, and when the Scioto began to recede, the current changed, and
the Ohio rushed north as resistless as the current of the Scioto had flowed
south. Meantime houses were being swept away like stubble, or piled one
upon another in one mass of ruin.
Years of patient labor and hopeful resolve, which had combined to build
and decorate, and furnish, and beautify happy homes, was as it had not been.
Men built boats on the house tops, from floating timber, hoping to save clothing
or bedding from the flood.
The school -houses, engine-houses, churches, court-house and public halls,
were crowded with the men and women of wealth, of moderate means, and of
poverty. But the rising waters pitilessly climbed, inch by inch, until the engine-
houses were abandoned, and the second floors of the public buildings were the
.74 HISTORY OF THK GUEAT FLOOD OF 1884.
only protection from the flood. Many moved their furniture and themselves,
the third and fourth time, and finally had to abandon their property to save
Those who lived in palaces took their cows on the high porches, to save their
lives. Great barges were anchored in deep water at the corner of" Second and
Chillicothe Streets, the second highest ground in the city, on which horses and
cows were confined, and the frightened neigh'iig of the former and tlie pitiful
lowing of the latter sounded weird-like and fiightful through all the long hours
ot the fateful and eventful nights of anxiety and Ki.fleTing.
For nearly one week we were shut out from all communication with the out-
*ide world, both by mail and telegraph, and on Sunday morning. February 10,
a disastrous conflagration swept awav the telephone exchange, denving us even
close communication among ourselves. Previous to this it had been a most
valued adjunct in the work ot" relieving the suffering and hungrv. One instance
of the day previous [ recall: Some lour or live families had taken refuge in
some of the empty cars on the Scioto Vallev Railroad, on higher ground, and
Friday night they were surrounded by water, and not until now could they
communicate with the relief" committee. The writer received a telephone mes-
sage that thev were without food, and had been for twenty-four hour*, and the
committees were promptly notified, and their wants were relieved. When the
telephone exchange was destroyed we were even in a worse condition. We
only knew the waters were rising, but what was coming we did not know, or if
relief would come was problematical. Fortunately our condition was tele-
graphed from Lucasville. a village ten miles north, and soon relief began to
pour in. Telegraphic communications were received at Sciotoville, six miles
ea>t. and brought to us bv boat, and on Monday P. J. Weber came down from
Gallipolis with the gratifving intelligence that the waters were receding above ;
b\\' all day Monday, and Monday night, and until Tuesday night of the I2th of
February, the river raised until it had readied sixtv -six feet three inches, or
four ie.t seven inches higher than the flood of 1^32, when it began to slowly re-
cede, and as I write, on the night of the 23d. it is out of the city, but still covers
tin- Scioto bottoms, and has covered them for three weeks.
In conclusion, for I have exceeded the space tendered me. we fed nearly ten
thousand homeless people here, besides succoring the villages of Sciotoville,.
Hucna Vista, and Springville, and the rural population in the Ohio Valley above
and below us. and are now feeding nearly four thousand souls.
Fully five hundred homes have been swept away or removed from their foun-
dations. Our schools have not yet resumed. Our merchants, manufacturers
and farmers have lost heavily, and the loss in Scioto county will reach not less
But one business house was out of water, Fisher's drug store, corner Sixth
and Chillicothe Streets, and the waves washed the iron plate of the door.
There was less than half an acre of the city out of water, and only fiftv -eight
houses that were not inundated.
Withoiit fur? her substantial financial relief it will be impossible to replace the
homes of the homeless.
Several have died from exposure incident to the flood, and taking it all in all,
it will be years before we recover our lost ground. With hearts grateful to
those who came to our relief with food, clothing, blankets, tents, and money, I
At Vanceburg, Ky., the water broke over the banks
as early as on Thursday, February yth. By the Sunday fol-
lowing ihe town was inundated. Here, as elsewhere, the
river had risen in such a steady, stealthly manner as to cause
no alarm, and not until the full force of the advancing flood
HISTORY OF Tllfc GRKAT FLOOD OF 1884. 75
was upon the town did it realize the fact. Each day, all
thought, would certainly see the highest point reached, and
often, very curiously, the mighty flood would pause and only
gain the fraction of an inch in an hour, when it seemed to
gather strength and would rush up the next hour nearly three
inches. This was the case all along the river for over 200-
miles, and yet it was actually rising lor this whole distance at
one and the same moment of time a very remarkable circum-
stance though characteristic of both of the floods of historical
note that of December I7th, 1847, sixty-three feet seven
inches, and February i8th, 1832, when it reached sixty-four
feet three inches (at Cincin-nati). When the citizens fully real-
ized the great calamity that was upon them, hours had to be
spent in bustle and confusion in looking up and preparing
b >ats or other conveyance for their vvordly effects, and very
many could do nothing but gaze, almost transfixed, at a wide
and wasteful expanse of waters swallowing up everything
almost between hill and hill. The demand for conveyances, of
course, at such a time exceeded the supply, and those without
ready money and plenty of it were almost helpless. Not
until Wednesday following, February I3th, did the river
reach its highest point. It was then literally from hill to hill,
the celebrated Alum Rock, near Vanceburg, rising majestic-
allv grand above the water. Hundreds of people vi.siled it,
and were amply repaid by the grand sight there afforded.
One of the sorest trials and inconveniences arising from the
flood and not heretofore mentioned was the impossibility of
obtaining a drink of palatable water. All wells and cisterns
were flooded with the muddy, murky, sandy stream, and it
was terrible stuff to be compelled to use tor any purpose.
The Vanceburg Courier states that the maximum reached
here was four and one-half feet above all previous marks.
There was not a family in the place but what lost, and though
not large in the majority of cases, yet, fooled up, amounting
to not less than $50,000, and scarce a farm along the river
escaped a levy of less than $150, running from that to $1,000
and even more. By the prompt and energetic action of the
leading citizens of Vanceburg, her citizens were saved from
the extremest want, but it was only through their efforts-
that it was' done. When every town and village, nearly,
along the river were appealing for aid, it required the exer-
cise of the best business faculties t<> obtain supplies from out-
side sources, but it was accomplished, and the good people of
Vanceburg are happy it was no worse with them than it was.
76 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
At Wrightsville the losses were very heavy for a small
place, and the inhabitants had to go through with their trials
without that assistance that came from organized charity so-
cieties that larger places immediately set on foot. The prin-
cipal losers were as follows : Wade & Naylor, John O'Neil,
H. A. Keets, John White, Dr. Graham, S. 15. Shumate,
Captain Wm. Wade, Mary A. Crawford, Samuel Pence,
James Burnett, John Malone, Benj. Leek, Samuel Preston,
Mrs. E. Baldwin, Newton Baldwin and John Leonard all
amounting to many thousands of dollars, and in some cases
the last dollar swept away.
Maysville, Ky., is another one of those points on the
Ohio River where the equilibrium of the citizen is not orclin-
^irily disturbed, but as early as the pth it had reached the
high-watermark of '83, and at dusk that evening was only
wanting about three inches of being as high as in 1832.
Ton after ton of iron had been hauled and placed on the
Limestone bridge, to keep it in place. Every cellar on
Second Street was full of water, and at the foot of Wall
^Street the water was several feet deep ; on Second Street
passengers were being rowed across in skiffs. Cox &
Poy liter's plow factory had suspended, also James H.
Hail & Son's plow factory, Ball & Mitchell's foundry, and
others ; the gas-works had suspended, and many families in
East Muvsville had been compelled to move from their resi-
dences, abandoning all they possessed to the mercy of the
waters. In Chester, a suburb of Maysville, more than a
hundred houses were surrounded with water. By the nth
the entire river front, from a mile below Maysville to three
miles above, was under water. It was over the Adams &
Pangs and Thomas distilleries, below the city, and into their
bonded warehouses. It covered all the market gardens be-
low, and was into all the houses, and into the second stories
of some. It was in the fine residence of Chas. B. Pearce,
in the cotton mill of Januarv & Woods ; it covered the large
warehouses at the foot of Wall Street, and some of the resi-
dences between Wall and Sutton Streets. Two hotels, the
Hill House and the Central Hotel, both closed on account of
water being on their floors. Eve v manufacturing establish-
ment in the place was closed, and business suspended. The
Fifth Ward, above Limestone, was two-thirds under water.
Chester, above spoken of, was by this time overflown and
the people driven from their residences. Several families
took refuge in the school-house, and were twenty-four hours
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 77
without food before their condition became known. The
water-pipes were flooded, and the gas was turned off. The
water was all over the Fair Grounds, from four to twelve feet
deep. The military were called out to protect property and
life. Fully 1,000 people were homeless. Bear it in mind
that this was at one of the very highest points on the river.
The public schools were all closed and the buildings taken
for refuge for the unfortunate sufferers. Some of the manu-
facturing establishments sustained a total loss of machinery.
Pearce Brothers, millers, had a large amount of bran, shorts
and fine flour under water.
At Aberdeen, Brown County, Ohio, opposite Maysville,
the losses were proportionately as large, if not larger than at
Maysville. The flood left the little place, where so many
have been united in happy marriage, desolate indeed. It
will require much more means than she can command to put
her on her feet again. Aberdeen, like most small places,
had no facilities for communicating her sufferings to an out-
side world, and her damage was much greater than was gen-
erally known. The following are the principal losers, but
not all: Mrs. D. Power, P. N. Bradford, Mrs. Oscar
Bricker, Mrs. Frank Miller, Oscar Bricker, Wm. Power,.
Captain Ellis, Goo. Schlitz, Mrs. Payne. Mrs. Mary Hud-
\\itt, Captain Linton, Mrs. G. H. Wheeler, James Praim.
Captain John Small, John Archedcacon, Shelby Campbell,
John O'Haran, A. Sorries, Martin Hanley, Mrs. Sarah Dav-
idson, L. Ruggles. Lem Tollie, Mrs. Mary Wisenall, John
Campbell, A. B. Power, Ben. G. Ridgeway, C. A. Gates &
Co., C. A. Gates, Bradford & Morman, Dr. Guthrie, Dr.
Maloy, Dr. Heaton, Captain Drennan, Miss Cotton, True
& Son, and others. Every stable in the place is gone. Out
of a population of 800, 685 were driven from their homes.
The Methodist Church was the lodging house for sixty fam-
ilies ; was the headquarters of the Relief Committee, and
packed to the ceiling with household goods besides. Here,
of course, the cry lor bread and help went up, and was glori-
ously responded to, for which the heartfelt gratitude of the
sufferers could only be expressed in the silent tears that
trickled down their faces. It is to be truly hoped that the
little town may never again witness such a direful calamity,
and that she may soon recover from her misfortunes and be
able to look upon the great flood of 1884 as a dream, hardly
to be remembered except for the good deeds enacted in that
78 HISTORY OF THE GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884.
We now come to Ripley, a well known little business
town. The destruction here, according to wealth and popu-
lation, is as great perhaps as at any town in the Ohio Valley.
The water reached the height of last year's flood on the even-
ing of the 9^1. At that time the situation was litile short of
appalling. Two-thirds of the town was under water, and in
the bottoms scores of two-story houses were entirely sub-
merged. All the business houses were in water, and business
was entirely suspended. Three hundred families had been
driven from their homes, all communication with other places
was cut off, and great suffering was staring the people in the
face. A tour at this time through the flooded town presented
a scene of destruction and woe that was pitable to look upon.
It was a long and dreary time that the inhabitants watched
from their upper windows the rising of the turbulent waters.
Many houses that stood the invasion of last year were now
swept away. On the evening of the loth the river was
twenty-two inches higher than in '83, and eleven inches
higher than in 1832. The loss in the bottoms in the vicinity
could only be counted in thousands. Crops of tobacco hang-
ing in barns were entirely submerged ; fodder, hay, fences
and the usual accompaniments of the flood were carried off.
On the 1 2th the water had gained five feet four inches over
last year, and was still advancing, and the situation growing
more desperate with each hour. By actual count twenty-six
houses were carried off since the evening before, and the
loss, even if it should go no farther, was double that of the
year before. Six of the largest bridges in the county were
swept away, adding greatlv to th2 burden of taxes necessary
for their replacement. The water finally reached the enor-
mous height of almost seventy-two feet, or five feet six and a
half inches above 1832. On the night of the I2th a heavy
wind storm arose and dashed the waves about the buildings
with great force, causing many to succumb that might other-
wise have stood. Forty-two buildings went down in the
storm, or were forced from their foundations. It looked as
though nothing was to be left of the place. A bridge, costing
$30,000, above Ripley, was brushed away as though but a
worthless piece of drift. Two bridges on Straight Creek
were also carried off. At Logan's Gap, two miles from
Ripley, a large tobacco factory belonging to Marion Steph-
enson was completely wrecked, and left at the mouth of
E;igle Creek ; six other buildings here were also destroyed.
The creeks of the county were all swollen to their utmost
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 79
capacity, and in many cases were rendered impassible, bv be-
ing obstructed with wrecked houses, and the drift of fences,
logs, water gaps, and other debris. A local relief committee
was organized, and a number of post supply boats estab-
lished, but it was found that they had but little to distribute,
owing to the wide-spead destruction that had taken place,
and messengers with appeals to help from starvation were
sent to neighboring towns, and promptly responded to, but
as in hundreds of other cases, if outside help had not been
promptly rendered, the direst suffering would have followed.
And as if the waters could not satisfy the demon of destruc-
tion, and while she was yet lying prostrate and almost help-
less, a lire broke out, and added $10,000 more of loss and
wreck. Truly the scenes of hardship endured by the good
.people of the Ohio Valley, in February, 1884, will be remem-
bered while life shall last. The following are among the
heavy losers, taken by a correspondent who, in a skill', passed
directly over the roofs of many two-story houses : Geo.
Bartley, W. D. Young, Doc Pickerell, Gilbert Crosby, Wm.
Reinert, Henry Campbell, Jordan Brown, John Culter,
Latonia House, G. F. Young, Samuel F. Kelly, A. M. Dale,
Maria Brooks, Mrs. Loe. There are scores of others, but
many could give no idea of their losses, and it seemed to
make them heart-sick to be interviewed.
Dover, a short distance below Ripley, lies foi the most
part very high, but a portion of the town wassubmerged, and
the storm did some damage here, too. Tobacco warehouses
all along the River seemed easy prey to the avaricious
waters, that swallowed them up as some leviathan would a
small angle worm. Among the principal losers at Dover
were John Osborne, H. Cushman, F. C. Westfall, J. N.
Boyd, Mrs. Newcomb, Oscar Hanna & Co., J. C. Hess. C.
W. Hanna, J. J. McMillen, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Lucy Wil-
liams, Peter Anderson, A. H. Hanna, and Martin Davis.
The Boyd Manufacturing Co. had 9,000.000 feet of lumber
that was threatened with destruction. Two hundred men
were employed to save it, and only 10,000 feet got away, and
that during the wind storm before spoken of.
Augusta, Ky., is noted everywhere as being one of the
handsomest towns on the river. It is beautifully situated and
presents a fine appearance from the river. After the flood
it was one of the most desolate. Seven-eighths of the place
\vas under water. All the frame houses that were not
anchored or tied floated away, and those that were left were
80 HISTORY OK THE GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884.
badly damaged, and many of the brick houses that stood the
siege had to be greatly reinforced before being safe to inhabit.
The Bracken Bulletin, Mr. Ned S. Maxon's paper, sa}'s :
" The west end of town is completely ruined ; not a single
frame house remains standing on its foundation. Only the
brick houses on Front Street are left, and not a whole pane
of glass, door or window-sash remains in them. There were
fifty-six houses completely wrecked and carried off, and
about that many more were damaged to such an extent that
they were rendered useless. Four hundred persons here were
left houseless and desolate. The flood was iust six feet two
inches higher than the flood of 1883." It stood nine feet deep
in Mr. Maxon's residence on Elizabeth Street, and only lacked
four inches of getting into his office, in the second story of
the building at the corner of Second and Upper Streets..
The handsome residences of Dr. T. S. Bradford and C. R.
McCormick, on Front Street, were complete wrecks. After
the water receded the streets were so blockaded with houses,
fences, and wrecks of all kinds, that it was impossible for a
vehicle to pass two squares on any street. The residence of
P. S. Blades was nearly demolished by a floating house. The
following were among some of the principal losers: Louis
Thomas, M. E. Church, John Byae, Moneyhon, Kerans &
Co., Mayor's office, Graff & Co. /Judge Minor, W. C. Flem-
ing, Mrs. Snider, Luther Owen, Mrs. Roschi, Geo. McKib-
ben, Mrs. Laughlin, the Knoedler-Dunbar rooms, the Ken-
tucky Livery Stable, M. E. Parsonage, W. J. Irwin, John
Dora, Mrs. Reeder, M. E. Church, South. The houses en-
tirely destroyed belonged mostly to poor people living in the
west end of town, who, in losing them, lose their all. The
Bulletin said :
" No pen can describe the heart-rending scenes caused by the great calamity
that has fallen upon our people. The hitter cup is full to overflowing, and yet
it seems to be but the beginning of weeks of suffering and brain-racking torture.
The lamentations of the scores of homeless ones are as one great voice of sor-
row, crying out to the charitable world for help."
During the heighth of the flood a destructive fire occurred
in the Orr Block, which destroyed the drug store stock of
L. P. Knoedler and the dry goods stock of J. E. Dunbar.
There was ten feet of water on the outside of the building,
and a tank of gasoline and four kegs of powder inside. The
tank of gasoline sprung a leak and the gasoline ran out over
the water. Mr. Knoedler and Joe Harris were sleeping in
the building. Mr. K. went down stairs with a lantern to see
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 81
how fast the water was rising. The lantern ignited the float-
ing gasoline, and in an instant the building was in flames.
Mr. K. jumped into the water, and calling to Harris to save
himself, swam and worked his way under the fire and water
to the front of the store, where he was rescued, badly burned.
Harris saved himself by jumping out of a back window onto
a roof. Presently the powder exploded and Dunbar's store
was in flames, which, after great effort, were extinguished,
but on Monday night, during a fearful storm of wind, a float-
ing house came along and knocked down the walls of the
Dunbar room and the destruction was complete. Both stocks
were valued at $28,000, on which there was $12,500 insur-
ance. The total losses of Augusta have not at this date been
estimated, but they are very heavy, and such as it were a
pity she cculd not have been spared.
The bottoms at the mouth of Bullskin, emptying into the
Ohio below Augusta, were all under water, destroying a
large amount of tobacco in barns. At Moscow and all along
at every little village, the people weighted their houses down
with rocks, and in many instances were clinging to the chim-
neys, waiting in great suspense for boats already engaged
to come and take them off.
The flourishing town of Higginsport, 3,000 inhabitants,
came in also for her share of the great tribulation and mis-
fortune. Many accidents and narrow escapes from drown-
ing occurred at nearly every place where great effort was
made to save property from the destroying elements, and the
efforts put forth by many to save their homes were advent-
ur.ais and heroic, but would occupy too much space for in-
sei'tion here. The following were among the heavy losers :
Geo. Bartly, Chas. Reisbrick, Alfred Chapman, Louis Wal-
ters, John B. Young, Boyd Manufacturing Company, Mr.
Hensgers, Joe Park, Mr. Bertz, Mort Hamilton, Eliza Pot-
ter, Emanuel Ott and many others. All the farms above and
below were inundated, and steamboats, to avoid the swift
current in the channel, ran right over them, and oftentimes
would get tangled up and almost lost in the wilderness of
brush they would encounter.
The Cincinnati Commercial- Gazette chartered the steamer
Kate Waters No. 2 on the morning of the 14th, and sent
her up the river with supplies and special correspondents and
artists to not only feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but
to describe fully their wants to a charitable people, and pic-
ture the scenes of desolation that were everywhere prc-
82 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
sented. We are indebted to this enterprising paper for many
facts and incidents in connection with the Kate Waters trip.
Smith's Landing, below Higginsport, suffered consider-
ably, but nothing in comparison with other places. In the
same storm that carried off forty-six houses for Ripley, her
light-house and ferry-house went down the river, and several
houses were lifted from their foundations.
Rural is, or rather was, a little village one mile south of
Smith's Landing, with a population of 400. It is, or was,
in the extreme eastern corner of Clermont County. More
than forty houses composed the village. It is completely de-
stroyed as a town. Only five houses were left, and these
were so wrecked as to be uninhabitable, wind and wave hav-
ing completely obliterated even the material of which they
were composed. On
when the water was at its greatest height here, only an eave
of a house here and there could be seen. That night, when
the storm came to finish the destruction, the people had all
fortunately been conveyed to the hills, and no lives were
lost, but the inhabitants were left penniless and destitute, and
the town will never be rebuilt. It is literally a "deserted
village." The school-houses, country churches and barns
in the neighborhood accommodate its population until they
can seek and find other homes. It was'the custom for relief
boats to leave ropes to tie and make secure buildings and
bridges, but none ever reached here, for there was nothing
to make fast.
At Chilo, below Rural, eleven houses were totally wrecked
and disappeared ; even a tombstone shop, with marble slabs
and monuments, joined the panic stricken caravan of travel-
ers to the sea, and went where no one knew. The following
lost their houses entirely: M. S. Hall, Chas. Conwall, E.
Cummins, Geo. Heck, Lee Sanders, Ed. Dickson, Mrs. Fry,
Mrs. Boy, Mrs. Moore and John Rigglesworth. The follow-
ing are also badly damaged : Chas. Keiser, Jas. Bartless,
Benj. Phillips, Frank Meritt, Wm. Heiser, Lee Patterson,
Wm. Brown, Woods & Brother, John Berlew, Nancy Prae-
ther, John Sanders and James Greene.
Neville, in Clermont County, was one of the worst used
towns by the flood along the river. It was fairly engulfed
and buried in water. Possessed of a population of 500 peo-
ple, not one has a home left not seriously damaged. At a
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 83
very critical moment with many houses, that same merciless
storm that already had joined forces with the flood, came
along and rocked and tottered all but three or four houses off
their foundations. It did more damage than the flood had
yet done, coming in the night time, when a few had remained
to try to look after their property, and a large number were
confined in the narrow quarters afforded by the school-house,
carried a terror with it that is indescribable. It rolled, wave
after wave, over the doomed village, and played with the
tottering structures as though they were so many spools in
the paws of a playful kitten. The following, among others,
are known to have lost their homes entirely : Mrs. Anna
Reilly, Mrs. Phebe Willis and Mrs. Larkin three widows ;
Samuel Hastings, M. Woods, J. Plummer, John Eiler, Mrs.
Wardlow, J. R. Downs, John Brophy, Wm. Black & Co.,
Aaron Gibson, Geo. Bronson and Rev. J. C. Waite. Large
warehouses and buildings were lifted up and set down on
land belonging to others. Rev. Waite's house, above spoken
of, floated a mile below town and was lodged on Samuel
Lemon's farm, against a steep hillside, where, when the
water went down, the house tumbled over. This farm has
lodged a dozen houses out of the flood, notwithstanding it
lost some itself, among them a large warehouse for tobacco,
owned by Mr. Lemon. Only one monument stood above
water in the old graveyard that of Captain John McClain,
a pioneer steamboatman, long since dead.
At Foster's Landing, opposite Neville, there was scarcely
a stable or outbuilding left. Several houses joined the pro-
cession, and several were moved from their foundations.
Moscow, the next town below, comes in with many wounds
and grievances from the flood. In 1883 it was thought she
had suffered enough for one generation, but misfortunes
come not alone, and she was called upon to again undergo
suffering which, compared with '83, made that year but a
circumstance. In 1883 thirty-five houses stood entirely out
of water. In 1884 there was but one that was out. An
average depth of seven feet of water covered the town, the
streets being navigable from the upper to the lower side and
back to the hills. Here, very singularly, the churches could
not be used for refuge, owing to the fact that they were
flooded. In nearly every town along the river the churches
have been elevated sufficiently to afford a retreat to those
driven from their homes. Three feet of water was on the
floor of the M. E. Church. The second story of the school-
84 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
house and the third stories of the Masonic and Odd Fellows*
Halls afforded accommodations to many families. The water
here surpassed the best efforts of '83 by going seventy-three
inches higher. Many, in fact nearly all of the women and
children, went to the country. The following had their
houses moved . from their foundations : Mrs. Metcalf, two ;.
Mrs. Lellyet, John Manning, Dr. Moore, John Bayless,
Mrs. Glaser, Jas. Carnes, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Wylie, Dr.
Cole, Mrs. Parker. The following had houses to float away
from their foundations: Mrs. Glaser, Robert Johnson,
Frank Denkinger, Reardon & Son, Mr. Hiding, William
Gregg, Town Jail, Johnston & Kinsey, John Manning, Syd.
Gushing, Geo. W. Nash, Wm. Young, Theo. Hughes,
McGrath & Lane, Deyman & Gates, Wesley Fee, Mrs.
Dorsey. The following had the water to reach their second-
story: Wm. S. Gregg, Will Fisher, Chas. Cushard, Geo.
Manning, Prof. J. G. Moorhead, G. G. Sargent, editor o'
Moscow Telegram\ Misses Woodruff, Hugh McLean, Mrs.
Anna Scott, Geo. Buchanan, Lewis Camery, Johnston &
McKinney, B. F. Fisher, B. G. Wood. Mr. C. A. Cline, after
midnight the night of the windstorm, was working with
others to save property, when the storm drove him on to the
roof of his stable for safety, which was up to the eaves in
water. It presently toppled over with him and he jumped
into the flood, but was rescued by friends. The stable and a
fine family carriage floated off and were never heard of
At Point Pleasant, O., it was but a repetition of the same
sad story: narrated of other small towns. This town is
famous as having been the birthplace of General U. S.
Grant. He was born here April 27, 1822. His parents
afterward moved to Georgetown, but here it was the General
first heard the songs of birds, and the house in which he was
born still remains. It is situated two squares from the river.
It was the first time in its history that it had been invaded by
the water. The water about the house was from one to two
feet deep. The Commercial Gazette says :
" The house is frame, with the space between the weatherboards and the
plastering filled in with bricks and mortar. It is, therefore, unusually strong
No one in the neighborhood knows its age or history, but the people of the
town are very proud to point to it as the center of a great deal of interest to
the world. It has been kept in good repair on account of its historical value,
and nothing has been changed in its surroundings since the youngster Ulysses
first made the windows rattle. In the winter of 1822-23 the big back- lo<j in
those old-fashioned chimneys at the side of the house sent up its scintillations
HISTORY OF THE> GREAT FLOOD OF 1884*' 85'
'for the amusements of the. baby destined to make the spates -fly in another
way. The house is occupied by Mr. Charles Morgan and fam.ily,, and is the
property of Mr. Michael Hirsch, who may be wise enough to l^et it alone."
The issue of the Commercial- Gazette of February 17, has
.a sketch of this rude looking old house as it appeared at that
time. The losses were not large here, and the incon-
veniences and privations, not near so great as ; at mbst points.
At California^ Ky., 'the storm lifted ;aH one-story houses
from their foundations and unsettled many others, but none
were carried away. It was impossible for boats to land, ajid
the only way the inhabitants got relief was to send out skiffs
to the passing steamers that were on errands of mercyv
New Richmond, O., a little below Californiay is" a town of
.3,000 inhabitants. One-third of the population is colored,
who in the best of times live poorly and from hand to
mouth.- 'During the flood their destitution was very great.
Hundreds: of -houses- were submerged; : entirely'. The to\Vn
hall, churches, school-'houses and society -halls were filled
with women .and children* of, ".all agesy sexes ail d> social stan d-
ing-:. The wealthiest people were cooped up ih. attics or the
highest stories, cooking 1 off of grates and their rooms crowd^
H2d .beyond; nll:(comfor,t and almost beyond efridufahceT ' An
iiniisual.number of people .were/ sicfc 'at the tinie, and-marty
dangerously so, and altogether'the situation /was ; doubly "uh-
comfortable and distressing; Cut 6fF as :tfoey >veve for a
week or ten .days from the,- 6iitside vV.orld , the ; water- coroi ng
constantly up day and nighty provisions: a,nd fuel'nearly ex-
hausted , the water on the first floor of every store and
grocery, and in many cases up to the roof.' and only the sec-
ond stories of the hotels and largest buildings being used, it
was a terrible experience so terrible indeed that the citizens
came near losing all hope. Batavia wagoned provisions to
the afflicted town daily, but they were inadequate to the de-
mand, and a vast amount of suffering was endured. Eleven
towns and villages are spread along the Ohio in Clermont
County; all were submerged-, all crying for help, and, all
with the same sad story in their mouths of houses gone,
liousehold goods lost, "stock drowned, cemeteries disinterred
of the dead, and people, madly fleeing from their all for their
lives and the safety of their families, oftentimes rushed out
in the night with hardly enough clothing to cover their
nakedness it was an awful situation. The towns of Bata-
vta, Milford, Boston, WiHiamsburg, Stone Lick and other
places oame up nobly to the' rescue 'and thrfew 'into the plate
86 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
four-horse loads of provisions, one alter another, to stay the
famished stomachs of the people, and it was no small task
to feed even for one day near 2500 people unable to help
themselves, but it was done, by what exertion and by what
sacrifices and liberality will never be told by tongue or pen.
The water was eight inches deep in the second-story of D.
L. Weinnan's office, the editor of the New Richmond Inde-
pendent. The ceiling of the telegraph office was two feet
under water. Over a mile of the New Richmond narrow-
gauge railroad, together with the long trestle west of town r
had risen bodily from the ground, the ties bearing the rails
above the water. The losses in all this region to town, vil-
lages, and farms between, are immense, and can never be
We now find ourselves at California, Ohio, in the ex-
treme east end of Hamilton County, a town of 400 inhabit-
ants. The Little Miami River empties into the Ohio just
below. The citizens of this town suffered so severely by the
flood of 1883 that as soon as it became evident that a repeti-
tion of last year's scenes were on the programme, they pack-
ed their things, and all who could deserted the town and
abandoned it to its fate. From the New Richmond pike to-
the river front, the whole town was under water. Green-
wood's Hall, the Odd Fellows' Hall and Township Hall
were densely packed by those that remained, and the cook-
ing was done under great difficulties on top of the heating
stoves. Until last year California was comparatively unin-
jured by the rises in the Ohio, and it was a source of great
congratulation to her. When the water advanced to the
very threshold? of the dwellings last year, many went to bed
with the firm convicLon that the water was as high as it
would get, and were too incredulous to remove the carpets
from the floors, or do a thing until all of their household
property on the first floors was floating around in three or
four feet of water. This year they thought they were
doing all in the world necessary to be done when they
put their things on scaffolds two and three feet above last
year. As many as thirty people in the place last year re-
fused to move their horses and cows to the hills until there
was a raging current from five to ten feet deep in the lower
part of town, and the highlands above the New Richmond
pike, a distance of nearly half a mile. At last, when it was
patent to the most stolid that they must either be ferried
across or perish, it was necessary to build a large flatboat, on
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 87
which they were put, one or two at a time, and towed ashore by
skiffs, which, when occasionally the animals were slightly frac-
tious, was attended with no small degree of danger, as sev-
eral of the horses were thrown overboard in mid-stream, and
had to struggle hard to save themselves. The cattle were
ferried over from the Old Ross Place (the highest point be-
tween the pike and the Kentucky shorej, and at one time
the old place presented the appearance ot a Western "round-
up," from the number of cattle awaiting transportation.
Nothing of this kind was necessary this time ; ever}'' horse
and cow was removed in good time, and every carpet was
ready to pull up at a moment's notice ; so that while the in-
convenience is of course very great, the damage to house-
hold effects is slight compared to last year. The same con-
dition of affairs applies to neighboring farmers. Among
them the heaviest loser was Mr. James Parker, proprietor of
Parker's Grove Picnic Ground, whose losses to houses and
crops was very heavy. Mrs. Ebersole lost an immense
amount of corn in the crib and hay in the immense old barn
which has stood the floods of seventy years. It was built in
1808, of immense, heavy hewn logs, on a spot so high as to
defy all previous floods. Her son Stanley this year kept a
large force at work several days removing the corn and hay,
so that their loss will be much less than last year, though
they will again this year have an immense amount of drift to
clear away after the water subsides. But with all the prepa-
rations made the water kept creeping over where it was
thought impossible for it to come, and after the scaffolds
were reached it was impossible to remove anything, and the
water was left to work its ruin. The Enterprise Foundry
folks put their sand two feet above last year, and again re-
moved it upon the rafters. It will be remembered the old
foundry caved in last February, and the immense roof floated
down the river. The large building adjoining withstood the
flood, and Mr. Barney Schilling bought it, and has since
been using it for his livery stable business. He removed all his
valuable horses and vehicles, including his valuable imported
stallion, to high ground. It was fortunate he did so, for
the walls crumbled, and the large roof floated off in
search of its companion of years gone by. Mr. Schilling's
loss in hay, corn, etc., will be serious, but he is consoled
by the fact that he saved his imported stock, which loss
would have been irreparable. The citizens of California in-
deed had a very hard time of it. Their losses in 1883 were very
88 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
heavy, and to suffer again, and even more severely at this time,
was enough to entirely discourage, if it would do to give way
under the pressure of adversity. Many working and larm peo-
ple had not recovered from their losses of last year when this
flood came and drove them the second time from their 'homes ^
For more than a week over "100 houses were flooded, some
carried entirely away, and others damaged to such an extent
as to be altogether uninhabitable. At least fifty families were
homeless until their houses were rebuilt or made over. Some
of the farmers of that section till rented ground, and have
lost two successive crops. Nine-tenths of the people suffered
so severely that many utterly despaired of "ever attempting to
get a foothold again; and, in fact, this is true of every in-
undated district the length of the river. But we must pass
on, and continuing our journey through scene after scene 61
desolation, we arrive at Cincinnati, justly' styled the Queen
City of the West, on the morning of St. Valentine's Day,
FEBRUARY 14, 1884.
A sad valentine it is for this beautiful city . The water readi-
ed its greatest height here at 12 o'clock noon, making the al-
most incredible height of SEVENTY-ONK FEET THREE-FOURTHS
OF AX INCH, OR FOUR FEET EIGHT AND THREE-QUARTER
INCHES HIGHER THAN IN 1883.
We leave it to the Cincinnati papers to describe the situa-i
tion of that city, as it was at the height of this torrent of
[From the Enquirer, February, 15.]
The condition of the flood sufferers of . the extreme East End at the present
time is worse than ever. The cold weather which sprang up night before last
has driven them to temporary homes in the railroad cars.
At Linwood the levee is entirely covered by water, and Mount Washington
and Newtown are completely cut off from any connection with the city.
At Columbia, every house south of the railroad for several miles is under
water. In "both Pendleton and Columbia every submerged building has been
raised from its foundation, and it is safe to say that not a house in. Pendleton
is resting in its oiiginal position. In spme places there is to be, found a group
of three or four houses floating about in the water, which are only prevented,
from drifting away by the eddies created by the water passing over the streets.'
All through Fulton the flood has played sad havoc. Ferries have been es-
tablished between the East End Garden and Torrence Road, and from Tprrenqe
Road to Ferry Street, also on Pearl Street, from Kilgour to Butler, and on Third
Street, from Lock to Fourth and to Butler Street. They are all doing a profi-
Every house south of the Little Miami Railroad from Linwood to tb.e;Mimri
depot is submerged, and much damage is being doi\e to the manufactories, aj.id
along the streets.
'OF' THE GREAT FLOOll OF 1884,
: tJ &&< ' J :. THE \<TE^T ENiy
All, day yesterday in th$ Millcreek bottoips the scenes of the past few days
we're re-eaacted. . '*rhe4uffejing increased tenfold, not from the rising waters.
but from the cold, biting atmosphere that penetrated the flooded house* and
caused the inmates to huddle more closely, together in their .efforts to keep
warm. Desperate means were used in some cases to keep out the cold, window;
shutters and doprs being taken from their hinges, broken up and burned. The
few relief bpats..in 'this vicinity wprkecJilike Trojans to supply the destitute with
coal, but it seemed ,that> do. what ther would, the demand continued to in,-.
On every hand they ..were met with piteous appeals, curses and demands for
fuel. There is a considerable number of persons in .the flooded district in and
adjacent to Millcreek whp imagine that (he Relief Committee and boats are
put there to answer 4heic beck .a.nd .calf, and .whenever any of them imagine
they are slighted, or their demands riot acceded to in an instant, they heap a
tirade of ahu*e upon the' heads' of-" the Good Samaritans that almost causes the
atmosphere .to turn blue.. ,!'
N-o serious accidents occurred in this locality yesterday. Several small
frame houses were loosened from their foundations, and, in one or two case*,
wereoverturnedi <A boat filled with'paseengersJor the Ohio and Mississippi
overturned when near the foot of 'Sixth Street. All the passengers were res-
cued. One who went under with valise in hand reappeared without that very
necessary traveling appendage. ; The valise not coming to the surt'ace, one of
thexlrenclied passengers plucked up > courage enough to sa.y that the cork must
have got out 'of the bottle.
At rive o'clock last evening'the water from Liberty Street had connected
wi'th tliat on Frt-e'man Avenue' coming north; and that corner was 1 covered ;<>
i he' dep'tli of ''nearly two feet. " The Water. In MUlcreek is supposed to be wide-r
opposite Wade Street, wherSjft has reached to within a few feet of Ba\mil'er
Street, and reaches to WalkeVTrtfH ro'ad on the We"st. 'This, of course, rnerfns:
the territory north of Sixth' 'Sfretet. : The icy edges of the flooded district were
lined, as usHaf; afToT yesterclaf ,H^rtr?thte turious, whose faces, brightened when-
ever the reborkTef" a^rbbaWe'H^rrd 6r fall y were given out:
" .<. i . :; .'- -j. :'.'': .' . , ->: :' '
The cold wave which swept over the tfty Wednesday nigh't and continued
yesterday had no apparent; eff#ptp/i4he., th-rpngs pf peppje visiting the flooded
districts east of Vine Street. As early, as nine o'clock in the morning, the boat-
men were as bus\' as bees currying passengers to and from tlie bridges, and
rowing them bver'ihe flooded streets. Tlie ladies. in their heavy wraps and the
gentle'men 'likewfse seemed tiot tb'crire fpr the sharp breeze that blew over the
waters,' and whistled around the corners in the telegraph wires. Quite a num
ber'of ladies Were observed riding through the flooded streets wrapped in seal-
skin cloaks, and seemingly enjoy ingj their novel trip.
On Vine Street a temporary walk , had been erected, leading out into the
water several feet, from which passengers could embark in skiffs. At Walnut
Slreetin the, afternoon the jam of people, was very great In the passage w,ay
formed bv fences built bv the bridge company, leading to the platform .landing
for their flat-boats, they "were packed closely, awaiting their turns for transport
tation to the bridge... . ., i o v>:. r i ?!; -> ,-uh--" ' '
Third Street was crowded with pedestrians going from street to street leading
to 'the river At each one, some of them stopped fpr a look at the water, and
then on to the next
The continued rise of the water Wednesday night' floated away the pfank
wafk leading to the Newport bridge from Pearl "Street. This left "the only ap-
proach to the bridge to be by means of boats, and the boatmen had all they
90 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
could do to accommodate the many persons desiring to gain a sight of the-
waters from the bridge.
On both the bridges all day sight-seers were plenty, facing the keen north-
west wind with apparent indifference. The extraordinary expanse of water
had more attraction than the cold had effect.
Through the flooded streets the relief boats were hurrying here and there,,
taking people out of buildings who could not stand the cold, added to the
dampness, and furnishing food and fuel to those who still clung to the water-
bound houses. Both relief and police boats were doing good work yesterday,,
and tliey found an abundance of it, enhanced by the cold snap. It is almost
impossible to describe the suffering in Pendleton, where fully eight hundred,
houses were completely submerged, and fully four thousand persons are ren-
dered homeless. At the present writing nearly every house has been swerved
from its foundation, and many are floating about the streets. The high winds
which prevailed yesterday carried away more than twenty houses.
THE SITUATION AT CUMMINSVILLE.
The water reaches in an unbroken sheet from the Stock Yards to GrearV
Turf Exchange, on Spring Grove Avenue. Many buildings are toppling over,
and the damage will be very great to frame houses. Furniture that was stored
in the second story rooms of buildings has been removed from hundreds of
houses, the water having reached a depth of three and five feet on the upper
floors. The marble slab erected last year to mark the highest point reached l>y
the water on the knoll, on which is situated the old Knowlton homestead, is.
several feet under water. Every submerged family that can afford it, now
owns a boat. A rough box boat costs from five to eight dollars. The supply
of coal oil here has about run out, and there is none for sale at the stores. The
people are cautioned to use what they have sparingly, or they will soon be left
in total darkness The police were requested to arrest all intoxicated persons-
found on the streets and lock them up for safe keeping. The Chief of the Fire
Department, Mr Bunker, visited this place yesterday, to make arrangements,
if possible, to provide better protection from fire out here, as our engine can.
only protect four blocks of Precinct A, the rest of the plugs being under water.
The Twenties are busy pumping water day and night, keeping the supply up-
in the mains out here. The Knowlton Street School House, which is now being
used as a relief depot, is accommodating two hundred lodgers. Over eight
hundred rations were given out yesterday.
CINCINNATI'S NOBLE CHARITY.
The work of the Relief Committee still goes bravely on, and Cincinnati has
full reason to be proud of her organization. From the Chairman down to the
watchman, who "holds the fort" at night, all hands have labored with a
steadv and persevering effort, throwing all their will and strength into the work,
as if the sufferers were bound to each and every one by the strongest ties of'
relationship. The Queen City presents to-day a picture which calls forth the
admiration of the world, and shakes the belief of the veriest cynic. Herself a.
sufferer in no small degree from the ravages of this mighty overflow, she nobly
declines all proffers of aid from without in favor of places where the suffering
is greater in proportion, while all her citizens, from careless youth to tottering
age. come forward with their offerings upon the altar of sacred Charity. Here
the working man places his dime beside the dollar of the millionaire, and both
work side by side, shoulder to shoulder, in the labor of love, giving everything,
expecting nothing, but all uniting their best efforts in answering the wail of
suffering humanity. The cry of distress rises from the turbid waters ot the-
swollen Ohio, and its note has not died away before the flag of relief is nailed
to the mast, and all embark in the common cause. No impassioned appeal 01
orator or poet so moving as this ! No spectacle so grand in all the history oi~
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. fcl
At the headquarters yesterday the same rattle and rumble of heavily laden
trucks, and the same hurrying to and fro greeted the beholder as did the day be-
fore. The room was cold and cheerless, owing to the sudden change in the
weather, but the Burnet House sent a quantity of hot coffee to the workers
there, and, later in the day, Mr. John Grossius donated the use of a large fur-
nace, which, placed in the center of the room, soon sent out a cheerful and in-
vigorating heat. When the committee met in the morning Chairman Urner
announced that some $60,000 had been sent in from points outside, and all had
been expended in the work of relief without the city, and that arrangements
had been made to send a barge of coal to Lawrenceburg last evening.
General A. Beckwith, of the United States Army, in charge of the Govern-
ment appropriation for the flood sufferers, arrived in the city last night, and is-
quartered at the Grand Hotel. An Enquirer reporter called on the gentleman
immediately on his arrival, and was cordially received. The General has just
received the following dispatch from Secretary Lincoln :
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 14, 1884.
To General Amos Beckwith, United States Army .
The following is a statement of the amounts by me authorized to be expended
by Mayors of cities on the Ohio River below Ironton : Greenup, Ky., $500;
Maysville, Ky., $1,000; Augusta, Ky., $500; Newport, Ky., $1,000; Law-
renceburg, Ind., $2,000; Madison, Ind., $2,000 ; Evansville, Ind., $ 1,000; Shaw-
neetown, 111., $2,000 ; total, $10,000.
ROBERT LINCOLN, Secretary of War.
General Beckwith said:
" I will start a boat down the river to-morrow night, with 120,000 rations-
aboard, and they will be put where they will do the most good. On the fol-
lowing day the up-river boat will be started, and run as far as Ironton. I
would have liked to have got to work sooner, but I was delayed twelve hour*
on the road. I will push things now that I have got a start. There will be
about $125,000 to be distributed in and about Cincinnati."
While the cold wave yesterday brought glad tidings to the people that it
would check the rise in the river, it only added to the suffering. The increased
demand was truly wonderful, and it has only partly commenced, for alter the
water subsides, the suffering will be greater than now, and the committee are
in a quandary as to how to supply the demands that will be made on them for
fuel. No city or town on the Ohio River has suffered as much as Newport in
proportion to her population. Here is a city with a population of twenty-five
thousand people, and eighteen thousand of them are homeless, and are crying
for aid to relieve them in their distressed condition. The condition of property
in the submerged districts is indescribable.
Brick houses have caved in by their foundations being washed awav, while
frame cottages are twisted in every conceivable shape. A number of them
have floated away, others have turned up on their ends, and nearly every street
in the flooded district is blockaded by a house that has been washed away from
its foundation. Fencing and outhouses have been carried out, and it is no
trouble to find a fence in one part of the city that belongs half a mile up in the
other part. In the event that the property is repaired, which is doubtful, it
will require an army of men to work all sunvner. and then it is doubtful whether
they can repair the damages, which in this city will amount to nearly $1,000,000.
AT THE RRMEF STORK.
This place was crowded a^nin yesterday, and the committee was kept busv
distributing provisions all day to the vast crowd of suffering and hungry ap-
HISTbRY OF Ttift 'GREAT FLOOD OV 't$b.[.
plicants. It is a perfect sight to seethe clamor for. food every day that 'is made.
Yesterday, at this place, there were"'distributed two thousand gallons of 'coffee,
twelve thousand' loaves of bread, twenty-five 'barrels' of' po'.ato'es, 'five hundred
pounds of meat, and one thousand gallons^ of soup, in addition to the ve'geta-
bles 1 . The Relief Committee' was compelled yesterday to place two more
kettles in the building to supply the demand. At the present rate of consump-
tion it will require more fribriev than is 'coming in 'how to supply the want-for
food, to say nothing of the coal.
" It is falling." How glad the v >voj-ds .were, received as they fell last night
:from the lips of hundreds of people. While Covingtod properly has not suf-
fered to the ararming exterit of that of 'her sister" city of Newport, it' has been
sufficient toqaiise great alarm 'among' the business men of the city. i : " ; i
The Relief Committee have met with tin precede nt'ed sucdess, and'aVe recelV- '
inp a large number of subscriptions in 'money and 'wagon' Toads of provisions
-and clothing from every quarter. They are supply ibg' about three hundred
.families in the city, and aye fortunate enough to have plenty to do it with.
[From the Commercial-Gazette, February ie.1
' . , .'-..->.. ,; . .,.-,.,. . - 3 J
FROM BRjrXJK, TO BRIDGE.
Hard upon the strode of noon yesterday St:Valentine!s Day,' i884.-^-came
the shrill and welcome cry or the newsboys that the mighty flood stood still;
that it had paused at the second line of hills even, as, Aram, all conquering,
.had halted only at the sea. The sunlight was dancing in the cri>p, clear air, the
crust of the earth was frozen, and there was every indiciitiDn;tihal!.;tiye;hug!-y
Onio was satiated at last., Had the ruin -wrought beetv'.exag^eratedli' f'.Were
tliese tales of drowning cities, that came ori every breeze, partially bo!m of im-
aginations excited by the awful resistlessness, 'of the form -in; which disaster
-came ? These were pertinent questions, and to answer them intone direction >
at least, a staff correspondent underlook-a trip through Newport ; a yoyage.it
proved. After the latterly famiHarljoat ride from the north 'side of Peart Street
to the Cincinnati end of the Suspension bridge, the struggle for a foothold
thereon, and a short walk through Covington, only whose rivermost houses
-seem to be under Water, a skiff afnd an expert "oarsman-' were secured. The
boatman was such as are providentially plentiful among Newpoft Borri men;
the sisters of 'many -of; whom could row in a way to shame the aVerae bungler
in the daily dangerous scrambte on Vine and Walnut Streets. He knew every
inch ol the venerable old town, which stood where it now lies sabrtferged be-
fore the first'-settlef had set foot in Cincinnati. "The 'route taken-* it' being re-
membered that it ran "between rows of dwellings or Httle-' stores, some vvhollj'
tinder water and flouting from their foundations;' some tehantless. because the
-flood level had reached the second storN'. and /others 'occupied only tip stairs-
will perhaps give a better idea of the extent of the calamity* ttian COtild any map
-or. illustration. The. writer was rowed from the end 'of the &ridg& over the
swollen Licking, to Bel levue -Street; thence on BeJlevue Street to'lsabella Street,
and then southward on -Isabella six or s-evemsquares,. to RtnggoW Street. At
the head of Isabel la' Street dry land could be'seen,- but- so could -also the open
commons beyond the city's limits.>- j'A look eastward on' Rin'ggold showed tliat
Central Avenue, parallel with Isabella, could not be rowed 'into, but Westward,
clear to the Licking, there was.deep and unbroken writer; arid so it had been on
every ci^ossing of a street running ;eastf and west, wWle eastward as well, on
those. between Ringgold and the river, the flood stretched ftirtlieV an'ff further,
until on Taylor navigable water cpuld.,be, seen clear to the Methodist Church,
"which is just west of the Louisville & fcashville bridge. Returning down Isabel-
la, it was therefore 'easy to tak'e the' first ct<Jsg street^ arid rawing east-on*>h)o<-k,
ing into Centraf A'i'enuft. &6ing'then northward
M1STOKY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1-8^4. '.M&
crossing showed the. same uniform vista of water each way, mounting to a sur-
prisingly uniform height upon the houses, seldom being lower than the top. of
the door of the first story, often entering the secondhand frequently covering,
all but the top ridge of the roof, according to,the nature of the structures them-
selves. When Taylor Street was reached a westward course toward the Lick-
ing was taken for two blocks, and the rear gate of the Barracks entered. The
trip over the old parade grounds, the scene of so many memorable and brilliant
gatherings, social and military, was made on at least ten feet ot water, the flood
being over the porches of the barracks proper, up to the middle of the first story
of the officers' quarters, half over the guard-house, and high up, playing at wul.
in the rooms under the historic ball-room, while the melancholy-looking hospital
at the convergence of the two rfvers, stood ghost like against the back ground ot
blue sky and yellow waste ot waters. Leaving the Barracks, over the fence ot the
Commandant's quarters, and keeping well over the sidewalk of Front Street,
to avoid the fierce current, the journey was resumed eastward, or up the river,,
on a level with the second storv windows of the residences of the best-to-do
people of Newport. Without exception, the latter were cut oft" of communica-
tion to their lower stories, and some few had been driven out altogether, or up-
to the third floor. A call -was made upon one of these families. Invited to
enter, it was easy to step from the light skiff into the window of the front bed-
room, improvised, in the earlier stages of the flood, into a parlor, but with tin-
water only five inches from the rafters forming the floor now a .scene of par-
tial preparation for final flight. ,The rooms the house in this case wan b;ick
wre all warm and comfortable, and without even a suggestion of dampiu ss._
A rear bed-room was improvised into a dining-roorn, a bath room lormed a
kitchen, and a side porch an ample store-room and coal-house. An old Dutch
clock, which had been carried up stairs, was pointed out as having been through
the floods of 1847 and 1883, and now through the flood ot floods, the climateric
one of 1884. The journey resumed, the skiff was headed southward, up York
Street. The doorway of "Barlow's." a once famous inn, corner of York and
Front, on whose sides painted tin sjips used to indicate the flood mark of
1832 and 1847, were far under water. Turning out of York, and goin ^ east-
wardlvon Eglantine, Monmouth was reached, and at Monmouth and Tavlor
the water ceased to be disastrously deep, though the skift" was easily rowed up
Tavlor to the Methodist Church, or within a hundred feet of the Newport end
of the Louisvile & Nashville bridge.
The above outline of an hour's voyage through Newport is given with a
view to give the reader, if possible, a realizing sense of the extent of the flood
in this one town, with reference only to the vast area, all covered with habita-
tionsfor even the few stores have residences above them which has been in-
undated. The sights and incidents of such a trip would cover columns. Re-
lief boats, flving the white flag of the different associations at their bows, were
met constantly. Overturned houses and cottages floating from their founda-
tions were common sights 1 in one place a whole row of one-story dwellings,
floating in a confused heap. Hundreds of out-buildings, of almost uniform
architectural structure, anchored singly or in groups, floated on every side,
scarcely one being right side up, their number being surprising even appalling^
especially so when we consider that 20,000 people are homeless. A frame to-
bacco warehouse in the rear of the Barracks had floated from a post founda-
tion to an adjoining lot. The late Billy Ringo's orphaned heirs peered from the
windows of his old homestead, as if wondering if the desolate scene around had
not some mysterious connection with the departure of their benefactor. A hun-
dred lanterns, removed from public lamp-posts, and stored upon a raft in front of
the citv, bore the names of the flooded thoroughfares, as if they were monu-
ments "erected to the memory of departed streets. Skiffs bearing ladies could
be seen entering the hall doors of well known residences on side streets ; >|
the compliments of the day were passed with secerning cheerfulness. Of l..e
94 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
hundreds of faces seen at upper windows, some were sad, with the fixedness
of cruel disappointment, if not of despair. Others were bright, and their own-
ers exchanged chaff with the small portion of the occupants of boats who
seemed bent on sight-seeing and pleasure. Most of those in scows and skiffs
were serious enough, and once at a corner the Commercial Gazette craft
passed one containing black-robed priests, whose demeanor indicated that they
were taking the consolation of religion to the ick or dying.
At noon yesterday the river at Cincinnati reached the highest mark that
it is known ever to have attained in this part of the Ohio Valley, and then re-
mained apparently stationary for two hours, at severity-one feet and three-
quarters of an inch. The flood had then reached its limit for the present, and
began slowly to fall, so slowly that it took four hours to move a quarter of an
inch down the gauge. This check to the progress of the flood is due to the
sudden and considerable fall of temperature within the past twenty-four hours
and the prevailing cold.
The reports of destitution and suffering throughout the Valley are distress-
ingly numerous, and the flood has not yet completed its work. Telegraphic
news is grapic in in its accounts of the situation at the various points to which
access can as yet be had.
THE MILLCREEK VALI,EY.
A canal boat was chartered yesterday, and on short notice an excursion to
Cunimmsville and return was tendered those desiring to view the inundated
Millcreek Valley. The boat left Canal and Vine Streets at half-past two o'clock,
with quite a large number of curiosity seekers on board. The accommoda-
tions were not of the best order, but Oriental rugs and upholstered furniture
were not expected on a canal boat, and the jolly party made things merry
throughout the trip. The excursionists were made up principally from the
merchants on 'Change, which was about the only place the voyage was adver-
t sed, and as the big, clumsy vessel moved from street to street through the
city proper, the crowd was increased by stray passengers dropping aboard from
the bridges as the boat passed under. A fare of fifty cents for the round trip
was collected from each passenger, and as the proceeds go toward relieving the
flood sufferers, the charge was paid with pleasure. It required an hour and .a
half to make the trip from Vine and Canal to Cumminsville, including several
stoppages, but as the backwaters in many portions of the Millcreek Valley
were visible from the boat, the hours passed swiftly by, and barring the return,
which was somewhat tedious through the darkness, the trip was hugely enjoyed.
The valley between Brighton and Fairmont was plainly seen, with all its deso-
late surroundings. As the boat moved out further from the city the submerged
portions of Colerain and Spring Grove Avenues became visible. The former
is covered with water in a number of places where the bed of the street lies low,
while a greater portion of Spring Grove Avenue seemed to be submerged.
The roadbed of the Cincinnati, Washington & Baltimore Railroad, between
the Stock Yards and the Spring Grove Avenue bridge, will be lost from sight
by the rise of another foot, and most probably is not visible this morning.
But the greatest picture of desolation and ruin was presented as the boat ap-
proached Cumminsville. The buildings in the extreme lower portion of Cum-
minsville are entirely submerged, and the groups of houses whose roofs only
are visible are sufficiently numerous to constitute a village of itself. Crowds of
people flock to the water's edge, those from Camp Washington on the one side
and from the elevated portions of Cumminsville on the other ; but all are
stopped by the furious waters of Millcreek, and. in some portions, spectators
are even compelled to retreat by the constant swelling of the stream.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 95
An excellent view of the eastern portion of the submerged portion of the
town was afforded from the canal ; but this locality being sparsely settled in
comparison with the lower part of the town, there were fewer scenes of desti-
Cumminsville is now completely shut off from communication with the city
by land. The residents being mostly engaged in business in the city, either re-
main here or reach their homes by the Elm Street line of street cars to Burnet
Woods, followed by a half-mile walk through Clifton, or a boat ride over the
inundated streets to the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad track.
There is no way of reaching Cumminsville by avoiding a boat ride, unless by a
walk to Winton Place, where there is a high and dry crossing.
Dayton and Bellevue, Ky., came in for their full share of
misery, destruction and misfortune. Both towns were sub-
merged completely. There were hopes entertained that at
least a part of the towns would be spared, but all who enter-
tained them were doomed to disappointment. Nothing was
to be seen but the hurrying to and fro and the cries of the
distressed as they betook themselves to higher quarters. The
-same old story of houses being lifted from their foundations
and carried away, people driven from their homes or into the
upper stories and attics of their buildings, and huddled to-
gether in such numbers as to make life almost a burden,
were met here as elsewhere. The loss in Dayton is not less
than $100,000. Everything seemed desperate. The people
appeared to yield to their fate with a kind of resigned despair.
It seems almost like a dream now, but the i/fth of February,
1884, witnessed perhaps more distress and privation at Cin-
cinnati and in the towns in the vicinity than any locality in
the United States ever experienced in its history before, and
when we consider that it was the same and, in scores of in-
stances, far worse, for a distance of nearly one thousand
miles, we see how inadequate are words to describe and how
the mind fails even to comprehend the heighth and depth of it.
We will now leave Cincinnati and glance at what the great
waters are doing for the towns and cities below. The first
town below Cincinnati of importance is Lawrenceburg, a
town of near 4,000 inhabitants, separated from Ohio only by
the Miami River that has also been taking a leading part in
this great drama of destruction. Of all the towns in the
Ohio Valley, Lawrenceburg seems to have been most ill-
fated and most helpless from her situation and surroundings.
The Big Miami broke through the levees built at great ex-
pense, and poured a deep and rapid stream through her very
streets, so swift and irresistible as to almost make the getting
about in boats and skiffs impracticable. Hundreds of houses
were toppled over and swept away lightly upon the tide, as
06 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
though made -expressly to float swiftly and buoyantly as
transports of peace and prosperity. Large substantial struc-
tures, that looked as though built for all enduring time, were
undermined and burst, sometimes falling in and sometimes
falling out, endangering everything within reach. Each
hour, moment you might say, added a new feature of destruc-
tion and dismay. For ten days, without cessation, the
mad work of the deluge went on, many of the people cling-
ing to their property up to the last moment, only to see it
swept away or crumbled into piles of wreck and rubbish.
Fed only by the charitable hand of the outside world,
twenty-seven hundred and eighty-four people a thousand or
more had fled, abandoning everything cooped up in the
narrowest of quarters, and fed through the windows of the
top-most stories with rations as though they were in hospitals,
out of fuel, out of clothing, many women with infants in
their arms, and up to the knees in water, watching long, dark
and wearisome nights through, afraid to close their eyes in
slumber even were it practicable for them to do so, for fear
of crashing buildings and falling walls. No one can think
of their direful situation without a chill of horror. Mrs.
Utz, an invalid old lady, was taken trom the upper windows
of her insecure home, and bound to her bed, and taken over
the heaving waters in a skiff to Newtown, where hundreds
of others had gone for safety. The groans of the almost
dying woman, as she was carried on her bed through the crowd
to the landing, caused many an eye to moisten, and presented
another phase of the terrible calamity that had smitten the
town. Amidst all this could be heard the crashing of the
timbers every now and then, first upon this side, and then
upon that, of some factory or mill upon which hundreds de-
pended for a living saw-mills, with hundreds of thousands of
feet of lumber, pushing out in the endless chain of wreck
furniture factories coffin factories all sorts of industries
that maintain the people of the place. The loss to property
here is estimated at $500,000. There is no such thing as de-
scribing it. It was simply awful.
The town of Lawrenceburg has had a long and terrible
experience of floods. The following, from the Palladium,
of that town, of February 27, 1832, shows vividly the state
of the case then :
''The height of the water at this place over the great flood of 1815 was five
feet nine inches, and over that of 1825 about eight feet. High Street, the most
elevated part of the old town, was covered from four to six feet its whole
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 97
extent. On some of the cross streets the water was still deeper, and the inhab-
itants compelled to seek refuge elsewhere. The injury done to buildings was
trifling not a single building was carried off entirely. The principal los>s is in
fences, corn and hay."
Bad as seemed the situation here, it was almost duplicated
at nearly every town on both sides of the river, on down be-
low. Whenever the highest marks were touched, no matter
what preparation had been made to receive the flood, it
seemed like labor lost. Houses weighted down with rocks
on the roof would become top heavy and fall over whenever
they began to float ; tied with cables they were snapped as
though they were rotten. Bridges, weighted down with
rocks, would become undermined on one side or the
other oftentimes, and the rocks only assisted in their de-
struction. Merchants would store their stocks in the upper
stories, and in many instances pile them on the very house
tops, and covering them with tarpaulins or boards, and
weighting these down with rocks, would feel that they had
made all safe, when a wall would fall, or some part of the
building give way, and the work of many hands for many
days be undone in a moment.
The entire town of Hardintown, near the Lawrenceburg
Junction, two miles from Lawrenceburg, was inundated and
the entire population driven from their homes. Nearly all
the inhabitants gathered on the hillsides, and quartered with
neighboring farmers. A little church called Bellview,in the
neighborhood, had a big congregation continuously. Nearly
fifty families made it their home. From Hardintown to Val-
ley Junction, a distance of eight miles, all the land between
was covered by from twenty to thirty feet of water.
At Aurora, Ind., the situation was not much of an im-
provement on Lawrenceburg. All west of it was a dead sea
of water. The water on the Ohio & Mississippi track, back
of town, was more than two and one-half feet deep, cutting
the town off from all connection with other places. Here,
as in Lawrenceburg, houses were tumbled in promiscuous
ruin. The loss to the town is estimated at near a quarter
of a million dollars. The distilleries come in for a large
share of loss. The water was all over the town ; the banks,
postoffice every business had to be conducted, if conducted
at all, in the upper stories. There was little business, how-
ever, except that of panic-stricken citizens fleeing to Sutton'*
Hill. After the water got over the marks of last year, the p-
pie began to think it never would stop. If they had been to
98 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
that it would go over the steeples of the churches they would
have believed it. They were thoroughly alarmed. When a
town or city finds itself in such a situation as not to be able
to take care of itself, and compelled to depend on outside as-
sistance for the very commonest necessaries of life, then,
surely, if at no other time, it is both right and proper that they
should become alarmed. It is a time to struggle for life, and
let property take care of itself. It was so in Aurora. The
situation was touching and pathetic.
Rising Sun was one of the "high and dry" towns. It
was the incentive to much pride and congratulation during
the flood. All the country between the town and Arnold's
Creek Bridge, however, was a flooded district. Not more
than twenty-five or thirty houses in the town got into water,
and they in the lower part of the city. Patriot, Ind., was
submerged, and suffered greatly. Warsaw, Ky., was pretty
well baptized, but got along very well. Nearly the whole
town of Florence, Ind., was submerged, and some of it very
deep. Nearly all the surrounding country was flooded, and
it was found necessary to send much aid there.
Markland, Ind., was pretty well inundated, but took ex-
treme precautionary measures and thereby reduced her
losses very materially. The country back is rich and pros-
perous, and any who were in distress were well provided
for. Between this place and Vevay hundreds of houses
were under water, and there was a great deal of suffering.
Most of those living on the hillsides were in miserable hovels
that were washed down and into the river, the occupants
fleeing to the hills or anywhere they could find shelter. Some
families were seen living under sheds that had nothing but a
roof, and almost nothing to preserve the lives of the family.
Vevay sets back from the river and on quite an elevation ;
still a good portion of the city got her foot into it. Lots of
the inferior houses, in what is known as Slabtown, were
washed away. All the way from Vevay to Madison there
was the same picture of desolation. Opposite Madison, at
Milton, a town of 350 people, all were flooded, and the whole
surrounding country was a desolate looking waste of muddy,
angry looking water. Perhaps there was no place more so
between Madison and Lawrenceburg.
At Madison, near three thousand people were houseless and
destitute. The river got two and one-half feet higher than in
1883, but by the time the greatest height of water reached there,
which was on the i6th, the charities of the country were
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 99
in such a well organized condition as to send immediate re-
lief, all that was needed, and while suffering considerably in
loss and damage to property, fared excellently compared
with many other towns. The water was a foot deep on the
second floor of the Western Hotel, and the backwater ex-
tended around on the north side of the city on West Street,
inundating Springdale Cemetery, and the lowlands for sev-
eral miles below. Seven houses were washed out of East
End and also out of Milton, opposite. Business of all kinds
was suspended in the face of the overwhelming disaster.
Passing by the scores of towns, villages, landings and pri-
vate property on the river banks of Indiana and Kentucky,
and almost numberless happy little farm homes that lie be-
tween, that were savagely and mercilessly dealt with by the
foaming torrent, we will tarry awhile at Jeffersonville, Louis-
ville and New Albany, all adjacent to each other, and all suf-
ferers by the flood.
At Louisville the river rose to the great height of forty-six
feet and eight inches, reaching those marks on the evening
of the I5th of February, and there hanging until n a. m. on
the i6th. This was in the canal. In the channel at the foot
of the falls it reached seventy-one feet, or one foot above the
flood of 1883. The whole of the north bank of the canal
was under water for the first time since its construction, the
United States Engineer having elevated it some three feet
above the great flood of 1832. The water went, on the i5th,
four feet above that flood. As the waters went down the cry
of suffering went up. It is no exaggeration to say that from
Louisville to Utica, several miles above, as far as the eye
could reach, there was nothing to be seen between the hills
but inundated farms and tenantless houses, with their chim-
neys and roofs occasionally peeping above the water. Turned
over on their sides were dwellings, barns and outhouses,
many of them tumbled down banks or lodged against steep
hillsides in the most ridiculous and grotesque positions.
Sometimes one would be settled in some thicket, where
the topmost branches of the surrounding trees had de-
tained it until the water went down, when, settling, it had
mashed down the trees and spread them out, and was finally
sustained eight or ten feet above the ground, as though it
had been erected on stilts. On the bank, a few miles above
Louisville, a correspondent describes a house lying (half re-
clining, we would say) against the bank, with windows and
doors out, chimney gone, and presenting as open and sad a
100 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
countenance as a good house ought to, while up over the door
was a lamp-black sign, that had stood the wear and tear of
the flood, on which were the words: "For Rent Inquire
Within." It was not worth while at this particular juncture,
for not even a rat or hooting-owl would have taken up its
habitation in so lonesome looking a shanty. Many nice,,
white-painted cottages, with green blinds, and four or five
rooms in them, all presenting an air of thrift and independ-
ence, have stopped in fields far from the river banks, and, in
some cases, wandered up little bayous and dropped down in
the most inaccessible places for even tearing them to pieces
and hauling them away. Up these creeks, and away off ten
and twelve miles, were some of the extremest cases of suffer-
ing found. In Bullitt County, near Pitt's Point, a family
named Wilkinson lived for six days on three bushels of
corn, which they ate raw. Being cut off from all com-
munication, they were found by accident, and removed to
high ground, and properly cared for. Such cases all along
the Valley were so frequent it became a part of the task of
the relief boats and companies to look for them.
The situation at Louisville was getting very critical as early
as on the nth. Citizens living in the southeastern portion of
the city were very much excited through fear of being driven
from their homes. Beargrass Creek was rolling out its head-
waters in tremendous volume, which almost reached the
bridge across it on the east end of Broadway, and threaten-
ing to flood that street and cause great loss. The I2th found
East Broadway submerged. Trains to Cincinnati on the
Short Line were withdrawn. Trains to Jefivrsonville and
New Albany had ceased. Telegrams from above regarding
Kentucky River caused fear and anxiety in every counten-
ance. Several houses were tumbling down in the submerged
district. Hundreds more were in great jeopardy. The canal
and its approaches at the upper end was nothing but a sea of
muddy water. Five thousand people were homeless by the
I4th, and another house going over somewhere almost with
every wave or inch of rise. Everywhere a waste of water
prevailed. Below West Point the bottoms were flooded miles
wide. At Rock Haven, Ky., the houses were all destroyed,
and the village entirely deserted. The famous "Kidner"
cedar farm was overflowed, and the cement mill, employing
fifty hands, flooded. Brandenburg, where John Morgan
crossed the Ohio in his famous raid, was " high and dry.' r
Enterprise had only five houses left, and 300 people the en-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 101
tire population of the village were living in them. At New
Amsterdam, out of a population of 250, 150 had been routed
from homes. At Leavenworth, Ind., 1,000 inhabitants, the
water had covered the entire site of the town, and 600 peo-
ple had been driven out. Scarcely a frame house was rest-
ing on its foundation. Is it any wonder, then, that the Louis-
ville citizen, looking towards Pittsburgh, and towards Cairo,
and with the swelling tide all about him, should pale with
At Jeffersonville the situation was awful. The bent-wood
works were damaged many thousands ; the glass works, fur-
naces and ovens were ruined. Four hundred men were at
work on the streets fighting for the property of the town
against the mighty tide. Every street and alley was covered
with water. Shops, shipyards and other industries sub-
merged, and nothing but flood and anxious, despairing souls
to be seen. Near Clarksville a house was caught floating in
a slough, that contained a family of four persons, all dead.
At this point it was the Cumberland River that was doing the
mischief. From the headwaters down it was overflowing the
whole country on both sides, driving hundreds of families
from the depressions, many having to leave their homes in
canoes. Great distress existed below Clarksville, where the
raging waters of the Cumberland were backed by the Ohio.
Clarksville itself was drowned out completely. The same
was true with the Tennessee River. The waters of every
stream had become relentless and irresistible. We speak
above of 400 men being at work on the streets. This was all
shortly after abandoned. The flooding waters entered first
from the rear of the town, and left none unvisited.
New Albany was quite as bad off. The river came to a
stand here at 9 o'clock on the night of the I5th twenty-three
inches higher than in 1883, with seventy-three feet in the
channel. There was no end to damage, wreck and ruin.
A citizen could not stand and look in any direction without it
-stared him in the face. The whole river bottoms for ten miles
below were the same as if swept with a prairie fire of houses,
barns, fences and outbuildings. The water stands five feet
<leep in the L., N. A. & C. Depot, and trains have to leave
from East Fourth Street. The water is three feet over West
Springs Street, in places. It reaches Oak Street, on State,
Pearl, Bank, and East Third Streets. The backwater and
Silver Creek united over Vincennes Street, making an island
of the city. A three-story brick, Penn Block, on North
102 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
State Street, was undermined, and came down in fearful
wreck, and twenty other houses floated off their foundations.
Every cross stream was full of wreck and debris of the flood.
Probably 800 houses were in the water ; many of the families
inhabiting them were now in the Court House, City Hall,
and in box cars of the railroad. The loss here is estimated
at between $200,000 and $300,000. On Tuesday night, the
i pth, a terrible storm swept over this section, doing nearly as-
much damage as was done by the flood. In the cities the
damage from the storm was confined to the flooded districts,
but in all the country round the farmers met with terrible
losses, even where they had not been flooded.
At Rockport, Ind., some distance below, a party returning
from the wedding of Ira Zenor, on a ferry boat, nine men
and three women in all, were struck by the same storm, and
blown back among thick timber, where they all managed to-
get hold on an easy tree to climb, and got up among the
branches, holding on for dear life. The ferry boat went to-
the bottom, with everything on board, including a hack and
span of fine horses. Mr. John Landon and his son, Wash-
ington, hearing their cries, went to their assistance, in great
peril to their own lives, and succeeded in getting the party,,
cold and benumbed, to places of safety.
In Louisville and Jeflersonville a great number of houses
were demolished by the wind, but they were almost altogether
those that were in a weak condition by the flood. The wind
blew with a velocity of sixty miles an hour. The losses are
We will pass on, however, through this gauntlet of destruc-
tion, to Evansville. In the beginning of the flood Evansville
was a place of refuge for many towns situated on a lower
level, for twenty miles, both above and below, and between
thirty and forty families were brought there from towns al-
ready submerged. A Relief Committee was organized right
in the start, and taking a boat, went to other points where
they were in distress, and brought them to Evansville, and
cared for them, which was exceedingly commendable on the
part of the citizens of that city. Over 250 people from Ken-
tucky had taken refuge at Newburg and Enterprise, and 168-
families in and about Grand View, ten miles from Evans-
ville, were homeless, and in a distressed condition. Evans-
ville interested herself in their condition, and aided them in.
every way ; also, they telegraphed the facts to the Secretary
of War, and Governor Porter, of Indiana. All this time the
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 103
Wabash and Tennessee were rising with great rapidity, and
pouring floods of" water into the already monstrous Ohio, and
causing it to rise with great regularity and perseverance.
Uniontown, below, was getting into very bad shape. The
town was under to the depth of several feet. Between Union-
town and Shawneetown, the country on both sides of the
river, as far as the eye could reach, was a vast waste of water,
trees alone marking the dividing line between the river and
the shores and the general course of the river. Mt. Vernon and
Henderson were faring well up to this time, being situated,
like Evansville, above the ordinary level of towns along the
banks ; but Bridgeport, Rosewood, West Haven, Wolf Creek,
Alton, Manchport, Amsterdam, Leavenworth, Derby, Rome,
Stephensport, Cloverport, Tobinsport, Hawesville, Tell City,
Maxville, were all enduring trials that only the flooded know.
The people had fled entirely away from the towns of Bridge-
port, Rosewood, and Maxville. Indeed, nearly the last ves-
tige of these towns was swept away. Thirty thousand rations
were distributed, with great economy, to these little towns,
almost daily, for about two weeks. Not till the igth, five
days after the water had reached its highest point at Cincin-
nati, did it reach its culminating point at Evansville, making
forty-eight feet and one-quarter inch, or two and three-quar-
ter inches higher than in 1883. It is rather a singular coin-
cidence that the two greatest floods that ever visited the Ohio
Valley should cease to rise and begin to recede on the same
day of the month, and at the same hour (10 a. m.) of the
day. That afternoon, at about half-past four o'clock, a storm
of great violence struck the city, making sad havoc among
shaky buildings, and the shipping at the wharf, sinking boats,
and barges of coal that were held in great need at that time,
damaging the wharf boats, which were driven on shore, and
tearing down house after house on the Kentucky side. Out
of ten houses standing in a group at Newburg, twelve miles
above, only two were to be seen after the storm. The only
wonder is that this terrific storm was not followed by great
loss of life from those inhabiting the second stories of their
houses, but all of these houses were closely watched, and on
the slightest crack or undermining being discovered, they
were abandoned at once, with whatever the unfortunate oc-
cupants could gather. Many would hardly get out until the
house would fall, entirely demolished, and the fleeing inhab-
itants, in the midst of their great suffering, would rejoice with
great gratitude that it was no worse with them. This storm,
104 HISTORY OF THE GRKAT FLOOD OF 1884.
that swept down the Valley, and which was felt to some ex-
tent in places severely on the upper Ohio, was one of the
worst features of the flood. It was estimated that fully one-
half of the corn hauled from the bottoms and stored along the
river in large depots and warehouses was lost. The river on
the morning after the storm was literally strewn with the
wrecks of houses carried away by the gale. Fifty houses
were washed away at Fairplay. Many people had to be res-
cued from trees and the hills, some badly frozen. Two men
were taken, badly frozen and exhausted, from a tree where
they had clung, in wet garments, for six hours, during the
darkness of the night, not knowing when the bending, quiv-
ering tree would give way and hurl them into the great mael-
strom of waters. At Scuffleton, Ky., twelve houses were
carried away by the storm, and some narrow escapes made
of women and children from watery graves. This storm
penetrated far into the interior, and caused great loss of life
and property at many places.
At Paducah their serious troubles began on the nth. The
river did not reach its greatest height until the night of the
22d, when it marked fifty-four feet two and three-quarter
inches, or two feet two and three-quarter inches higher than
in 1867, the previous highest stage of water known. It would
take between $200,000 and $300,000 to set Paducah back
where she was before the flood. The water never reached a
level with the town until the iyth. Up to this time the peo-
ple had been in the best of spirits, business was good, and
Paducah was lending her best aid to her unfortunate neigh-
bors. But between this and the 19111 the water had been
creeping slowly on and on, until her whole river front was
flooded. At this critical time the same fierce storm that had
played such havoc above, swept down on Paducah. The
hard dashing of the water soon began to move and crumble
the large tobacco warehouses, oil warehouses, and other large
depots of merchandise, and one after another they tumbled
into ruin. One firm lost 300 hogsheads of tobacco.. The
damages on this one night alone amounted to $125.000 on the
wharf of Paducah. The tobacco warehouse of Buckner &
Brann, which was destroyed, covered an acre of ground
the largest sale tobacco warehouse in the United States. In
addition to the loss of several of these large warehouses of
merchandise, fifteen houses, worth from $200 to $i,oooeach,
were beaten to pieces and washed away.
The damage to Metropolis from this storm was dreadful,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 105
amounting to $150.000. At New Liberty forty houses,
already deserted on account of their depth in water, were
beaten down and washed away. At Smithland, an already
badly wrecked town, thirty houses went down. The greatest
distress and destitution prevailed. At Paducah alone i ,500 peo-
ple were being fed by the Relief Committees. Over one-half of
the inhabitable part of the city was in water, while the
highest points were not more than two and a-half feet out.
Paducah showed much enterprise and independence in look-
ing out and caring for herself, and received just as little
as she could get along with. It is a great task to take care
of 2,000 homeless people without preparations for company,
and when distressed yourself, but Paducah did it, and did it
well, with but little outside aid.
A colored man and child, and colored woman and two
children, run out of their homes on Indian Creek, in Ten-
nessee, started down the creek in a canoe. In a strong
current the canoe struck a tree and the five were thrown out.
The man and child were swept away and drowned, but the
woman in falling caught two of the children, and falling
against a tree she wrapped her arms around it, with a child in
each hand, and held on for two terrible hours, when, finally
attracting attention by her cries, they were rescued.
At Shawneetown, above Paducah, a great many fled to the
hills. Quite a number of the inhabitants were very sick
during the flood, and a number died. As early as the I4th
the water was getting over the town and routing people who
lived in one-story houses, who took refuge on the hills back.
These people suffered terribly from the cold, being unable to
supply themselves with fuel. Through the streets the river
current was running at the rate of eight or nine miles an
hour, weakening the foundations of the buildings. It was
estimated that between Raleigh and Saline, a distance of
fifteen miles, 150,000 bushels of corn were swept away. In
all that distance only four lots, amounting in all to 50,000
bushels, were known to have escaped. In the town the
depth of water ranged from fifteen to forty feet. Skiffs
passed over good sized houses, and were so far above them
they could hardly reach the roofs with the oars. These
houses were literally weighted down with rocks ; so that peo-
ple may see what desperate measures were taken, and what a
"vast amount of labor people went to to secure their property.
Above and below Shawneetown, for miles, was nothing
but a vast sheet of water, on whose bosom were strewed
106 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
tin' wrecks of many happy homes, and the savings of many
We now come to Cairo, the terminus of this mad stream*
that has wrought such widespread devastation to so many
happy and prosperous homes, villages, towns and cities.
Cairo and Mound City, just above, are both protected by a
system of levees. As long as the levees hold there is no
danger, but breaks are always feared, and the -suspense in
time of high water is nearly as bad as the flood itself in real-
ization. Large forces were put to work on these, repairing
and keeping a watchful eye over every part of them. As
soon as a break occurred, sand bags were placed in the break.
At Mound City, bulkheads were built and sand bags packed
against them, and every washout that occurred was given a
heavy dose of sand bags at once. All of New Madrid, Mo.,
was under water, and great reports of suffering and destitu-
tion, both from above and below, coming constantly to the
ears of those people, made them doubly watchful and vigi-
lant. Several slides occurred at Mound City, but a large
train of dirt and rock arriving opportunely on the Wabash
Road, and the citizens all turning out and exerting them--
selves to the utmost, the breach was repaired and the city
saved. A large gap was cut in the National Cemetery road,
which, letting the water across the country, relieved it ot
much of its strain. Much the same scenes were going on
constantly at Cairo up to the 23d, when the river stood still
at fifty-one feet ten inches, about the same height of the year
before. The tornado of that week, which occurred on Tues-
day night, washed away at Uniontown thirty houses, three
of them large warehouses, one containing several thousand
bushels of wheat belonging to Captain Hambleton ; six houses
at Raleigh ; New York and Algiers were entirely swept
away ; fifteen houses were carried away from Fairplay ;
twenty from Franklin ; Blackburn was washed away. At
Smithland thirty houses went off, including Leister's ware-
house and a large stock of goods ; half of the people were
left in want. New Liberty was nearly destroyed. The mill,
Shearer's residence and store, and the hotel, were left, but
with contents hardly fit to use again. At Metropolis, fifty-
four buildings were wrecked. The Yankee Saw-mill lost
70,000 feet of walnut lumber and veneers, valued at $10,000.
Shelton & Co.'s Stove Foundry was wrecked, and many
business houses with all they contained. The loss here is
estimated at $150,000. At Joppa, just below Metropolis,.
t HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 107
thirteen stores and residences were damaged or destroyed,
the loss amounting to many thousands. On Wednesday
morning", the 2Oth, three colored men and one white man
were rescued here from a tree top, where they had rested all
But while all these fearful scenes were being enacted, what
were all the towns and cities of the interior, which had
escaped this terrible visitation, doing? Were they standing
idly at rest, congratulating themselves that they were not as
bad oft' as their neighbors, and U nding no friendly aid to the
sufferers? Ah, no. With the very first appeal for aid came
a prompt response. First from those near by ; extending,
however, like a ripple on the water, it gathered and spread
all over the continent in a mighty wave, until even the hill-
tops were flooded with sympathy and aid, and it came roll-
ing down by train, and by steamboat, and by express, and
by mail, and by telegraph, and by messenger, until every
hungry soul was fed, and every naked back was clothed, and
every head sheltered. Such an outpouring of charity the
world has s*eldom seen or witnessed. These usually prosper-
ous, happy and progressive people in the Ohio Valley are
very near and dear to every State in the Union, and it was a
genuine pleasure for the people everywhere to respond with
aid and sympathy. It is difficult to tell who was first, so
simultaneous was the response. Wherever the cry was heard
it was answered. Great corporations answered ; banks an-
swered ; merchants, churches, schoolchildren, women, em-
ployes, everybody answered. The railroads carried what-
ever was given gratuitously. The telegraph lines were kept
busy, and not a cent asked for the service. The telephone
lines sung free songs. The express companies charged
nothing. Steamboats offered their services free, and all felt
for once, if they never did before, that it was more blessed
to give than to receive. It was a royal uprising, and the
silver lining to the dark and angry cloud that hovered over
the Ohio Valley. Such munificent charity, such overflowing
sympathy, seemed almost too good to be of human origin,
and reminded us that the better side of man is but little lower
than the angels after all.
The following proclamations were issued by Governors
Porter, of Indiana, and Hoadly, of Ohio :
INDIANAPOLIS, February u, 1884.
To the People of Indiana: The Ohjo River has already risen to a
height exceeding the flood of 1883, and its waters are still rising. The suffer-
108 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ing of the inhabitants of the State resulting in the overflowed towns and on
the bottom lands is likely to be very great unless prompt relief is given. When
the calamity of 1883 occurred, the people of the State, with noble generosity,
vied with each other in giving help. They will not be less mindful of the suf-
fering now. Better provision has been made in some respects for the present
<ii>;istcr than was made for that of last year. Contributions of clothing and
bedding are not, it is understood, at present desired, but money is greatly
needed, with which immediately to purchase foou, and contributions of flour,
meal and salt meats are needed where money cannot be conveniently spared.
Last year the Relief Committee of the Indianapolis Board of Trade was most
prompt, energetic and faithful in distributing the means of relief placed in its
I appeal most earnestly, therefore, to all the people of the State, who have
means to do so, to promptly contribute in money or tood to the relief of the
inhabitants of the overflowed region. And it gives me pleasure to announce
to them, where they have not selected other agents, that any contributions
sent to N. S. Byram, chairman of the above mentioned committee; Albert
E. Fletcher, treasurer thereof, or V. T. Malott, Esq., a member thereof, will
promptly and faithfully be applied to the purpose intended.
ALBERT G. PORTER, Governor.
W. R. MYERS, Secretary of State.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February i2th, 1884.
To the People of Ohio: The distress existing along our southern borders
can not well be exaggerated. Many thousands of our fellow-citizens are with-
out food^md shelter. The press has brought vividly to the attention of us all
the details of the sorrow and suffering which the present flood has entailed
upon our people. The duty of the citizens of Ohio is to furnish relief, and
that immediately. 1 urge upon every community in the State to organize at
once lor the purpose of providing for the relief of their unfortunate fellow-
citizens who live on the banks of. the Ohio. Everything is needed, and at every
point along the State boundary, except at Cincinnati, which is taking care of her
own sufferers. Money, clothing, shelter, and food must be provided, and that
speedily, or loss of life will be the result. An energetic comniittee ,of which
Mr. P. W. Huntington is the chairman, has been organized in Columbus. This
committee will undertake the task of distribution. If the General Assembly
should provide for the creation of a State Relief Committee, the appointments
will be made immediately, and said commission will also undertake the task of
distribution. No time should be lost. Organization should be effected, and
what may be given for the purpose forwarded immediately.
I appeal, therefore, to all the good people of Ohio to take steps without de-
lav to assist the various Relief Committees in their efforts to stay the tide of
distress which is overwhelming the borders of the State.
Given under my hand and the great seal of the State of Ohio, at Columbus,
this i2th day of February, 1884. GEORGE HOADLY,
JAMES W. NEWMAN, Secretary of State.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 14, 1884.
To the People of O/iioi r-Under the authority of the Act of the General Assem-
bly " for the relief of the sufferers in this State by the present flood," I have ap-
pointed Charles W. Constantine, of Springfield ; John W. Byrne, of Branch
Hill ; William H. Wallace, of Steubenville ; Joshua S. Crew, of Zanesville,
and P. W. Huntington, of Columbus, Commissioners, and they have qualified
and organized under the name of "The Ohio State Relief Commission."
For the purpose of avoiding was,te and duplication of bounty, I respectfully
urge the good people of Ohio, whose hearts are moved with sympathy for the
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
sufferings of their fellow-citizens, to make their gifts through this commission.
I make this request with the full concurrence of the Columbus Committee, of
which Mr. Huntington is chairman. Shipments and remittances should be
made to ' The Ohio State Relief Commission, Columbus, Ohio." The com-
mission has ample facilities for distribution, and is devoting itself with zeal,
energy and judgment to the work. Given under my hand and the great seal
of the State of Ohio, at the City of Columbus, this I4th day of February, A.
D. 1884. GEORGE HOADLY.
By the Governor:
JAMKS W. NEWMAK, Secretary of State.
These proclamations were supplemented with eloquent ap-
peals from leading citizens of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky,
to Congress and the State Legislatures. The House Com-
mittee on Ways and Means agreed, on the morning of the
i ith of February, to report a bill asking Congress for an im-
imediate appropriation of $300,000 for the sufferers by the
Ohio River flood. Later in the day the bill was introduced
by Mr. Follett. Mr. Hiscock made inquiry whether the Ohio
Legislature had made any appropriation for this purpose, or
made any attempt to relieve the sufferers. Mr. Follett replied
it had made an appropriation, and so had the Cincinnati
Chamber of Commerce. So far as Cincinnati was con-
cerned, she would take care of her own, but Cincinnati was
now asking for temporary relief for people caught in a calam-
ity unprecedented since the beginning of the Government.
It was not a question of what the letter of the Constitution or
the law might be. It was the cry of distress. Mr. Hiscock said
he would not have the hardihood to vote against the measure,
but he had expected the gentlemen from New York and
Connecticut would call attention to the fact that there
might be in this resolution a violent attack on the Constitu-
tion. No great State like Ohio an Empire ought to come
here when the Legislature was in session and ask to have
her citizens supported from the Treasury. Mr. Conner ex-
pressed his heartfelt support of the measure. Mr. Bayne
could discover no constitutional difficulty in the way of an
appropriation. Mr. Horr contended the pending measure
came within the pale of the Constitution. Mr. Goff said the
gentleman from New York (Hiscock) spoke as if Ohio
should manage this question herself. There were to-day
millions of people suffering because of the great flood, and
not in Ohio alone, but in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and
Kentucky. In the face of the great calamity it was no time
to split hairs on a constitutional question. Mr. Taylor, of
Ohio, warmly supported the measure, but predicted $300,-
ooo would be insufficient for the purposes of relief, and de-
110 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
clared $1,000,000 would not be more than sufficient. Mr.
Belford was glad an opportunity had been found to open the
vaults of the Treasury and to relieve the Government of the
surplus revenue so diligently hoarded and scrupulously kept
by a Secretary of the Treasury from New York. Talk about
the Constitution ! Talk about law ! Humanity was greater
than any Constitution ever formulated by any people. It
was humanity for which the Constitution was 'made and laws
wore enacted. Mr. Hiscock said that, having reported in
the last Congress a bill for the relief of the Mississippi suffer-
ers, he didn't suppose anyone would think he was troubled
with any constitutional question. He was not, and yet he
\\as in favor of this sort of thing being confined to States
which are not in condition to expend money themselves. Mr.
Cox, of New York, questioned the constitutionality of the
measure. It should have been passed in silence, and if there
was any breach of the Constitution, God Almighty, in his kind-
ness, would pardon it. There were some diseases no fore-
sight could anticipate or cure, and one of these was the ca-
lamity now in the country ; and if he could not give his hand
or his head he would give his heart to this vote. [Applause.]
Messrs. Reagan, Townshend, Blount, Jordan, Warner and
Eaton spoke in favor of the bill. Mr. Wilson offered an
amendment increasing the appropriation to $500,000. Mr.
Follett said the committee thought $300,000 sufficient. The
amendment was rejected yeas, 109 ; nays, 159. The joint
resolution was then passed yeas, 233 ; nays, 12.
On the 1 3th, the Ohio Legislature debated the bill
appropriating $200,000 for the flood sufferers. An amend-
ment, making the amount $300,000, was lost and $200,000
appropriated, and in accordance with the wishes of Gov.
Hoadly, authority was given him to appoint a Commission of
Five to attend to the distribution. The Governor thought
this a better plan, as the State officers were busy and could
not well leave Columbus, and the work could be better per-
formed by a Commission. The following were appointed :
C. W. Constantine, of Springfield : John Byrne, of Branch
Hill ; Wm. H. Wallace, of Steubenville ; Joshua S. Crew, of
Zanesville, and P. W. Huntington, of Columbus. Mr. Con-
stantine was elected President and Mr. Huntington, Secre-
tary. The inundated territory was divided into the follow-
ing districts : From the State line on the east to Newport, to
be known as District No. I ; from Newport to Pomeroy as
District No. ^ ; from Pomeroy west to the State line as Dis-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. Ill
trict No. 3. District No. i was assigned to W. H. Wallace;
District No. 2 to J. S. Crew ; District No. 3 to John Byrne,
C. W. Constantine and P. W. Huntington Mr. Hunting-
ton remaining at Columbus in charge of the funds. On the
i5th, a joint resolution from the House, in Congress, appro-
priating an additional $200,000, was passed, and the Presi-
dent of the Senate instantly affixed his signature. On the
I3th, the Kentucky Legislature appropriated $25,000 for the
sufferers. This was, on the I5th, increased by an additional
$75,000, making Kentucky's appropriation entire $100,000.
The Legislatures of Indiana and West Virginia, not being in
session, the citizens of the cities and towns of those States
contributed largely. Here, then, was State and United States
relief, outside of other donations of a private or charitable
character, of near one million dollars in cash. The United
-States having placed her appropriation in the hands of
Secretary of War Robt. T. Lincoln, he acted with the
most commendable promptness. He did not receive the
signed bill till 5 : 30 on the I2th. But in advance, in order
to have the work under way, had at that time telegraphed
authorizing the expenditures annexed to the following Mayors :
Marietta, O. (for Marietta, Harmar and vicinity ), $2,000;
Point Pleasant, W. Va., $500; Guyandotte, W. Va., $500;
Mason City, W. Va., $500; Lawrenceburg, Ind., $2,000;
Hartford City, W. Va., $500; Parkersburg, W. Va., $1,000;
Pomeroy, Ohio, $r,ooo; Gallipolis, Ohio, $1,000; Wheel-
ing, W. Va., $2,000; Steubenville, Ohio, $1,000; Martin's
Ferry, Ohio, $1,000; Bridgeport, Ohio, $1,000; Bellaire,
Governors Hoadly, of Ohio ; Porter, of Indiana, and
Knott, of Kentucky, were equally prompt ; but, with all
promptness, these were works requiring time, and had it not
been for others, who, being nearer to the scenes of devasta-
tion, could act and act knowingly, and with a like prompt-
ness and dispatch, starvation and the direst extremities must
THE OITY OF QALLIPOLIS,
not being a sufferer by the flood, and being but little incon-
venienced thereby, has no tale of cruel devastation and loss
to be told. Her part in that thrilling and never-to-be-forgot-
ten drama was that of the "Good Samaritan" "The
Angel of Mercy" hence, what we shall say of her comes
appropriately here. Being one of the oldest and most favor-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
ably known towns on the river, and with her sons and
daughters scattered over every State and Territory in the
Union, it is with pardonable pride that she rejoices in being
the ONLY REALLY HIGH-WATER TOWN OF NOTE IN THE OHIO
VALLEY. Providence so decreed, and so it is. It is simply
the statement of a cold and solid fact in this connection.
She did not survey the situation, however, with a cold and
unsympathizing heart, nor lurn deaf ears to the wailing cries
of the distressed ones around her.
If Providence designed and nature decreed that there should
be refreshing and fertile oases in the arid desert, and Gibral-
tern rocks in mid-ocean if there should be a balm for every
wound, a rose for every piercing thorn, and a silver lining to
every desolating cloud, it is not too much to imagine that
Gallipolis had as important a part to play, and as important a
trust to fulfill, as did the demon of destruction turned loose in
the Ohio Valley to smite, blight, and strew in mangled wreck
the peaceful and happy homes that were strung as pearls on
a silver strand from the Monongahela and Allegheny to the
Mississippi. If this was the mission of Gallipolis, in the great
flood of 1884, when towns upon towns, and villages and ham-
lets were hemmed in and engulfed by hundreds, and naught
but lamentation and woe ascended from their housetops, then
indeed did she fill her mission well, and was sacred to the
trust reposed in her. Her hands are clean and her conscience
clear. She asks not even commendation or approval. It was
but her simple duty, and she did it without ostentation, her only
pride being in the fact that she was in a situation to render
aid. Her first acts of kindness began with those closest and
most immediately related, Point Pleasant, Addison, Cheshire,
Chambersburg, Millersport, Athalia, and extending up and
down the river as far as her arms could reach. Private sub-
scriptions enabled her to do this, until aid from the interior
began to flow in for her use. The City Council made an ap-
propriation of $500 immediately, and the Board of Health
and Township agreed to take care of any of our own people
living in the bottoms around us, and who were sufferers or
being discommoded, and in need of assistance. But it is not
our purpose to go into the details of the work of the Relief
Committee. This part of the work has been assigned to a
gentleman intimately associated with the work, and who is
acquainted with every step of the committees, in their ardu-
ous and trying undertakings, and will constitute a chapter
by itself. Our purpose is only to describe the general fea-
HISTORY OF THK GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884. 113
turcs of the flood as it appeared here. From the evening of
February 5 to the evening of the next day twenty-four
hours the river jumped up rive feet, or two and a-half inches
an hour. Being already in good stage, this caused many to
say, "We're going to have a big river." This is what they
usually remark here when the water is coming up. We
never are disturbed about floods. We read of them, and have
a vague idea of the suffering, and inconvenience, and loss,
but that is all. On the evening of the 5th, here, the river
began the remarkable experiment of seeing how long it could
advance at the rate of three inches an hour. That seemed
to be its shibboleth and banner cry from Pittsburgh to Cairo.
It was so here, and when it began that remarkable and per-
sistent gait of advance we were exactly fourteen feet below
the rise of February 9, 1883. Fourteen feet on a big river,
from a half to three-fourths of a mile wide, constitutes an
awful volume of water, and seemed too great to be ever re-
peated to the extent of the rise of the year before. But for
eighty-four hours there was an almost unintermittent advance
of three inches an hour. On Friday morning, Februarys,
at 10 o'clock, the marks of February 9, 1883, were reached.
At 8 o'clock, Friday evening, though the advance had be-
come reduced to two and a quarter inches an hour for the
previous six hours, 1832 was reached, and still advancing.
In front of the Public Square, or Park, where the river street
had been graded, the water now began to come into the Park,
This was indeed a wonderful performance for the river here,
and a sight the oldest inhabitants (and but few were left)
had ever seen, but what made it yel more wonderful,
it was advancing steadily. Saturday morning, John C.
Shepard, J. M. Kerr, Chas. Carel and Samuel Vanvleck lilted
a skiff over the Park fence, and a skiff ride was taken inside
that enclosure. Many filled bottles with water inside the en-
closure and sealed them up, marking them, as mementoes of
the great flood.
On Sunday morning at 10 o'clock, February loth, the
water was fifty-two inches above 1832, and reduced to a pro-
gramme of an inch an hour's advance. This it continued
through Sunday night. From Monday morning at 7 o'clock
there was no perceptible rise until after i o'clock p. m., when
it rose an inch, and then stood until I o'clock Tuesday morn-
ing, when a subsidence was noticed, and by 6 o'clock it had
receded three inches. From this time on there was a grad-
ual decline, only falling four feet up to 5 p. m., Wednesday.
1.14 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
in forty hours. At the water's greatest height here, which
might be said to have been all day Monday, February n,
tlu- sceiu's about the city were novel in the extreme. Galli-
polis was a perfect island. The water between Sycamore
Street, at the extreme head of town, to Mill Creek Bridge,
was running with a strong current over the bank, and follow-
ing the railroad track, reached the backwater by it. Only
an inch or so of the top of the arch of the iron bridge over
Mill Creek was out of water. The water in the Park had
advanced past the music stand, in the centre of the Park,
'ncntv-five feet toward Second Street, and George House,
Joseph Rupe, Chas. Stockhoff and Charley Greenwood rode
euurely around the music stand in a skiff. A line stretched
from the Park Central Hotel diagonally through the Park to
Capt. G. W. Cox's residence, on the river end of Court
Street, showed a considerable portion of more than half the
Park to be covered with water. A skiff could now pass over
the Park fence for half the distance along the river front.
The water crept up the graded wharf at the McClurg land-
ing, at the foot of Locust Street, and took that street, passing
the court-house at the depth of three inches, to Capt. J. H.
Evans's building, at the corner of Second and Locust, used
as the Mayor's office, and boards had to be laid down on
bricks above the water for pedestrians crossing Locust on
the north side of Second. The water took the gutters on
Second at this corner, and ran deep enough, at the alley be-
hind the court-house, opening on Second, for a skiff; and in-
deed a youngster, for our especial gratification, pushed a
large John-boat to the mouth of this alley, on Second. It
went yet further up the gutters, meeting in front of A.
Vance's residence the water that followed the gutters from
the river at the foot of Cedar Street and that had taken down
Second. At the foot of Spruce Street it followed the rail-
road track to between Second and Third, and made it im-
passable for pedestrians around Mollohan's corner, only lack-
ing an inch or so of getting to his store floor. On the river
front, below Court, it was on the sidewalks for a third of the
square. From Chickamauga Creek, at the lower end of
town, it wandered up Vine Street to Third, spreading itself
three feet deep on the floor of Anchor Mills, owned by S. F.
Neal. On this street and Fourth it compelled the removal of
several families, and shut up the business houses of Henry
Hannan, William Cook and Stephen Neal, and C. Doep-
ping's blacksmith shop. You could take a skiff at the curb-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 115
stone, at the foot of Third Street, and ride out Vine into
Chickamauga, and rusticate over farms for many miles.
The New Era, Capt. Chas. A. Clendinen's steamboat, of
perhaps 100 tons burthen, did run up Chickamauga to Elza
Mill's residence, four miles back of town, on the railroad,
and carried supplies for the suffering to Gallipolis for a week
or more. Chickamauga backed into Pine Street, and only
lacked eight inches of flooding the floor of Z. Denney's
store. The depot of the C., H. V. &T.R. R. had four feet nine
inches of water on its floor. Between the Dufour House and
the old Coleman corner, opposite, the water was two feet deep.
A large barge was pushed up this street and anchored
in front of J. J. Pool's residence. The Dufour House
fronts on Front Street, with its rear towards the river,
and is consequently as much higher on the river side as
is the decline of the bank. The cellar, kitchen, dining-
room and saloon are all on the bank, below the level
of Front Street. These were completely inundated, and all
business pertaining to them carried on in the floors which
were on a level with the grade of the town. The water
rushed like a torrent, four feet deep, under the county bridge
over the railroad on Mill Creek. These were all strange
and impressive scenes to even the oldest inhabitant, for their
like had never been seen before ; but in the face of all this,
ninety-nine-hundredths of the city was dry and high above
W. R. White, Esq., Surveyor for the County, at our
request, took his instruments and collected the following
facts relative to our position here above the highest water:
The first floor of the Betz Opera House, corner of Second
and State Streets, above high-water mark, one foot five and
three-quarter inches ; first floor of the Park Central Hotel,
corner of Second and State, opposite, one foot eight and
one-half inches ; first floor of the block owned by John
Sanns, P. A. Sanns & Son and Captain James A. McClurg,
on Second, fronting Park, three feet one-half inch ; first floor
of the Ohio Valley Bank, on Second, fronting the Park (the
Shober block), three feet five and one-half inches ; first floor
of Fred. Dages' stove foundry, corner of Second and Grape,
two feet eight inches ; first floor Eureka Mills, Morgan Bros.,
corner of Third and Grape, seven feet five inches ; first floor of
the Geneva Hotel, opposite Eureka Mills, seven feet five
inches ; Wm. C. Miller's block, corner Third and Court Streets,
five feet four inches ; first floor Buckeye Mills, Lawson &
116 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
Bell, northwest end of State Street, eight feet ; first floor of
Union School building, corner Fourtk and Locust, eight feet
five and one-half inches ; lowest step of Court House, be-
tween Front and Second, eight feet three and one-half
inches ; first floor of the M. E. Church, corner of Second
and Cedar Streets, two feet five and one-half inches. The
general average of the twelve points taken above, which
represent neither the lowest and not the highest points in
town by several feet, is five feet and one-half inch. Surveyor
White says : "The foregoing points taken are a very fair
average elevation of the greater portion of the city. The
grade of some of the streets having been cut down from two
to eight feet below the general surface, have caused slight
overflows on Front or River Street, at its intersection with
the cross streets ; yet the buildings are almost all from three
to six feet above the highest marks of February n, 1884
they having been bui'lt before the grading was done, and
the lots on which they stand all being higher than the
streets. Thus it will be seen that it would have taken at
least five feet above the highest mark to have caused any
damage." We might add, in this connection, that though,
no part of the plateau of the city is on a, hill or hillside, yet
there is a very large portion of the city in upper, or east end,
where the level of the street is much higher than any point
taken. It is therefore seen by the reader that when we
say that Gallipolis is a "high and dry" town, above the high-
est water ever known, it is no idle boast, but a literal fact, of
which we should be justly proud. The exact low-water
mark at this point is not known, and the stage of the river at
this time prevents its ascertainment ; but there are marks
here that furnish as reliable a record of the height of one
flood above another as can be found along the river. These
are the stone steps leading from the top of the bank or level
of the yard of Capt. Joseph W. DeVacht, down to nearly
low-watermark. They were laid in 1821, by Col. Luther
Shepard, assisted by Stephen Curry (the latter yet living),
and have neyer been moved. They are as plumb and square
as the day they were laid, the bank having never slipped nor
changed so as to disturb them. The mark of 1832 was cut
by Grandfather De Vacht, father of "Uncle Joe," as he is
familiarly called by all who know the genial and clever old
gentleman, and the 1847 mark was cut in the step by "Uncle
Joe's" brother-in-law, the late Julius Regnier, father of Captain
Charles Regnier, druggist, of this city. The marks of 1883,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 117
and 1884 were cut by Captain Regnier himself, and every
other one by Captain Joseph W. De Vacht, or "Uncle Joe."
The following is the record on these steps :
1852 over 1875 2 9>
1852 over 1883 . 4)^
1847 over 1852 8)
1882 over 1847 I
1847 over 1883
1832 over 1883 2
1884 over 1832 6 3
A silver plate will be placed in these steps, to mark the
water of 1884.
Making 1884 now the standard, we deduce the following
from the above :
1884 over 1832 6 3
1884 over 1847 7 5
1884 over 1852 8
1884 over 1865 ii 8
.1884 over 18715 ; 10 9)^
1884 over i883 8 4)!
Assuming that there were sixty-five feet of water in the
channel here in 1832, it is easy to ascertain the depth in each
year named, and gives for 1884 a depth or heighth of seventy-
one feet three inches, which cannot be much out of the way,
and compares well with other points along the river, as pub-
lished by them. And when it is considered that Gallipolis
can stand, without damage worthy of note, yet another and
additional five feet on top of this, it will impress itself at once
upon the mind of the reader that we occupy the most elevated
-situation of any town of note in the Ohio Valley.
WORK OF THE RELIEF COMMITTEE OF QALLIPOLIS, O.
[PBEPAKED BY THEO. N. WILSON.]
The rapid rise of the waters of the Ohio gave a startling alarm to the inhab-
itants of Gallipolis to " be up and doing ; " to be prepared in the event of the
old Frencli city becoming inundated. Very little fear was entertained for Gal-
lipolis proper, however, ns "ye oldest inhabitant" still held absolute sway
in having the high water mark of 1832 nearly two feet above the highest level
of last year's flood. Tale- of the suffering of the towns and cities above created
deep sympathy in the hearts of our citizens, and it was resolved, by one and all,
that we should succor those who were unfortunate, and that we, who had here-
tofore surveyed from our high position the misery of those around us, slum Id now
step down and go to the relief of our friends who had been driven from their
homes by the angry floods.
118 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
On Saturday, February 9, the Board of Trade held a called meeting, at which-
Messrs Louis Baer, I*. A Sanns, and Silas Brosius were appointed a committee
to act, in conjunction with J. M. Alexander, Mayor of the city, t- to raise funds
for the relief of the Hood sufltrers, and to take such other n eessary steps as the
emergency requires." To iliis committee Messrs W. G. Fuller and William
Kling, memhers of the Cily Council, were added by the Board of Trade.
On Monday, February 11, W. G. Fuller, President of the City Council, called
a meeting of the Council ''to consider their duty in the emergency of the flood
now upon us." The first action of the meeting was to appoint Couucilmeu A.
J. (iiven and M. Mollohau to act with tht committee selected by the Board of
The Relief Committee, now being officially constituted, proceeded to organize
by the election of A. J. Green as chairman, and Louis Baer as secretary and
treasurer. The next act was to charter the steamer New Era, to carry supplies
to needy points above. Previous to this four public-spirited gentlemen, Messrs.
W. H. Harvey, J. Frank Morgan, D. H. Baldridge, and S. A. Dunbar, had, on-
their own account and risk, chartered the steamer Jim Montgomery for the
same purpose, and made a trip up the river as far as Pomeroy, giving food to
those inundated The supplies furnished by these gentlemen had been pur-
chased from funds contributed by citizens of Gallipolis. Messrs. C. Fred Hen-
king and S H. Olmsted, who had, on Saturday, been appointed a committee to
find out the condition of sufferers at Middleport, Pomeroy, and other towns,
reported their condition ' most horrible." The gentlemen on the Jim Mont-
gomery verified this statement, and urged the necessity of continued relief for
the poor sufferers. Messrs. A. J. Green and E. S. Aleshire were then appointed,
to take charge of the steamer Montgomery and proceed up the river with a full:
load of provisions. Mr. Green, having accepted this position, tendered his res-
ignation as Chairman of the Relief Committee, which was accepted. Colonel
W. G. Fuller was elected to the vacancy, and here it is proper to record the
fact that much is due to his executive ability, cool judgment, and gentU manly-
deportment, that the Relief Committee of Gallipolis was enabled to do so much
for the alleviation of suffering in this section of the Ohio Valley. From this
date (February 11), Colon* 1 Fuller retrained at its head, devoting much of his
time, and directing its business in harmony with all. In this he was ably
assisted by the entire committee, which now consisted of Louis Baer, P. A.
Sanns, Silas Brosius, W. G. Fuller and William Kling, appointed by the Board
of Trade; His Honor, J. M. Alexander, Mayor, and A. J. Green and M. Mol-
lohan, appointed by the City Council. The committee were daily in receipt of
many telegrams and letters from abroad, advising donations of money, food and
clothing for the use of the flood sufferers. For over three wee 1 s abundant sup-
plies were shipped over the Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railway,
sometimes as many as seven car loads on a single day. These supplies were re-
ceived into waiehouses. where they were assorted and then shipped on steamers
chartered by the committee, to towns up and down the river, from Marietta to
Portsmouth, a distance of one hundred and eighty miles. At one time thctcom-
mittee had five boats under charter. A strict account of the receipts and dis-
tribution of all goods was kept at the different depots, and a full official report
will be found in this volume. The receipts became so large, and poured in so-
rapidly that four large warerooms were rented to store 'hem. Depot No. 1 was
at first used for all classes of supplies, and was under the personal superintend-
ence of Silas Brosius, assisted by C. H. Schaefer, C. H. McCormick, and Chas.
Depot No. 2 was opened on February 13. This was intended principally for
meat, flour and other provisions, and was placed in charge of Theo. N. Wilson
and Charles Joachim, assisted by Chas. Parsons, O. \V. Jay and John Frank-
lin. Very la r ge supplies of clothing and bedding were coming in rapidly, and
the committee were obliged to open Depots Nos. 3 and 4. These were under-
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 119
the management of John T. Halliday and W. B. Trump, assisted by W. R.
Morgan, John L. Guy, D. S. Trobridge, Henry Skinner, and B. F. Jolley.
Mrs. Wm. Jeffers, Mrs. W. R. Morgan, Mrs. A. J. Carter, Miss H. U. Maxon,
Mrs. Miles, and Mrs. Dr. Sanns, also devoted much time to this department,
and their services were of great benefit.
Many attempts were made to obtain supplies from the depots by parties who
were not flood sufferers, and doubtless the managers were imposed upon in some
instances, but not so much as has been reported. Every possible precaution was
taken to prevent imposition; committees were formed at all the towns between
Marietta and Portsmouth, and it was only upon requisitions and orders from
these committees that provisions and clothing were furnished. " It were better
that ten unworthy persons should be supplied, than to have one needy person
overlooked," was the remark made by more than one individual.
Through the medium of the chartered steamers, over six thousand packages
were distributed in our district ; twenty -six hundred were sent out by the local pack-
ets, and eleven hundred and eighty-eight orders were filled at the depots. The
orders filled at the depots were of various amounts, according to the size and
need of the families, but would probably average a week's supply for six per-
sons, and generally consisted of a twenty-five pound sack of flour, eight pounds
meat, two pounds coffee, two pounds sugar, two pounds rice, two pounds hom-
iny, dried and canned fruits, tea, baking powder, soap, candles, matches, &c.,
with clothing and bedding as required. As a rule, those relieved were thank-
ful, though, of course, among so many, there would be an occasional grumbler,
and some of the demands made upon the managers were amusing. One lady
wanted her stock of jellies and preserves replenished, while another mourned
the ruin of her carpet, and thought a new one should be given her. These,
however, were exceptional cases.
Several gentlemen from abroad visited our city during the flood, and ex-
pressed themselves as highly pleased at the manner in which the General Com-
mittee transacted the vast amount of business devolving upon it. Sixty-five
car loads of miscellaneous supplies were received here. All of this was hand-
led with despatch and regularity. Sub-committees to facilitate the work were
formed as follows :
No. 1 Silab Hrosius, W. G. Brading and Chris. Schaefer ; to take charge of
all the provisions and commissary stores, and order same to be loaded on the
No. 2. John T. Halliday and W. B. Trump ; to take charge of clothing, tents,
boots and shoes, and dry goods generally, and ship the same on the relief boats.
No. 3. P. A. Sanns, Wm. Kling and S. A. Dunbar ; to have charge of the
river transportation, charter boats, and discharge same when necessary.
No. 4. Frank Halliday, James McClurg and W. H. McCormick ; to fur-
nish transportation for the speedy removal of goods upon arrival to the delivery
boats or to the commissary depots.
No. 5. (j. H. McCormick, W. G. Brading and C. H. Schaefer; to judge
upon the merits of local applications for relief.
No. 6. W. G. Fuller, J. T. Halliday and J. M. Alexander ; to receive and
decide upon foreign applications for relief.
No. 7. \V. G. Fuller, J. T. Halliday and A. J. Green ; to direct the relief
steamers where to go after being loaded.
The following steamers were chartered by the Relief Committee of Gallipolis:
Nora Belle, Claribell, New Era, B T. Enos, Champion, Chesapeake, and
Lizzie Johnston. These steamers were under tbe personal charge of the follow-
ing gentlemen : C F. Henking, S. H. Olmsted, W. H. Harvey, J. F. Morgan,
S. A. Dunbar, D. H. B;il<lridge, A. J. Green, E. 8. Aleshirp, M Molloluui, A.
W. Kerns, J. J Mnxon, W. H. Andrews J. T. Hampton, J. W. (iardm-r and
J. D. Olin^t' (I. FWibly others may have been associated with these gentlemen;
if so, we have n<,i their namt-b.
120 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
The General Committee received many demands for fuel and cattle feed.
Upon making known these wants two car loads of ear corn were contributed by
citizens of Groveport and Canal Winchester, and three cur loads of coal were
donated by the Columbus Relief Committee. The corn was placed in the
hands of Chas. I). Bailey and Win. Cherington fos distribution, and J. W.
(iardner took charge of the coal. The Relief Committee also purchased some
four thousand bushels of coal, and Mr. Gardner chartered the steamer New
Era to distribute same, which he did in a most effectual manner. Upon refer-
ence to the official report it will be seen the total number of packages donated
to and purchased by the Committee amounted to 8,749, and consisted of cloth-
ing, provisions, etc. In addition to this there was received 717 bushels of corn
and 5,3-10 bushels of coal.
Before closing this short sketch of the work of the Gallipolis Relief Com-
mittee, it is but right to note the liberality of several corporations toward the
flood sufferers. The Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railway, al-
though heavy losers by the high water, transported sixty-five car loads of sup-
plies, free of charge; Adams Express Company forwarded a large amount of
freight upon the same generous terms, and the Western Union Telegraph Com-
pany transacted all relief business gratis. During the first few days of the
flood, the owners of the steamboats lying here tendered the free use of their
boats to the sufferers above and below the city, and much property was saved
by them. Notably among these liberal gentlemen were the Captains and own-
ers of the steam ferry Champion, and steamers Nora Belle, New Era and Jim
Montgomery. The Chesapeake, Claribell, B. T. Enos, Boone and Luella also
assisted the Committee by tree transportation of supplies. The tow-boat Vet-
eran No. 2 tendered her barges for the use of persons who had been driven
from their homes.
For a few days the trains on our road could not come into Gallipolis, and
were obliged to slop at Mills Station, some four miles back of the city, where
P. B. Pritchett, Chief of the Gallipolis Fire Department, assisted by the tire-
men, loaded the supplies upon the steamer New Era, and thus the goods were
brought in. The Fire Brigade deserve great credit for their arduous work.
It is a gratifying fact that all the people of Gallipolis, with the exception of
two or three, gave of their means and labor, and entered heart and soul into the
good work of relieving their distressed brothers. At an early meeting of the
Relief Committee it was resolved, by a unanimous vote, that no member of
the Committee, or of any of the sub-committees, should receive pay for any
work they might do and this rule was rigidly adhered to. The work of a
committeeman was not an enviable position. From mornin? till late at night,
for three weeks, it was hard work ; goods were pouring in from abroad and
these required looking after ; they were to be assorted and distributed. Many
times a relief boat, returning from a trip during the night, the Committte in
charge would report so much suffering that those in charge of the depots
would be aroused from their beds, to load the steamer, and by morning she
would be on her way to cheer the desponding hearts of the flood-stricken
The following telegrams and letters will show what the
outside world has done " for sweet charity's sake : "
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 12'h. 1884.
W. G. Fuller, Chairman Relief Committee, Galipolix, <). : Our people are
coming forward with subscriptions in money, clotliinn and food mmit'iilly : \ve
sent full car of provisions this morning, and another far load cl.>t Iniiir and
provisions this afternoon, forwarded from Logan. First car load now at Mills
Station. M. M. ( .jti-KXi-:.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 121
CLEVELAND, OHIO, February 12th, 1884.
Board of Trade, Gallipolis, 0. .-Shipped your Relief Committee car of bread
und provisions, per American Express, this A. M.
BOARD OF TRADE OF CLEVELAND.
LANCASTER, OHIO, February 12th, 18F4.
Mayor Gallipolis, O. : Have transportation at Kerrs for six tons supplies this
3P. M. Left Columbus 8 A. M. E. A. FITCH.
LANCASTER, OHIO, February 10th, 1884.
Mayor Gallipolis : Have sent you bread and meat by passenger train this
morning. Will repeat to-morrow morning. S. W. RAINEY, Mayor.
XENIA, OHIO, February 12th, 1884.
Allemong & Henking, Gallipolis : Give $50 in provisions to late sufferers and
charge same to us. MARINE POWDER COMPANY.
CANAL WINCHESTER, OHIO, February 12th, 1884.
E. A. Fitch, Gallipolw : Will send to-morrow morning full car load bread,
boiled hams and uncooked provisions, bedding and clothing, and more to
lollow soon. O. P. CHANEY.
MANSFIELD, OHIO, February 12th, 1884.
George House, Gallipolis: Have your Relief Committee advise what is most
needed to supply immediate wants. L. J. BONAR.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February llth, 1884.
Allemong & Henking, Gallipolis: Public meeting will be Ifeld tonight to
assist flood sufferers. W. Y. MILES.
LOGAN, OHIO, February 12th, 1884.
Mayor Gallipolis and Relief Committee : Our people have contributed two
car loads provisions to-day. Have boats ready to receive when train arrives.
G. W. BREHM, Mayor.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February llth, 1884.
Mayor and President City Council, Gallipolis: Meeting of citizens at Colum-
bus now being held. We will send to-morrow by passenger train 2,POO loaves
bread, 2,500 pounds cooked hams, 2,500 pounds uncooked hams, 1 barrel cooked
pork, 1 barrel butter, 1 barrel coffee, besides donations from Logan, McArthur,
and other towns. I stated to the meeting that in my judgment supplies should
go forward daily until the people that could be reached were all cared for,
which would be for many days and perhaps weeks. Our road will carry sup-
plies for the suffering free. You will need to arrange for transfer from Kerrs
lor several tons of provisions on arrival of our train, Tuesday afternoon, with
Chairman of Committee appointed, who is P. W. Huntinjjton, to whom I
should suggest you would inform by telegraph the things most wanted, as they
may be able to procure them here quicker than you can elsewlinv.
M. M. GREENE.
LANCASTFR, OHIO, February 13th, 1884.
E. A Fitch, Gallipolis: Have sent flour this morning. Will send more to-
morrow morning. JOHN D. MARTIN.
' CANAL DOVER. OHIO, February 13th, 1884.
E. A. Fitch: Sent 13 barrels flour this A. M. Will send 10 burn-Is this
evenitig ; will also start another car provisions in A. M. COMMITTEE.
1-- HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
COLUMBUS, Oino, February 13th, 1884.
TP. G. Fuller, Gallipolia : You will have at least two car loads on No. 1 to-
day. Wil have f ill car from Cleveland to-day that will go forward on No. 3
this afternoon. Our pe >ple are fully aroused, and are making under-clothing
for women and children. All have been advised to continue the good work
until advice that wants are supplied. M. M. GREENE.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 13th, 1884.
E. A. Fitch: Children's clothing and flour shipped this p M., other provis*
ions also. Keep me posted as to what you want. P. W. HUNTINGTON.
MIDDLETON, OHIO, February 13th, 1884.
Mayor of Gallipolis : How can we get provisions to you ? Answer quick.
REV. E. A. INCE.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 13th, 1884.
Mayor of Gallipolis : You are authorized to purchase and distribute subsistence-
stores, clothing, and other necessary articles to persons made destitute by the
flood, within your reach, to an amount not exceeding $1,000. Careful records
of purchases should be kept to enable Department officers to adjust account*
when they can be sent. You will be required to give officers your r.ceipts for
stores, and act as agent for this department for the distribution. Please advise
me by wire the number of destitute, and whether purchases can be made in
your locality. KOBT. T. LINCOLN, Sec'y of War.
[The above amount was afterwards increased by the Secretary of War to-
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 13th.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Mayor Oallipolis, 0. : I am glad to hear of the work
you are doing from your city, and your own action is perfectly satisfactory.
All that will be finally needed will be your receipt to the proper army officer
for the supplies for which he will pay. I will not ask for the details of the
further distribution of them. You are authorized to purchase additional sup-
plies of the same character as mentioned in my first dispatch, to the extent of
$5,000. I will be glad to be advised by you from time to time of the situation.
ROBERT T. LINCOLN,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 15th.
Mayor Gallipolis: Your telegram of this date received. I am much gratified
at statement of work being done from your city. In addition to former amounts-
authorized to you, you are authorized to expend $5,000 for the relief of those
made destitute by the flood. EGBERT T. LINCOLN,
Secretary of War.
COLUMBUS, O., February 13th.
E. S Aleshire, Gallipolis, Ohio: Mclntyre & Wardwell, of New York city,,
send sympathy and $50, which I give to the Belief Committee here.
A. W. THURMAN.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., Februaiy 12th.
Mayor Gallipots : Draw on us for $1,000 for relief of suffering at Middleport v
Point Pleasant, and neighboring places. I)REXEL & Co.,
Treas. Western Flood Relief Funds.
GENOA, O., February 14.
Mayor Gallipolis: What kind of cooked rations are your people most in need
of? Our people are donating liberally. Answer quick.
F. O. WYMAN, Chairman Relief Committee.
HISTORY OF THE GKKAT FLOOD OF 1884. 123
CLEVELAND, February 14th.
Chairman Relief Committee: Sent you yesterday one car provisions, ami will
send another car provisions, blankets, clothing, and shoes for children to-night.
What points in your vicinity are most needy, and what facilities have you for
distributing supplies? Do you need women's clothing? Tell me what sup-
plies are most needy. Answer at once. X. X. CRUM,
Sec'y Relief Com. of Board of Trade.
NEW YORK, February 12th.
J. M Alexander, Mayor Gullipolis : Draw on H. C. Maddox, 87 Front St.,
Treasurer Relief Committee of Coffee, and Importers' and Grocers' Exchange,
for $250. Have sent Portsmouth $300 and Pomeroy $500. Send names of
Mayors or responsible parties most in need of help.
A. WAKF.MAN, Chairman.
BALTIMORE, MD., February 14.
J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolis: I shipped you yesterday a lot of blankets
and $50 cash. WM. H. LOVE, Secretary.
GREIWFIELD, O., February 15.
Prof. Hard, Gallipot^ : We ship you fifteen mattresses for the sufferers, and
hope to send you more. See that they are given where most needed. The friend
of man is the friend of God. TANK. KEE.
[Tank Kee, the celebrated Chinese lecturer, made still further shipments of
mattresses, flour, and medicines.]
NEWARK, O., February 16.
To the Hon. Mayor, Gallipolis: We have this day turned over to our Relief
Committee, for Ohio Kiver sufferers, one good cooking stove, packed and ad-
dressed to you. We wish that you will be so kind and turn the same over to
some good and poor family that is in need of it. We would very much like to
hear of the receipt of this stove, and with our sympathy, we are respectfully,
MOSER & WEHRLE.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., February 14.
J. M. Alexander: Draw on us for $2,000, additional, for relief of flood suf-
ferers in your vicinity. DRKXKL & Co.,
Treas. Western Relief Fund.
CATSKILL, N. Y.. February 15.
Dear Sir: Enclosed find check for $25, which please place where it will do
the most good. J. A. CARTER.
LOGAN, O., February 14.
John L. Vance: Logan will give house room and take care of one hundred
and more of your destitute people. Will you send them, and when?
LEWIS GREEN, J. M. FLOYD,
GEORGE BREUM, Relief Committee.
LOGAN, O.. February M.
John L. Vance: Mr. Houston, of the furniture company, U'ndt-rs their entire
building heated by steam with three hundred cots, to our c inmittee, and re-
ports accommodation proffered for five hundred. Car provinioiis from Logan
gent to-night; more to follow. LEWIS GREEN, Relief Committee.
BALTIMORE, VD., February 14
J. M. Alexander, Mayor: Have sent you to-day, via It. & <> cxpnss, >l.">u
WM. II. LOVKKI- <;.
124 HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
BOSTON, MASS., February 14.
Mayor Gallipolis: Draw on S. F. Wilkins, cashier Howard National Bank,
for Sl'.OOO. A. P. MARTIN, Mayor Boston.
NEW YORK, February 14.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolis: I have received yo'ir telegram of
the 13th. Our exchanges have organized to-day for more effective woik. I
hereby authorize you to draw on me at sight for $2,000.
FRANKLIN EDSON, Mayor.
CARROLL, ()., February 14.
Relief Committee, Gallipolis : We send you by train No. J lour wagon loads of
provisions, etc. Will you see that it is properly distributed ? We sentyou some
provisions on Wednesday, marked from Carroll; also sent you 500 loaves of
bread from Lancaster. Did you get it? Answer. S. M. BRIGHT.
URBANA, O., February 14.
Belief Committee, Gallipolis: Have sent, per express, a number of boxes and
barrels, containing bedding and clothing. More to follow.
T. G. KELLER, Sec'y.
URBANA, O., February 16.
Chairman Relief Committee, Gallipolis: We ship you to-day (Adams Ex-
press), four boxes meat, two barrels coffee and chest tea, one box groceries,
seven b >xes clothing and bedding, two boxes new goods, made by ladies here.
More to come. C. H. GAUSHEN, Chairman Relief Com.
BALTIMORE, February 15.
To Mayor Gallipolis: Draw on me for benefit of suflvrers by flood, for $/50.
J. R. BLAND, Secretary.
BALTIMORE, February 15.
Mayor Gallipolis: Draw on us for $187 for relief of sufferers. This is in
addition to the $200 sent to-day. FERDINAND D. LATROBE.
ORANGE, N. J., February 13.
Mayor Gallipolis : Enclosed please find my check for $5, for benefit of suf-
ferers by the flood. THEO. F. REWARD.
LKWISTOWN, PENN., February 14.
Hutchinson & Baldridge, Gallipolis: Please pay $25 to the Relief Committee
of Gallipolis, and charge to our account. WM. MANN, JR., & Co.
XENIA, O., February 14.
Kerr Bros., Gallipolis: Gentlemen, I hand you my check for $o, towards as-
sisting the distressed of your vicinity. My mite is small, but I send lht> *;uu
amount to many other river towns. J. THOMAS HARBINE.
ORANGE, N. J.. February 13.
J. M. Alexander, Mayor Dear Sir: A box from Grace Church, Orange, hae
been sent to Gallipolis, directed to you, by the ladies of the Parish, who had as-
certained your name, but did not know that of the pastor of the Episcopal
Church, who they wish to distribute the articles of relief to sufferers from the
flood. Will you be good enough to notify Rev. Moncure of the arrival of the
box, and let him have the distribution thereof.
Yours, for the ladies of Grace Church,
A. SCHUYLEH, Rector.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 125-
BALTIMORE, February 15.
Mayor Gallipolis : Expend $200 for relief of sufferers, and draw on me for
amount. FERDINAND O. LATROBE, Mayor of Baltimore.
BROOKLYN, N. Y., February 15.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Gallipolis: Brooklyn sends to day, through me, $219,
in response to your dispatch. SETH Low, Mayor.
NEW YORK, February 15.
J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolis : I send you to-day, by telegram, $10.
NORWICH, CONN., February 16th, 1884.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolis : Enclosed piease find check for $200,
a contribution from one of our citizens to assist you in your great want, and
hoping I may have the pleasure of adding more in a few days.
H. H. OSGOOD.
LONDON, N. H., February 16th, 1884.
Mayor Gallipolit : I enclose f 5 to be applied at your discretion to the relief
of sufferers from flood in your section. P. S. JOHN.
NEW YORK, February 16th, 1884.
Union Trust Company : Pay to the order of J. M. Alexander, Mayor, $200.
LAURA A. DELANO, for the sufferers by the flood.
CONCORD, N. H., February 18th, 1884.
Mayor Alexander, Gallipolis : Draw on me for $200, given by citizens of
Concord, for your Relief Fund. EDGAR H. WOODMAN, Mayor.
MIDDLETOWN, OHIO, February 16th, 1884.
Mayor Alexander, Gallipolis : Twenty -nine barrels provisions were shipped^
to your address yesterday, and more to follow. KEY. E. A. INCE.
BOSTON, February 16th, 1884.
J. M. Alexander, Mayor : Have ordered shipped from New York to-dav, by
American Express, two cases ot blankets from funds subscribed by Boston wool
merchants for relief of suffering. For the Committee.
A. A. BLANCHARD, Treasurer.
WEST LIBERTY, OHIO, February 14th, 1884.
To (he Hon. Mayor Gallipolis, 0., Dear Sir: Enclosed please find P.O.
order for $1 1.88, which you will please hand to the Relief Committee for the suf-
fering in your vicinity. It ie the offering of the school children of this place.
May God bless you all, is their prayer. Very respectfully.
R. W. LAWRENCE, Snpt.
HARTFORD, TONN., February 16, 1884.
Mayor Gallinolis .Draw on me for $250. W. G. BULKLEV, Mayor.
RICHMOND, VA., February 18th, 1884.
E. S. Aleshire, Gallipolii: If we send car load supplies to HtmtiiiKton, will
your Kelief 'Committee send some one to receive and distribute it among
the flood sufferers along the Ohio River, between Huntington tun! Pomer<y
where most needed. B. S. i'lTr-u
C. H. SiMi-.sox.
This dispatch was answered as follows: Yes ; will glailly do it.
needed. fi. 8.
123 IIISTORV OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
NEW YORK, February 18th, !8S1.
J. M. Alexander, Gallipolia : Draw on us for foO. ARBUCKLE linos.
CHICKOPEE, MASS., February 14ih, 1884.
Manor Gallipolia : Herewith find enclosed bank check for $10, which I hoj'e
may be placed where it will do the most good. JOHN W. POST.
RECTORY ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, \
BALTIMORE, February 19, 1884. /
J. M. Alexander, Mayor GaJJipolis: I have to-day forwarded by B. & O. R.
R., to your address, '2 boxes clothing, sent by members of my congregation, for
distribution among the sufferers by the recent Hood, trusting that they may be
useful. 1 am sincerely yours, J. J. B. HODGES, Hector.
IIoostCK FALLS, N. Y., February 20th, 1884.
Messrs. Jas. Vanden & Son, Gallipolis, 0. Gentlemen: We take pleasure in
handing you herewith draft for $50, which please accept as our contribution
toward the relief of the sufferers by the recent flood in your district.
We gather from the newspapers that the flood is receding, and we trust that
the suffering is being rapidly allayed.
Sympathizing most deeply with your people in the calamity which has over-
taken them, we remain, Very truly yours,
WALTER A. WOOD, Pres't Mowing and Reaper Machine Co.
By D. H. VALENTINE.
TERRY VILLAGE, MAINE, February 16th, 1884.
Mayor Gallipolia : Enclosed find $5 to aid sufferers by the flood. I know of
no one near who is collecting anything, and this address I find in a newspaper.
Yours truly, EMMA E. FOSTER.
RICHBURG, N. Y., February 18th, 1884.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Gallipolia : Enclosed find draft for $51.55, raised by
subscription for benefit of flood sufferers. We also send a box of clothing to
your address. MRS. J. A LYON,
Richburg, Allegheny Co., N. Y.
BALTIMORE, MD., February 20.
J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolia: Draw on me for relief of sufferers by
flood for an additional sum of $400. JOHN R. BLAND,
Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association.
BROOKLYN, N. Y., February 19.
Hon. J. M. Alexander, Mayor Gallipolia: Herewith find check for $107.99,
being received by the Mayor of Brooklyn to-day, for sufferers by the flood in
your neighborhood. Very truly, FRANKLIN ALLEN.
DELAWARE, February 12.
Fuller, Hutsinpiller & Co., Gallipolia : Tell your Relief Committee to dr aw on
us for $50. DELAWARE CHAIR Co.
DUEBER WATCH CASE COMPANY, )
NEWPORT, KY., February 22. j
Jules Roberta, Gallipolia: I enclose check for $100, part of the sum collected
by UH for relief of the flood sufferers. Please divide this among those in need
in your city if possible. Use it for provisions, clothing, or fuel.
JOHN C. DUEBER.
[This was turned over to the Relief Committee here, who appointed Mr.
Roberts and John L. Guy a committee to see that it was properly distributed.]
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
NEWPORT, KY., February 22.
Mrs. William Shober, Gallipolis : Inclose check for $100 of Jewelers' Kelief
Fund, collected by me, which please distribute among the flood sufferers of
your city. If possible, use it for food, clothing, or fuel.
JOHN C. DUEBER.
[This, also, was turned over to the Relief Committee, who appointed Mrs.
Shober and Wm. Kling to see to its proper distribution.]
NEW YORK, February 23.
John A. Hamilton, CusAter, Gallipolis: We credit you $150, for use of flood
sufferers. WINSLOW, LANIER & Co.
Accompanying the following was a check for $50 :
NEW YORK, February 19.
C- Fred. Henking, Esq., Gallipolis, 0. : Dear Sir: We have received the pa-
per, and as the writer has just returned from a trip to the Rocky Mountains,
can realize, somewhat, the terrible ordeal through which your people are pass-
ing. We have heard the cry from other points on the river, and were only too
glad that we had bren blessed to be able to help. Would do more but for that.
With our best regards, Truly, DAN TALMAGE'S SONS.
These are only a very small portion of the dispatches received ; to publish
all would fill a large volume.
The following clipping from the Middleport Republican^
and letter from the Chairman of the Philadelphia Relief Com-
mittee, testify that the work of our committee was fully ap-
" GALLIPOLIS TO THE RESCUE. Gallipolis is high and dry, above the highest
floods, and let us hope her good citizens may always be above the wave of ad-
versity. On Monday afternoon Councilman John Grogan informed us that
citizens of Gallipolis, hearing of our distress, had sent to Middleport's suffer-
ing citizens, a boat load of cooked provisions, crackers, cheese, hams, potatoes,
sacks of flour, etc., etc. These are gifts that are more than welcome in this,
the hour of our extreme necessity. Best of all, another boat load of the same
kind was to follow in about three hours. Mr. Grogan authorizes us, in behalf of
the Mayor, Council, and our suffering citizens, to return heartfelt thanks for this
liberal gift from the citizens of our sister city. ' A touch of sorrow makes the
whole world kin.' The same boat brought the welcome news that Gallipolis
would care for one thousand of our people. High water, thank the Lord, can-
no^ drown sympathy/'
OFFICE OF JOSHUA L. BAILEY & Co., )
PHILADELPHIA, March 21, 1884. j
Hon. y. M. Alexander, Mayor, Gallipolis, Ohio:
MY DEAK SIR: I am extremely obliged for your favor of the zoth, giving
information of great interest and value to our committee. You have indeed
done well for Syracuse. It is becoming in us to acknowledge the untiring zeal
and fidelity, as well as the great good judgment shown by yourself and your
colleagues of the Gallipolis committee, in your care of the sufferers by the
flood, and in the distribution of funds and supplies entrusted to your hands.
Our committee has recently made the following appropriations, "to aid in
rebuilding or restoring the wrecked dwellings of such people as in the judg-
ment of the local committee might be most in need of such assistance widows,
the aged, and the sick, being first considered " viz:
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
New Richmond, O., $1.000; Jeffersonville, Ind.. $1,000- I.awrenceburg, Ind., |i,ooo;
CatletUburg, K.V., $500; Augusta, Kv., $500; Gtiyandotte, W. Va.,$50o: Shawuec-town, lll.
$;ix>; Zam-sville, O., $500; total, $5,500, and $3130 of an unexpended balance at Pomeroy
will be expended in the same way.
\Vc notice with approbation that you contemplate a like appropriation of the
unexpended funds in jour hands. It will be a great help to many whose
greatest loss has been in the destruction of their homes.
Yours truly, JOSHUA L. BAILEY,
Chairman Relief Committee.
MARIETTA, O., March 8, 1884.
Col. W. G. fuller, Chairman Gallifolis Relief Committee:
Your favor of 5th inst. came duly to hand. Accept kindest thanks. Capt.
Aleshire passed up this evening. We thank you for calling his attention to our
case. We are now in every way supplied. *****
The two trips of Steamer Chesapeake, under your directions, were" of great
advantage, and aided us and other points, especially Harmar, O., and Williams-
port, W. Va., very much. ***** Please accept for yourself and your
co-laborers the kindest thanks of the citizens of Marietta for your very kind
favors. Very respectfully, F. J. CUTTER,
Sec'y-Treas. Relief Committee.
Many other equally kind references to the committee might be given, but it
is not necessary. The work done shows for itself in the following official re-
port and tabular statements:
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, March 25, 1884.
The Relief Committee of this city takes great pleasure in submitting to the
public the accompanying reports and statements of the work done here.
The labor devolving upon us has been one of love and mercy, and we are
glad that our situation has allowed us to act as distributing agents for the
munificent donations of money, provisions and clothing contributed by the kind
hearts of individuals, the liberality of corporations, and of our State and Na-
To one and all we present, on behalf of the sufferers in this large district,
comprising one hundred and eighty miles of the Ohio River, their hearty thanks
for the noble generosity shown. W. G. FULLER, Chairman.
Louis BAER, Secretary.
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, March 20, 1884.
To the Relief Committee, Gallifolis, Ohio:
GENTS: Accompanying this find statements of the receipts and distribu-
tion of donations to and purchases by your committee, with explanatory letter
of same. Yours respectfully, S. BROSIUS,
W. G. BRADING,
C. H. SHAEFFER,
Committee No. I.
JOHN T. HALLIDAY,
Committee No. 2.
RELIEF COMMITTEE ROOMS,
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, March 15, i884.
W. G. Fuller, Esq., Chairman, Gallipolis, Ohio:
SIR: Having been appointed to prepare statements of the receipts and dis
tribution of the supplies donated to, and purchased by your committee, I have
now the honor to submit the same herewith. Sheet No. i gives the number of
packages, and the different classes of goods transported over the Columbus,
Hocking Valley & Toledo Railway from different points ; the donations from
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 129
Richmond, Va. ; Cincinnati, O., and from this city, and a statement of the sup-
plies purchased from the Government and Relief Funds. I find it impossible
to give credit to all the cities from which supplies came, but notice many of
them were marked from Cleveland, Columbus, Urbana, Marysville, Logan,
Lancaster, Groveport, Canal Winchester, Athens, McArthur, etc. Many
packages were marked especially for individuals living at different towns upon
the Ohio River, and these were promptly forwarded as addressed. The total
number of packages (not including bushels of corn or coal), received from all
sources, amounted 108,749. We shipped on chartered steamers 6,1 n pack-
ages; shipped on local packets, 2,622 packages; orders filled at depots, 1,188
packages, making in all 9,921 packages.
The disparity in the number of packages received and those delivered is oc-
casioned by unpacking large cases, tierces, etc., and putting the contents in
smaller boxes and bundles, to fill requisitions and orders.
Sheet No. 2 shows the receipts classified and condensed.
No. l is a statement of the shipments upon the boats chartered by the Cen-
tral Committee, which shipments were distributed at different points above and
below here. I had detailed reports of some of the committees in charge of the
distribution, but not of all, so can only give the total amounts supplied them
when leaving this port.
No. 4 gives the number of individual orders filled each day at the clothing
and provision depots. These orders were given by the committees organized
at the smaller towns and settlements above and below, upon both sides of the
Ohio, and on the Kanawha River, but in near proximity to Gallipolis, and sup-
plies were issued to the applicants who presented them to the depots here. This
plan was found more practicable than to send large quantities of clothing and
provisions to such committees for distribution.
No. 5 shows the amount of goods given out for labor, $98.
No. 6 is J. W. Gardner's report of his distribution of coal at different points
upon the river, 4,140 bushels. In addition to this, the Central Committee gave
out 1,200 bushels, making a total of 5,340 bushels.
No. 7 is the corn report of Wm. Cherrington and E. S. Aleshire, showing
717 bushels received and distributed.
No. 8 gives the daily shipments on our local packets upon requisitions and
orders, amounting to 2,622 packages.
Respectfully submitted, THEO. N. WILSON.
GOODS RECEIVED FROM C., H. V. * T. R. R.
Meats, 115/4 barrels, 78 boxes; bread, 205 barrels, 182 boxes; potatoes, 827 barrels, 365
bags, 29 boxes; flour, 106 barrels, 651 quarter-sacks, 1,981 eighth-sacks; rice, 2 barrels;
hominy, 29 barrels, 40 sacks; canned goods, 92 boxes; coffee, 39 boxes, 5 barrels; miscel-
laneous, 114 boxes, 56 barrels, 16 packages; provisions, 84 barrels, 134 packages; cheese, 37
boxes; corn meal, 5 barrels, 152 12-lb. sacks, 38 6-lb. sacks; crackers, 259 barrels, 29 boxes;
beans, 39 barrels, 13 sacks; stoves, 3; tea, 6 boxes; sugar, 6% barrels; molasses, 1 keg;
soap, 2 boxes; clothing, 600 boxes. 130 barrels. 177 packages; blankets, 34 boxes, 3 packages:
bedding, 32 boxes, 11 barrels, 12 packages; 203 mattresses; boots and shoes, 57 boxes ana
nackae'-s: sundries, 3 packages; bedsteads, 3; hats and caps, 4 boxes; 8 bed-ticks; corn,
KKUM KICHMOND, Vx. Flour, 53 barrels; sugar, 2 barrels; milk, 2 cases; coffee, 5
boxes; beef, 10 cases; crackers, 10 boxes; soda, 1 package; muslin, 1 package; tomatoes,
FROM CINCINNATI (per Steamer Telegraph). Crackeis, 4 boxes; coffee, 1 box; hominy,
1 bbl; sugar, }/ barrel; rice, Isack.
FROM CITIZENS OF GALLIPOLIS. 19 mattresses, from Prof. Hard; Scomforts, Beall Bros.;
2 boxes sundries, Frank Cromley; 1 package clothing, John W. Dages; 2 packagcsclotliing,
Hy. Levingston; 1 package clothing, Kev. Mr. Lewis; 1 box clothing, Rev. Mr. Moncure.
SUPPLIES PUKCHASED FROM GOVERNMENT AND RELIEF FUNDS. Flour. 165 barrels,
in barrels and sacks; meat, 22 tons; beans, 2 barrels, 86 sacks; sugar, 49 barrels; tea, 8
boxes; coffee, 105 boxes; hominy, 80 barrels; rice, 35 barrels; oat meal, 7 boxes; bread,
9,650 loaves; baking powder, 21 boxes; pepper, 32 boxes; soap, 85 boxes; candles, 24 boxes:
matches, 23 boxes; brooms, 30 dozen; boots and shoes, 16 cases; cheese, 47 boxes; canned
goods, 24 boxes; salt, 21 barrels; fresh meat, 3,941 pounds; lard, 14 boxes; 2-busheI sacks, 80;
soda, 6 boxes; stoves, 2; mattresses, 49; blankets, 48; comforts, 7; coal, 5,340 bushels,
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
RECAPITULATION OF RECEIPTS.
Meats, tierces, boxes and barrels. . . . 347
Bread, barrels and boxes 502
(.'r.irkcrs. barrels and boxes 302
Potatoes, barrels, bags and boxes. . . .1,221
Flour, barrels 734
Uice, barrels and sacks 38
Hominy, barrels and sacks 150
Beans, "barrels and sacks 140
Canned goods, boxes 119
Coftee, boxes and barrels 155
Tea, boxes 14
Sugar, barrels 68
Molasses, kegr 1
Cheese, boxes 84
Corn meal, bushels 61
Oat meal, boxes 7
Baking powder, boxes 21
Pepper, ooxes 82
Salt, barrels 21
Lard, cases 14
Soda, boxes 7
Assl'd provisions, bbls, boxes, etc 178
Soap, boxes 86
Candles, boxes 24
Brooms, dozens 30
Clothing, boxes, bbls, pkgs, etc 913
Blankets, cases and pkgs 40
Bedding " " 55
Boots and shoes, cases and pkgs 73
Hats and caps, boxes 4
Assorted provisions and clothing,
boxes, bbls and pkgs 191
Seamless sacks, new 80
Corn, bushels 717
Coal, bushels 5,340
Meat, fresh, Ibs 3,941
STATEMENT OF NUMBER OF PACKAGES LOADED ON STEAMERS CHARTERED BY RELIEF
Steamer Jim Montgomery, Feb. 13, 447 pegs ; Feb. 15, 89 pegs. Steamer Champion, Feb.
14, 146 pegs ; Feb. 16, 35 pegs; Feb. 17, 133 pegs ; Feb. 18, 92 pegs; Feb. 19, 99. Steamer
Nora Belle, Feb. 14, 327 pegs ; Feb. 15, 435 pegs. Steamer Chesapeake, Feb. 15, 795 pegs ;
Feb. 17, 328 pegs; Feb. 20, 665; Feb. 22, 979. Steamer New Era, Feb. 16, 216 pegs.
Steamer Claribell, Feb. 16, 596 pegs ; Feb. 19, 263. Steamer B. T. Enos, Feb. 16, 189 pegs.
Steamer Lizzie Johnston, Feb. 26, 277 pegs.
Totals Feb. 13, 447 pegs ; Feb. 14, 473 pegs ; Feb. 15, 1,319 pegs ; Feb. 16, 1,036 pegs ;
Feb. 17, 461 pegs ; Feb. 18, 92 pegs ; Feb. 19, 362 pegs ; Feb. 20, 665 pegs; Feb. 22, 979 pegs;
Feb. 26, 277 pegs. Grand total, 6,111 pegs.
INDIVIDUAL ORDERS FILLED AT DEPOTS.
Feb. 13 Grocery Depot, 4 orders.
Feb. 14 Grocery Depot, 8 orders.
Feb. 18 Grocery Depot, 35 orders; Clothing Depot, 3 orders.
Feb. 19 Grocery Depot, 15 orders; Clothing Depot, 8 orde s.
Feb. 21 Grocery Depot, 42 orders; Clothing Depot, 36 orde s.
Feb. 20 Grocery Depot, 15 orders; Clothing Depot, 29 orde s.
Feb. 22 Grocery Depot, 68 orders; Clothing Depot, 31 orde s.
Feb. 23 Grocery Depot, 99 orders; Clothing Depot, 31 orde s.
Feb. 25 Grocery Depot, 25 orders; Clothing Depot, 23 orders.
Feb. 26 Grocery Depot, 16 orders; Clothing Depot. 9 orders.
Feb. 27 Grocery Depot, 18 orders; Clothing Di-pot, 13 orders.
Feb. 28 Grocery Depot, 28 orders; Clothing Depot, 15 orders.
Feb. 29 Grocery Depot, 47 orders; Clothing Depot, 25 orders.
Mar. 1 Grocery Depot, 63 orders; Clothing Depot, 36 orders.
Mar. 3 Grocery Depot, 41 orders; Clothing Depot, 30 orders.
Mar. 4 Grocery Depot, 49 orders; Clothing Depot, 65 orders.
Mar. 5 Grocery Depot, 113 orders; Clothing Depot, 35 orders.
Mar. 6 Grocery Depot, 37 orders; Clothing Depot, 55 orders.
Mar. 7 Grocery Depot, 31 orders; Clothing Depot, 24 orders.
Mar. 8 Grocery Depot, 5 orders; Clothing Depot, 11 orders.
Mar. 10 Grocery Depot, 8 orders; Clothing Depot, 16 orders.
Mar. 11 Grocery Depot, 1 order; Clothing Depot, 5 orders.
Total, Grocery Depot, 688 orders; Clothing Depot, 500 orders.
Up to the J6th relief was given upon verbal orders, principally.
Total, 130. '
Grand total, 1,188 order*.
Goodg given out for lab.gr perfprmed. at Depots, upon grders issued^ by memb.era of qm-.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 131
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, February 27, 1884.
To the Board of Relief of Gallifolis, Ohio:
GENTLEMEN By your order I took charge of the steamer New Era, and re-
ceived at Carl's Coal Works one coal boat, said to contain 1,800 bushels of coal,
then passed up to Camden Coal works, and purchased three floats, measured
for 2,340 bushels; then dropped to Carl's, unloaded floats and returned them,
and began our labor of distributing the coal along down the river, and the fol-
lowing is my distribution of the same:
Landing. Families. Bus.
Haskelville 32 655
Brown's 2 40
Guthrie's 1 20
Marks' 2 35
Geo. Knight's 3 80
Jeffjenkin's 2 40
Claud Shaw's 3 60
Coal furnished steamer New
Era, 7 days, 60 bus. per day. 420
Landing. Families. Bus.
Hudson Maddy's 2 50
Addison.. 5 75
ClipperMill 8 100
Mouth Raccoon 11 225
Glenwood 7 175
Hannan's 5 105
Blake's 1 37
Millersport 66 2,080
Totals 158 4,217
Athalia 6 50
Sayers 2 30
Total No. bushels coal distributed 4,217
Total No. families supplied. 158
Average No . bushels to family 26%
No. bushels received from Carl's works 1,800
No. bushels received from Camden works , 2,340
Total No. bushels 4,140
COST OF COAL AND EXPENSE OF DELIVERING.
4,140 bus. coal, at 5c. per bus . .' (207 00
One hand, 6 days, at $1.25 7 50
Extra labor 7 00
Shovel lost 150
Charter Steamer New Era (about 7 days), at f 25 175 00
Total expenditure .- $398 00
Average cost per bushel, 9 6-10 cents.
It would only make a longer report, and I will not enter the names, only the
number of families furnished. The committee could still give out coal along
the line, but I think it unnecessary to do so.
I had calculated the cost of the coal on the bank, in the manner we was to
distribute, to be at least twelve and a-half cents per bushel, but you see it has
cost much less than that.
We had heavy wind all the time, which made it hard to land, and the river
was still high in the willows, making it necessary, in nearly every instance, to
let go our lines and hitch up our tow again, which took time, and the banks
were so muddy that we had to take the coal high up the bank; there was so
much staging to rig, and so few hands, that time was necessary, and the work
of distributing could not possibly have been done sooner. My measure over-
run the bank measure seventy-seven bushels.
But now it is done, I believe it has done more good to more people than any
equal amount of money expended in relief. It was badly needed.
Respectfully submitted, J. W. GARDNER.
Ear corn received by William Cherington ' 425 bushels.
Ear corn received by E. S. Aleshire 292 "
As per their reports 717 "
All of which was distributed to flood sufferers, upon orders issued by Charles D. Bailey,
committee in charge.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
SUPPLIES SKNT TO INDIVIDUALS AND K I 1 II 1 COMMITTEES BY OUR LOCAL PACKETS.
NAME OF FLACK.
Gid" Brown's Landing. .
Mercer's Bottom ....
Seahon's Coal Works
Sterrett's Landing . .
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
SUPPLIES SENT TO INDIVIDUALS AND RELIEF COMMITTEES CONTINUED.
NAME OF PLACE.
| March 10 |
| March 13 |
Parmlcv's Landing.. ..
Mouth 16 .'
Mouth 18 ...
Simpson's Landing... .
Gallipolis Central Relief Committee:
GENTLEMEN : Your Committee No. 3, on river transportation, have the
honor to make the following official report. We had under charter the follow-
ing Steamers, viz :
Steanter New Era, 10 days $35 $350 00
" " " 6 days $25 15000
" " " returning harg-e 1500
Steamer Nora Belle, 3V days $30 105 00
" " " 2% days $40 10000
" " " allowed. by Central Committee for Cheshire 7000
Steamer Jim Montgomery, 4 days $25 10000
' " " trip to Point Pleasant 500
Steamer Champion, 5 davs fte $25 12500
" extra allowed by Central Committee 175 (X)
Steamer Claribell, 1% days (it $35 52 50
" " 2| days (gi $35 87 50
Steamer Chesapeake, 11 days $25, for use of boat, the committee to pay
all additional expenses 275 00
One large skiff to aid New Era 2500
Total, not including " Chesapeake " expenses
Also does not include coal and other expenses of the boats.
P. A. SANNS,
S. A. DUKBAR,
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, March 20, 1884.
Relief Committee, Gallipolis, Ohio:
GENTLEMEN: Sub-Commiltee No. 6 hereby reports to your honorable
body that they have discharged the duties devolving upon them to the best of
134 HISTORY OK TIIK GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
The dissatisfaction and strife among the people at several points where needed
food and clothing were distributed by us as impartially as circumstances would
admit, and the formation of new Relief Committees at or near the same locality
by dis?*tisfied parties, have caused much trouble and annoyance.
Mr. John T. Halliday devoted most of his valuable time to the arduous duties
of this committee. We would make special mention of the unceasing labor,
night and day, of Mr. Silas Brosius and Chris. Schafer, of Committee No. i,
and J. T. Halliday and W. B. Trump, of Committee No. 2, in arranging and
filling the requisitions of this committee.
W. G. FULLER, Ch'm.
J. M. ALEXANDER,
JOHN T. HALLIDAY.
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, March 20, 1884.
Relief Committee, Gallipolis, Ohio:
GENTLEMEN: Sub-Committee No. 7 submit the following report: On Fri-
day, February 8 and 9, the Steamer Champion, Capt. J. J. Maxon, did much
valuable service saving stock and other property in the bottoms, near our city.
Saturday, February 9, the Champion took provisions to Point Pleasant, W.
Va., and on the loth the Champion and Telephone took supplies to Point
Pleasant, and C. Fred. Henking and S. H. Olmsted were sent on Steamer
Nora Belle to Pomeroy and intermediate places with provisions, and word to
the people that Gallipolis was providing cooked food, which would follow at
once. On Monday, the nth, the Steamers Jim Montgomery and New Era, were
chartered, and 2,500 loaves of bread and other supplies were sent to Pomeroy
and intermediate points, W. H. Harvey, S. A. Dunbar, F. Morgan, and D. H.
Baldridge as committee of distribution. Monday evening the Jim Mont-
gomery was again loaded with all the supplies that could be gathered in our
city ; 4,000 loaves of bread, 300 pounds of cooked corned beef, 600 pounds of
cheese, 50 cooked hams, 500 pounds of crackers, with coffee, sugar, etc., con-
tributions of the people of Gallipolis.
The Steamer New Era, in charge of P. B. Prichett, Chief of our Fire De-
partment, was sent five miles out over the Chickamauga bottoms to the rail-
road at Womeldorff's Farm, to await supplies coming by railroad. The first
car load from Me Arthur and Logan arriving Tuesday afternoon, Feb. I2th.
These supplies were the same night loaded on the Steamer Jim Montgomery
for her third trip to Pomeroy, A. J. Green, of the General Committee, going
From this time the Steamer New Era was kept employed bringing stores
from the railroad until the flood subsided, and Ihe road repaired so that trains
could reach the city depot, and Steamers Champion, Jim Montgomery, Nora
Belle, Claribell, and Chesapeake, were employed distributing the supplies at all
points from Portsmouth, Ohio, to Marietta, Ohio, on both sides of the river,
and up the Kanawha River, under committees of the following gentlemen, who
were changed about to suit the convenience of the work and the gentlemen,
the services being entirely gratuitous : A. J. Green, S. A. Dunbar, W. H.
Harvey, D. A. Baldridge, Capt. Frank Morgan, E. S. Aleshire, A. W. Kerns,
J. J. Maxon, John T. Hampton, W. H. Andrews, M. Mollohan, James W.
Gardner. The Chesapeake volunteered two days without charge, and the
Steamer B. T. Enos distributed supplies below, under A. W. Kerns, free of
charge for freight or passage of the committee.
Respectfully, W. G. FULLKR, Chairman,
JOHN T. HALLIDAY,
A. J. GREEN.
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 135
MAYOR'S OFFICE, GALLIPOLIS, O., March 10, 1884.
To the General Relief Committee, Gallipolis, Ohio:
GENTLEMEN : I have expended in purchasing relief supplies for your com-
mittee, the sum of thirteen thousand five hundred and twenty-three dollars and
seventy-two cents ($13,523.72) from the amount appropriated by the United
States Government, vouchers for which have been transmitted to the Hon.
Robert T. Lincoln, Secretary of War.
Yours respectfully, J. M. ALEXANDER, Mayor.
SUBSCRIPTIONS TO RELIEF FUNDS.
(From the books of Louis Baer, Treasurer.)
Private subscription in city $49630
Advances made on supplies purchased and returned from Gov't appr. . . . 547 70
Advances made on incidental expenses, and returned to Treasurer as
not expended 34 08
Proceeds of potatoes sold 72 10
Proceeds of boxes sold 2 38
Through Fuller Hutsinpiller & Co.
From New York 5000
" Delaware Chair Co 5000
" Chicago,Varnish Co 2500 12500
Drummer's Concert. 22945
Tlnough Hutcninson & Baldridge
From Win. Mann, Jr 25 00
Through Alleiuong & Henking
From Maddux Bros., New York 30000
" John Kane & Co., Zanesville, Ohio 15 00
' Dan Ta I mage's Sons, New York 50 00
" Miami Powder Co 5000 41500
Through John Dages & Co.
From Boston, Mass 100 00
" Worchcster, Mass 2500 12500
From D. Baldridge (contributor) 1 00
' Ohio State Uelief Fund 1,000 00
" E. S. Aleshi re (boat fares) 5 25
" F. D. Berridge, Richmond 2 75
" J. Thos. Harbine, Xenia, 5 00
Through James Vanden & Son
From W. A. Wood, Hoosick Falls, N. Y 50 00
Through First N-itional Bank, Gallipolis
From Winslow, Lanier&Co., N. Y 150 00
Through John T. Halliday
From Siloam Neighborhood Church 15 00
1884. Through J. M. Alexander, Mayor of Gallipolis
Feb. 13. From Philadelphia 1,000 00
13. " New York 250 00
14. " Philadelphia 2,000 00
15. " New York ,. 2,00000
15. " Boston : 1,00000
u T. F. Se ward, Orange, N. J 500
15. " Baltimore 20000
" Abroad 1000
16. " Baltimore, . 18700
" Baltimore 75000
" W. H. Love, N. Y 5000
18. " R. W. Lawrence, Supt 1188
" Hartford, Conn - 25000
" Brooklyn 21900
Concord, N. H 2<K) 00
19. " J. A. Cooke, Catskill 2500
" H. H. Oggood, Norwich, Conn 20000
" John W. Post, Chicopt-c, Mass 1000
" Xaura L. Delano, N. Y 20000
" T. S. John, N. Y 500
" Baltimore 550 OC
' Brooklyn 271 OC
Arbuckle Brc., N, y , &0 00
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884.
Feb. 31. From |. K. Rland, Baltimore 400 00
1 lirooklyn 12700
23. ' Mrs. |." A. Lynn, Richburg, N. Y 5155
M;iyi>r of Baltimore 107 99
M . K. Foster ; 5 00
* Mayor of Baltimore 15000
26. ' (Jrimth & Childs, Lancaster 6450
" J. S. Porter 1050 10,36642
Total subscriptions f 13,667 43
Stationery 4 62
l.nhor for handling supplies 366 13
Steamboat charter, freight, coal, and other river expenses 2,375 46
Sundries, comprising insurance on supplies, hotei hill, transient Relief
Committee, < xpress charges on supplies, gas bill for depots, wharf-
age, telegraph dispatches, janitor, and other incidentals 380 39
Provisions and supplies 1,296 42
Hauling supplies to depot and river 42740
Relief to outsiders
Cash to Middleport 100 00
Transporting flood sufferers 12 75
Cash to Svracuse 20000
Cash to Cheshire (saving stock) 70 00
Cash for coal for Minersville * 60 00
Cash for coal for Syracuse 5000 49275
Clerk hire and office work 206 00
Cash on hand to pay incidentals 118 26
The above report of expenditures includes expenses in handlin-r Government supplies,
an itemized statement of which will be found in the Report No. 1, of the committee in
charge of Commissary and Quartermaster Stores. These supplies were purchased through
Allemong & Henking, by Mayor J. M. Alexander, amounting to thirteen thousand four
hundred and twenty-three dollars and seventy-two cents, and was handed over by Mayor
Alexander to the Relief Committee of Gallipolis, and distributed by same to flood suf-
Total receipts $13.667 43
Total expenditures 5,667 43
Balance on hand $8,000 00
This amount will be expended on repairing the homes of flood sufferers, where persons
are not able to do so themselves, and a special committee is now at work for that purpose.
LOUIS BAER, Treasurer.
GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, April 29, 1884.
To Col. W. G. Fuller, Chairman, and the Members of Hie General Relief
Committee of Gallifolis, Ohio:
GENTLEMEN Your special committee, to whom was referred the distribu-
tion of an unexpended cash balance, in jour hands beg leave to submit its re-
port, showing the amount of money paid out, and to whom, accompanied by
the proper vouchers in each case, as follows :
Proctorville Walker Williams; $150.00 ; George T. Wilson, 50.00. Total, $200.00.
Guyandotte Mary A. Smith, $25.00.
Athalia-J. H. Simes. $100.00 ; Harriet Hall, 115.00 ; R. W. Wiley, 150.00 ; T. M. White,
50.00.; M. R. Becket, 50.00; Mary Miller, 25.00; B. Knaft, 25.00; McComas, 75.00;
Total, $490 .00
HISTORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1884. 137
Millersport Francs Nichols, $100.00; T- M. Dcfour, 25.00: S. A . Miller, 25.00; L. S.
Ansel, 10.00; Anna Varmun, 50.00; 1?. A. Wiley. 25.00; Lydia Shcpard, 50.00 ; Clara
Maker, 25.00; Andrew Griffith, 100.00 ; J. W. Dillon, 150.00. Total, $560.00.
Glenwood, W. Va. Henry Campbell, $70.00.
Green Bottom, W. Va. James C. Shaw, $50.00.
Crown City A. C. McClure, $100.00.
Ohio Township A. F. Blake, $50.00 ; Nancy Morton, 20.00. Total, $70.00.
Samp e's Landing John Miller, $50.00; E. T. Shepard, 50.00; Mary Small, 100.00. Total,
Clay Township A. M. F. Cole, $50.00; C. W. Jones, 35.00; Andrew Forth, 10.00 ; Mary
Stuart. 50.00 ; Gilbert Northup, 25.00 ; Taylor Martin, 10.00 ; J. D. Hathaway, 70.00. To-
Clipper Mill Elijah Rood, $20.00; Doc Cole, 25.00; Harriet Hamilton, 50.00; James
Thevenin, 75.00. Total. $170.00.
Bush's Mill S. R. Bush, $50.00.
Henderson, W. Va. Norman Gibson, $50.00; Hutchinson & Co., 200.00; John Gibson.
30.00; J. W. Burke, 15.00; J. A. Wilson, 50.00; William Bates, 50.00; H. A. Darst, 40.00; J.
M. Burke, jr., 20.00. Total, $455.00.
Jili/.abelli llemger, .>.<*>; .Mary Stewart, a.UU. lotai, ^,-jo.uu.
Buffalo, W. V. |. E. A. Rcunor, $50.00; C. M. Pitrat, for Mrs. Jones, 50.00; Mrs. Wiatt,
25.00. Total, $125.00.
Addison D. A. Poindcxter, $100.00: E. V. Ramsey, 20.00; D. R. S. Shaffer, 65.00; Elliott
Watson, 25.00. Total, $210.00.
Long Bottom Susan Stark, $15.00: Relief Committee, 760.00: E. Pickerin
Expenses of committee, $136.35.
JAS. MULLINF.UX, Jr.,
GA 1.1.1 i-oi.is, April 29, 1884.
Amount reported as halnnce.in previous report.. _ $8,00000
Incidental not rxpcndcd, and additional subscription 154 71
Amount paid to special committee as per foregoing report $7,348 25
G. Roades, Syracuse, O. 50 00
Sundry expenses __24 !">
Other appropriations, not included in above report 732 31
- $8,154 71
LOUIS BAEK, Sec. and Treas.