Monday, March 18, 2013

Flood of 1913 - April 14

The Register-Leader, Monday April 14

Worker Fell From Construction Pier of Railroad Bridge and Plunged Into Floating Debris

When he lost his footing while endeavoring to dodge a large plank being hoisted on the bridge, Frank Erline, 35 years, of Proctor, W. Va., bridge worker employed by the B. & O. railroad company on the Muskingum river bridge, plunged headlong into the river below.

He alighted upon his head and shoulders on some large timbers which were floating in the river, and which were being used in the construction of the temporary trestle.

Workmen, seeing him fall, called for aid and the injured man was rescued by the gasoline boat Isabelle which was nearby.

Erline was brought to the east side of the river and Officer Wolfe was notified.  He immediately summoned Dr. A. Howard Smith, and Fuller's ambulance, which arrived on the scene four minutes later.

A hurried examination showed that the man was seriously injured and he was rushed to Marietta Hospital, where his injuries were given medical attention.

Erline received a compound fracture of the upper jaw which extended across the roof of his mouth.  His hip was also badly bruised.  Although his injuries are serious, it is believed that he will recover.

Splendid Work of Company B During Flood

Martial law in Marietta was concluded Saturday morning, and the duties of the Ohio National Guardsmen practically came to an end.

No tribute too great can be paid the members of Company B, Seventh Regiment, O.N.G., Captain Harry Spencer Dyar commanding, for the manner in which they patrolled the city in its direst need.

It was probably the most arduous and constant duty which has ever fallen to the portion of the local company.  From Wednesday evening, March 26, when the men of the company went on duty at the Putnam street bridge until Saturday, April 12, there was not an idle moment.  It was a period that required prompt action and Company B was not found wanting.

The members of Company B were originally called out by Colonel Harry G. Knox for duty at Dayton and Columbus, but inability to get to those cities luckily kept the militiamen where they belonged and where they were most needed.

The first duty was guarding the Putnam street bridge.  They had orders to keep everyone from crossing and no one got by them.  Then as the water rose more rapidly and the lives of many in the flooded districts were endangered the guardsmen equipped with row boats entered the most dangerous sections of the city.

They succeeded in rescuing many who would no doubt have been drowned.  Whole families were taken from the attics of their homes, as the water was about to reach them.  The men braved the swiftest currents.  They crossed the Muskingum river when the courage of others failed them.

After the rescue work was concluded, the militiamen engaged in work of relief.  Provisions were carried to the destitute in all parts of the city.  The rivers were crossed many times in row boats.  The destitute people were given relief and shelter was found for the homeless.  The men during this time patroled the city at nights and all attempts at looting were frustrated.  Although several misdemeanors were reported the reports were without foundation.  Very few shots were fired and most of these were accidental or used to scare trespassers.  For over a week the men were on constant duty, working in the day time and patrolling the streets and flooded districts at night. 

When the worst was over, thirty members of Company L of Athens, came to their assistance and later the entire Company E of Caldwell was dispatched to this city.  The Caldwell Company patroled West Marietta and the local militia men and the Athens company were on duty on the East Side.  They patroled the streets constantly at night and no loitering was permitted.

Oftentimes the men entered buildings in the business section and turned out fires and lights which might have started a fire.  No drunkenness was tolerated and the men had little trouble in keeping order.

Captain Dyar at all times had his men well under command.  They obeyed all orders and at no time was it necessary to reprimand them.  They were even eager for work and many who were mere boys grew to manhood in a day.

These citizen soldiers have demonstrated that they are a part of the government of Ohio and that they are able to do the duties of a regular soldier when called upon.

The members of the Athens and Caldwell companies deserve much praise, as do the members of the hospital company, who did good work during and since the flood.  Although the Toledo Ambulance Company was criticized several times, they were only acting upon orders issued by the state board of health, and their suggestions, if carried out, will aid materially in the sanitation of the city.

The Register-Leader joins the citizens of Marietta in thanking the officers and men of the Ohio National Guards who were on duty in this city for their most efficient service and aid.

Bridge Bottoms Here

The towboat M. D. Wayman finished the work of clearing the drift from the channel in the Muskingum river, Saturday afternoon, and the five floats for the pontoon bridge were taken through the locks, Sunday, and tied near the boat house, ready for the contractors.

Flood Damage Up Muskingum

Lowell, the little town of 550 inhabitants, is rapidly recovering from the effects of the flood.

Very few people there observed Sunday and a large force of men and teams were busy clearing the mud and drift from the streets all day.  Another force of men were wrecking buildings which had been so greatly damaged by the flood that they were no longer fit for habitation. 

Dynamite was used in many cases.  The former home of Daniel Wilking, located near the lower canal bridge, was one of the places dynamited.  The building was of brick and one end had been entirely torn away by the flood.  The roof was held upright by a single pier of brick about five feet wide which extended from the ground to the roof.  Two blasts were required to force it out.  The first one only blew a hole in the wall, but the second stick served the purpose well and the large tin roof crumbled in with a crash.

The residents of the island suffered probably the greatest loss.  Several houses were carried away, others were wrecked and some were carried off their foundations.

Great damage was suffered by Albert Henniger, Phoebe Rietz and Henry Rietz, whose stores on Water street were destroyed by fire.  These buildings were substantial two-story brick structures and now only a part of the walls remains.

All of the merchants in Lowell had big losses.  Of these Riecker Brothers' store, located on the island, is one of the heaviest losers.  Nearly every piano in Lowell was in the water.  Only twenty buildings escaped the water.

One flour mill was carried away, and the other suffered a heavy loss.  Part of the lumber belonging to the Lowell planing mill floated away, and all of the lumber piles fell over.

The home of Wallace Wagner, located a mile this side of Lowell, was carried from its foundations and carried to a field 100 feet away.  The owner is now living in it.  The home of M. A. Dyar is surrounded by drift several feet high.  The piano is sitting on the side of the hill.

Fern Cliff Park escaped.  The ocean wave was carried about 100 feet and wrecked.

The entire back end was torn out of the lock tenders' house at Devol's Dam, and both ends were taken out of a house near by.

Part of the Lowell bridge lies in Dawes' field.

Three houses remain at Unionville.  These are badly damaged and the Grimm residence was moved from its foundation.  The blacksmith shop, wagon shop, store, church and two houses were washed away.  The Grimm, Cook and Weinstock residences are the only buildings that remain standing.  The Unionville church, part of the Lowell bridge and the Cook barn are lying in the yard at the Children's Home.

The track of the P. M. & I. U. Ry. Company from Fern Cliff to Lowell is in bad condition.  The first cars over it were run Saturday and they are still forced to go very slowly.  It will be several days before the track between Lowell and Beverly is ready for traffic.

The tracks of the O. & L. K. road are also in bad condition.  All of the trestles were washed away.

Several people from this city visited Lowell, Sunday.  Photographers from Marietta were also there and several views of the disaster were taken.

Historic Flood

While it is true that the recent flood was the highest of which we have record, a story handed down from Indians tells of a flood before the first settlement at Marietta.  One of the oldest residents of Marietta is authority for this bit of interesting news.  The story was told him by George Woodbridge, a half century ago.

Many years after the pioneers landed, the story goes, they would frequently call a number of the famous Indian chieftains here for conferences relative to Indian history.  The Indians would dispense information then of interest to the settlers.

On one such occasion an Indian told of having boated in his canoe near what is now the General Warner estate occupied by Mr. Okey and family, during the spring deluge.  There near the top of a big elm tree he cut with his tomahawk, a nick marking the height of the water at that time.  That mark, according to the venerable and esteemed resident by whom we are informed, was about seven feet higher than the height reached in the same part of the city in '84, or about the same height as the flood of two weeks ago.

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