Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Flood of 1913 - March 30

The Register Leader, Sunday Afternoon, March 30, 1913

In Explanation

The publication of this crude type of newspaper by the Register Leader Company has been made necessary by the greatest flood known to the Ohio Valley.  Publication of the Register-Leader proper was suspended on Thursday and today the big press - the greater part of the plant, in fact - is under several feet of water.  When the regular editions of this paper can be published is at this time a matter of conjecture.

Because of the growing anxiety of the flood bound people of this city for some news of the outside world, the publication of these few pages on the Sabbath has been authorized.

The city papers have published all sorts of wild and untrue stories relative to the fate of Marietta and her people.  Scare headlines have told of the loss of thousands of lives here, and of the destruction by fire of much property left standing outside the flood.

Reports from Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburg and Zanesville which have come to this city have been equally as far astray from the truth.  The loss of life and property elsewhere has most certainly been appalling, but nothing to be compared with that indicated by the unfounded rumors.  So with Marietta, and while every indication points to destruction that the city cannot in a short time substantially recover from, there is consolation in knowing that no lives have been sacrificed in this, the most terrible calamity Marietta has ever experienced.

Another similar edition of the Register-Leader will be issued tomorrow - Monday - afternoon, containing all news that can be secured from outside.

Statement From Mayor Leeper

All flood sufferers are well provided with food and shelter, excepting bread.  We need from 500 to 1000 loaves at once.  All donations should be delivered to Captain Wilson, at the High School Building.

C. F. Leeper, Mayor.

Relief News

The temporary relief committee, of which B. F. Strecker is chairman, held a short meeting in the college building this afternoon.  Local conditions were briefly discussed and it was decided to call a mass meeting of the citizens Monday afternoon, at two o'clock.  The meeting will be held in the Presbyterian Church.  A permanent committee will be chosen and some action will be taken in regard to securing money for local aid.

The institution of an employment bureau has been wisely recommended.  There are hundreds of men idle, without means of caring for their families after the waters of the two rivers have returned to their banks.  Most of them are ready and willing to work.  A committee, if properly organized, could find work for any number of such men.  Men desiring work should watch for announcement as to where they can make application, as the relief workers are already laboring along this line.

The Ohio State Legislature has appropriated $500,000 for state relief.  The governor has also been notified that he can receive aid from the Chambers of Commerce of Pittsburg, Duluth, Chicago, and several other of the large cities.

Mayor Leeper this afternoon issued orders to the police and the National Guards to shoot to kill any one found looting or attempting to steal any where in the city.  All of the men have been armed with police revolvers and the regulation rifles, and have a good supply of ammunition.  The first attempts at looting were frustrated Saturday night by the guards when they discovered some thieves at work near Mile Run.  Upon the arrival of the militia the looters fled in boats across the Ohio River.  Two shots were fired at them, but it is not known if either of the bullets took effect.

Colonel Knox has ordered the Athens Company of the National Guards to this city, and they will probably arrive here Monday, by way of Palos and the M. C & C. road.  He also endeavored to secure the Caldwell company, but they are on duty at Zanesville.

Disaster at Columbus

The death list at Columbus is far greater than at any other flooded city in the state, according to reports brought here Friday by Rev. J. M. Hunter, Attorney J. A. Gallagher, T. B. Bosworth, and James Dye, who were flood bound in that city until Wednesday.

The entire west end of Columbus is under water as a result of a levee in that section giving away.  The water swept through the residence district at the rate of 35 miles an hour, carrying everything before it.  It is estimated that the death toll will be between 700 and 800. All attempts to rescue the drowning were stopped by the National Guards, who were acting under the orders of Governor Cox.  It is said that in one eddy over 75 bodies could be seen.  Buildings were crushed like an egg shell. A tract 200 feet wide and several miles long was swept clear of everything.  The Broad street bridge was the first to go out; this was followed by factories and residences.  The suffering is intense and the homeless are quartered in the state-house and in public buildings.

No trains are running and the local men, accompanied by Harold Nixon, who is attending school at Granville, came through by way of Bremen on a relief train sent out from Columbus to secure undertakers and caskets with which to bury the dead.  The train came as far as Chancy, picking up W. H. Wigton, who was attending to business at Bremen, and Earl Marquis, who had been at New Lexington.  The trip to Chancy required several hours, owing to the dangerous condition of the track.  From Chancy the men went to Palos by rowing and walking.  At Palos they secured a section car on which they rode as far as Big Run.  they walked from Big Run to Vincent, where they boarded a gasoline car secured for them by J. C. Riddell, of the M. C. & C. Ry., who was returning from Chicago.  with this car they reached Mile Run.

The men report that the Ohio river has backed up 30 miles, and covers everything from Vincent to the hills along the river in West Virginia.

Notes From Surrounding Towns

J. C. Riddell reports that the death loss at Dayton will not exceed 500.  The report concerning the burning of the National Cash register Company's plant was false.

W. H. Wigton reports that Bremen was visited by two floods.  the first one was Wednesday, when the water covered the entire town.  It abated rapidly and by night was gone.  About midnight Wednesday the men were aroused from the hotel to learn that Bremen was covered by five feet of water.  The new roads which had just been macadamized were washed away. All of the oil tanks were over-turned and the oil covered the water.  For a time it was feared that the oil would catch fire and everything before it would be burned.

According to Earl Marquis the flood at New Lexington and Athens is not as great as in 1907.  Very few houses were washed away and no lives are reported lost.  Another report from Athens says that the water lacked two feet of reaching the mark of the flood six years ago.

The little town of Lowell, 12 miles up the Muskingum river, suffered greatly from the flood.  The entire village is inundated, and the inhabitants are camping on the hills.  Several buildings were carried away.  The Hennegar and Ritz general store and the telephone exchange were burned Thursday night.  Several people had narrow escapes from drowning, but no lives were lost.

Although no direct communication has been had with Zanesville, it is reported that the people are starving.  The government sent a relief boat to their aid on Saturday, but it is not known whether the boat was able to reach them.  The entire business section of Zanesville was covered with several feet of water.  Every bridge was carried away, and several buildings burned.  The sufferers have walked across country as far as Caldwell to secure aid.

News From Parkersburg

The first outside newspaper to reach Marietta in the past four days was a handbill edition of the Parkersburg Dispatch-News, published this morning.  Outside of news concerning their local condition, it contains little concerning the outside world.  It says:

Since late Friday night little word of information from the outside worlds has been received in Parkersburg.  There is no telephone, telegraph, or railway connection.  A summary of conditions at Dayton and other Ohio cities was that they were still held in the grip of the flood.  It was impossible at Dayton to estimate either the damage or the loss of life, though the latter is now estimated at probably 500.  The whole business district will have to be rebuilt.  The estimates of loss of life in other towns is slightly reduced.

A long distance telephone message from Belleville, before the Bell telephone service from the outside was suspended, said that the entire prosperous village had been swept away.  Messages said that every little town along the river to Pt. Pleasant had been terribly devastated.  Every city between Parkersburg and Wheeling has been disastrously swept.  At Wheeling the latest reports estimate the number of dead at 12.  Not a building remains standing on the State Fair grounds.  The magnificent Island homes have been torn and twisted and their costly furnishings destroyed.  The low-lying downtown was terribly devastated.

Some estimate place the number of dead at Zanesville at 60.  No bridge of any kind remains over the Muskingum between Marietta and Zanesville, while the whole valley has been laid waste.  McConnelsville, Malta, and other prosperous towns have been desolated.

So far only two deaths have been reported at Parkersburg - Samual Whitlatch and a colored man named Lucas.  Several others cannot be accounted for.

Between 3000 and 5000 people have been drive from their homes in Parkersburg.  Conservative estimates place the number of homes in the city that are flooded at between 1200 and 1500.  The entire Riverside section is under water.  Almost 100 houses have been washed away between Murdoch avenue and the Ohio river.  Estimates place the loss at Parkersburg at over $1,000,000.

Company A and E of the West Virginia guards are acting at patrols.  The crest of the flood at Parkersburg was reached at 58.6 feet.  Weather Observer Howe said Saturday evening that the river would likely remain practically stationary for 12 or 15 hours.  Howe was unable to get any information from outside points.  Dr. W. S. Link, president of the Parkersburg Board of Health has issued a warning, cautioning citizens against conditions that may lead to an epidemic.  The U. S. War department has asked Capt. W. M. Hall if the city needs assistance from the federal government.

A traveling man came to Parkersburg from Walker in a boat.  He had a Pittsburg paper which contained news of the flood in many Ohio towns.  The dead at Dayton was placed at 200.  Between 500 and 600 homes were swept away in Zanesville.  The paper said that Columbus experienced almost as great a disaster as any other Ohio city.  The dead there are 300.  The paper also said the U. S. government had recognized the Friedman tuberculosis cure.

Damage At Belpre

The 1500 residents of Belpre were rescued Saturday afternoon.  The situation there is desperate.  Yesterday afternoon a crack came in the railroad company fill leading thru the center of the town.  It is feared that this fill may give way, and in that case the angry waters could wipe the town off the map.

As soon as the crack was discovered yesterday afternoon, rescue parties began their work; the B. & O. railroad took two train loads of people to Parkersburg.  They will live in the passenger cars until other arrangements can be made.  Acting on the orders of Mayor Murdock, of Parkersburg, 12 skiffs were seized, loaded on cars, and taken to the Besids.  Hundreds took to the hill and are living in farm houses.

Death of W. S. Pattin

Mr. W. S. Pattin, president of Pattin Brothers' Machine shops, and one of the best known and most prominent men of the city, is dead.  The end came at Spencer, W. Va., where Mr. Pattin had been on business.  He was taken ill the latter part of last week with pneumonia and that disease, aggravated by heart trouble, it is believed, caused his death.  His remains will be brought to Marietta by boat from Ravenswood.

The word of Mr. Pattin's death was brought to Marietta by a man who had traveled a long distance on horseback from a point far back into the interior of West Virginia.

W. S. Pattin was aged about 63 years.  Besides being actively interested in a number of local concerns in addition to the Pattin Brothers Company, he was a public spirited gentleman with a legion of friends, who with his widow and children, mourn his sudden death.

Immense Property Loss

The property loss in Marietta will run far into the hundreds of thousands.  Figures are lacking, and until the waters of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers have left the streets, it will be impossible to make any kind of an estimate on what the loss to individuals and concerns will be.

The loss of the two splendid bridges which a week ago spanned the Muskingum river at this point is in itself a great one.  It will take thousands of dollars to replace them.  The Marietta Chair Company's saw mill, which stood at the foot of Sacra Via street, is a complete loss, although men employed by the company are hoping to recover much valuable lumber from the plant, which has lodged against the draw span of the railroad bridge, the only span of either of the Marietta bridges left standing.

The grand stand, the new floral hall, and many of the barns at the Fair Grounds are gone.

A score or more of houses have been washed from their foundations, and carried down the Ohio river.

Hundreds of houses have toppled over and some of them are completely wrecked.

Many of the residents depended upon the second story of their homes to take care of their property, and most of such places were covered with water anywhere from a few inches to several feet deep.

Few of the merchants of Front street succeeded in getting their wares high and dry.  Most of them saved nothing.

The fact that the city has been without water fit for household use has made conditions deplorable.  It was stated this afternoon that as soon as the rivers recede to the 47 foot mark, the giant pumps at the water-works station will be able to operate.

That part of the city inundated by the two rivers has been without fuel and many of those who have remained in their homes have constructed all sorts of rude devices for heating and cooking.

Sunday Services

Having as his text, "And they all escaped safely to land," Rev. C. C. Elston, pastor of the First M. E. Church, preached the sermon at the Union Service held at the Presbyterian church this Sabbath morning.  Between 250 and 300 attended the service.  Rev. Elston's discourse was brief, but very helpful.

Mr. B. F. Strecker reviewed briefly what has been done in the way of relief work.  He announced that all saloons have been closed, and took occasion to compliment the members of Company B, Seventh Ohio Infantry, for their splendid service.  He also praised the committees of relief work, stationed at the High School building.

Rev. J. M. Hunter, who was in the party that returned from Columbus on Saturday, reported today that the flooded districts would receive money from the National Government, the Red Cross Society of Washington, D. C., and from the legislatures of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Relief News

The rivers at this point reached a crest of 58.7 feet at noon Saturday, the highest stage in the history of the city.  The first fall was indicated during the afternoon, and by four o'clock this afternoon the gauge showed a stage of 55 feet.

The Western Union has a special wire operating from the College through the Pipe Line office and then to Clarksburg.  This wire is being used by the Relief committee and the local authorities to secure aid.

Congressman George White has telegraphed the Secretary of War for a thousand tents and cots to be used for the shelter of the sufferers in this city, Lowell, Beverly, and McConnellsville.

W. S. Kelly, of the Connecting Gas Company, has made arrangements for provisions and shelter tents for 1200 and bedding for 500, as soon as possible.  Part of these will come from Vincent, where they had been used on the large gas line.  He has secured a large quantity of tents and provisions, which the company had at Clarksburg.  these will be brought by special train to Pennsboro, where 14 teams are waiting to carry them to St. Marys.  They will be brought from St. Marys by the Admiral Dewey, the government relief boat.

The tents and provisions from Vincent will be used for the sufferers on the West side.  Those from Clarksburg will be placed on Camp Tupper, where they will be used by the East Side sufferers.

Word has been received from Cambridge that a carload of provisions and a car load of clothing are on the way from that city.  The Pennsylvania road is open above Whipple, and the supplies will be hauled in from that place.

Colonel Knox and D. B. Torpy communicated with Governor Cox by telephone from Mile Run yesterday.  They were ordered to use a certain sum of money appropriated for the National Guards.  They were told that 15 companies of militia were on duty in Columbus and 8 companies in Zanesville, and that martial law has been declared in both cities.

Governor Cox stated that there was a great deal of looting in Columbus and Zanesville.  Zanesville will probably rank second to Columbus in loss of life.

The governor also issued a proclamation proclaiming a ten day legal holiday for all cities in the flooded district.  This holiday commenced last Wednesday and will in all probability be extended, if necessary.  This will protect legal papers and bank notes coming due.

The K. of P. Lodge met in the Presbyterian Church this afternoon to make arrangements for relief work by the lodge.

Mr. W. W. Mills, who has been in New York, reached home this morning.  He came by the B. & O. to Walker station; from there by boat to Parkersburg, and then up the river by naptha launch.  To Mr. Mills we owe the news from Parkersburg printed on a preceeding page.

The Gas Company is connecting a supply line to Camp Tupper, so that people who camp there may have gas for cooking.

Mr. W. E. Daker, Service director, has charge of the relief work on the West Side, and reports great need in that district.

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