Thursday, March 7, 2013

Flood of 1913 - March 31

The Register-Leader, Monday, March 31, 1913


The stage of the river at two o'clock today was about 51 feet, with the water falling slowly.  The fall today was about two and a half feet.

Four carloads of provisions from Caldwell and Cambridge are at Whipple awaiting transportation to this city.

Thirty men of the Athens Company, with three carloads of provisions from Columbus are at Moore's Junction, having reached there at eight o'clock this morning.  Arrangements are being made to bring them into the city.

It is doubtful when mail will leave this city.  The first mail from this section will leave Parkersburg Tuesday evening.

The city water supply in Marietta cannot be turned on until the rivers have fallen below the 45 foot mark, according to a statement made this afternoon by Mayor Leeper.

Mrs. Charles Haddad, of Tiber Way, died at her home Saturday morning after an extended illness with cancer of the stomach.  Mrs. Haddad was aged about 60 years and is survived by a husband and several children.  Burial will be made after the high water has subsided.

A Mr. Battersby, a former stone contractor of this city, died at his home on East Greene street, Norwood, on Saturday, after a several years' illness with tuberculosis.  Mr. Battersby was aged about 55 years, and is survived by a wife and several children.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Relief Organization

About 200 citizens attended the mass meeting held at the Presbyterian Church this afternoon.  Upon motion of Rev. J. M. Hunter, who is following the plan of relief adopted during the San Francisco earthquake and fire, and at Columbus, a committee of 25 was appointed by Chairman B. F. Strecker.

With one man from each precinct, the committee is as follows:  1st ward: George D. Barry, B- Peter Grub; C- W. H. H. Jett; D- W. A. Hyde.  2nd ward:  A- E. A. Merydith; B- D. B. Torpy; C- B. F. Strecker; D- J. V. McMillan.  3rd ward:  A- C. F. Speary; B- A. F. Cole; C- C. E. Dickinson.  4th ward:  A- Prof. Wheeler; B- Douglass Pfaff; Mile Run- William Henning.  The other members of the committee are:  W. W. Mills, George White, John Kaiser, C. F. Leeper, L. N. Harness, Frank McKinney, Peter Voll, W. V. Hayes, M. M. Rose and T. M. Sheets.

Following the mass meeting the committee met for organization.  They will probably be divided into five sub-committees, such as: two commissary committees; one housing committee; one clothing committee; and one transportation committee.  All will wear badges and these will have charge of all relief.

Yesterday's Register-Leader

There has been a great demand for the typewritten flood edition of the Register-Leader, the first publication of the character ever gotten out in Marietta.  No papers having been printed in the city since last Wednesday, people were anxious for news of even the briefest kind.  Carrying as much news matter as would fill a front page of the ordinary edition, the type-written edition was eagerly gathered up by the public, the only trouble being to supply the demand.  Editions of a hundred or more were slowly printed, only to be exhausted before another could be prepared.  No effort has been made to give our readers anything outside of the news of the flood here and in other parts of the country.  This could be handled in but the briefest possible form.

This edition, and the ones that will be issued until the regular offices are again in service, are put out for the accommodation of the people of Marietta.  No one engaged in the preparation of the issues, except the newsboys who sell them, will profit by their work, and all receipts above the necessary expense of supplies will be turned over to the relief fund.

The Flood of 1913

No two floods are alike.  This one has been different and far more severe than any in the history of Marietta.  As in 1884 the Muskingum river can be blamed for a greater portion of the havoc wrought.

Indications on Wednesday last were that Marietta would receive a flood stage of at least 48 feet.  It had been predicted early Wednesday by Forecaster Howe of the Weather Bureau at Parkersburg that Marietta would get 45 feet by Thursday noon.  Beyond that the forecaster would make no further prediction.  Wednesday midnight the local river men were saying that Marietta could not escape a flood equal to or greater than the one of 1907.  No reports from above could be secured, and about the time that the people of this city were more than anxious for information from the upper rivers, communication by telephone with Parkersburg was cut off.

The waters were rising at the rate of a foot per hour.  Marietta could but await her fate.

All Wednesday night and Thursday business houses and residents in the low lands were engaged in carrying their goods to the second and third floors of their store rooms and residences.  There was no check in the rise over Thursday and by Thursday night a wide section of the city had been inundated.  Second floors were soon reached, and their contents drenched.  Some succeeded in getting their valuables to the third or attic floors.  Others secured barges and loaded their goods upon them.  But the greater per cent of the residents in the flooded region saved nothing, and were glad to escape with their lives.  Every man possessing a boat patroled the streets, rescuing from second and third floors persons who would have suffered sure death but for the efforts of the rescuers.

Finally a wide section of the East end, the Fair grounds district, and the West Side had been practically depopulated.  Some went to the homes of their relatives and friends on high ground; others threw themselves upon the mercy of the more fortunate, but all homeless people were cared for.

Meanwhile the waters of both the Muskingum and Ohio rivers continued to rise at a rapid rate, the former stream, fed by waters from the Zanesville watershed, pouring the greater volume of water over the city.  Hardly had the Muskingum spent its force than the big rise from the Ohio came.  The combined force of the two rivers on Saturday noon brought the situation to a climax, with a stage of 58.7 feet here, as near as could be ascertained.  It is thought that the rate of fall will increase greatly over tonight, and that by Wednesday night the waters will have entirely left Front Street.

The work of scrubbing out is on.  The relief stations on the East and West sides will continue to take care of the refugees after the waters have returned to their regular course.  After that the big problem will be the repairing of, and rebuilding, the homes of the scores in those sections which have fared the worst.  A great amount of money will be needed, and there seems to be no question but that the state will respond to the calls for aid.

Some of the Losses

Six out of the thirteen houses on Linwood Avenue, in the North End, were washed away or destroyed.  Among those who lost their homes and all of their belongings were Jesse McDonald, Mrs. Fannie Jett, Mr. Mathews, Robert Young, and Charles Brooks.  A house belonging to R. L. Joy was also washed away, and the tennant lost all of his household goods.

The West Side suffered greatly from the flood and nearly all of the houses on Fort street from the Brickwede residence to the Putnam Street bridge were carried away.  Several houses at Mile Run were overturned.

All of the small houses in the East end were washed from their foundations.  Few were carried any great distance, as there was very little current in the Ohio river.  The waters reached the Safe Cabinet Company's plant, but did not rise higher than the basement.  The only damage done in Norwood was on Buckeye avenue, where several houses were washed off their foundations.

General News

The heavy winds which prevailed in this section today did some damage to weakened houses in the flooded districts.  Several were moved from the foundations and others were wrecked.  The Clark grocery store at the corner of Front and Montgomery streets, which had braved the currents during the flood, was this morning moved from its foundation by the wind.  The residence next to it was also moved.

W. S. Judd, who for many years served as truant  officer in Marietta, was taken seriously ill at the High School building Sunday evening, and later removed to the Marietta Hospital.  He is suffering from heart trouble brought on by the flood excitement.  Reports this morning are that he is resting easily today.

Health Officer Dr. McGee stated this morning that very little illness prevailed in Marietta at the present time.  What cases are under the care of physicians have been amply provided for and the patients are recovering nicely.

There has been one birth to flood sufferers reported in the city.  The arrival was born Sunday to a family quartered in the Norwood school building.

A. D. Alderman received a telegram this morning from his son, C. D. Alderman, who is located in Dayton.  The telegram was brief and concerned Mr. Alderman's welfare only.

The local police force and Co. B of the Seventh Regiment Ohio Infantry deserve much praise for their excellent service during the present disaster.  The police under Chief Roney and the company under Colonel Knox and Captain Dyar have handled the situation with little difficulty and have had little trouble.  The men have been on duty continuously for several days, and some are nearly exhausted.  Thirty members of the Athens company are on their way to this city in wagons from Vincent, and will arrive here this afternoon to relieve the local men.  The remainder of the Athens company is at Middleport, and Colonel Knox has ordered them to this city as soon as possible.  The police force and the two companies, it is believed, will be able to handle the local situation when the floods have abated.

Colonel Knox, while in communication with General Speaks Sunday evening, learned that 532 buildings had been washed away and destroyed at Zanesville.  Only a few lives were lost and the first were not nearly so bad as had been reported.

Governor Cox has declared that the next two weeks will be legal holidays for all cities in the flooded districts.  This will relieve the situation of the business men who have notes coming due in this period.  The governor also authorized Colonel Knox to use $5000 for immediate necessities.

The Connecting and River Gas Companies are assisting materially in the help given local sufferers.  Sixty tents from Clarksburg, which were brought by special train from Clarksburg to Pennsboro, then by wagon to St. Marys and from there to this city by boat, reached here about 10 o'clock this morning.  These tents will be pitched on Camp Tupper.  The Gas Companies have also secured a carload of bread, part of which will reach Marietta this afternoon, by wagon.  The other half will arrive Tuesday.

Arrangements were made this morning for the establishment of a commissary department.  It will be located in Andrews Hall of the College, and will be in charge of George Alexander, assisted by a competent committee.

Word was received this morning from Mr. and Mrs. Warren Burns, who are visiting in Delaware, that they had escaped the flood.

Arthur Peters arrived here Sunday from Zanesville, coming by way of the B. & O. to Cambridge and by the Pennsylvania to Whipple, then driving overland to this city.  He stayed at the Rougge Hotel in Zanesville, and by Thursday morning at five o'clock there was 18 inches of water in the lobby.  The suffering was intense and many were homeless.  He reported that several buildings were on fire.

The New York papers issued extra editions concerning Marietta.  They reported that the town was practically flooded, and that the remainder was in flames.  The Mohawk valley of New York state was flooded, and the New York Central lines are washed out.

The Relief Boat

D. H. Buell, of Muskingum Drive, arrived in the city Sunday evening from New York, where he has been attending to business matters.  He was accompanied from Pittsburg by Logan Noll.  The trip was made from Pittsburg to this city on the Lorena.  The men landed on the West Virginia shore and then rowed to this city.  They were delayed at Wheeling for seven hours, in order to strip the boat so that it could pass under the bridge.

Both men were very much provoked at the Admiral Dewey, the relief boat sent out from Pittsburg by the citizens of that city.  Mr. Buell stated this morning to a Register-Leader reporter that the boat was laden with $20,000 in money, 12,000 pounds of fresh meat, thousands of sacks of flour, and plenty of bread. These provisions and money were to be given to the flooded towns, and part of it was to be taken to Zanesville.  All that Marietta received from this vast supply was 3 hams, one sack of flour, and a case of bologna.

The boat only went as far as Luke Chute, some 38 miles up the Muskingum, and then returned, going back up the Ohio river.  They did not assist any of the small Ohio towns that were covered with water, but were bound for Bellaire, where they intended to ship the provisions over-land to Zanesville, several hours after Cambridge had sent a train load of food and clothing to Zanesville.

Mr. Buell stated that the boat was manned by college students, who were singing and dancing and having a good time when the Lorena passed them.  The wireless outfit on the boat did little good according to Mr. Buell.  The men thought that a wireless station should be located in Marietta for use in such times as this.  They stated that no word could be received from this city other than reports that came from Wheeling and Huntington.

Auto Accident

Carl Epple, of St. Clair street, was painfully injured Sunday afternoon, when he was run over by an automobile at the corner of Third and Marion streets.  Epple was crossing Third street on a bicycle and did not notice the approaching machine.  He was badly cut about the face and hands, and a piece of glass entered his hand.  He was removed to his home, where he is reported to be resting comfortably today.

Telephone Connection

C. Collins, manager of the Bell telephone company, reported today that he had several forces of men working to this city from all directions.  The local office is in communication with Cambridge at the present time, and have hopes of establishing a wire with Sistersville this evening.  Several of the men are near this city, but are unable to cross the Ohio river, owing to the wind.

Statement of Captain Wilson

Captain Wilson has issued a request to the public for clothing and bedding to be sent to the High School building.  The committee at work there have done much for the suffering homeless, and a hearty response to his appeal should result.

To the Citizens of Marietta:
     Please do not give clothing or goods to people soliciting at your door.  Send your gifts of food or clothing to the established city center, from which they will be distributed.  The great need of the moment will be dry bedding and clothing that can be given to people who have lost their all.  Their homes are damp, and when they return to them they must have dry clothing; also clean underwear for change.  Do not think to do the most good by doing your own relief work; it will confuse matters.  One center is best.
Captain Thos. Wilson.

Captain Wilson also wishes it announced that men who are working can secure breakfast at the High School building for the sum of 10 cents.

Ohio's Death Roll

Late estimates on the number claimed by floods throughout the state of Ohio, during the past week, are as follows:

Dayton - 150
Columbus - 56
Hamilton - 5
Miamisburg - 50
Tiffin - 8
Chillicothe - 18
Middletown - 14
Fremont - 14
Piqua - 12
Harrison - 12
Troy - 9
Valley Junct. - 6
Zanesville - 5
Massilon - 5
Barton - 4
Cleves- 2

In Ohio:  425; in Indiana: 46; in West Virginia: 3.

Late Bulletins

Portsmouth is reported to have suffered a serious fire during the flood there.

Latest weather report obtainable is "Fair and Warmer."

Cincinnati at 7 P.M. Saturday had a stage of 67.1.  That city expects over 70 feet of water today.  The 1834 mark there was 71.2 feet.

$35,000 worth of provisions were sent from Charleston to Point Pleasant, W. Va., for the relief of the sufferers there.

Sixty-one bodies have been removed from the water and debris at Columbus.  Most of the bodies have been identified.

The mayor of Wheeling will ask the city of Wheeling to appropriate 100 patrol boats for use during future floods.

Most of the flood victims at Dayton met death, according to reports, when they were caught in the streets either while on their way to places of business and employment or while trying to get to places of safety when forced to flee from their homes.

Fall of Adrianople

Associated Press reports tell of the fall of Adrianople, that fortress now being in the hands of the Bulgarian beseigers.  Last Tuesday the Bulgarians stormed the outposts, and shortly afterwards the city of shrines fell into their hands.  Current reports also indicate that Constantinople, the last stronghold of the Turks in Europe and their capital city, is very likely also to fall into the hands of the allies.

Flood Notes

Gov. Cox says "Estimates have been made this afternoon with considerable care, and it is the belief that property loss in Ohio will aggregate $300,000,000.

J. H. Patterson, president of the National Cash Register Co. ordered several car loads of motor trucks rushed to Dayton to aid in the relief of conditions there.

At 3 o'clock Sunday morning the stage at Wheeling was 44 feet 3 inches, a fall of 6 feet 10 inches since the passing of the crest.  The river was falling at the rate of 5 inches an hour, and was expected to be back in its banks sometime Sunday night.

Secretary of War Garrison is in Dayton, giving personal supervision to the rescue work undertaken by the U. S. Government.  From there he will go to Columbus.

Levees are breaking along the lower Mississippi, and repetition of the disastrous January floods are anticipated.

Ten thousand people were fed by the relief committee in Wheeling on Saturday.  The citizens committee has raised a fund of $10,000 to care for the homeless there.

Relief committee at Cambridge is raising a fund for the relief of flood victims at Zanesville and Marietta.  Bell Telephone linemen from Cambridge are working from Whipple towards Marietta, with instructions to string wires from houses and barns to restore communication with the flooded region.

Sixty city blocks are under water in Cincinnati.  Hotels are crowded, and communication with Covington and Newport has been cut off.

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