Flood Diaries: Wednesday, March 26, 1913

Margaret Smell

“Oh! what a sad, sad sight met our eyes on Wednesday morning [March 26] when daylight appeared with the mad water almost touching the floor of the second story of the house we were lodged in, with all kinds of furniture floating down the street, pianos included. Towards noon relief parties came by boat to rescue those in perilous positions, and bringing food to the rest of us we were seeking safety in the attics around. As the water had now reached its highest point in the memorable morning of March 26th at one o’clock AM and was now at a standstill.

A boat bringing food (ms128_1-3-13)

A boat bringing food (ms128_1-3-13)

For many hours our food was handed to us from boats through the windows of the second stories. Never shall we forget the brave heroic efforts on the part of the more fortunate ones to get food and sustenance to those imprisoned by the deep water and what a problem it must of been to immediately procure cooked food sufficient to feed thousands of people. But thanks be to God and to the great and noble Mr. Patterson and numbers of other unselfish blessed ones who so nobly responded to the aid of the suffering people until outside aid from other cities could come with their generous donations.

John H. Patterson, left

John H. Patterson, left (cropped from ms128_3-3-9)

“Oh! the loving noble work of people many, many miles away who had heard of the desperate conditions the people were subjected to in all the flooded districts. Now we know they worked with might and main so valiantly to reach us with necessities of life after the terrible raging waters had subsided so that boats could not float and with the thousands of horses drowned. We wondered how aid could be brought but were not long kept in suspense when large express wagons with large stout horses driven by larger hearted drivers through the mud and slush they came to our aid with well filled baskets of ready prepared provisions, good homemade sandwiches, boiled potatoes and eggs, cookies and apples. Each basket containing bottles of fresh water which was highly appreciated. Oh! how our hearts did turn to the bountiful giver of all good, who touched and tendered the hearts of so many dear people to work so valiantly and tirelessly to send food and aid to the suffering many.”


J. G. C. Schenck, Sr.

“AES & I are doing all we can—She at the NCR factory & I on the out side. Raining quite hard all day. Relief train came in from Spgfield O. [Springfield, Ohio] about 5 PM with provisions & boats. See description in back of this book.”

Fire damage on Third Street

Fire damage on Third between Jefferson and St. Clair (ms128_3-4-25)

From back of book (Memoranda): “Still raining & water 10 to 12 ft high over town but going down a little. Started to rain 11 a.m. & rained steadily all day & into the night—Train with provisions & 9 boats arrived from Spgfield O. at 4 PM at 5th & Huffman Ave. I had the 9 boats sent to different points—with men & lanterns for rescue work. Terrible fires are raging up town near 3rd & St. Clair Sts. We were notified to put all lights out at 7:30 PM as gas mains were reported exploding & burning up houses. This afterwards proved to be a false report. Started to snow about midnight. Turning very cold & wind is blowing terribly.”


Bishop Milton Wright

“The waters fall about a half inch, an hour and till next night. We have a neighbor next north who came in (by bridge). From others we are cut off entirely. Our children advertize [sic] for me. There was a Washburn girl about three years old drowned. She lodged. Snyder waded & brought her in from bushes; Catharine.”

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