Hendricks' Columbian (Columbia Falls, Mont.) 1903-1905, June 20, 1903, Image 1

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0J0 HENDRICKS’ VOL.-I. NO. 1. COLUMBIA PALLS. MONTANA, JUNE BO, 1903. Slntfe Copies lie. Subscription Price $2.58 OVER 1 W I DROWNED BY A CLOUDBURST AT HEPPNER, OREGON. Without the Lout Warning a Torrent of Water 20 Feet Deep 8wept Down on the Town and Took Everything With It—300 Bodies Recovered— Houses Turned Into Morgues. lone, Ore* Jna* 16.—An appalling honor, unequaled in the west, occurred at 6:30 Sunday night at H«Tppner, Mor­ row county, blotting out 300 lives In a few moments. A cloudburst, which broke over Wil- low Creek canyon, less than half a mile from the town, was responsible for the cataclysm. About two thirds of the town Is completely destroyed, leaving a portion of the business section. The down Is built almost entirely In the narrow Willow creek bottom, and when the wall of water, 20 feet deep, poured down, nothing could be saved. Grave Diggers Need Help. • About 260 bodies of men, women and children, muddy, wet and maimed, and with all the varying emotions on tjielr dead faces that come with an Instan­ taneous calamity like this, were drag­ ged from among the slime and debris last night and today. They lay every­ where, and one of the principal needs of Heppner tonight Is help to bury corpses. Tonight there are dozens of unidentified or missing dead and the confusion Is still so groat that it Is Impossible to get an accurate list. The flood came down Willow creek so suddenly that few persons had time to get over the short Intervening dis­ tance to the hillsides. The flood start­ ed with a heavy rain and brilliant dis­ play of lightning and heavy thunder. No one left his house. Suddenly a Jam of water, comini so swiftly that It was considerably high­ er In the center than the sides, came down the middle bottom carrying all before 1L .*» As the houses floated right side up down stream women and children might be seen waving their hands frantically from the upstairs windows and calling for assistance. Some who stepped outdoors lutd the flood were drowned. J. N. Kernan, O. R. & N. operator, was drowned In. trying to get to a place of refuge. Had he re­ mained In the depot he would have been Baved. One woman was seen to wave her arms from a second story two or three times and fall dead. The noise of th6 swirling waters and shrieks of horri­ fied Inhabitants and unwonted uproar formed a scene simply Indescribable, according to srirvlvors, who still shud­ der and turn away when asked for a description. Matlock a Hero. In that hour were many unknown heroes who performed daring rescues or lost their Uvea in attempting. One stands above all others. Leslie Mat- lock, stockman, rushed to a horse he found tied beyond the torrent's reach and raced at a mad gallop ahead of the flood, which began to slacken speed after It passed the narrow walls around Heppner. For 18 miles \he rode at breakneck speed through Lexington to lone, warning the people. As a result every one In Lexington escaped, while the town was almost completely wash­ ed away. The people of lone fled to the hills. The water flooded the town only a few Inches deep. Most of Heppner was built in Wil­ low creek bottom. The town was wealthy and had many fine structures. The east side of the main business street was razed completely. Some houses from the upper end of town in coming down were thrown against the Palace hotel and other buildings and acted as a breakwater. Such protected structures were saved. All others went Late this evening 250 bodies had been recovered and 300 are missing. Corpses are scattered down the creek bottom for miles. Some are burled der debris. For hours the outside world knew nothing of Heppner’s calamity. Tele­ phone wires are still down to beyond lone, 17 miles north of Heppner. All O. R ft N. bridges are down betwwn Heppner and lone, and much track Is washed out Telegraph wires are all down and a man has to ride 17 miles before he can get communication. When the flood abated Heppner temporarily paralyzed. Men stood and walled like scared children and women tore their hair. Others acted as If In a trance, while some almost lost their minds. Mothers had been separated - from children, and husbands from wives. In one instance a man and wife were In the upper story of house. The house split and one l carried away In each side. The n was saved, but the wife drowned. Help Arrives. Cooler heads started the rescue work at once, pulling bodies from the wrecked houses and helping others from the* heaps of mud and debris. It was a sleepless night in Heppner. Work with lanterns progressed stead­ ily, and at daylight over 100 bodies had been found. This forenoon help began to come In from neighboring ranches, and copiers were sent to wire to out­ side towns. All day people from Mor­ row, Gilliam and UmatUIh counties have been arriving and there Is an Im­ mense crowd tonight and plenty of helpers. Burial Supplies 8carce. The burial of the dead Is a iltal question. There Is no way to take the bodies out, and there are no undertak­ ing supplies. Neither are there any facilities for keeping corpses, which are In almost every remaining house, lying around in warehouses. Undertakers from Pendleton, Walla Walla, Milton and other towns are eh route to arrive tomorrow. The first news got out to Arlington by David McAtec, a Heppner courier. Travel anywhere Is most difficult, how­ ever, because unusually heavy rains and numerous waterspouts throughout these thinly settled districts have left roads here and there almost Impas­ sable. It Is dangerous traveling at night, though rigs are coming from every direction. A commercial traveler named Baugh made several brave rescues, Elizabeth Matlock, whom he pulled from a hole In a lumber yard, being one. A man named Kelly this morning found a 6 months old baby, stiff, wet and muddy. All Its relatives had been drowned or killed, and It was apparently dead itself. When washed, given brandy and blown on, the Infant revived and will live. ♦ Many of the dead are badly mangled, with limbs broken and faces bleeding and crushed through contact with whirling wreckage. Identification Is possible, however. In most cases. Many people were at church. . The extreme suddenness of the dis­ aster Is Its peculiar feature. The fair Willow creek botton/ south of Heppner for 25 miles down is waste. Ranchers’ houses are swept away, orchards are torn up, alfalfa fields and wheat are ruined and stock drowned. Over the whole area debris of all descriptions Is scattered.. It was the second bad time for Heppner within a week. Three or four nights ago a waterspout came down near town, drowning some stock and doing other damage, but destroy­ ing no lives. Relief Is offered front many outside points. Fifteen hundred dollars was on band here for a Fourth of July cele­ bration. and this will probably be de­ voted to the sufferers. Follows Thunder Storm. Early in the afternoon % thunder storm occurred over a wide region of country and later a heavy rain storm set In. many of the small streams over­ flowing their banks In an Incredibly short time Bridges were swept away like straws and the darkness of the night soon made the situation more appalling. •n as possible after the ter­ rible flood subsided the work of relief was commenced by the citizens of the Dozens of bodies were found lodged along the bends in the stream and In several places they were piled over one another. U r to 2 o’clock In the afternoon $00 bodies haS been re­ covered. almost within the'cjty limits. The buildings which were not carried away were movea from (heir founda­ tions or toppled over. Hundreds of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs that had gone Into the creek bottoms for water perished. Communication 8hut Off. All means of communication was cut 1. As soon as possible news was sent by courier to nearby towns and meas­ ures looking to the relief of the strick­ en people were commenced. The Ore­ gon Railroad ft Navigation company started a relief train from The Dalles shortly after noon with a party of 100, Including three doctors, four nurses, 50 horses, blankets and supplies of all kinds. At 1:30 this afternoon a relief train with doctors and supplies started for the scene from this city. The citizens of Portland started a relief fund as soon as the news of the disaster spread over the city, and within a few hours $5000 was raised. Supplies will be rush­ ed to Heppner as soon as they can be assembled. Fifteen buildings in the town of Lex­ ington, nine miles below Heppner on Willow creek, were washed away, but there was no loss of life, the Inhabi­ tants having had time to save them­ selves from the surging torrent At lone, 17 miles away, considerable damage was done to bulldlngB, though no loss of life is reported from there. Word was received here from lone late this afternoon that 300 coffins were needed at once at Heppner. The weath­ er Is hot and It la necessary that the dead be buried at once. One hundred coffins were sent on the O. R. A N. overland tonight and more will be sent from The Dalles and Pendleton. The Portland office of the O. R & N. received the following from Heppner via Echo: ‘‘Roughly estimated almost all the people living on the banks of Willow creek are drowned. Mian Ml II PPM THREE HUNDRED BODIES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED. Two Hundred More Are Missing— Property Loss Will Also Be Enor­ mous— Rescue Work Is Rushed— Sickening 8cenes at the Morgue— Hail 6 Feet Deep on the Streets. Heppner, Ore., June 17.—Three hun­ dred bodies have been recovered from the-wreckage of the awful flood of Sunday night, and 200 more are miss­ ing. Property loss of $500,000 is suf­ fered. To add to the terrors of the situation still another cloudburst, for- tunately not attended by loss of life, swept away property valued at $10,- 000. Heppner, where thousands of dol­ lars of the wealth of Morrow county has been gathered for years, and which was thrown into nearly 1 plete destruction by the Immense cloudburst of Sunday night, presents one of the most heartslckening scenes that have come to any part of the na­ tion for years: The mighty current mowed Its way directly through the center of the town, leaving standing only the buildings on the hillsides of the canyon. The path of ruin covers a stretch from 160 yards In the narrow­ est part of city to 300 yards In the widest part. The work of searching for the dead is progressing under intense pressure. Three hundred bodies have been re­ covered, and it is estimated that 200 are still missing. The dead have been taken from New Fallon creek, and the work Is concentrated on the hundreds of piles of debris throughout the'zone of destruction. The loss of property can not be estimated, but It Is thought be $500,000 or much more. Never in the history of a wreckage of a flood was such great disaster wrought In such a short time. It was all brought about In less than two hours. The torrent which brought death, ruin and destruction to this quiet but prosperous town, came from Willow creek. This canyon, which Is to the south of the town, never carries water only- hi the springtime. It was they .‘reach the morgue. Watch charms. Alvord Cooley of Westchester, N. Y., has been appointed civil service com­ missioner by President Roosevelt to succeed James R. Garfield, appointed commissioner of corporations. perfectly dry up to only a few min­ utes before the flood came. The cloud­ burst camp six miles above, and it was of such'magnitude that when it came down It covered an area of three square miles. Willow Creek canyon Is fed by num­ erous small gulches, and this aided to canyon with an ocean of wa­ ter. * The water moved in a solid body. The mouth of the canyon, Just at the town. Is exceptionally narrow, and when the water reached there It piled mountain high, resting for a moment, then lunging forth. It gave ing, and while families were preparing spend a quiet Sunday evening, the hand of death was on them. The greatest ruin was near the creek proper. Jam after Jam was created by the larger buildings and trees which stood In the path of death and ruin. In the Jams the water would pile sometimes (O’ feet high, seat for a moment and then leap forth to another place. Build­ ings were shattered like matchwood, poles and green trees to the thickness of 20 Inches were snapped off as easily as the breaking of a pipe wtem. Crushed by Shifting Timbers. The leaping of the water and the vio­ lent and rapid shifting of timbers are what created such a long list of dead. People trying to make their escape were in many instances killed instant­ ly and not drowned. Some people who were Just within one step of safety were knocked to the ground; others, Just as they were grasping a helping land, were swept from their feet and ost In the tide. Although the roaring of the flood deadened almost every sound shrieks of sorrow and terror could be heard faintly on every side. At the Morgue. Probably the most sickening point of the present activity morgue, Roberts hall. Every few min­ utes a new victim Is brought to the place In rough, heavy wagons, which are constantly driving to the great piles of debris. -When brought In the victim can only be recognized as that of a human body. The bodies are cov­ ered with mud, slime, grass and weeds. Fully 50 men and women await at the hall to hurriedly dress the bodies, which are immediately carried away to the cemeteries. People looking for missing relatives are In waiting, and as the wet earth Is gradually cleaned from the faces of the victims shrieks of pain, agony and terror cqn be heard from men and women. Brave women are giving assistance at the morgue. People who at other times would swoon before such sights, do the work calmly and with only an expression of agony and sorrow on their thin faces. The bodies are quickly bathed, wrapped In coarse white clbth, placed In rough boxes and then carried burying ground, where a large crowd is engaged In digging graves and cov­ ering the boxes. Before many of the .llowed to bb taken away the relative 1 will cut a lock of hair, of the destroyed clothing r secure lime other article, which is to be held by the remaining members I the family as something to remem- >r this hotror stricken occasion. At Work on the Debris. The outdoor scene is nearly as bad. Hundreds of men are at work In small crews on the heaps of ruins which In some Instances stand fully 20 feet high. As timbers are pulled aside, a new vltflm comes Into view. In the m death of women, only corsets can be found on the bodies. In some cases arms, hands, legs, feet and other portions of the bodies have been torn away, ami In only one or two Instances have the severaUUpbs been found. Thousands of men have reached here today, all coming from the surrounding country, some on horseback and many in wagons, as there Is no other trans­ portation. A large vigilance commit­ tee has been formed and for the time the city government has been placed in Its hands. Armed men patrol the. path of ruin, urging and commanding Idle men to go toVork. Hall Six Feet Deep. One feature of-the day’s scenes Is the large piles of hall which lie on the street* In some places they are Six feet deep and have the appearance of sand and snow drifts. Notwithstand­ ing the hoi: sun of the past two days, the piles of hail are so large that it will be days before they disappear. Large quantities of - bottled beer are found in the heaps, and the men at work, when they found the beer, stop­ ped to take a refreshing drink, drunkenness or fighting has been seen and It would not be allowed. Free Eating Houses. Free eating houses In all parts of the town have been established. Every­ thing Is free. Workmen only are sup­ posed to eat, but loafers also come for their share. Men are at the tables constantly, and this caused consider­ able confusion. Many eating places buildings, but others are In the open sun. Relic hunters are numerous, walking to and fro over the ground constantly. Watches, knives, spoons, forks, and In fact everything imagin­ able is picked op. Pocketbooks with money are -taken from victims before CULLED FROM ASSOCIATED PRE88 DISPATCHES. A Review of Happenings In Both Eastern and Western Hemispheres During the Past Week— National, Historical, Political and Events Tersely Told. pins and other things are also taken from the clothing before the relatives have time to secure them. This action. If discovered, is punished as quick possible by the special officer, but can not be stopped entirely. Howard T. Kressly, the Spokane confessed forger, is believed to have fled to escape arrest. While wrestling with Joe Beaumont, a friend, Frank Davy, both living In Deer Lodge, Mont, broke- UIs neck and died instantly. The two were wrest­ ling fur fun. With President T. J. Cornwall In parts unknown and short nearly $ 60 ,- 000, the Lessmer Savings bank of Bir­ mingham bas closed its doors and ask for a receiver. The shortage will ’not affect the Birmingham bank. At San Francisco Mark Cohn, a school boy, was smothered to death recently lit company with other lads he dug a cave In the side of a sandhill his home, and, while alone In It, overhanging bank fell and burled him.. Governor Bailey of Kansas Says he will call an extra session of the Kan­ sas legislature. The call is to be Is­ sued as toon as the governor recelvi assurances, from a quorum of the mein- mers that they will be here. The spe­ cial session will provide for relieving the Hood situation. Robert Fsir, an employe of the Kent Lumber company, of Seattle, fell un­ der the wheels of a moving train re­ cently and died in about 10 minutes. Fair was L: email on a donkey engine telouging to the company at Baraes- He jumped dff the tar and stumbled. The Italian cabinet bas resigned be­ cause the chamber of deputies decided pon parliamentary inquiry. Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., was graduated from West-Point last week, and stands with the first seven in his class. A receiver was named for the Vin­ cent Valve company of Sandusky, Ohio. ‘ Bsets, $ 60 , 000 ; liabilities, $100,000. The big well at CouneU furnishes six . -.... ------ ----------------- thousand gallons of water in hodfc~ A near OvanflO, Cotmamed~sulcWe, King Without Rawer. Belgrade, June 18.—The position of King Peter I. promises to be little more than that of a royal captive. The real government of the country will be a military dictatorship undfer the leaders of the revolution. Colonel Mas- chin and Colonel Mltschlltch. The new king la almost without personal ad­ herents and the ruling spirits of the army. It is thought, woul3 Just as read­ ily murder him as tbej did his prede­ cessor should he oppose their alms. At present the whole country Is, under military rule, and although no prefects In the country districts have been re­ moved, each Is accompanied by an •army officer, who attends the prefect wherever he goes, even to the tele­ phone. This policy has led to one good result—not a-ahigle case of disorder anywhere has been reported. Extreme­ ly forcible arguments were\ found nec­ essary to repress the radical aspira­ tions of a republfc. Killed at Trail 8melter. Rossland, B. C, June 18.—Leo Chameron, foreman of the matte crush­ ing department of the Trail smelter, met a horrible death. He went to the matte bins and 10 minutes later found dead In N q . 2 bln with both feet off. His clothing had become en­ tangled In a shaft making 80 revo­ lutions a minute, and the unfortunate man was whirled to death. Thugs 8hoot Pat Donovan. Butte, Mont., June 18.—A Missoula special say8: Pat Donovan, a well known rancher wrest of here, was shot fatally by three highwaymen Just be­ fore dawn. As he lay on the ground Donovan shot and killed one highway­ man and fatally Injured another. Bride to Be Suicide*. New Orleans, June 16.—Within an hour of the time set for her mar­ riage Miss Hattie T. Thomas commit­ ted suicide by taking laudanum. She left a note asking her family to pray for her. Small Boy rfrowned. Great Fhlls. Mont., June 18.—George Barnreiter. 6 years old, was drowned In the Missouri river here by. the sink­ ing of a. leaky boat Willie Hanshaw, who was with him, waded to shore. Personal MONTANA NEWS ITEI Miners- union day; the 25th a sary of the formation of the u Butte, was celebrated at Butte £ day. - was a holiday for most of the citi­ zens, and the program of sports in- ' ’ed two prize fighta and a ball game. Jack O'Keefe of Chicago and Juuuuu Britt of San Francisco fought 10 rounds to a draw In the afternoon be­ fore 10,000 people, and Aurello’ Her- . era of Bakersfield, Cal„ knocked out Hid Broad of Cleveland in the even­ ing, and San Francisco beat Butte at Ex-Senator George Turner will de­ liver a reminiscent address at the an­ nual picnic of the Spokane Pioneers' society, which will be held at Spokane Friday afternoon, June 26. It’s no use crying over watered milk. reservoir holding one hundred thou­ sand gallons Is In readiness to receive the supply. Kansas City, Kan., is still sorely need of aid for Its flood sufferers, second urgent appeal to the country has been issued by the relief commit­ tee of that city. The statement of the treasury fund, exclusive of the $150,000,000 gold re­ serve in the division of redemption, shows: Available cash balance, $225. 636.923; gold. $108,029,662. That she has no equal In American waters In a smooth sea and light wind the Reliance has again demonstrated by another recent victory over both the Constitution and Columbia. William C. Hook of Leavenworth, Kan., has been elected Judge Caldwell, who recently resigned the Judgeship of the circuit court for the Eighth district. Judge Hook is at present a district Judge. Moses Fowler Chase, the .young mil­ lionaire, who was declared to be un­ sound mentally at Fowler, Ind., and for whom Frederick Chase, his father, was appointed guardian, has been tak­ en to a private sanitarium for treat­ ment Major W. H. Glbbes, who is said to have fired the first shot of Mfe civil war upon Fort Sumpter, died recently at Columbia. 8. C. Major Glbbes a gunner In Captain Grimes’ com­ pany, to whom General Beauregard sent the order to open Are upon Major Anderson. He served as postmaster of Columbia under President Cleve­ land. Five persons were burned to death in New York recently In & flat build­ ing at 347 East One Hundred and Fif­ teenth street It Is believed the Are was of Incendiary origin. A typhoon ofExtraordinary violence swept over Hanoi, Namdlnh and Thal- Mnh, China, recently, causing much damage. Many natives perished and several Europeans were Injured. Three trains were overturned between Hanoi and Namdlnh. Plans have been adopted for the for­ mation in Pittsburg of one of the greatest combinations of banking terests ever taken In the country. By the deal the Farmers’ Deposit Nation­ al, Colonial Trust company, Pennsyl­ vania Trust company. Columbia Na­ tional bank. Tradesmen's National bank, Tradesmen’s National bank, Ger­ mania Savings bank and Freehold bank will be merged, making the largest and most powerful Institution between Philadelphia and Chicago. The Rio Giande at Earlham, N. M.. is very threatening. The rise is more than a foot and a half In 12 Ifcurs, and from San Marclal an addl^fonal rise of 18 Inches Is ex p jiel. The river Is more than two miles wide, extending from Earlham to Berlno, a Mexican town. Berino Is flooded, the Inhabitants abandoning their homes, and farms and ranches are submerged for miles along the valley in New Mex­ ico. Tho bodies of Frank Okorman and Hans Oustead, who were drowned In ‘.he Missouri river recently at Great Falls were found at Fort Benton, 65 miles away. The bodies had traveled the distance In one hour less than five a days. They went over six falls and 0 nlles of rapids. Official word has been received In Butte, Mont., to the effect that the cutoff from Columbia Falls or Kalis- pell. On the Great Northern, to Jacko, the Northern Pacific, la to be built at once. Work will be commenced within 60 days. The new line will up the richest country In the state of Montana and furnish a direct route from the Crow's Nest fields to the Butte and Anaconda mines and smelters. President Lee Mantle; vice presi­ dent Martin Maglnnls; secretary,* Paul McCormick; assistant secretary, John B. Leggatt; treasurer, C. W. Hoffman; executive committee, thd president vice president, secretary; • William Scallon. B. F. White and H. I * . Frank. Those are the officers and committeemen of the Montana world's I fair commission, upon whom will de­ volve the active work of preparing the. exhibit of this state, for the Louisiana - 11 -chase exposition at S t Louis next year, under the provisions of the bill enacted at the extra session of the legislature. John F. Leary, of Butte was shot under mysterious circumstances re­ cently, and bis wife la being held- in tho county Jail to answer to the charge of murder, should he die. Leary waa shot through the left lung, and, after an operation, the physicians said that the patient had Just u fighting chance for his life. — Jacob Ketchel, a ranchman living' . Dir- AnMI/I -.ill cently by Jumping into a small lake. He became violently insane and,' going to the ranch home of William Boyd, attacked the family. Next morning a posse was formed to look for Ketchel and found, bis body lb the lake. It is rumored that t* * era division point, r pair shops are to be pell. Mont/, to the n fish, Mont, situated 0 line of that road about 1 of Kails pell. The transfer S upon the completion o Falls cutoff. WASHINGTON ITEM8, Work on a lumber mill to coat $100,- 000, to be created at Spokane, la to begin Immediately. Broker Howard J. Kressly of Spo­ kane is still among the missing and the warrant Issued for his arrest remains unserved. All four national banks of Spokane - show a decided Increase in the report which has been prepared for the comp­ troller of the currency. Just $15.10 for each meadow lark Is what two birds cost Leo Denzel and John Hopkins, two young men of Spo­ kane, tor killing the birds. Reports come from the Horse Heav­ en country that the wheat crop for this year is practically ruined and hundreds of farmers will be rained financially. Officials of the new Coeur d’Alene ft Spokane Street Railway company have received 150 carloads of rails and materials for the new line, from Pu­ eblo, Col. Contracts are soon to be let for the construction of an Irrigation- system which will furnish water for 226 acres of land owned by that company at - Kliby. The recent rain was general through- : out nearly all parts of the Inland Em­ pire. according to reports from the principal towns, and was of great value to the growing crops. The dead body of a man was found in the Yakima river recently 20 miles \ below Klona. It Is supposed to f > * ' the corpse of a section band who fell Into the river at Ellensburg. ' Governor McBride has named R. C. McCroskey of Garfield, Wash., and Frank J. Barnard of Seattle as regents of the state agricultural college. Both men succeed themselves and each will . serve a term of six years. Horatius won the second Seattle Derby on a Sknf track, against a Held of eight starters, In 2:12%. coming uh- der the wire two and One-half lengths ahead of Polonlus, with Fossil third, killed off to the early pace. The dry kilns of the Monarch Shin­ gle company at Blaine were destroyed by Are recently. Six million ahlnglea wnre burned, entailing a loss of be­ tween $20,000 and $25,000. The Insur­ ance Is about half the loss. ¥ . Bird* of a feather should go and buy overcoat*.

Hendricks' Columbian (Columbia Falls, Mont.), 20 June 1903, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/sn85053047/1903-06-20/ed-1/seq-1/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.