Pharos-Tribune

Local News

March 24, 2013

Locals recall stories of the great flood of 1913

LOGANSPORT — It was 100 years ago today when waters from the greatest natural catastrophe – the 1913 flood – reached its peak in downtown Logansport, and sent its residents looking for higher ground.

Parts of the western United States experienced a rare band of storms and tornadoes that made their way to Kansas, Missouri, parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. What began as a severe storm on March 21, 1913, developed into an amazing flood bringing the Wabash River, where the flood stage is at 15 feet above sea level, to hover at a little more than 25 feet March 25 and 26.

Buggies and wagons were carried away and rail traffic, which was at the heart of Logansport’s economy, was put to a halt. By this morning 100 years ago, the river overflowed its banks, according to documents at the Cass County Historical Society.

The water flooded the south and west side of town and it ran across Third and Fourth streets, down Market and Broadway, with a rapid current, according to the society.

“I have likened it to the images from Hurricane Katrina,” said Thelma Conrad of the society. “It was a major, major disaster. You look at those images and you see the severity of it and see what people went through.”

Conrad referred to a static display at the Cass County Historical Society Museum where postcard images show the devastation townspeople faced back then.

“People are always drawn to those postcards, to those images,” she said. “It seems like each new generation will know about that event, if they know nothing else about Logansport’s history, they all seem aware of the Logansport flood.”

Two deaths – that of Luther Maxwell and Emil Wentze – were reported as a result of the flood. Four bridges, Third Street, Cicott Street, Country Club and Longcliff, were washed away, according to the society. About 5,000 people were left without homes.

One hundred years ago Tuesday, more than 1,000 people were rescued from Logansport by cadets from Culver Military Academy. Cadets would load 1,000-pound boats on railcars and the academy would send upper classmen to help rescue residents who were forced to second-floor rooms in their homes and rooftops.

As cadets made their way to Logansport, up to two-thirds of the town was under water, according to published reports.

“It was devastating to the whole area,” said former Mayor Mike Fincher, who helped rekindle a relationship with Culver in the mid-2000s. Fincher said the flood struck at a prosperous time for Logansport. “At that point in time, Logansport was a very growing town. In 1913, it was a boom town. We had several railroads involved here. It was a hub for several railroads. We were landlocked going east and the bridge on Sixth Street. Since we were a rapidly growing community at that time, it just made more impact on the region. It was just a devastation for this community because it flooded the whole downtown. It just didn’t get a little bit, it got the whole part.”

But as a result of the flood, both the city and the academy developed a relationship. The city wanted to make sure it showed Culver it appreciated the efforts of its cadets. The city allocated money for a gate to be erected at Culver, which has since been called the Logansport Gate.

Assistance came from as far as Chicago and as close as Twelve Mile. Loaves of bread were sent and other items to help get the community back on its feet. And from all accounts, Conrad said, it looks as though it did.

“I think that people just kind of picked up and carried on. It was a different time in 1913,” she said. “They scooped out the dirt and the silt, cleaned up and kept going.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042014 Monk String-MAK Local Lao-Thai celebration brings 'new year, new life' Five Buddhist monks sat cross-legged on the stage of the Cass County Memorial Home Saturday morning, draped in orange robes, their hair cropped close to their heads. Those in attendance sat and knelt on rugs before them, many wearing sashes over thei

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Hospital CEO calls for growth Logansport Memorial Hospital's president and CEO said the facility will continue with its goals for growth in his State of the Hospital address Friday. Among the hospital's goals for 2013 were to preserve existing net revenues and resources, achieve

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT042014 ballistics vest.jpg Protective investment: Family donates dog's bulletproof vest A local family recently donated a bulletproof vest to protect the Cass County Sheriff's Department's new canine, Kurby. Dr. Gerhardt Winkel III, his wife Stephanie and their children Elizabeth and Benjamin donated the vest because Kurby is a Belgian

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 miami co crash.jpg Two injured in Miami County crash PERU -- Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19. According to a preliminary crash investigation by Indiana State Police, Rachael Pegg, 23, Mexico, was driving a 2002 Oldsmobile Intr

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 smith retirement.jpg Pastor retiring after 36 years After 36 years at Logansport First Church of the Nazarene, the Rev. Dr. Horace Smith thinks it's time to call it quits. Smith is preaching his last sermon next Sunday as the church's pastor. He and wife Linda Smith plan to remain in Logansport, which

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 19, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 19, 2014

  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 18, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041814 LC50 cords.jpg 50 years later WALTON -- Dean "D.A." Zehring graduated from the current Lewis Cass High School, but he never attended classes there. It's one of the unique characteristics of the graduating class of 1968, the first class to complete all four years of high school un

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Caston considers Logan bus stop FULTON -- Caston Schools administrators are considering establishing a bus stop a few miles outside its boundaries on the north side of Logansport. The school board recently discussed the feasibility of adding a bus stop for students transferring fro

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition