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The Mountain Eagle


Many Reports and Rumors of Life and Property Loss Come In.

Tab The death list of the terrific storm which swept Letcher county Sunday night has mounted to sixteen, with reports coming in which indicate that it may reach twenty.
Tab Property damage cannot be estimated. Homes are destroyed, livestock and poultry drowned, and whole farms practically ruined. The fury of the flood far exceeded anything that has ever hit this area in its history.
Tab Numbers of the dead have been found, but searchers are still at their gruesome task of tearing into drifts along the banks of the streams in hopes of finding bodies. Loved ones anxiously await some word from the searchers.

The Known Dead

Tab Patton Jones and grandchild, (Mrs. Lilly Boggs' child) on head of Kings Creek;
Tab Mrs. Rich Whitaker, on Rockhouse creek, near Blackey;
Tab Five year old daughter of Brent Breeding, Elsiecoal;
Tab Mrs. Chester Fields, Spicewood branch on Kingdom Come;
Tab Mrs. Green Callahan and two children, a son, Dewey, and a daughter nine years old, near Roxana;
Tab Mrs. Tom Royse and daughter, Mrs. Arnold Adkins, at the Mouth of Mill Branch;
Tab Mrs. Henry Caudill and three children, on Linefork;
Tab Two from a Caudill family, on Line Fork, names not known.

Bodies Not Found

Tab Mrs. Nannie Collins, on Rockhouse, died after her family had to be moved out of the home on account of rising water, but she was already at the point of death, and it is thought that the flood did not contribute to her death.
Tab The bodies of the little Boggs child and Breeding child have not been found yet; but, so far as reports here go, all others have been recovered.
Tab The storm has left desolation in its wake. A large number of homes that escaped the death toll do not have food or clothing, except as it is furnished by neighbors, the L. & N. railroad and the Red Cross.
Tab Train service has been cut off, telephone and telegraph service is practically destroyed, and the North fork of the Kentucky river is in a world by itself. The extent of the storm cannot be determined.
Tab Nobody is going hungry, so far as is known. There is enough food in the valley to last several days, and arrangements have been made by which more supplies can be brought in through the Big Sandy valley if they are needed before the train service can be restored.
Tab Volunteers are busy with rescue and reconstruction work everywhere, and a heroic effort is being made to heal the wounds inflicted by the angry storm.
Tab Red Cross headquarters at Washington, D. C., volunteered help; and the local committee, under the direction of Chairman C. H. Burton, is furnishing aid wherever a need can be found.
Tab Elsiecoal was the first place to be reached. The work there was turned over by Mr. Burton to Dr. Collier, railroad surgeon, who is taking care of the situation at that place.
Tab All mining work has been stopped, and many men are out of employment. It is estimated by the operators that the work will be held up from a few days to several weeks, depending upon th eetxnta hm hmhh mmm {sic} on the extent of the damage at the different places.
Tab The greatest loss of life and property was in the heads of small streams. It appears that the rain Sunday night came in cloud-burst fury, flooding the narrow gorges and trapping people before they knew what was upon them. It is in these isolated places throughout the county that the greatest suffering will result, men who are studying the situation say.


Rescue Workers Save All But One Baby When House is Crushed.

Tab The flood hit Elsiecoal just after 11 o'clock Sunday night, and within a few minutes the whole camp of the Consolidated Fuel company was under water.
Tab The house in which Brent Breeding and his family weree living was swept against the railroad trestle and then crushed to pieces. Not a plank of it is to be seen there now. All of the members of the family were saved except a five-year-old girl. The body has not yet been recovered.
Tab Jimmy Higgins, superintendent, says that he heard at 11 o'clock that his sub-station was on fire and started up Smoot creek to see about it. The rain became so hard that he turned back and climbed the hill to his home overlooking the depot there.

Flood Comes Swiftly

Tab A prolonged flash of lightning showed him that the camp was even that soon flooded with water. He rushed back down the hill and began to direct the rescue work. They had to chop into the roofs of some of the houses to get the occupants out, for the water from below had trapped them. Swimmers went in at the risk of their own lives and carried out occupants. One home had thirteen children, all of whom were saved.
Tab Nine houses in the camp were destroyed, and bridges and track wrecked. The total loss to the camp, Mr. Higgins estimates, is about $35,000.

Business Places Along River Suffer Considerable Damage

Tab Several business places along the river in Whitesburg were put to considerable inconvenience by the flood waters Monday morning.
Tab The Superior Motor company was perhaps the hardest hit. Olney Hammonds, manager, had to drag a number of cars out of the water after they had been submerged as much as three feet.
Tab The Kyva Motor company had several dead cars in the basement. The water did not reach this basement for some time, but the cars had finally to be pulled.
Tab The basement of the Whitesburg Wholesale company had to be cleared early Monday morning. None of these places suffered any great amount of loss.


Tab Old citizens say that the flood waters were the highest Monday in the history of the town. The Christmas tide, which was considered a record breaker, barely tipped the bridge on Madison street, but this one ran approximately three feet higher than that.

Many Travelers Stranded in Darkened City as Number One Waits

Tab It might have been twenty years ago, so far as light was concerned, in Whitesburg Monday and Tuesday nights. The storm and flood had cut off all electric power from Hazard, and the little city groped in the dark with only a few sputtering candles and an occasional oil burner to show the way.
Tab People wandeed {sic} about on the streets, laughing and joking and making the best of a bad situation, albeit a note bordering on the hysterical could be detected in the laugh of many.
Tab Crews and passengers from the stranded train filled the hotels and eating places. Men everywhere discussed the storm and its effect. Wild rumors flooded the town, making it difficult to sift the true from the false as the reports came in.

Business Stopped

Tab Business was at a standstill. All lines of communication were cut off - railroad, highway, telephone. For hours the passengers on Number One were confident the track would be cleared, but late Monday afternoon hope was abandoned.
Tab John Fuller and his force spent a hectic time from Monday until Wednesday morning, when connection with the Virginia power line gave this city and Hazard light and power once more. The plant at Lothair was six feet under water.
Tab J. I. Russell and his telephone men have worked tirelessly trying to give Whitesburg connection with the outside world.
Tab Loss of power allowed the water supply of the city to be exhausted, and for a day this was a great inconvenience to many.

Various Mines Suffer Great Loss, Report

Tab Practically all of the coal mines in the county suffered great loss as a result of the flood, according to reports coming in. Nothing if confirmed as yet, except from those near at hand.
Tab The Elkhorn-Jellico and the Sandlick Coal companies on Sandlick are heavy losers, especially in track and bridge. The companies on Rockhouse are reported to be hurt, especially the South Chicago Coal and Dock company. The mines at Basti?, Kona and Sergent are hit.
Tab The Cameo Coal Mining company at Mayking, operated by A. B. Ewen, reports heavy loss.
Tab The Champion Coal company on Kings creek lost heavily in trackage and mine equipment. The Kings Creek Timber company was also hit hard.


Tab Supt. Arlie Boggs came in from Hazard today and reports that the city is almost destroyed by the waters of the flood. Bridges are swept out, business houses destroyed and homes are damaged greatly.


Tab A colored boy on train Number One declared that his brain was absolutely clear when he counted 24 snakes in one herd on the river near here Monday morning while he waited for moving orders.

Whitesburg Citizens Save Madison St. Bridge
Flood Waters Monday Morning Threaten to Sweep Away Overhead Structure

Tab About a score of Whitesburg citizens, at considerable risk of life and limb, saved the bridge on Madison street from destruction by the flood waters Monday morning.
Tab Just after daylight it was discovered that the river had reached the bridge and that driftwood was beginning to lodge against it. Mayor B. C. Bach hired a couple of men to keep these floating timbers crowded away.

Volunteer Workers

Tab At the same time Steve Combes and a crew of men were clearing the basement of the Whitesburg Wholesale company as the waters entered that place. Mr. Combs saw, he says, that the two men could not save the bridge without help, and he went to help them.
Tab Dr. Bach called for more help. As soon as the Whitesburg Wholesale basement was cleared, Mr. Combs asked all of those men to go to the bridge. One or two did not care to go into the water, which was now running over the bridge, but the others rushed into it. Several other men volunteered to work, including the Kyva Motor force, the Superior Motor force and men from the Letcher Motor company.

Big Loss Prevented

Tab Dr. Bach took spike poles belonging to the telephone company and the men used these to shove the drift under the bridge in order to prevent a jam. It looked for a time as if the bridge would go despite the efforts of the workers.
Tab The opinion is that the bridge would not have lasted 30 minutes without the help of the workers. It was constructed by the city and county together at a cost of about eight thousand dollars. The loss in traffic tie-up would have been too great to estimate.

Foot Bridge Swept Away

Tab The foot bridge leading to the old D. D. Fields home in town was washed away by the tide. The concrete piers under the bridge were toppled over.

Bob Harris Becomes Temporary Supt. Of L. & N.; Reconstruction Work Pushed

Tab Bob Harris, who was conductor on Number Three train Sunday night, took charge of this end of the division Monday morning, and has been working tirelessly since then in the re-construction of the track between here and Hazard.
Tab Beginning at McRoberts early Monday morning, he and his crew of workers, regular and volunteer, have pushed the work at a rapid pace, reaching Elsiecoal Tuesday night, a distance of 25 miles.
Tab Harris, who has been in railroad work, for 37 years, says that he has never seen a situation that would in any way compare to the present one. He estimates that the damage to the L. & N. between McRoberts and Hazard will probably reach a million dollars.
Tab Two shifts of crews are being used, and the work is going forward night and day. In addition to slips, slides and washouts, two stretches of track have been moved into the river. New track is being laid over the old bed at both places at a rapid rate of speed, and it is estimated that the train will reach Blackey today.
Tab J. D. Blair, of Whitesburg, a former railroad man, has volunteered his services in this work and is doing a splendid job in assisting Mr. Harris at this task. He is going night and day, and his long experience is invaluable.
Tab Henry Pfening of Seco early in the action took a crew of his mine men and began reconstruction of the lines of communication. He is being assisted by Orville Phipps of Whitesburg, an old linesman; and it is due to the efforts of these men that we are able to establish communication with the various points down the road.
Tab Harris has ordered the camp cars to feed anybody who is hungry. He is working without rest or sleep to get service for the people of the valley, and says he will continue to do so until the job is done. The L. & N. men, from "Cap" Bob Harris to the porter on the trains, are assisting in every way possible in the relief work.

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The Mountain Eagle


The Home of Mrs. Rich Whitaker Is Untouched By Flood

Tab The home of Mrs. Rich Whitaker on Rockhouse was not hit by the waters Sunday night. It was on a slight elevation, and when the creek began to rise, it was surrounded by water.
Tab The occupants, seeing how rapidly the water was rising and how wildly the driftwood was running, decided to leave before the house was swept away.
Tab Mrs. Whitaker was caught by a heavy log as she was crossing the water, and was drowned before the folks could rescue her. Later it was found that the water had barely touched the house.

Wife is Torn From Husband's Arms By Flood

Tab Arnold Adkinson, living at the Mouth of Mill Branch near Roxana, tells a pitiful story of how the raging waters Sunday night snatched his wife from his arms and carried her away into the pitch-black darkness.
Tab "We were in the water almost to our shoulders," he says, "and I was leading Mrs. Adkinson toward the bank, when a raft log swept down upon us, tearing her from my grip. That was the last I saw of my wife.
Tab "The water carried me into a drift pile, where I lay till daylight, sometimes conscious but much of the time not knowing what was happening around me. I had no idea where I was."
Tab "At daylight I began to look about, and almost the first sight to meet my eyes was the body of my mother-in-law, Mrs. T. O. Royse, which lay a few feet from me on the drift."
Tab The body of Mrs. Adkinson has been found.

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The Mountain Eagle



Tab Far up the valley of Kingdom Come, to the very headwaters of this beautiful and historic creek, a little rail pen has recently been made in a small field at the foot of the mountain.
Tab Two new graves are inissdide {sic}. [inside]
Tab The small one is for Pansy Boggs, and the large one for her grandfather, Patton Jones.
Tab A few days ago, Patton Jones lived in this trim little house at the foot of the mountain. Little Pansy liked to stay with her parents during the day and to go to her grandfather's house for the night.
Tab Both were apparently secure. Both were undoubtedly happy. But on Sunday night, May 29, a roaring, leaping, frantic wall of water came down from the mountain sides; and the grandfather, his first thought no doubt for the safety of the child, snatched her from the bed and fled into the very jaws of death.
Tab Relatives and friends searched long and patiently for the bodies. Finally they were found and brought to this solemn spot. Here they lived and laughed and labored and loved, here they died, and here they rest till the earth-cycle shall have been run and the mysteries of the ways of an all-wise God shall have been explained.

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The Mountain Eagle


Day Tells of Identifying Mrs. Callihan

Tab B. Day in an interview recently, told of identifying the body of Mrs. Green Callihan, who died in the flood. The body of the woman was found by Les. Campbell near Ulvah.
Tab "I knew who it was as soon as I saw the body," Day said, "although she had been dead six days. A small mole near her mouth helped to identify her. I brought the body to Roxana and made the coffin in which she was buried.
Tab "Mrs. Callihan was found within 10 feet of where the body of Mrs. Arnold Adkinson had been found several days earlier. She was lying on her face and was covered several inches deep in sediment. Many folks had walked over her body without discovering it."

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