THE GREAT FLASH FLOOD OF NEWBURG, MISSOURI
JUNE 8, 1945

What I remember most about the flood was the first time we were able to go into town after Little Piney went down enough to go across the bridge. My Dad had gone around through Flat and Edgar Springs, MO., then back down highway 63 to Rolla, MO. and then to Newburg, MO. He wanted to check on his job. He worked for the Frisco Railroad, which was now at a stand still with all the tracks washed out around Newburg. This was a very serious problem, because the war was still going on and everything going in or out of Fort Leonard Wood went through Newburg. I can't remember how long it took to get the trains running again, but it would have taken several days. When we got to town there were homes and cars washed on to the railroad tracks. There were German POW's (prisoners of war) that were being held at Fort Leonard Wood. The Army brought in a large group of these German prisoner's to help clean up the town. There were a lot of Army MP's with weapons keeping watch over the POW's. I found out later all of the POW's had volunteered to help with the clean up. There were 5 people who drown in the flood. Mrs. Courson (I don't remember her first name) and her daughter Darlene. Mrs. Margaret Baker and her daughter Bernadine. A young girl named JoAnn Williams. (This was Bill William's sister who was ahead of us in school). Several homes just north of the Church of God were washed off their foundations. They set along the branch that ran through town. That took the brunt of the water as it came down off the hills and into town. The flood hit Newburg around 3:00 pm in the afternoon, I can remember it had been raining for several days, but on this day the clouds were very dark with lots of lightning and thunder. I helped my Grandmother, Minnie Clair (Pryor) Deskin, round up a large group of baby chicks that she was raising. She was afraid they would drown. I guess it was good that the flood came during the afternoon, if it had been late at night when people were in bed the death toll would probably have been much higher. Written by Cordell Henry Webb Son of Ferd Weldon and Reba Helen (Deskin) Webb Newburg, Missouri May 2006

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