February 23, 1956
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually In Cal’s Column
Transcribed by Bob Morrow
THE BIG FLOOD IN THE YEAR 1842
My grandfather, Pleasant Massey, lived in what is now Pleasant Shade in the year, 1842, when the big flood came. His house stood where the Johnnie Sloan house was and on the same ground it is now.
Leonard W. Massey son of Pleasant Massey, was born April 3, 1839 and was only about three years old at the time of the big flood. My mother, Millie Jent, was born July 26, 1834. She was 8 years old when the flood came. At that time she and her parents lived about nine miles north of Lafayette, in Allen County.
Leonard W. Massey and Millie Jent were married Sept. 6, 1866.
Mother told me the story about the flood about like this:
On the dates you have of the big rise, my grandfather had a large family, 12 children, six boys and six girls. When they woke up and stepped out of bed they found water all over the floor. They got them all up and the older ones helped the younger ones, and they all waded out, and the waters rose fast enough to stay about waist deep as they went up through the bottom until the ground got high enough for them to walk out of the water.
Mother said the house was a two-story building and made of logs and washed away; that it had a stack chimney and that not even a stone of the pillar and the stack chimney were left on the ground.
I was about six years old when I first began to hear about the house washing away, which was about 31 years after the flood. So I am sure she knew that the house washed away.
I got this story about the flood from Brother Hudson Porter. His aunt, I believe, was the woman that got drowned and this was the *story I heard about. The Negro boy went and woke them up and said that the water is getting awful high, and they had better get out. But they said “Go back to bed.” He waited a little while and went back to get them to get out and they would not but said go on back and a few minutes later he told them he was going to get out and he did.
This is what I was told, that when the waters were shaking the house they then could not get out, and soon the house floated away and soon lodged against a big tree, a sycamore, I believe. They said the man crawled out on a big limb and wanted his wife to get out on the limb, but she was afraid and would not come out. So he got back in the house or on the house. I heard that they were in the upper room and he went out through a window. I am sure that mother got the true story of the flood. She talked of it often as long as she lived.
If this will help out any, all right.
C. B. Massey.
(Editor’s Note. We thank Brother Massey for his interesting account of the flight of his grandparents and their family from the log house that stood then in Pleasant Shade. We also appreciate his relating what he learned from Hudson Ellis Porter, on whose farm Brother Massey lived for a number of years. The editor once lived on the Porter farm, in the year 1914. We considered Hudson Ellis Porter one of the best men we ever knew).
* Transcriber Note:
story vice stroy