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St. Paul daily globe. (Saint Paul, Minn.) 1884-1896, June 03, 1889, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90059522/1889-06-03/ed-1/seq-1/

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Fifteen Hundred Houses Swept From the Face of the
Earth in the 111-Fated City of
tiot a Stick of Timber or One "Brick on Top of Another
Left to Tell the Story in ..-__,
Places. I
Most Conservative Calculators Place the Number of Dead
Somewhere in the Neighborhood of Five
An Infuriated Crowd Hangs Two Men Who Cut Jewelry
From the Fingers and Ears of
Pitiful Story of a Woman Who Lost Her Husband,
Seven Children and Their Little*
Johnstown, Pa., June 2.— When
Supt. Pitcairn telegraphed to Pittsburg
Friday night that Johnstown was anni
hilated, he came very close to the facts
of the case, although he had not seen
the ill-fated city. To say that Johns
town is a wreck is but stating the facts
of the case. Nothing like it has ever
been seen in this country. Where long
rows of dwelling houses and business
blocks stood forty-eight hours ago, ruin
and desolation now reign supreme.
Probably 1,500 houses have been swept
from the face of the earth as completely
as if they had never been erected. Main
street from end to end is piled fifteen
and twenty feet high with debris, and
in some instances it is as high as the
roofs of the houses. This great mass
of wreckage fills the streets
and frequently has crushed the fronts
of buildings in and filled the space with
reminders of the terrible calamity.
There is probably not a man in the
place who can give -any reliable esti
mate of the number of houses that had
beeu swept away. City Solicitor Kuhn,
who should be very good authority in
this matter, places tne number at 1,500.
From the woolen mill above the island
to the bridge, a distance of probably
two miles, a strip of territory nearly a
half mile in width has been swept
clean, not a stick of timber or one brick
on top of another being left to tell the
story. It is the most complete wreck
that imagination could conceive. All
day long men, women and chil
dren were plodding about the deso
late waste . trying in vain to
locate the boundaries of their former
homes. Nothing but a wide expanse of
mud, ornamented here and there with
heaps of driftwood, remained, however,
for their contemplation. It is perfectly
safe to say that every house in the city
that was not located well up on the hill
sides was either
or wrecked so badly that rebuilding
will be absolutely necessary. These
losses, however, are nothing compared
to the frightful sacrifices of precious
human lives to be seen on every hand.
Dining ail this solemn Sunday, Johns
town has been drenched with the tears
of stricken mortals, and the air is filled
with sobs and sighs that came from
breaking hearts. There are scenes en
acted here every hour and every
minute that affect all beholders pro
foundly. When brave men die in battle
for country or for principle their loss
can be reconciled to the stern destinies
of life. When homes are. torn asunder
in an instant, and the loved ones hurled
from the arms of loving and devoted
mothers, then is an element of sadness
connected with the tragedy which
touches every heart. An utterly
wretched woman named Mrs. Fenn
stood by a muddy pool of water, trying
to find some trace of a once happy
home. She was half-crazed with grief,
and her eyes were red and swollen. As
the writer stepped to her side she raised
her pale aud haggard face and re
marked: ''They are all gone. Oh, God,
be merciful to them. My husband and
toy seven
have been swept down with the flood,
and lam left alone. We were driven
by the raging flood into the garret, but
the water followed us there. Inch by
inch it kept rising until our heads were
crushing against the roof. It was death
to remain, so I raised a window, and one
by one placed my darlings on some
.driftwood, trusting to the great Creator.
As I liberated the last one, my sweet
little boy, he looked at me and said:
■Mamma, you always told me that the
Lord would care for me; will He look
after me now?' I saw him drift away
with his loving face turned toward me,
and with a prayer on my lips for his de
liverance he passed from sight forever.
The next moment the roof crashed in.
and I floated outside, to be rescued fif
teen hours later from the roof
of a house in Kernville. If
1 could only find one of my darlings, I
could bow to the will of God. But they
are all gone. I have lost everything on
earth but my life, and I will return to
my old Virginia home and lay me down
for my last great sleep."
with hair as black as a raven's wing,
walked through the depot where a dozen
or more bodies were awaiting burial.
Passing from one to another, she finally
lifted the paper covering from the face
of a woman, young and with traces of
beauty showing through the stains of
muddy water. With a cry of anguish
she reeled backward, to be caught by a
rugged man who chanced to be passing.
In a moment or so she had calmed her
self sufficiently to take one more look at
the features of her dead. She stood
gazing at the- unfortunate as if
dumb. Finally turning away with an
other wild burst of grief, she said:
"And her beautiful hair all matted and
her sweet face so bruised and stained
with mud and water." The dead
woman was the sister of the mourner.
The body was placed in a coffin and
sent away to its narrow house. These
incidents are but lair samples of the
scenes familiar at every turn in this
stricken city. The loss of life is simply
dreadful. The most conservative peo
ple declare that the number will reach
have been full of men carrying bodies
to various places, where they await
identification, since morning, and the
work has only just begun. Every hour
or so the forces of men working on the
various heaps of debris find numbers of
bodies buried in the mud and wreckage.
It is believed that when the flames are
extinguished in the wreckage at the
bridge, ando the same is removed,
hundreds aud hundreds of victims will
be discovered. In fact, this seems cer
tain, as dozens of bodies have already
been found on the outskirts of the huge
mass of broken timbers. The Reports
from outside points are also appalling.
Up to 9 o'clock to-night 180 bodies had
been embalmed at Nineveh, and there
is a report that 200 more have
been discovered half-buried in the mud
on an island between New Florence and
the place named. At the Fourth ward
school house over 100 victims have been
laid out for identification. In many
cases they have been recognized, while
in many more the slabs bear the word
"unknown." Shocking sights have be
come so common that they have lost
their terrors, and the finding of a body
here and there attracts little or no at
tention from the great crowds that con
stantly line the river banks and crowd
all other accessible places. As this is
being written hundreds and hundreds
of homeless men,|women and children
under tents that were sent on from
Pittsburg and other places about the
country. The Pennsylvania railroad
has succeeded in getting a track through .
to this city, and provisions enough to
meet all immediate wants have arrived.
Adjutant General Hastings is in charge
of the police and the various relief
corps, and he is doing good work for the
sufferers. Those people who were not
swept away or . disabled are working
earnestly for the revival of the stricken
city, but it will take months of work to
come anywhere near repairing the fear
ful damage, while it is about certain
that the list of the lost will never
be made complete. The supply of
coffins sent in from Pittsburg and
other points is so great that
the relief committee , telegraphed
last evening not to send any more until
ordered. No funds have % yet : been re
ceived from Philadelphia, but the au
thorities are confident that when tele
graphic communications*; are i restored
they will get liberal \ contributions from
that city. Dozens of smaller places
have already sent in generous sums of
money, and the people are encouraged
to believe that all of their more press-'
ing wants will be provided for. It will
require several days yet to ascertain
anything like a definite idea of the loss
of "life, but it will certainly reach up
into the thousands. Every hour brings
J fresh evidence of the fact that the dis
aster eclipses anything of the kind In
the history of the country, and no one
can say what the final results will be. !
The Story of the Disaster Not at !
All Overstated.
Johnstown, Pa., June The situat j
ion here has not changed, and ye ster
day's estimates of the loss of life do not
seem to be exaggerated. Six hundred
bodies are now lying in Johnstown,
and a large number have already been
burled. Four immense relief trains ar
rived last night, and the survivors are j
I being well eared for. . A portion of the
1 police force of Pittsburg and Allegheny
are on duty, and better order is main
tained than prevailed yesterday. Com
munication has been restored between
Cambria City and Johnstown by a foot
bridge. The work of repairing the
tracks between Sang Hollow and Johns
town is going on rapidly, and trains
will possibly be running to-morrow
morning. Not less than 15,000 stran
gers are here. The Jhandsome brick
high school building is damaged to
such an tent that it will. have to be
rebuilt. The water attained the height
of the window sills of the second floor.
Its upper stories formed a refuge for
many persons: All Saturday afternoon
two little girls could be seen at the win
dows frantically calling for aid. They
had spent all night and the day in the
without food and drinking water. Their
condition was lamentable. Late in the
evening the children were removed to
higher ground and properly cared for.
A number of persons had been taken
from this building earlier in the day,
but in the excitement the children were
forgotten. Their names could not be
obtained. Morrell institute was a beau
tiful building, and the old homestead of
the Morrell family is totally ruined.
The water has weakened the walls and
foundations to such an extent that there
is danger of its collapsing. Many
families took refuge in this building
and were saved. Now that the waters
have receded.there is great danger from
falling walls. All day long the crash
ing of walls could be heard across the
river. Before daybreak this morning
the sounds could not but make one
sh udder at the very thoughts of the
horrible deaths that awaited many who |
had escaped the devastating flood. Li
brary hall was another of the fine build
ings of the many in the city that are
destroyed. Of the Episcopal church
not a vestige remains. Where it once
stood there is now a placid lake. The
parsonage is swept away, and the rector
of the church, Key. Dillon," was
drowned. The church was one of the
first buildings to fall. It carried with
it several of the surrounding houses,
many of them occupied. The victims
were swept into the comparatively still
waters at the bridge and there«_net
death, either
James M. Walters, an attorney, spent
the night in Alma hall, and relates a
thrilling story. One of the most curious
occurrences of the whole disaster was
how Mr. Walters got to the hall. He
has his office on the second floor. His
home is at 135 Walnut street. He says
he was in the house with his family
when the waters struck it. All were
carried away. Mr. Waiters' family
drifted on a roof in another direction.
He passed down several streets and
alleys until he came to the hall. His
dwelling struck that edifice and he
was thrown into his own office.
About 200 persons had taken ref
uge in the hall and were on
the second, third and fourth stories.,
The men held a meeting and drew up
some rules which all were bound to re
spect. Mr. Walters was chosen presi
dent, Rev. Beale was put in charge of
the first floor, A. M. Hart of the second
floor, Dr. Mathews of the fourth floor.
No lights were allowed, and the whole
night was spent in darkness. The sick
were eared for. The weaker women
and children had the best accommoda
tions that could be had, while the oth
ers had to wait. The scenes were most
agonizing. Heartrending shrieks, sobs
and moans pierced the gloomy darkness.
The crying of children mingled withjthe
of the women. Under the guardianship
of the men all took more hope. No one
slept during all the long, dark night.
Many knelt for hours in prayer, their
supplications mingling with the roar of
the waters and shrieks of. the dying in
surrounding houses. In all this misery,
two women gave premature birth to
children. Dr. Matthews is a hero. Sev
eral of his ribs were crushed by falling
timber and his pains were most severe,
yet through all he attended the sick.
When two women in a house across the
street shouted for help, he, with two
brave young men, climbed across the
drift and ministered to their wants.
No one died during the night,
but women and children surrendered
their lives on the succeeding day as a
result of terror and fatigue. Miss Rose
Toung, one of the young ladies in the
hall, was frightfully cut and bruised.
Mrs. Young had a leg broken. All of
Mr. Walters' family were saved. This
afternoon a spring wagon came slowly
from the ruins in what was once Cam
bria. In it, on a board and covered by
a muddy cloth, were the remains of
Editor C. T. Schubert, of the Johns
town Free Press, a German. Behind
the wagon walked his friend Benjamin
Gribble. Editor Schubert was one of
the most popal and well-known Ger
mans in the city. Thursday he had
sent his three sons to Conemaugh bor
ough, and Friday afternoon he r and
his wife and six other chil
dren called at Mr. . Gribble's
residence. They noticed the rise of the
water, but not until the- flood from the
burst dam washed the city did they an
ticipate danger. All fled from the first to
the second floor; then, as the water rose,
they went to the attic, arid Mr. Schu
bert hastily
upon which all embarked. Just as the
raft reached the bridge a heavy piece of
timber raised from the water and swept
the" editor I beneath the surface. ; ; The
raft then glided through and all the rest ■
were rescued. Mr. Schubert's remains
were found . this afternoon beneath 'a
pile of broken timbers. This ; evening'
his coffin was carried to his widow and
children at the house of a friend in
Morrellville. A tour of the west bank
of the river for a distance of two miles
leaves the mind cot-fused. There, ar.
mot over a hundred bodies to be seen;'
'but while a mass of people walked back
-and forth they were strangers. -No*
(one person in ten that one meets wa_*a
resident of this vicinity, It leads to
the belief that hundreds, perhaps thou-"
sands, are still buried in the mud ami
debris, burned in the awful furnace at
the stone bridge, .or ' lodged further
down than the searchers have yet gone.
That many are buried yet is also indi
cated by a fresh find every few hours,
though no thorough search in the mud
and debris is made. The work of get
ting the bodies together for easy iden
tification began this afternoon. The
central point was Morrellville. On
Fairfield avenue is a large vacant lot
belonging to Frank Lecky. At 5
o'clock this was almost entirely cov
ered with coffins/while between them,
and stooping over them, were ;
? Although the number was short -of
100 at 5 o'clock, others will come in, and
there is no telling what . the total will
be. In one rough box was a piece of
paper with the words "Three I chil
dren." To-night they were lifted out
and all three placed in one coffin. The
little bodies were almost naked and
their faces bruised and cut. St. Marie's;
German Catholic church stands a quar
ter of a mile below the bridge. Its walls
are standing, but inside it is filled with
mixed broken benches and ruined
images. In it were found the mangled
body of P. Eldridge and the remains of
several negroes. The distance to St.
Columbia's Catholic church is half a
mile. The . streets to it are filled with
broken houses, and people in those that;
were left standing were busy shoveling
mud from the first floors. The scene;
at St. Columbia church was awful..
Forty of fifty bodies had been car-;
ried into it and laid on the muddy seats.
Lying in a row in this church were five
children from two to six years old. No
one had identified them this afternoon.:
Their little curls were matted with
mud. Their nostrils were filled with
sand, and their eyes often completely
covered. No one had come to wash;
away the dirt from their tiny faces, nor
blood stains from the awful cuts and
bruises. YY
Across the aisle lay the massive
frame of a Hungarian laborer. Strong
men, as well as children, were the tor
rent's victims. The following identi
fied dead are lying in the Fourth ward
school house: F. Butler, James G. Cox,
George Raudolf, Harry Barbour, James
Murtha, Mrs. W. Jones, Robert Miller,
Eller Brinky, S. D. Edridge, Mrs. Bar
bour, Jacob Wald, wife and child,
Kate Lindhait, Robert Baldwin,
C. McNally, Frank Dimond, Will
iam Peurod. P. McAuley, John
Streiner," M. L. Davis, Mrs. Defrance.
the two Misses Richards, Ella Harring
ton. Charles A. Marshall, John Reems"
John Anderson, C. H. Wilson, M. Lit- I
tie. A. M. Jones, Misses Halton (three), f
C. R. - Butler, Charles Wilson. John
Andrews. John Burns, Mr. McCoy, Mrs.
O'Connell. A number of other bodies
are lying in the school house, but they
are unidentified. There were many at
work in the Lower Voder Catholic ceme
tery and Grand View Protestant ceme
tery this afternoon digging trenches.
The bodies that were exposed when the
water began falling are in bad condi
tion. Some have already been interred.
In the haste and excitement no definite
arrangements seem to have been made
for funeral services. The only sugges
tion that could be obtained at Morrell
ville was that all the bodies would be
buried and general memorial services
held after the present suffering is al
leviated. V
For Cutting Jewelry From Fin
gers and Ears of Corpses. V
Johnstown, June 2.— At 8:30 o'clock
this morning an old railroader, who had
walked from Sang Hollow, stepped up
to a number of men who were congre
gated on the platforms of stations at Cur
ran ville, and said: Gentlemen, had I
had a shotgun with me, half an hour
ago, I would now be a murderer, yet
with no fear of ever having to suffer
for my crime. Two miles below here I
watched three men going along
the banks, stealing the jewels from
the bodies of the dead -wives ■■
and daughters of . men ■■ who
have been robbed of all they held dear
on earth." He had no sooner finished
the last sentence than five burly men,
with looks of terrible determination
written on their faces, were on their,
way to the scene of plunder, one with a
coil of rope over his shoulder and an
other with a revolver in his hand. In
twenty minutes, so it is stated, they
had overtaken two of their victims,
who were then in the act of cutting
pieces from the ears and fingers from
the hands of two dead women. With
a revolver, leveled at the scoundrels,
the leader of the posse shouted:
"Throw up your hands, or I'll blow
your heads off." With blanched faces
and trembling forms they obeyed
the order and begged for mercy. They
were searched, and as their pockets
were emptied of their ghastly finds the*
indignation of the crowd intensified,;
and when a bloody finger of an infant,'
encircled with two tiny gold rings, was .
found among the plunder in the leader's
pocket, a cry went up, "Lynch them, ;
lynch them." Without a moment's delay. .
ropes were thrown around their necks
and they were dangling to the limbs of
a tree, in the branches of which,: an
hour before, were entangled the bodies
of a dead father and son. After the ex
piratiou of half an hour the ropes were
cut and the bodies lowered and carried
to a pile of rocks in the forest :on the
hill above. It is hinted that an Alle
gheny county . official was one of the I
most prominent actors in this tragedy \ 1
of j ustifiable homicide. . y > i
A second case of 'attempted lynching, -
was witnessed this evening near Kern
ville. The man • was observed stealing ; j
baluable articles from the houses. He '
was seized by a mob. A rope was ■
placed around his neck, and he Was'
jerked up ' into the air. The rope was'
tied to a tree, and his would-be lynchers
left him. -Bystanders cut him down be
fore he was dead. The other men did
not interfere, and he was allowed to
go. The man was so badly scared that
he could not give his name if ;he '.
wanted to. He hurried away as soon as
he recovered his ; breath. : He was not
known by any one : in the crowd. .. Ex-
Mayor Chalriier ; Dick, of Johnstown,
shot a man in Johnstown to-day for rob- -
bing a dead woman's . body. The story
related of Mr. Dick r is » that he sawthe -
man go to the deod body of a woman
and take off several rings she had on.' i
He pulled out^ his revolver and fired. •
The bullet struck the . man. He •■ fell "
forward into the water, and • his body ■
was washed away by the current. "
Awful Fate of Four Men "Who ■
Robbed the Dead.; Y YpA
Johnstown, Pa.;' June 2.— The' way
of the transgressor in the desolated val
ley of I the Conemaugh is hard indeed.
j Each hour reveals some new and horri*
j IMe story of suffering arid outrage," and
i -every succeeding hour brings news oi
I swift aud merited punishment meted
| «_* to the fiends who have dared to dese
[ orate the stiff and mangled corpses in
, -"She city of the dead and torture the -al
ready half-crazed victims of the cruelesl
! -of modern catastrophes. As the roads
.to the lands round about are opened,
•tales of almost indescrible horror come
to light and deeds of the vilest, nature,
perpetrated in the darkness of the night,
■are brought to light. Just as the shadows
jpegan to fall upon the earth last even
.nig, a party of thirteen Hungarians
were noticed stealthily picking : their
way along the banks of the Conemaugh
toward Sang Hollow. Suspicious of
their purpose, several farmers armed
themselves and started in pursuit. Soon
their most horrible fears were realized.
IThe Hungarians were out for plunder,
laying upon the shore they came upon
; the dead and mangled body of a woman
upon whose person there were a num
ber of trinkets of jewelry and two dia
mond rings. In their eagerness to se
cure the plunder, tne Hungarians got
into a squabble, during which one of
their number . severed the finger upon
which were the rings and started on
a run with his fearful prize. The
revolting nature of the deed so wrought
upon the • pursuing farmers, who by
this time were close at hand, that they
gave immediate chase. Some of the
Hungarians showed; fight, but. being
outnumbered, were compelled to flee
■ for their lives. Nine of the brutes es
caped, but four were literally driven
into the surging river and to their
death. The inhuman monster whose
attrocious act has been described was
among the number of the involuntary
Two Cars Swept Away by the Re-
V ' sistless Flood.
' - Johnstown, June 2.— a talk with
Conductor Bell, of the first section of
the day express laid up at Conemaugh
on the night of the disaster, he said:
V "The first and second sections stopped
side by side at Conemaugh Friday after
noon on account of the washout at
Lilly's. The second was next to the
-hill; the first on the outside. Suddenly
-I saw what looked like a wall of water.
It was thirty feet high. We barely had
time to notify the passengers, and they
nearly all fled up the hillside. One old
man, who with his sou returned for
some reason, was drowned. Two cars
went down in the current. I do not
know how many were drowned. We
' saw two on top of the cars. The water
set fire to a lot of lime and the fire
caught ■ two Pullman cars, which were
destroyed, but no person was burned,
. all the passengers having left the train
before the cars caught. There were
[about 100 persons on my section, which
was made up of clay coaches. After the
mad rush the passengers went back to
'the cars, and later were cared for by the
people of Conemaugh. Afterwards they
were taken to Ebensburg. They ex
pected to go East to Altoona this after
noon. Friends of those in the Chicago
•limited need feel no anxiety, as it was
not in the flood at all."
;X Harry Rose, the popular district attor
ney tor Cambria, is among the missing,
and there is scarcely a doubt that he is
among the lost. Many have been "re
ported* dead who are not. Col. John
Linton and his family are * saved. John
M. Rose is riot dead as reported, uor
Col James McMilliu. Rev. H. Chap
man, also reported dead, is alive. These
facts, circulated this afternoon, caused
much joy. A squad of Battery B, under
command of Lieut. Brown, the forerun
ners of the whole battery, arrived at the
improvised telegraph office "at 6:30
o'clock. He went at once to Adjt. Gen.
Hastings and arranged for proper
'protection. Another , '• dispensary,
; under Drs. Wakefield, of the
Cambria Medical society: Stewart, of
the Allegheny society, and Milligan, of
the Westmoreland society, is doing good
work. Dr. Milligan states that they
treated 300 patients to-day. They are
at Napoleon street in Kearnsville. No
surgical instruments could be procured
in the city until 2 o'clock this afternoon.
Among the 300 patients the doctors
have many with fractured skulls, and
nearly all have broken bones. One
man had a heavy iron bar driven
beneath the knee, separating the two
bones. A thigh amputation was made.
A woman had her knee and the lower
part of her limb crushed out of all
shape. A thigh amputation was neces
sary. Dr. Milligan reported at 6■ p. m.
th at seventy-six bodies had been taken
out at Kearnsville and eighty-five above
the silk works. Chief Evans, of the
Pittsburg fire department, arrived this
evening with Engines Nos. 2 and 15 and
several hose carts with a full comple
ment of men. A large number of Pitts
burg physicians came on the same
: train. Mr. Crouse, proprietor of the
South Fork Fishing Club hotel, came
to Johnstown this afternoon. He
says that when the dam of Cone
maugh lake broke the water seemed to
leap, scarcely touching the ground.
It bounded . down the valley crashing
and roaring, carrying everything be
fore it. For a mile its front seemed
like a solid wall twenty feet high. The :
warning given the stricken city was
sent from South Fork village by Freight
Agent Dechert. When the great wall
that held the body of water began to
crumble at the top he sent a message
begging the people of Johnstown for
God's sake to take to the hills. Here
ports Ino serious accidents at ; South
Fork. Richard Davis ran to Prospect
hill when the water raised. As to Mr.
Dechert's message, he says just such
have been sent down at each flood since
the lake was made. The warning had
been given so often that little attention
was paid to it this time.^pJQß
"{■' "1 cannot describe the mad rush," he
said. "At first it looked like dust. -That
must have been the spray. I could see
houses going down before it like a
child's play blocks set on edge in a row.
As it came nearer I could see ; houses
totter for a moment, then rise, and the
next moment be crushed like eggshells
against each other." Mrs. James Davis,
her two daughters and a son can no
where be found. At Wood vale there
was a row of brick tenement houses 120
feet long, and three stories high, It '
stood broadside to the current. A few
tenants fled, but many went to their at
tics to watch the flood. To-day, scarce
ily the foondation of the row of brick
houses can be found. Supt. Kirtland,
of the West Perm railroad, arrived at
6:30 with a carload of " provisions from
Blairsville. -
" "with A RUSH AND ROAR.
The "Death-Dealing Flood De
scribed by an Eye Witness.
V Johnstown, June 2.— is impossible
to 1 describe the appearance of Main
street. V- Whole houses have been swept
down this one street and become lodged.
The wreck rls piled as high as the sec
ond story windows. The reporter could
step from the wreck into the auditorium'
af the opera house. The ruins consist
of parts of houses, trees, saw logs and
reefs from the wire factory. Many houses
have their side walls and roofs torn up.
and you can walk directly into what had
been second-story bedrooms, or go in by :
way*;; of ~, the \ top. Further cup ; town *
a _ raft -•" of " '■ logs r lodged in -, the
street and great damage was done. The
best' description ; that ■ can -be .' given of
the general appearance of the wrick is
to imagine a number of children's
- blocks placed closely together and then
I draw your hand through them in almost
f every direction. At the commencement
. ; of the wreckage, which is at the open
ing of lhe valley of the Conemaugh, one
* can lookup the valley for miles and
not see a house. Nothing stands but an
I old woolen mill. Charles Luther is the
, name of the boy who stood on an adja
' cent elevation and saw the whole flood.
' Ile said he heard a grinding noise far
. up the valley, and looking up he could
' see a dark line ' moving slowly toward
! him. He saw that it was houses." On
' they came, like the hand of a giant
' clearing off his table. High in the air
. would be tossed a log or beam, which
. fell back with a crash. Down
: the valley it moved sedately and across
j the little mountain city. For ten
minutes nothing but moving houses
was seen, and then the waters came
' with a roar and a rush. - This lasted for
' two hours, and ■ then it cegan to flow
more steadily. The pillaging of the
houses" in Johnstown is something
'- awful to contemplate and describe. ;It
makes one feel almost ashamed to call
', himself a man and know that others
' . who .- bear "• the . same " name have con
• verted themselves into human vultures,
preying on the dead. Men are carry
; ing shotguns and revolvers, and woe
: betide the stranger who looks even
' suspiciously at any article. Goods of
great value were being sold in town to
,*' day for a drink of whisky. A supply
store has beeu established in the Fourth
ward in Johnstown. A line of men,
women and : children, extending for a
square, waited patiently to have their
wants supplied. • .
A Request That the Morbidly
Carious Remain Away.
Johnstown, Pa.. June 2.— A promi
nent member of the Johnstown safety
committee said to a Post reporter this
"For God's sake tell them at Pitts
burg to stop the rush of sight-seers to
this stricken locality. There is enough
here to last for weeks, and the morbid
curiosity of those people can just as
well be gratified later as now. The
; crowds of curious have greatly embar
rassed us to-day. The authorities must
stop it." . ;■;::-. >-.*.■-•;
Gen. , Hastings' headquarters are at
the Pennsylvania railroad depot. A
supply depot has been established at
this point, and many needy people are
being relieved. Bodies that are dug
out of the flat lie in the station until a
coffin can be obtained. They are buried
unidentified on Prospect hill. James
McMillan, vice president of the Cambria
Iron works, was met this afternoon. He
is completely unnerved by the terrible
disaster. In a conversation he said:
"I do not know what our Joss is. I
cannot even estimate, as I have not the
faintest idea what it may be. The upper
mill is a total wreck— damaged beyond
all repairs. The lower mill is damaged
to such an extent that all the machinery
and buildings are useless. The mills
will be rebuilt immediately. I have
sent out orders that all men that can
must report at the mill to-morrow to
commence cleaning up. Ido not think
that the building is insured against a
flood. The great thing we want is to
get that mill in operation again."
Estimates of the losses of the Cambria
Iron company give them from $2,000,
--000 to $2,500,000. But little of this can
be recovered. . A slide, . a series '. of
frightful tosses from side to side, a run.
and you had crossed the narrow rope
bridge which * .
dug by the waters between the stone
bridge and Johnstown. Crossing the
bridge was au exciting task. Yet many
women accomplish it rather than
remain in Johnstown. The bridge
pitched like a ship in a storm. Within
two inches of your feet rushed the mud
dy waters of the Conemaugh. There
were no ropes to easily guide, and
creeping was more convenient than
walking. One had to cross the Cone
maugh at a second ; point in order to
reach Johnstown proper. This was ac
complished by a skiff ferry. The ferry
man clung to a rope and pulled the load
over. After lauding, one walks across
a desolate sea of mud, in which there
is interred • the remains of many,
human bodies. It was once
the handsomest portion of the
town. The cellars are filled with mud
so that a person who has never seen the
city can hardly imagine that houses
ever stood where they did. Four streets
solidly built up with houses have been
; swept away. **, Nothing but a small two
story frame house remains. It was near
; the edge of the wave, and the house es
caped. One side was taken up and it
hangs to one side, making a picture of
misery. The walk up to the wrecks of
houses was interrupted in many places
by small branch streams. Occasionally
across the j flats could be seen the re
mains of a victim. The stench from the
mud is sickening to an extreme degree.
Along the route were strewn utensils,
pieces of machinery, iron pipes, and
every conceivable kind of stores. In
the midst of the wreck a clothing dum
my with a hand in position of beckoning
to a person stands erect and uninjured.
The artist had succeeded in outlining a
distorted grin, but it now had a smile of
fiendish mockery.
The Smoky City's Streets Crowded
"With Anxious People.
Pittsburg, Pa., June 2.— The usu
ally quiet streets of Pittsburg on . Sun
day, were to-day alive with excited peo
ple eagerly seeking news from flood
destroyed Johnstown. In front of the
newspaper bulletins the crowds were so
dense as to almost entirely suspend
travel, and each new poster was read
with an interest that to many was more
than mere curiosity. Telegraph offices
were ; thronged with people trying in
vain to : • receive some word from
friends and relatives in the stricken
city. When the wires started working
to Johnstown this morning there were
ou file at the Western Union office 1,000
telegraphic inquiries from . ail parts of
the continent for friends and relatives.
Of these, how few will ever be an
swered Early in the -' morning seven
carloads of provisions left the union
depot for Johnstown on a special train.
Many cars loaded with provisions, bed
ding, etc., are arriving from points west,
north and south, and are being rapidly
forwarded to the scene of disaster.
A scene of activity was presented at the
chamber of commerce this morning. A
number of gentlemen of the relief com
mittee were present receiving tele
grams, official and private from
towns and cities in this and other states,
receiving contributions of money from
churches and individuals, and answer- i
ing questions for r those who came to
seek information. A special train con
veying two fire engines and hose car
riages, with a full quota of firemen, left
here about noon for Johnstown; Twenty
eight policemen of the Pittsburg force
accompanied them, under the command
of Inspector McAleere.
Where the Bodies Are Being Laid
Oat for Burial.
Johnstown, Jurie 2.— Theschoolhouse
has been converted into a morgue and
. the dead , are _* being buried J from this
place. A hospital has been opened near
. by and is full of patients. One of r the
victims, —Thompson, f was f removed
: Continue on Jfonrtl- Page. :_■ .*
Streams in the Atlantic States
Overflow and Cause Im
mense Damage.
The Potomac at Washington
a Seething Torrent-
Loss a Million.
Water Flows in the Capital's
Streets— Flats
The James and Appomattox
Rivers Submerge Richmond
and Petersburg.
Many Cities and Villages in
New York Suffer From
Citizens of Elmira Forced to
~ Go About Their Business
in Boats.
Thirteen Persons Drowned at
Corning—Railways Suffer
Washington, June 2.— The rise of
the Potomac river and the flooding of
the city have attracted attention, locally,
from the Johnstown horror. When
morning broke the water had formed a
big branch running through Pennsyl
vania avenue, and the high ground on
which the Smithsonian institute, the
agricultural department building and
the bureau of engraving and printing
are situated. It was reported that a
colored man had been drowned in the
deep water near the Baltimore & Po
tomac station on Sixth street. He was
heard calling for assistance at 3 o'clock,
and those who set out to rescue him
could not find him. It was believed he
was intoxicated and that he had
fallen into the deep water and
drowned. At daybreak the water had
flooded Perm syl van ic avenue in several
places and it was still rising. The cel
lars of all the stores on both sides of the
lower part of the avenue and the streets
were flooded, and a great deal, of dam
age was done to personal property.
The first street car that started across
from the south to the north side of the
city plowed its way through several feet
of water,and the passengers were obliged
to stand on . the "backs of the seats to
protect their feet and legs. The cars
running up and down, the avenue con
tinued to plow through the water all
day; Y'iiighwater mark was * reached
about noon. From that time the water
receded gradually. The point reached
by the flood was three feet six inches
higher than the highest recorded flood
mark. All Washington was driving up
and down the river "this afternoon. The
presideut came out for a time in the
White house carriage, accompanied by
Mr. McKee and 'Baby" McKee. and
drove around the circle behind the
White house where the water was v not
very deep.
Boats plied along the avenue near the
Pennsylvania railroad station and
througn the streets "of South Washing
ton all day. A carp two feet long was
caught in the ladies' room at the Balti
more & Potomac station, and several
others were caught in the streets by
boys. These fish came from the gov
ernment fish pond, the waters of the
Potomac having covered the pond and
allowed them .to escape. Along the
riverfront the usually calm, peaceful
Potomac was a wide, roaring tur
bulent stream of dirty water, rush
ing madly onward, and bearing on its
swift-moving surface all kinds of debris.
The stream was nearly twice its normal
width land flowed six feet and ' more
deep through the streets along the river
front, submerging wharves, manufact
uring establishments and lapping the
second stories of mills, boat houses and
fertilizing works in Georgetown. r Fur
ther down stream it completely flooded
the Potomac flats, which the government
had raised at great expense to a height
at most parts of four and five feet, and
Inundated the abodes of the poor
negro squatters who had built their
frame shanties along the river's edge.
The rising of the waters has eclipsed
the high water mark of 1877. The loss
will be ■■ enormous. Some place it at
a million of dollars, but no reliable fig
ures can be given until the water sub
sides aud allows property owners to ex
amine their buildings." The city has
been shut off from communication with
the West and South for two days, and
there will be a scarcity of milk and
other supplies until the roads are re
paired sufficiently to allow railroad
trains and wagons to enter the city.
On Louisiana avenue the produce and
commission houses are located. Satur
day night the water soon invaded the
center market, and late buyers were
compelled to utilize boats to secure
their Sunday dinners. At Point of
Rocks the Potomac overflowed into the
Chesapeake & Ohio canal, and the
two became one. It broke open the
canal in many places, and. . lifting
barges up, shot them down stream at a
rapid gait. Trunks . of trees,
immense rafters, small houses
and other debris were torn from
their places and swept onward. Be
low the aqueduct bridge as far as Rock
creek the river: bank is lined with busi
ness places of all descriptions, includ
ing coal dumps, warehouses, fertilizing
manufactories, cement works, boat
houses and mills. Owners of - these
places worked hard to save their prop
erty, and succeeded to a considerable
extent, but the waters gained on them
so rapidly they were forced to desist
before they had accomplished all that
they desired.
At 3 o'clock the water began falling.
This will continue, as the reports re
ceived by the signal office say that both
the Shenandoah and Potomac were fall
ing rapidly. A large . quantity of mail
has stacked up in the city
postoffice awaiting the starting of
trains. At a late hour to-night it-was
reported that two of the , long bridges
had given away, but the rumor lacks
verification. ■ ■ :.. v
The- James and Appomattox on a
Big Rampage.
Richmond, Va., June 2.— James river
is on a big rampage, and Richmond
is almost as completely isolated from
the outside ; world as . she was during ;
some " portions of ■ the war. , Appre
hensions of a freshet - equal to that of .
1870 and 1887 proved to be well founded.
On all railroads there have been serious
washouts and damage. -■- The lower por- '
tion ;• of .*. the city . is r ' completely ! sub- j :
merged. Boatmen have been doing a
NO. 154.
thriving business for two days travers
ing the stieets.
Petersburg, Va., June 2.— -It is near
ly forty years since Petersburg had its
last big flood, it occurred on March 9,
1851, but it was nothing in comparison
with what has been experienced yester
day and to-day. The violent rains sent
the Appomattox on a boom. The ear
liest damage was from the bursting of
the receiving reservoir at the water
works. The whole lower part of the
city is under water. Every bridge but
one spanning the river, including the.
Atlantic Coast line trestle, is swept
away, and all railroad communication
North and south is suspended, and
probably will remain so for a day or
two. No accurate statement of the loss
by the flood can be made, but it is not
exaggerated if placed at $100,003.
y Charlottsville, Va., June 2.— The
streams have overflowed, and the rail
roads leading into the city are greatly
damaged. The first train since Thurs
day came through on the Chesapeake 4*
Ohio to-day.
Fredericksburg, Va., June 2.— The
floods have damaged the canal very
seriously, and many bridges have be.v
swept away.
Tracks Torn Up for Miles by the
Bradford, Pa., June 2. —Not a train
has passed over the Western division ol
the New York, Lake Erie & Western
railroad to-day. From Wellsville to Al
mond, a distance of twenty-three miles,
the road winds along the banks of the
Genesee river. Big washouts have oc
curred at Elm Valley, Tiptop. Alfred
and Almond. The big iron bridge at
Belvidere is reported to have collapsed.
About thirty culverts and small bridges
have also gone out. No train will pass
over the road until Monday or Tuesday.
On the Bradford division three miles of
track between Irving's mills and Car
rollton is under two feet of water, and
the big iron bridge spanning the Alle
pheny is weakened and may give out.
Not in twenty-one years has the
Allegheny river run so high.
The towns of Limestone, Tuna and
Carroll ton are submerged. The Buffalo,
Rochester & Pittsburg, the Philadel
phia & Erie, and the New York, Lake
Erie & Western suffered heavy wash
outs and lost miles of track at Clarion
Junction and Johnsonburg. No trains
are running on the Rochester division
of the Western New York & Pennsylva
nia. Nearly all the trains out of Brad
ford have been abandoned. About
2,000,000 feet of logs went out at Wes
ton's mills on the Allegheny this morn
ing, and other big booms also broke
loose. At Portage the flood is unpre
cedented. At Friendship a large brick
house toppled over into the flood.
Harrisburg, Pa., June 2, — The
maximum height attained by the Sus
quehanna river was 27 feet 1 inch above
low water mark, 26 inches above the
point reached by the biggest flood on
record before. Five hundred families
were compelled to vacate their houses
in this city and Steelton. At the latter
place Mrs. Holstein and child, William
Strange and another man were drowned.
>yy-'- ' ' '——
Dangerous Stage of Water ir
y.yyy, . Many Localities.
Lancaster Pa., June 2.— The Sus
quehanna at Columbia 7 is still slowly
rising. An enormous quantity of boom
logs have gone down the river and are
now gorged at Turkey Hill, below Co
lumbia. The Pennsylvania railroad
bridge, it is believed, however,
is in no immediate peril. At
Marietta all of Front street is
under water, and the Pennsylvania
railroad bridge at Chickiesis under four
feet of water. The Pennsylvania canal,
above Columbia, is greatly damaged,
and all the rolling mills and planing
mills are submerged. Serious danger
is threatened at Washington borough.
Two men passed Columbia on a raft this
morning and were carried over the dam,
and are believed to have been drowned.
The lumber yards at Marietta are
all swept away. The latest advices are
to the effect that a big flood and much
higher water may be "expected tonight.
Lancaster, Pa.. June 2.— The lum
ber yards at Marietta have all been
swept away. The Susquehanna is still
rising. Marietta's streets are flooded,
and all the rolling and all the planing
mills are partly submerged. Two men
on a raft were" carried over the dam at
Columbia to-day and drowned. The
Pennsylvania canal at Columbia is
badly damaged." The Pennsylvania
railroad bridge is still intact. A great
quantity of logs has passed the bridge
and are gorged at Turkey hill, below
the town. .
Awful Results at Elmira and
Corning, N. Y.
Elmira, N. V., June The water
here last night was from a foot to a foot
and a half higher than ever before
known. This afternoon two bodies
floated down the river. A roof upon
which three persons were clinging is
said to have passed by the city last
night. The body of a female baby was
washed ashore in the lower pottion of
the city this afternoon. Last night the
Erie railway bridge was anchored in its
place by two trains of loaded freight
cars. The water rose to the cars, which
with the bridge acted as a dam and
forced the water back through the city
on the north side of the Chemung river,
where the principal business houses are
located, The water covered the streets
to a depth of two or three feet, and the
basements of the stores were quickly
flooded, causing thousands of dollars
damage. -The only possible way of en
tering the Rath bone house, the princi
pal hotel of the city, was by boats,
wliich were rowed directly into the ho
tel office. On the south side of the river
the waters were held in check for sev
eral hours by the ten-foot railroad em
bankment, but hundreds of families
were driven into the upper stories of
their houses. Late in the evening 2,000
feet of the embankment was forced
away, and the water carried the rail
road tracks and everything else before
it. An extensive lumber yard in the
path of the rushing water was swept
away. Many horses were drowned,
and the people living on the flats were
rescued with great difficulty by the po
lice and firemen.- The Erie passenger
train, which had been here since yes
terday morning, went West to Buf
falo late this afternoon over
the Lackawanna road. On the
Big Flats, twelve miles west of
here, three miles of track were washed
away, . and at Corning the big iron
bridge across the river is gone. The
Erie Express No. 1 . that arrived hero
yesterday afternoon, is held here by the
flood. Part of the Delaware, Lacka
wana & Western road bridge across the
river at Waverly is gone and ; the road
uses the Erie track from here to Bing
hampton. - On. the Northern Central
branch of the Pennsylvania system, the
West bound express train that left here
Friday night is stalled between Menne
qua and Canton. There are great wash
outs each side of the track, and railroad
men say the road will not be open for a
week. The damage to property in this
city and vicinity is estimated at halt a
million dollars. The crops throughout
the Chemung valley are almost totally
destroyed:. The Conesque valley is also
reported to have suffered terribly.: The
V Continued on Eighth Page.

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