The Flood Departs

And Leaves Wreck and Ruin Behind 

The river has been falling ever since it reached the turning point on Friday morning of last week, but its decline has not been as rapid as was expected.  As this writing, Friday afternoon, that water has fallen fifteen feet and yet we still have a flood.  It got down to the mark of 1847 Monday night.  It is now receding about 1 ½ inches per hour, with nearly all the lower part of town still submerged. 

The suffering has been great.  Most of those who were driven from their homes were compelled to take uncomfortable and insufficient quarters in back rooms of persons who dwelt on high ground.  In many cases their beds and bedding were wet and soiled in moving, while in a few other instances furniture was left in flooded houses and received injury.  No one appears to have suffered from want of food.  Those persons who did not suffer loss were uniformly kind and hospitable toward their unfortunate neighbors. 


Our representative, Dr. P. Meade, brought home with him Saturday $1,500 as Carroll county’s probable share of the $100,000 appropriated by the legislature for the benefit of the sufferers in Kentucky, and he says he may be able to get some more.  He also brought $50 as a contribution form the citizens of Frankfort.  At his suggestion, Rev. T. J. Godbey, Rev. Stephen Schmid, H. M. Winslow, J. A. Donaldson, and D. M. Bridges acted as a relief committee and took charge of the funds.  They organized by electing Mr. Godbey chairman, and Mr. Winslow secretary.  They at once began distribution by giving out small sums to the needy but held back a portion to be given to persons who perchance might be overlooked on first distribution.  While country people, who are flood sufferers, are entitled to a share of this fund, there were few applications from the country.  Carrollton, Prestonville and Ghent got the bulk of it. 

On Tuesday, the U. S. relief steamer, General Pike, commanded by Capt. Geo. Rublen, 1st Lieut., 7th Infantry, landed here and left the committee the following goods to be used at this place and Prestonville: 

20 ½ barrels flour, 3,000 pounds bacon, 600 pounds sugar, 300 pounds roasted coffee, 72 pairs hose, 30 women’s vests, 60 pairs drawers for boys and women, 40 pairs of shoes for women, 20 comforters and 12 skirts. 

The committee put W. C. Darling in charge of the supplies in the room on the corner of 5th and Main, soon to be occupied by the Carrollton National Bank, and he filled orders given by members of the committee.  He and one assistant were kept busy all day Wednesday and Thursday.  The supplies are now nearly exhausted, but a few needy country people would doubtlessly be accommodated. Mr. Darling says he has bending a bigger grocery business that was done by all the merchants in the town.  There was never a scarcity of customers.

The Damage 

Until Tuesday night there was a furious storm, the damage was not great, and had it not been for the wind the injury to the property would have been much less than that occasioned by last year’s flood.  Wreck and ruin are everywhere in the overflowed district.  A vast amount of damage shows itself already but the receding of the waters will reveal an appalling amount of destruction.  Every house is injured more or less, outhouses are displaced and much fencing is carried away.  The damage along Main Street is not as great as it is feared it would be.  Nearly all the buildings suffered some however, especially the frames, while the river bank, in steep places, was lashed by the waves.  Basements were left in a wretched plight, and to clean them was no little job.  Col. Smith had to remove a large quantity of goods from the basement of his store, some of them being somewhat damaged, then he had to clean out the basement of his dwelling. 

But it would be impossible to enumerate all the losses.  The worst sufferers, though, are in the part of town lying along the Kentucky river, and extending up to Third street.  The principal losers are these: 

Baker, Ginn, & Co, loss at least $5,000.  They had a large quantity of lumber in stacks nearly all of which tumbled topsy-turvy.  The lumber is very muddy and it will be a gigantic task to clean it.  Luckily, these men are full of nerve and their energy will in no wise abate, while they still have plenty of capital to keep their business booming. 

Mrs. Jemima Houghton is damaged at least $1500.  The Point House is almost demolished and all the outbuildings gone.  She also has two houses in Prestonville that were much injured. 

Mrs. Straube’s frame house, worth six or seven hundred dollars, is badly wrecked.  It is a heavy blow on her.  She will probably not try to make it as good a it was before. 

Capt. Jo Scott’s house is badly injured. The ell is all smashed and the main house much injured.  His loss will be $150 or more. 

The damage to plastering, wall paper, etc., in the National Hotel amounts to much.  The outhouses all remain intact. 

George Anderson is a heavy loser.  He had eight buildings, all told, and his coal yard under water.  Three box houses were moved from their foundations.  Another house, occupied by Henry Tumbrink, was badly twisted and broken.  The office is all awry, while the large stable has careened considerably.  His Welch house is not hurt much.  The coal depreciates in value. 

W. E. Pratt fared badly.  His dwelling held its place but the damage to the walls, etc., is great.  His large stable was washed from its place and his coal and coal office were underwater. 

Frank Bowling’s house is badly broke up. 

The houses of F. M. Hussung, Henry Loveall, John McGee, and those occupied by Tom Wells and Cy. Smith were washed entirely off their foundations, some of them now resting on the ground of other people. 

The loss of Stanton & Co. will not be as great as might be supposed.  Their machinery was made practically water proof by grease, etc., and $50 or $75 will cover the damage.  A similar remark will apply to Hafford & Son’s mill and Jett Brothers Distillery, but their loss is perhaps some greater. 

Thee is more or less damage everywhere, and if the owners of houses had not weighted them so heavily, Frogtown would have been completely ruined.  There were a great many chimneys cracked and roofs moved that we do not attempt to mention.  Much fencing is washed down and outhouses are scattered in every direction. 

Dr. L. W. Taylor’s stable was torn to pieces.  The rear wall of his brick storeroom – occupied by Fisher & Co. – was broken, and a small portion fell. He sustains a heavy loss in fencing on his farm below Prestonville and on his farm back of town - $1000 or more.


The Carrollton Democrat, February 23, 1884