Missions of the Relief Steamer General Pike
Bromley, a small Kentucky town composed of gardeners, was passed. It is entirely submerged and appeared depopulated.
Anderson’s Ferry, on the Kentucky Side, presented another picture of distress, but, the place being small, comparatively few people have suffered. The entire male populace seemed to turn out in skiffs and hailed the relief boat as it neared this place. Long, lank, raw-boned Kentuckians boarded the General Pike and stared at the provisions with envious eyes. The citizens had not received a Cincinnati daily paper for three days and eagerly accepted Sunday’s copies. At all the small points below, the Enquirer was the only daily that had reached people for three or four days. The relief supply left at Anderson’s Ferry consisted of 4 ½ barrels of flour, 720 pounds of bacon, 80 pounds of coffee, 150 pounds of sugar, and clothing and bed supplies. These provisions will last the sufferers 10 days.
Stringtown, a Kentucky village with probably thirty houses and as many families, indications of the existence of a dozen or more homes were shown by the appearance above water of that many roofs. Women and children flocked to the river’s edge and related stories of their distress. A score or more of mothers were brought to the boat, where they selected a bountiful supply of shoes and clothing for their little ones. The supplies left Stringtown consisted of 4½ barrels of flour, 720 pounds of bacon, 150 pounds of sugar, 80 pounds of coffee, 75 pair hose, 24 ladies undergarments, and 60 pairs shoes.
Taylorsport was the next stopping place, and as many as fifty Kentuckians flocked around the boat in skiffs. It appears that everyone on the Kentucky shore owns a skiff, thinking it as much of a requisite of life as a coat, and in many instances the skiff was owned where the coat was not. The cabin was thronged with residents along the river side and backwoodsmen – for many were backwoodsmen and had suffered no more from the deluge than had people in the interior of the State. But each corroborated the other’s story, and no discrimination was attempted for fear of denying some poor unfortunate who was actually included in the list of flood sufferers. The took from the boat four barrels of flour, 681 pounds of bacon, 135 pounds sugar, 72 pounds coffee, 60 pairs shoes, 20 ladies vests, 29 drawers, and 90 pairs hose. The town, such as it was, consisted of a score of houses, half of which were in the river.
From the Cincinnati Enquirer, February 18, 1884