EXCITING INDIVIDUAL ESCAPES
RESCUING CHILDREN FROM ORPHANS’ HOME—SAVES FORMER ENEMY—"RUN FOR YOUR LIVES"—PRISONERS IN LIGHT PLANT—EVANSVILLE, IND., INHABITANTS IN DANGER.
L. J. Cullen of Butte, Mont., who was in Peru, Ind., escaped only after he had been rowed four miles from the courthouse to dry land and then walked twenty-five miles to Rochester, Ind., where he boarded a train.
Boatmen in Peru reaped fortunes by carrying flood sufferers from the danger zone, according to M. S. Scott, a traveling salesman from New York.
"The conditions at Peru cannot be told," said Mr. Scott. "The appalling immensity of the loss and suffering numbs the brain of any one who has been through the district. I was at a hotel across the street from the courthouse and Wednesday night six babies were born to women who lay on the bare floor of the building. We had them rowed across the street and gave them our rooms."
Michael Fansler, prosecuting attorney at Logansport, Ind., was the leader of the rescue work and incidentally figured, almost at the cost of his life, in the most dramatic incident of the flood. He and John Johnson, the postmaster, were in a boat with two women, each of whom had a baby in her arms. The boat capsized in six feet of water.
The prosecutor grabbed one of the women and her babe and caught a protruding telephone pole. From this position the prosecutor was rescued by a man whom he had tried only a few months before to put into the penitentiary.
Fansler’s rescuer was Roy Titus, who went to his aid by the aid of a rope which Mrs. Titus was holding from the second story window of their home near by. The postmaster was saved by the sensational effort of a Chicago traveling man, D. L. McClure, who dived from the second floor of the Barnett Hotel.
During the worst day of the flood at Logansport, some one sent broadcast a report that the Celna dam had broken. "Run for your lives," was the message which flashed across the roofs. Bells and whistles were sounded in alarm. There were instances where the alarmed actually jumped into the torrents which circled their homes and would have drowned but for the patrolling boats.
Imprisoned in the municipal light plant at Berea, Ohio, and forced to fight for their lives against the rising flood of Rocky river for more than twelve hours, F. M. Dorland, chief electrician; C. Mohr, second engineer, and John Wilczyk, engineer, were rescued after a half dozen attempts had failed.
Mohr, separated from his companions when a sudden rise of water drove them to the top of the machinery, managed to cut his way through the roof of the building and climb to the top of a telegraph pole.
From this point he was rescued by men on shore by means of a steel cable and a lineman’s "gig" in which he was pulled across the swollen river.
Dorland and Wilczyk made their way through the roof and reached shore by climbing, along a steel cable, hand over hand.
Previously Jesse Haley went up the Rocky river flats and put out into the flood in a rowboat, in an attempt to rescue the beleaguered electricians.
Haley’s boat was caught in a swift current and carried 500 feet down the river, lodging in a clump of trees. Men on shore threw Haley a fish line, weighted with lead. A heavy rope was made fast to the fish line and Haley pulled it to him, tying it about his body.
The men on shore started to pull the stranded boat and its occupant to safety, but before land was reached the boat capsized. Haley was pulled under water to the bank, where he was revived.
The rescue of sixty-nine orphans and six nurses after several of their companions had been drowned, was accomplished at Fort Wayne, Ind., by the Chicago life-saving crew of the United States government, under Capt. Charles Carland.
The efficiency of the motor boat and the hawsers carried by the crew was proved in a startling manner at Fort Wayne.
The county orphan asylum was crowded with children and nurses and they were gradually driven back until the only dry place was one room on an upper floor.
A volunteer crew went to the rescue of the children in a small boat. It capsized with a nurse and four children. All were drowned except one child. The hope of the little children from 8 months to 12 years old was then buoyed up by the promise that the Chicago lifesaving crew was coming.
The Chicago live-savers came in the nick of time and as the water was threatening to swallow up the little group, sixty-nine children and six nurses were saved by their motor boat. Soon afterward the orphan asylum was swamped from top to bottom.
Residents of Evansville, Ind., began leaving their homes on Thursday of flood week. The Ohio river was expected to pass the forty-five foot mark, and bring the water up to within two feet of the mark reached by the disastrous flood in January. Thousands of persons living in Oakdale, a suburb of the city, fled from their homes in terror. The city engineer began building flood gates at the upper end of the city to protect the people.
Mayor Heilman and city officials spent most of the day making preparations to care for the destitute and secured promises of assistance from the Salvation Army and the Associated Charities.
All train schedules in the flood districts were annulled. Railroad traffic in Southern Indiana was completely paralyzed. Many refugees are flocking to the cities, having been driven from their homes in the lowlands, and the business men arranged to care for those in need of food and clothing.
Two levees on White River near Decker, Ind., and three levees on the Wabash River near Vincennes, Ind., broke Thursday, overflowing 150,000 acres of land. The loss was more than a million dollars.
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