News: Dorchester, Wis. - Heavy Storm (3 June 1914)

Contact: Marsha Hosfeld

Surnames: Matheofsky, Mateofsky, Clark, Paulson, Gumz, Foley

----Sources: DORCHESTER HERALD (Dorchester, Clark Co., Wis.) Friday, June 5, 1914




Heavy Downpour Is Worst Seen Here in Many Years - Rivers Become Raging Torrents and Many Bridges Are Washed Away.

A severe electrical storm passed over this vicinity between four and six o’clock Wednesday afternoon, causing a large amount of damage both from lightning and flooding. The continuous heavy downpour which accompanied it flooded streets, sidewalks and many cellars in this village. The water in the creek flowing on the south side of town, raised about eight feet, washing out several small bridges and floating away the elevated sidewalk which crossed it to the south side. The railroad bridge stood the terrible strain, although the water was clear up to the stringers and big holes were washed near the abutments. An oil and tool house belonging to O. Paulson, together with a large amount of lumber and other material, were carried away. Old timers say that the water was the highest they had ever seen in this vicinity in thirty-five years.

During the storm the home of Nat Matheofsky, east of town, was struck by lightning. Two children were killed, one the 7-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Clark, neighbors who were visiting with them, and the other a 7-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nat Matheofsky. Two other children were badly burned, but will recover.

About a quarter of a mile down the track the water dammed up and caused a bad washout. The entire road bed was washed away for about 300 feet, letting the rails down from two to three feet in some places. The washout occurred between 4 and 6 o’clock Wednesday afternoon and train service was not resumed until 7:30 Thursday night when a passenger train went south. Only temporary repairs were made to the track however, as it will require many carloads of filling to bring it back to the proper position.

Many narrow escapes from drowning are reported. Frank Gumz and another young man, whose name we were unable to learn, together with their rig and team of horses were carried down the Big Eau Pleine river while trying to cross. The boys saved themselves by hanging on trees until help arrived. One of the horses was drowned while the other after swimming a quarter of a mile finally got out.

Dr. Foley reports that he enjoyed an impromptu swim with his clothes on while answering the call of Nat Matheofsky when his house was struck by lightning.

(note - alternate spelling - MATEOFSKY)



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