News: Clark Co. - Flood Damage (Black River - 1911)


Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon



Surnames: Thompson, McGillivry, Ruland, Werner, Marsh, Tollock, Post, Jones


----Source: The Granton News (Granton, Clark Co., WI.) 1911


Great Damage Done By Flood (Black River - 1911)


The damage caused by flood along the Black River Valley from Dells Dam to La Crosse is far greater than was first anticipated. The loss to farm property and livestock is enormous.  But even these losses combined with those sustained by the La Crosse Power Co. to their property at Dells Dam and Hatfield is nothing compared with the terrible calamity which as befallen Black River Falls. The once prosperous, beautiful city is practically wiped from the map.  Where once was Water Street, the main business street of the town, now flows the river, and the ruins of many business houses and beautiful residences are now buried beneath 15 feet of water since Friday.  Many men who were considering themselves well to do were before nightfall poor and almost destitute and had practically nothing left but their lives.  They all but laughed at the warning given them from Hatfield when part of the dam gave way, to save what they could, but within a space of a few hours some of them were on their knees praying to God Almighty to save them from destruction.


To anyone who was not familiar with the lay of the town it is hard to realize what has actually happened.  As one looks from the depot toward the city, it seems as though it had always been that way, while in fact a strip of land 3,000 feet long and 1,500 feet wide with buildings has been washed away, and with it about 80 percent of the assessed valuation of Black River Falls.  Estimates place the loss at $1,520,000.  Figures given on the loss sustained on approximately 95 buildings, home, factories and municipal buildings place the maximum loss at this amount.  Among those whose losses are the heaviest are: They City, $250,000; Thompson Iron Works, $12,000; Falls Hotel, $15,000; J. J. McGillivry, sash factory, $20,000; A. S. Ruland jewelry, $13,000; A. F. Werner, buildings and stock, $100,000; Marsh & Sons, buildings and stock, $40,000; Tollock & Sons, building and hardware stock $40,000; Black River Falls Lumber and mercantile association, building and stock, $40,000; Fannie M. Post, hotel, $35,000; Jones Lumber and Mercantile Company, building and stock $75,000;


The conditions are unique and almost unheard of. When fire destroys a man’s building and burns his stock 0iof goods he has the land left which he can mortgage, if necessary, to raise money for a new start.  In this disaster, the land has been swept away, leaving these men stripped of everything.




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