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A Killing Flood Made History In Gradyville

This article first appeared in issue 14, and was written by Linda Waggener.

Tragedy occurred 90 years ago this month

A freakish storm sent a wall of water over Gradyville 90 years ago this month, stealing women, children and one young man, from their homes, devastating property and livestock.

We've collected memories from many who wrote down their thoughts and from some who remember legends handed down through their families and share them within this publication.

Pray these eerie month-long May and June rains of 1997 are done and gone before you begin reading these bone chilling accounts. Even reading the stories in bright sunlight can still raise goose bumps on the bravest.

All who wrote personal memories, and all who recall family stories documented here, lay out before us a normal, hot June day in a small town environment where ordinary folks just like us did their work on a Friday and breathed a sigh of relief as they finished up and headed into an evening of rest.

Then the words conjure up pictures of a nightmarish quality - something a Stephen King movie might play out before us on the big screen at the Columbian Theatre - personal eyewitness accounts of a late night eight-to-nine-foot wall of water, only visible because of nonstop lightning, picking up mature trees and huge rocks, rolling over anyone and anything in its path of destruction.

Thanks to the sponsors and subscribers who make this publication possible, the 1907 Gradyville Flood memories begin on page 3 and continue throughout this issue.



This story was posted on 1997-06-15 12:01:01
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Archive Photo



1997-06-15 - Photo Staff. JAMES HOWARD and MARY KELTNER's home was the morgue in the aftermath of the flood.This item first appeared in Issue 14 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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