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Mrs. Kennard Brown


This appeared in the Dayton Daily News on March 28, 1962
By Mrs. Kennard Brown
     At the time of the 1913 flood my aunt and uncle, Charles and Molly Van Horn, were living at the junction of Brown and Warren Sts.  This was one of the worst areas of Dayton, and they were forced to move up to the second floor.
     Finally, the water started coming into the second floor and they chopped a hole through the ceiling in case the water kept coming up.
     I remember them telling us that the water coming down those two streets formed a sort of whirlpool at the junction where the streets merged, and everything that floated down was thrown by that whirlpool right at their upstairs front windows.
     THEY GOT a good, strong bed-slat and took turns sitting at the window pushing things away so that they would not crash through the windows into the room.  They had pulled the bed up to the windows and were sitting on it to keep their feet out of the water.
     Just north of them there was a livery stable and some of the horses drowned.  Among all the objects which floated down were two of these horses, which they poled away from the windows back into the stream.
     I WAS 15 years old at the time and was visiting in Brandt with my grandmother.  Just the moment the water had subsided she got out the horse and surrey and filled it to capacity with eggs, meat, chickens, canned fruit, etc. and we drove the 10 miles to Dayton.
     We were met at the corporation line by one of the soldiers on duty there, as the city was still under martial Law.  He asked our business in Dayton and grandmother showed him the food which we were hoping to take to our relatives.  He got into the surrey with us and took us to headquarters.  We were given a pass and allowed to go on about our business.
     IN THE afternoon Uncle Charley took us to see some of the awful sights.  As I remember it, we went out in the general direction of the fairgrounds.
     There is one incident of that walk which I still remember.  At that time nothing had been cleaned up and the awful sticky mud was everywhere.  From a pile of debris I saw what appeared to be the head and shoulders of a woman.
     I screamed and they quickly examined my find, which turned out to be a store dummy, which had washed out of the window of one of the down-town stores.
     I will always remember that awful mud.  How the people affected ever had the heart to start in to get rid of it is something to marvel about.