The Conservancy Plan for Flood Protection, Dayton's Recreational Facilities
The Conservancy Plan for Flood Protection
The great flood. The Miami valley has always been subject to inundation. The first terrifying experience of this kind that was suffered by the inhabitants of the valley occurred in 1805, when Dayton had been settled less than ten years. The combined currents of Mad river and the Miami sweeping against the bank at the head of St. Clair street, tore across the territory between the mouth of Mad river and the Fairground hill, making a channel from ten to fifteen feet deep.* At the corer of Third and Main the water was eight feet deep and there were but two spots of dry land in the whole town area. It was seriously urged to abandon the present site and make a new plat on the higher ground to the east. The plan was defeated and Dayton stayed where she was. meant to be, on the ground floor of the valley.
But something had to be done to safeguard the property and the lives of the citizens ; that something succeeded in being a levee.
(page 61) First the river bank at the head of Jefferson street was built up eight feet and continued down the curve of the river west and south. The work was done by Silas Broadwell, whose remuneration consisted of some lots presented to him by D. C. Cooper, that early and efficient benefactor of Dayton. In 1814 the three rivers again burst their bounds under the impetus of spring rains and destroyed the levee which had been constructed with so much faith following the food of 1805. Small efforts at patching up the banks and strengthening the levees were made only to meet the same fate in 1828, in 1832, and again in 1847. The latter was the most destructive of all and has been described by M. E. Curwen in a short history published in 1850 in the Dayton Directory. At this time the property loss exceeded $5,000. His account closes with the optimistic statement that "A levee was soon after constructed which will completely secure the lower parts of town from any such catastrophe in the future." If the Daytonians put confidence in that fact it was rudely dispelled by what happened in 1866 when after three days of rainstorms the levee gave way in the eastern part of town, the water rushing through the streets, cutting of people from their homes, driving the dwellers in the lower districts to the roofs of their small houses and washing down the valley thousands and thousands of dollars worth of property and merchandise. The only record of rainfall that was made at the time was taken in Urbana, being 15.88 inches, the highest in forty-three years. All railway communication was cut of and the losses to public and private property were estimated at $250,000. The water at that time was four feet deep in the principal streets and one foot deep on the floor of the Beckel house at Third and Jefferson. After this flood efforts were made to increase the waterway of the river by adding a span to both the Main street and the Third street bridges.
In 1883 the same story was repeated ; on February 3, 4, and 5 of that year the rains brought the danger mark up almost to those of 1847 and 1866, carrying out bridges and breaking huge crevices in the levees. Wolf creek outdid all its previous efforts ; at Piqua and Tippecanoe the Miami was higher than at any time since 1866. The levee at Dayton which had been rebuilt in 1812 by the soldiers stationed here at the time of the war, and paid for out of the pockets of D. C. Cooper, had seen many vicissitudes : it had been added to as occasion demanded after each of the described catastrophes. But the whole effort was a mere makeshift and the people of the valley were beginning to find it out. What good was dredging the channel when every succeeding freshet brought down the gravel and filled it up again? Of what use strengthening levees when the pressure changed with the changing channel? Dayton's peculiar position at the confluence of two spasmodically uncontrollable streams and with lowlands lying beyond to attract the fowl, made her the constant victim of such circumstances, while the towns in the upper and lower reaches of the valley were scarcely more fortunate. It was clearly a situation which demanded new treatment. What this treatment should be nobody knew, and so the situation resolved itself into periodical patchings up of the levees and intermittent argument as to what ought to be done about it. Then came the great flood of 1913. (page 62) This was a disaster which had two aspects; it cost the communities which experienced it the most appalling losses that the valley had ever sustained, but it gave the needed impetus for permanent and adequate flood protection for all future years.
It was high time. Not only from the big foods but from the smaller ones was the valley suffering. A rise which carried away no bridges and broke no levees was still destructive of soil in a way that meant thousands of dollars to the Miami valley farmers. As the development of the valley progressed from year to year so the losses from foods grew greater. Therefore the food of 1913 may be considered, in a way, a blessing in disguise. During the latter half of March rain came in torrential quantity for four days in succession. It came at the end of the winter season when the ground was saturated and evaporation slow. At Dayton, Troy and Piqua the precipitation was about three inches, increasing to five inches at Richmond, Indiana, and decreasing to two inches at other points in the district. Toward evening of Monday, the 24th, the water had reached flood tide and in all the cities up and down the valley the people were watching the sullen fowl of waters with apprehension. At Troy the river reached flood stage at ten o'clock that night, but at Dayton the same degree had been so often attained that no particular alarm was felt. The Columbus Weather Bureau sent out warning telegrams to the cities along the river to close the food gates of the sewers and at Dayton the local weather bureau called up by telephone the people in the lower parts of the city to warn them that the high water might cause them inconvenience. The upper reaches of the valley felt the frightful impact first. The Troy and Piqua people were out of bed all night watching the inexorable current encroach on the land.
While these things were happening at Troy and Piqua the people of Dayton were comfortably asleep, no inkling having come to them of what was to happen. If word could have been sent down the valley the loss to life and property might have been much less, but the helplessness of everyone in the sudden catastrophe has been told often. At midnight the gauge on the wall at Main street bridge showed at fifteen feet, less than a fifth as- much as was flowing through the channel twelve hours later. At half past five the river channel was carrying a hundred thousand feet per second but still less than had occurred in other foods. Water was backing up in the streets of Riverdale and in First and Second and Third streets in the center of town. By half past six some people had to be taken from their homes in Riverdale, but as yet the citizens of the safe (?) side of the river were unalarmed. At 7:30 the whistles announced that a break had occurred, but no impression was made on the minds of many who heard them, for in other floods the whistles had meant only that the lower streets in the southern part of the city were submerged and it was not thought possible that disaster threatened the center of the city. The water first came over the edge of the bank at Jefferson street, then at the head of Main street, after which it was a short story until the resistless current was tearing holes in the bank, sweeping over the top, grinding down all obstacles and sweeping, with a roar that could be heard within shut-up houses, (page 63) down into the residence and business section carrying destruction in its wake.
The direction of the current was a double one. It swept first south on the streets running in that direction, then west as the slope of the ground led it, and the two currents meeting at each street crossing piled themselves in a combing wave which broke on the southwest corners with a force resembling the rapids of Niagara. In a short few minutes the yellow food had poured into stores, ruining stock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars ; into fine residences, filling family rooms with indescribable filth; into churches and public buildings, carrying ruin and horror to every corner. The lower streets suffered the most grievous losses both of property and lives. Whole blocks of buildings were carried down stream. People who tried to save themselves by climbing from one roof to another were swept away by the force of the current ; horses caught in the water swam helplessly around unable to find footing, and people who remained in safety in staunch houses were so fascinated by the sight that they remained at their windows while their own property was ruined beyond redemption.
The debris from washed out factories and stores began to pile up at corners. Grand pianos and pig-pens, street cars and sheds, bales of rags and mannequins in full dress from the smashed display windows of the department stores ; dead animals, hay-stacks, lumber, furniture, overturned wagons-flotsam and jetsam of every imaginable variety piled itself on porches, through open doors of houses or swept by to meet more of the same kind in the main current of the river beyond the city. All the ordinary city noises were stilled and there remained nothing but the remorseless roar of the current and the crashing blows when some large object hit an obstacle and went to pieces.
The story of the rescue work done in that emergency would make a volume by itself. Then was seen the value of the experience in organization for which Dayton is justly famed. With a new and sudden situation on their hands the citizens met it with firmness and capacity. Those whose homes were out of the flooded area, in Dayton View, Oakwood and the East End, hastened to call their neighbors together in a schoolhouse or church room, there to take immediate measure for relief. At the National Cash Register factory the force were instructed by the president to cease making their ordinary product and make boats instead. Every six minutes in the shops a solid fat-bottomed scow was turned out and immediately launched on the Fairground hill where the street met the edge of the food.
All day Tuesday these boats carried supplies to imprisoned people or took refugees back to the factory, where by night nearly two thousand men, women and children were sheltered, warmed and fed. In Dayton View the rooms and halls of the Longfellow school were packed with refugees that had been brought in boats from the low-lying streets along Wolf creek. Five hundred were fed there three times a day for two weeks. Private homes were packed to capacity with the dwellers in central Dayton whose own homes were six feet deep in water. People divided all they had with those who were less fortunate. Men and boys worked fifteen hours a day (page 64) rescuing sufferers from submerged houses. It was a time which brought out all the good (and some of the bad) there was in human nature. A few attempts at profiteering were promptly dealt with. Until noon on Tuesday the water rose very rapidly, but from that time until the crest of the food was reached at midnight the rise was very slow. Personal stories of experience of those dreadful hours make thrilling reading.
Wednesday night the sky was illumined by the light of burning buildings which had taken fire from broken gas pipes or spilled gasoline. Nothing could be done by the submerged fire department, so the flames increased and the imprisoned citizens felt that if they were
spared the fate of drowning theirs might be the worse one of being burned to death. Two nearly entire blocks of business houses on Third street and numerous dwellings in other parts of town were consumed, while the boiling current stopped the destruction only when it reached the first floors. At daybreak Thursday morning the water had receded on Main street as far as Second, leaving the asphalt rolled up like huge bales of carpet and the street strewn with indescribable wreckage.
As enough dry land appeared to walk upon, the city was put under immediate martial law under Brigadier-General George H. Wood, whose report to Governor Cox gives a clear impression of the conditions at that time. Colonel J. H. Patterson was put in control of the southern part of the city and Mayor Phillips, Colonel Frank T. Huffman, Adam Schantz and John R. Flotron of other localities and together they brought order out of chaos. Thursday afternoon four men of Company A, 4th Ohio Infantry, appeared to assist in the reorganization and with this small force and whatever civilians could be mustered General Wood put the city under martial law and began the work of guarding the banks and stores.
On Friday seventeen men from the 3d Ohio were able to get through to the assistance of Dayton in her extremity. Afterward members of seven other Ohio regiments, a company of Signal Corps, an ambulance company, a field hospital company and a ships company were added to the military force directing the work of guard and salvage. The Pennsylvania railroad sent a completely equipped work train with sixty-five mechanics, picked men, to aid in the work. There was need enough for all; Dayton was in darkness, all light, sewer and fire service destroyed, transportation ruined, the people helpless with suffering and fright. On Saturday, March 29, Secretary of War Garrison and Major General Leonard Wood visited Dayton to view the scene of one of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the nation. The work of rehabilitation proceeded with amazing rapidity considering the nature of the obstacles. A rigorous curfew was maintained, the streets were patrolled, public utilities were put in order as fast as possible. Nearly the entire population of Dayton had to be maintained on a relief basis, the inundated areas had to be promptly cleansed to insure the preservation of the public health, a system of salvage instituted, railroad operation to be renewed, dead horses to be disposed of and the streets cleared of rubbish so that traffic could be resumed. The whole makes an extraordinary story of human intelligence, industry and perseverance.
(page 65) Martial law continued in Dayton for about a month, at the end of which time the city was turned over once more to the control of the civil authorities.
In the report of George H. Wood, brigadier-general commanding Dayton military district, he pays this tribute to the work of the Ohio National Guard : "The work done by the National Guard in the City of Dayton was of a high character. * * * They came to a city crushed down, submerged and dark, with the civil government gone. They started the work of re-creation and they did it well. Both officers and men alike under the most disagreeable and painful surroundings were vigilant, watchful and cheerful. I wish to especially comment upon the patrolling done by the enlisted men. On streets covered with debris, without a ray of light, on many nights in drenching rain storms, they marched their posts, and many citizens of Dayton have since told me that the step of the guards patrolling the streets was the sweetest lullaby they ever heard." The _loss of life during the food can never be definitely known. About three hundred and sixty bodies were recovered. Hundreds of persons disappeared, their bodies probably being carried to the Ohio river or buried in the shifting sand bars of the Miami. Thirty-two persons were committed to the Dayton Hospital for the Insane, having lost their reason through the terrible experiences of those fateful forty-eight hours. Many old people who came unhurt through the days of actual danger succumbed to pneumonia as a result of the fatigue and discomforts of the cleaning-up time. The property loss is roughly estimated for the entire valley at $66,000,000. Hundreds of buildings were totally destroyed either by fire or by water. and thousands severely damaged. The loss of household articles of sentimental value, such as books, pictures, keepsakes, musical instruments, papers, which cannot be estimated in dollars, was heart-breaking. Furniture fell to pieces at a touch; walls were soaked with the filth of the sewage which penetrated them; gas mains and water pipes were f illed with mud ; shade trees were uprooted or broken off; asphalt paving was rolled up and destroyed, and telephone stations were rendered useless. An inconceivable damage was done to farm lands, being here stripped of their top soil and there imbedded under a dozen feet of gravel. Bridges were washed away, so that even when the waters had receded from the highways people were still imprisoned on their farms.
Strange as it may seem the flood was not an entire disaster; it had its compensations. A time like the week following the twenty-fifth of March, 1913, teaches many lessons; among them is a renewal of the sense of solidarity in a community and the emphasis upon common inter-dependence. People learn to know each other and respect each other's efforts. Men who risked their lives together can always work together afterward. New points of view were formed. The difference between essentials and non-essentials was revealed. If the family were safe what was it that the furniture was wrecked The flood shook up the Miami valley and pushed it into new paths of progress.
This brings us to the story which the head of the chapter announces-the Conservancy Plan for Flood Protection. As people (page 66) shuddered in their attics during those frightful three days one thought was uppermost in their minds-this must never happen again. And when the campaign for flood protection was launched a short two months after the disaster the slogan for action was, "Remember the promises made in the attic." In raising the $2,000,000 f lood prevention fund, which remarkable event was completed on May twenty-fifth, Dayton recorded her inviolable decision that from that time on the Miami river should, in the future, be held in check and the Miami valley safe for all time from another such disaster. In raising this fund men of all ranks and pursuits and creeds worked side by side ; Christian and Jew, laborer and minister, saloon-keeper and capitalist ; nothing could have so obliterated class lines and taught men mutual respect as that work. And they were successful. The night the subscriptions were closed the committee sent the following telegram to Governor Cox at Columbus : "We have forgotten that we lost $100,000,000 and are remembering only what we have saved. We are building a bigger and a safer Dayton." So that telegram, that resolve and that fund were together the beginning of the Conservancy Plan for the Miami valley.
The records of the great flood have been materially enriched by the contributions of two unofficial observers who made notes of the rise and fall of the water on those two fated days. One of these was Mr. A. M. Kittredge, who while marooned in his residence at 217 North Ludlow street recorded the height of the water at half hour intervals from noon on Tuesday until about 10 on Thursday morning; the other was Mr. Pickering at the Miami Commercial college, who measured the advancing flood as it came step after step up the stairway, and other witnesses have added their testimony to the height to which the water rose. It will be noted that at Dayton the rise from 2 p. in. on Tuesday until the crest, near midnight, was less than a foot. Some records give the crest at 1:15 Wednesday morning, after which it fell a half an inch during the first hour and an inch and a half the next hour. From that time on the fall was at that average.
The summary of losses from the food of 1913 in the Miami valley is as follows: Drowned: Piqua, 1 Troy, 16; Dayton and Harrison townships, 73; Clark county, 1; Franklin, 7; Butler county, 3; Hamilton, 106; total, 255. Other loss of life: Troy, 3; Dayton and Harrison township, 50; Hamilton, 51. Whole total, 361. Property loss : Shelby county, including Sidney, $212,000; Piqua, $1,000,000; Troy, $600,000; Miami county, $525,000; Covington, $50,000; Pleasant Hill and West Milton, $3,000; Germantown and vicinity, $50,000; Dayton, $46,000; Montgomery county, $700,000; Miamisburg, $1,225,000; Franklin and Warren counties, $380,000; Middletown, $1,100,000; Hamilton and Butler counties, $9,568,224; total, $62,028,424. To which should be added the losses sustained by large corporations, such as the Bell Telephone, $130,000; Home Telephone company, $125,000; Western Union Telegraph, $24,000; Big Four railroad, $1,250,000; Erie Railroad, $25,000; Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, $1,000,000; Electric Traction lines, $2,000,000.
Grand total, $66,765,574.
(page 67) Personal Narratives of the Flood. No account of the great flood would be complete that omitted the human experiences of that appalling catastrophe. It came so suddenly that people who waked at six o'clock in comfortable beds, with no thought of anything but the usual commonplace day's work ahead of them, were in a moment thrust into scenes of terror, death and devastation.
In the southern part of town Mr. Saettel, an aged man of seventy-five, was thrown by the concussion onto a floating roof in the middle of Main street which was caught in a drift of the current so that it was almost stationary. But it was anything but a safe refuge. The current was at this time most violent, wreckage of all kinds was hurled against the roof and horses frantic. with fright were pawing on it for a refuge. The terror and helplessness of the old man were heart-breaking to witness. For an hour every effort possible was made to reach him, but none were successful. As each mass of driftwood struck the frail raft on which he was clinging, it took away parts of it until there was not enough left to support his weight, and in the horrified sight of his son and the neighbors his grasp was loosened and he was carried down out of sight. Even more tragic was the fate of a woman by the name of Mrs. Schunck who was thrown from the same explosion and succeeded in grasping the telephone wire as it hung above the current. Here, with clothing torn from her, with lacerated hands and her face mutilated beyond recognition, she called and. screamed for help until those who heard her will never forget it to their dying day. One attempt after another was made to reach her, but boats capsized as soon as they were launched and planks went awry. She got a little more secure hold on the telegraph post and clung there while she implored people by name to come to her. No one afterward could say just how long it lasted, perhaps half an hour, perhaps longer, but the end was sure. Her arm muscles could not last forever and she sank out of sight in the raging current.
From the safe and warm security of the Miami Valley hospital wards nurses and convalescent patients watched the terrible scenes enacted below them on Apple street. For over an hour a woman slid down from where she clung on the ridge pole of a house until her feet were almost in the food when with superhuman efforts she would climb back, only to lose her grasp through weakness and cold and repeat the effort. Not one thing could the hospital people do but watch until the last time came when she could no more crawl up and rolled exhausted from the roof.
Among those caught by the torrent were Mr. and Mrs. Osborne and their four months' old baby. With the water. under them, the f ire before them and a crying, hungry baby, the parents took desperate measures. From the porch of a house to which they had fled they climbed to the limbs of a tree and to the cross-bars of a telephone pole. The baby was strapped in a sheet and hung at Mr. Osborne's back. It was at the point where Main street rises to the Fairground hill and the ground was not far distant. During three quarters of an hour this father and mother slowly hitched along the wires, sitting on one and holding to a higher one, until they reached the ground in a state of collapse. A child of fifteen followed the (page 68) Osbornes in their perilous fight to safety and for four days afterward was completely demented from fright. All the refugees in this part of town were taken immediately to the National Cash Register factory, which had been converted into a temporary hospital. Dr. Reeve's Story. None among the Dayton victims of the f lood have left a more vivid picture of conditions during that catastrophe than Dr. Reeve, who at the time was eighty-seven years old and lived with his wife, eighty-six, in a two-story brick dwelling on the corner of Third and Wilkinson streets. The narrative was written to his daughter, Charlotte Reeve Conover, who was in California at the time. The original manuscript is on brown wrapping paper. The current on this corer was very swift, but its force against the house was broken by a section of boarding that had been swept from the opposite corner where the Government building was in process of construction. We will not spoil the doctor's story by mere quotations but give it in his own words.
"Wednesday, March 26th, 10:15, 1913.
"Dear Lottie :
"I am sitting at upper window, mother's room. Outside a raging torrent pours down Wilkinson street, another mighty river down Third street toward west. No human being in sight-no signs of life. Below, in our yard on piles of wreckage a fine piano. Yesterday I had got breakfast at the Arcade and brought some to mother. Danger whistles had sounded before I was up, I supposed for breaking of levee ; but I banked on the great food of '66, when this house stood high and dry with all around overflowed.
"Now it came so fast I had to hustle mother to the stairs. We passed last night in total darkness (piece of candle two or three inches long). As the water had fallen nearly four inches since last night, I made an effort to get my lamp from the back office. Stripped and went down to the last step, up to my arm pits in the cold water, but the room so full of floating furniture that I could not make my way to it. All we have is some crackers, nuts and a few apples. This morning some young men on the roof of the next house gave us coffee. Mrs. S. J. P. could reach to them and they to us. But we have no water, no light, no telephone connection, no cars, no papers-nothing.
"It is a sea up to the Callahan building. Two street cars stand in front of the old Winters home, water just over the tops of their windows. Inside our house water is over the mantels-all night in the darkness the crashing of the wreckage outside, the creaking of the pipes in the cellar, the banging of furniture floating down below us-do you wonder I could not sleep? Pitiful to see the horses swimming for their lives ; no foothold for them. I saw four yesterday and now one has just struggled along and been swept down Third street.
"3 p. in. Five hours. Water evidently falling. Yesterday at 3 reached highest, just cleared globes of electric light. Was there when night closed. Now two-thirds of post visible.
(page 69) "Still two currents rage and swirl along, one from north Wilkinson the other from east Third, joining forces here. They have swept along section of board fence and placed it right across this corner, so shielding the corner of the house, sending one current down West Third and the other down South Wilkinson. But for this I don't think I should be writing this now. I dined on a hard-boiled egg and two crackers; mother on soft-boiled egg and a little of the coffee black, no sugar, no milk-neither attractive nor appetizing. Nye glory in our fire, and just think what a find ! a teakettle full of rainwater on bathroom stove. Now we can drink !" [This kettle was for purposes of rendering the air of the room moist and was the washings of a roof always black with soot and not meant at all for drinking! Ed.] "You have to get down to bed rock to appreciate such a f ind as that. I have lain down a good deal-slept none but am very tired. I will sleep better tonight ; the noises have all stopped and I can close my eyes with the firm assurance that the house will be standing in the morning.
"Two men in a boat have passed. several times but did not appear anxious to find out if we wanted anything. It rains by times just to make it more cheerful ! Your mother is a wonderful woman -not a word of complaint or fear has she uttered, not even one of anxiety.
"5 p. m. As if one calamity were not enough, for half an hour I have been watching the flames of a fire, the highest fames I ever saw. A man in a canoe says it is east of the Beckel house. Where will it stop? Night is falling. Good-night.
"Thursday, 9 a. m. Went to bed saddened by beating rain against windows, by glare of light from fames up Third street. Also by the fact that we had lost our comforter-natural gas would burn no more. Had a long, sound, refreshing sleep ; wakened in night by light streaming in-rushed to look up stream to see fire blazing up, great tongues of flame. The whole block must be burning. That was 3:15. Another good sleep, wake at six-driving snow over all everywhere where snow could rest, white. Outside water moving sluggishly now. Top of fence just visible. No sign of life-all desolation and ruin. I know the meaning of the words now ! The Taylors next door called us-did we want anything? Yes, coffee. They made us a pot and by long reaching both sides we can just get to each other. They sent sandwiches too, which we cannot eat and I do not want. I had a cup of coffee, then a raw egg beaten up with whiskey (of which I have plenty thanks to J. A. McM.). "Next for a fire. Got with difficulty some of the bricks out which block the chimney used for gas, broke up paper boxes. `Oh, if I had a hatchet or axe ; there are plenty of book shelves handy, fuel plenty, but efforts to break or pull it apart show me how feeble I am. I just had to lie down.
"9:30 a. m. Sitting here at window saw rapidly coming down East Third street a boat, man and woman in stern saluting with hands ; window hard to get up. Just had time to hear the shout : `Mr. and Mrs. Penfield.' He called, `Do you want anything?' I said, `Not much,' and they were gone. Now they live a few squares from Mary. I hope they will give her word. Evidently they were in the (page 70) doctor's office downtown imprisoned, and just getting home. Our other neighbor Patterson (S. J.) is at his office, his wife shut up here at the house. I have drunk a little more coffee, but mouth and throat are dry-I cannot eat. Next !
"11:30 a. m. Sky cleared, sun shining. Can see our yard where uncovered by wreckage. Water all out of front room but several inches of slime prevent my going to foot of stairs. Furniture all piled in heaps in front and toward bay window. Down office stairs, back office not yet clear of water. Furniture piled in heaps. Think by night I can get a lamp. Boats pass often now, have brought food for men in Y. W. C. A.
" Thursday. Things clearing up. Skies brighter, sunshine sometimes. Two offers to take us to Dayton View, one by boat from Dr. Henry, one from Red Cross. Mother refused to go. "Men walking on tracks ; water just to ankles. Inspecting track, I suppose. We have done well enough for food. The Taylors sent in big pieces of bologna, fresh bread and coffee. Mother can eat nothing. What I want most is milk for her. At four I stripped and went to the lower regions, the office below; there is a shorter word for it! Got the lamp, but coal-oil can disappeared ; got hatchet, have cut up some bed slats and have more, so fuel is provided for. All f loor below, everything covered with mud, slime-so sticky can hardly get feet out of it. Such a sight ! Furniture overturned piled in heaps.
"Dr. Huston in Red Cross offered to take us to Dayton View. Mother refused to go. He promised to get word to Mary. "Friday, third day. Night passed. Fourth day dawned. My toilet to rub face with wet end of towel. Great disappointment last night. Lamp that I made such a perilous trip to get would not burn. Could not sleep ; thoughts of this disaster on us and on others all over the city kept me wake hours. This morning shows streets and sidewalks are clear of water, and have talked with friends who pass. A man from next door got into us by ladder from roof to window ; he has knocked book-shelves up for fuel. Dr. Evans has brought from depot a bucket of coal, so we are well of. Mrs. Patterson has given bouillon cubes and we now have evaporated milk, but mother will not take it.
"I have been downstairs-no imagination can depict the ruin, the wreck ! Sticky mud pulls rubbers of my feet. Piano overturned-everything upset. Sun shining now-glorious ! I made the trip down to get water and when I got back dropped on floor from weakness and lay a good while before I could get up.
"Streets full of people; am told that the city is under martial law ; see lots of badges on the streets. Mother keeps about on her feet. How she lives I cannot imagine-she eats so little.
"Saturday, 10 a. m. Soon after I wrote last Robert came with wagon to take us to Dayton View. I got downstairs without help but had to be lifted into wagon. Dr. Henry fortunately came at the same time and he carried mother down and over the slimy and slippery steps. We rode, my head in one young woman's lap, mother's in another. Water still too deep in places for carriage. O, the luxury of washing face and neck and of drinking hot milk ! Dayton (page 71) View is one huge relief station. Our rescue came none too soon. I feel certain that we could not have got through another night. I have now for memory the recollections of a great calamity, second perhaps to the Titanic but to none other.
"With love to all,"Father."
The Bell Telephone Story. In a time of stress and danger the telephone is the first source of help and comfort. And so the stricken and bewildered citizens of Dayton went first to the telephone to find out how widespread the flood was and where they could reach their friends. Mr. E. T. Herbig, the traffic chief of the Bell exchanges, had orders out to his operators to keep him advised of anything out of the ordinary that might occur. All night long calls from up and down the valley proved that we were on the edge of vital disaster. Mr. Herbig reached the office in response to call at a little before four in the morning. Already frantic inquiries were coming in about the state of the levees in North Dayton and Riverdale, and by six o'clock the water filling slowly up Ludlow street was visible proof that the rumors had good foundation. When it began to come in to the basement of the telephone exchange where the batteries are located it was imperative to shut of the current. Up to 9:30 the girls at the switch-board answered thousands of questions and made as many connections, but at that hour the main fuse was removed as a precaution against fire and telephone connections all over the city were severed.
There were twenty girls and fourteen men trapped in the building, surrounded on every side by water, and as the day waned the food situation grew imperative. About four o'clock a cord was thrown across to the Y. M. C. A. and a basket with forty sandwiches was pulled slowly across to the hungry people in the exchange. One a piece was no excessive apportionment, but it was all they had that day. The next morning twelve feet of water kept the force still in prison and still hungry, as the Y. M. C. A. signaled that they were housing three hundred people and had no more to spare. From the windows on Ludlow street the party watched the food carrying on its surface houses, fences, dummies in party dress from Rikes show windows, dead horses and some that ought to have been, grand pianos and hay, and in their interest over the greatest show they had ever seen tried to forget how hungry they were.
All this time Mr. Bell kept in constant communication with Governor Cox. From the roof they could see the fires east on Jefferson spreading toward the west. With a fierce wind blowing it seemed only too certain that the next twenty hours might see the end of all that part of Dayton. On Thursday morning the need for food became too pressing to be ignored and two of the men volunteered to strike out and try what they could do toward finding something to eat. A case of grape fruit and some canned goods were the result and from that time on in one way or another food was obtained. Friday at noon the water had receded to such an extent that all were able to reach their homes after three whole days and nights of imprisonment.
(page 72) The Public Library force, having stayed until the last minute and after, to save the books on the basement floor, were caught in the same way and spent three cold nights sleeping on the museum floor wrapped in Navajo blankets out of the Indian collection. An attempt on the part of one of the men to go after food was not as successful as that in the telephone exchange. He boarded a boat which took him to Third street, where he procured some canned milk and bread, and was bringing it back to the library when the boat capsized against a tree, throwing the mariner and his supplies into the water. The tree that wrecked him saved him, for he clung to its branches and was rescued after five or six hours of exposure in wet clothes and a bitter wind.
The experiences of Mr. Chas. W. Adams and his family make a chapter that is almost beyond believing. He, his wife, twin children, a boy and a girl less than a year old and his aged father, lived in a cottage on Rung street, Riverdale. Being on low ground and right in the runway of the old race, they took fright at the rapid rise of the water and quite early in the morning went to the house of the Reverend W. O. Fries, an uncle of Mrs. Adams, on Warder street. As the day wore on the house became completely surrounded with water and feeling that the babies needed better accommodations decided to attempt to go by boat to the house of a relative of Mrs. Adams who lived beyond high water mark on Main street. By four in the afternoon the water had come quite up to the porch floor which stood about six feet above the street.
Into the boat they climbed, the father with the girl baby in his arms and the mother with the boy, the grandfather taking his place in the bow of the boat.
It must be here interjected that boating in the streets of Dayton on that March day was not the kind of pleasuring that it was when the Miami river kept to its proper banks in the channel. Swirling around corners, sweeping piles of drift-wood before it, the current tore down the street towards the lower reaches of the river, making it literally a death-tempting adventure to control a boat. There were so many obstructions, so much wreckage, such sudden whirlpools that navigation was a real problem So it happened to the Adams family as to so many others in that trying time; the boat had hardly reached the open street when a cross current hurled it against a tree and in an instant the party found themselves in the icy water, the boat upside-down and the babies nowhere to be seen. Both parents in the shock of the catastrophe lost hold on their precious burdens and were swept down the current, struggling vainly to hold to each other. A small sapling about a hundred and fifty feet below where the boat had capsized, offered a weak support and the three clung to it desperately, screaming for help. All around them were neighbors watching the scene with such feelings as may be imagined, and unable to offer any assistance.
Warder street ran from east to west, that is to say on a parallel with the edge of the water, which was about a block north. Or both Main and Geyer streets at that point were men with boats and people ready to help. But the noise of the rushing water drowned (page 73) all cries for help. Then it was that a neighbor across the street from the shipwrecked family remembered an old pistol which had not been used for years. It proved to be fireable and as many times as there were chambers in the revolver he fired it into the air. After a half an hour that seemed to all to last a century, a boat was seen coming around the corner of the street to the rescue. Too late, it seemed for Mrs. Adams, who just before it reached her, sank from weakness into the swirling food. The two men, more dead than alive, were dragged into the boat and taken back to the house whence they had started so short a time before. Mr. Adams, lifting his head weakly above the side of the boat, could see some men below holding a figure in a long black coat which he hoped was his wife but could not be sure. As for the twins, the pets of the whole neighborhood, nothing was to be seen of them but the heavy shawl which had enwrapped one and which was lodged against a tree some rods further down stream. When Mr. Adams was taken from the boat back into the Fries house he was unconscious and remained in that condition the rest of the day.
When he came to himself at night fall his feelings can better be imagined than described. The roar of the waters outside, the crashing of drift-wood against the house in the darkness told him only too surely what must have been the fate of his loved wife and babies in that angry flood.
At daybreak making his way to the landing on Main street the first acquaintance he met gave him the joyful news that his family was safe and sound. This news proved too great a shock for his weakened condition and he fainted away for the second time.
The story of the rescue of the three dear ones was quickly told. Mrs. Adams had floated a whole block, buoyed up by her big coat, and was drawn into a boat by some members of the Riverdale canoe club which did such valiant work during those three days. She was taken to a house beyond the water line where she spent the same kind of a night as her husband, convinced alike that she was alone in the world. Dwellers in an apartment house on the corner of Geyer and Warder saw a small shawled bundle battling with the current as it swept below them. Coming up Geyer St. was a boat, full of women, rowed by a man who was having all he could do to keep the craft steady in the current. To him the watchers in the second story screamed "Catch that baby =Save that baby." But it had gone down, sucked under by a whirlpool at the junction of the two streets, and nothing was to be seen but wreckage going round and round in a circle. Making a happy guess at the place where the little form was last seen, the man pushed his oar into the flood and it came up bearing the baby on it. The dripping bundle was consigned to the women in the boat who held it up by its feet as a first aid measure and in a few moments it was consigned to the hands of a doctor waiting at the landing to be of what use he could. After an hour of warming and rubbing, the baby emitted a faint cry and from that minute progressed to convalescence. The other twin was taking its way in the current straight down Warder street towards the river when it (page 74)too was picked up by men in a boat and delivered to a policeman who had recently finished a course of first aid given at the Y. M. C. A. His methods' with the little sister were the same as those employed for the brother by the doctor, and he too had the satisfaction, after an hour, of seeing the first. signs of returning life. The blue face became white, the blackened lips took on their normal hue and by the time the mother appeared on the scene both children were on their way to complete recovery.
It was a happy reunion that of the Adams family, but their troubles were not yet over. That night they started by various changes of automobile, trolley car and train, for Mrs. Adam's mother's home some miles north of Dayton. At midnight, when they were still far from their destination, both babies were seen to be suffering from difficult breathing and high fever. A physician pronounced the trouble to be pneumonia due to exposure, and for a whole week the lives of both little sufferers hung in the balance. They know nothing about it now, the brother and sister, because they are going to school and except for some slight predisposition to cold are well as ordinary children, but the father and mother will never forget how narrowly they escaped losing "the Adams twins."
John A. McMahon. One evening, during the year 1916, there was assembled at the Dayton club a gathering of representative citizens, men and women, belonging to that erstwhile valuable organization, the Greater Dayton association. They had come together to dine and discuss some matter-it is not now important what-relating to the welfare of their city. In the course of the evening and while the discussion was going on, there entered at the door-it might be better said, there slipped in at the door-a slight figure of a man with whitening hair and beard, in no wise a commanding or imposing presence and not at all expecting an unusual reception. But a few near the door caught sight of him and began a welcoming clapping; it was taken up, the speaking stopped ; from clapping the demonstration came to spoken words and at last every member there rose spontaneously to his feet to testify appreciation of what the man had done for the city o f Dayton.
The newcomer was John A. McMahon, the dean of the Dayton Bar and his particular contribution to the Miami valley lay in the developing of a system of legislation by which the whole district would be forever protected from the disastrous foods of the past. The company assembled in that room had all suffered grievously from one of the great disasters of history, the flood of 1913; they had loyally put their hands in their pockets to contribute to a fund for flood prevention and they were collectively doing their best to set business on its feet once more in Dayton, to restore property values and the credit of their city in the eyes of the world. But what they could do was nothing if the recurrence of such a calamity were not forever prevented. By the work of John McMahon this had been accomplished ; hence the ovation.
It is a somewhat long story but it deserves telling because of its transcendent importance and because it was the crowning act of his life and proof positive of his great professional ability.
(page 75) The necessity for this law, known as the Ohio Conservancy Law, grew out of the flood which has been described elsewhere in these pages. It had been definitely settled by the consulting engineers that unless the problem of conservancy were treated as a whole all effort would be useless. Palliative measures had always been taken in the different localities affected by high water and floods had gone on recurring with sickening regularity. Dredging, drainage, levee building, channel straightening here and there were worse than useless until the communities north and south of us could unite in a comprehensive plan of protection. But there was no law by which the separate counties could legally co-operate. Other states had such measures, but not Ohio.
Four fundamental requirements belong to such a bill : One, that it be in accordance with the constitution of the State of Ohio ; second, that it be financially sound in its principles so that no district would be hampered by inability to finance its share of the work ; third, that it be in accordance with generally accepted principles of governmental administration, and fourth, that it effectively safeguard the rights of, not only each community affected, but of each individual.
Mr. McMahon finally developed the law embodying all these requirements, it was repeatedly sustained by the Supreme Court in spite of many efforts to invalidate it, and is now a permanent part of the laws of the state. It stands as a model of what such legislation should be and will in time be applied to many other places besides the present locality. And besides being a great law it is a great monument, for it will forever stand as a memorial to the man who evolved it.
But we have told the end of the story of Mr. McMahon before the beginning. He was born in Frederick, Maryland, February 19, 1833, son of John V. L. and Elizabeth (Gouger) McMahon. His father was a notable lawyer of Baltimore and one of the leaders of the Maryland bar. The son was graduated from St. Zavier's college, Cincinnati, in 1849, and continued afterwards in connection with that institution as teacher instead of pupil, for the space of one year.But Dayton, the prosperous young city up the valley drew him, as it did so many ambitious young men during the first half of the last century. He had an uncle by marriage in Dayton, Clement L. Vallandigham, a husband of a sister of his father, and to his office came the young student to gain a knowledge of the law. In 1854, John McMahon was admitted to the Dayton bar and was taken into junior partnership with his uncle.
Those were stirring years, just before the breaking out of the Civil war and Vallandigham, the leader of the Democratic party of that day and member of Congress for this district, became more and more engrossed in political activity leaving his Dayton practice largely to his nephew. From 1861 to 1880, Mr. McMahon joined his professional career with that of George W. Houk, and there the story was repeated, of the elder partner going to Congress and entering into the affairs of the nation. But the younger man had already made a reputation for brilliancy, acumen, ability and legal (page 76)knowledge. From the first he enjoyed a success at the bar which was remarkable. Before he was twenty-five years old he had conducted cases in which some of the most eminent lawyers of the state were employed on the opposite side. Mr. McMahon was always, by inheritance and conviction a Democrat-a dyed-in-the wool, root-stock-and branch Democrat. Of course during the Civil war he suffered much from the intensity of his conviction. In those days to be a friend of Vallandigham and a sympathizer with the south was to find oneself in a position not far from martyrdom, but he survived the unpopularity as the years grew and public opinion could look at the history of that from a new perspective. His first appearance in a representative political capacity was in 1872 when he served as one of the Ohio delegates to the Democratic national convention at Baltimore. Refusing several inducements to enter the political field he did at last, in 1874, accept the nomination for Congress, and, although the district had for some years been strongly Republican, he was elected by a large plurality. Twice successively re-elected he sat in the Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth congresses during a period of service extending from 1874 to 1881.
During his first term he was manager of the Belknap impeachment proceedings and chairman of the sub-committee which conducted the trial. He was also a member of the special committee appointed to inquire into the St. Louis whiskey frauds, and took part in the investigation of the contested presidential election of 1876 as one of the committee of the House on the Louisiana vote. In the Forty-fifth Congress he submitted the minority report of the judiciary committee on certain undetermined questions concerning the distribution of some $10,000,000 of the Geneva award, with the result that the principles contended for by the minority of the committee were enacted into law.
In 1889, when the Democratic party elected a majority in the state assembly, Mr. McMahon was proposed by many supporters for the United States senatorship, and in the caucus stood next to Calvin D. Brice. He has been in his profession for over sixty-five years which makes him the dean of lawyers in our city. No one now disputes Mr. McMahon's qualifications. He is referred to for opinions on the most abstruse points and his findings always accepted. For the solidity of his attainments, the vigor of his intellect, the comprehensiveness of his intellectual ability his name will take undisputed rank in the historic annals of the Ohio bar. "The Bench and Bar of Ohio" said of him editorially at the time of his seventy-fifth birthday celebration, "The secret of Mr. McMahon's prominence in the profession does not lie alone in his strong natural endowment, his breadth of mental grasp and intellectual vigor. It may be found in the fact that he has always been a close and conscientious student not only of text books, but of reported decisions in both English and American courts so that he is today familiar in a marked degree with case law as well as the underlying legal principles. Industry, thoroughness, intense application- these are the habits which Mr. McMahon has brought to the practice of the law."
(page 77) Mr. McMahon married, January 23, 1861, Mary-R. Sprigg, of Cumberland, Maryland. Three children resulted from this union, the eldest Jeanne (Mrs. McRery) died some years since. A son, J. Sprigg McMahon is now associated with his father in the law, and a daughter Louise McMahon are the remaining family. The Conservancy Law of Ohio.* (*For complete text of Law, apply to Office of Miami Conservancy District, Dayton.) There are two reasons why it has seemed advisable, in the opinion of the editors of this book, to give an abbreviated form of the Ohio Conservancy Law: First, because it stands as a model of what such legislation should be, and second, because the average busy man, although he may have interest and public spirit, has not the time to master fifty-two pages of technical text.
The bill as passed by the general assembly of the state of Ohio on February 5, 1914, is designed to "prevent floods, to protect cities, villages, farms, and highways, from inundation and to authorize the organization of drainage and conservancy districts."
The first necessity in any enterprise is to organize the district. In this case the Court of Common Pleas of any county or any judge of that court is vested with power and authority to establish a conservancy district for the following purposes: (1) To prevent floods; (2) to regulate stream channels; (3) to reclaim overflowed lands; (4) to provide for irrigation wherever it may be needed; (5) to regulate the flow of streams; (6) and to divert the course of streams. These provisions include the widening, deepening, diversion of water courses, the building of reservoirs, embankments, canals, bridges or dams, to operate the same, in fact everything that pertains to the fulfillment of the purposes enumerated in the act is by virtue of the law the province of the district established. The manner of establishing such a district is this: that a petition shall be fled in the office of the Court of Common Pleas, signed by either five hundred free-holders or by the owners of more than half the property within the limits of the territory proposed to be organized; or it may be signed by representatives of railroads or other corporations owning land in the district or by any city interested in the plan.
This petition shall set forth the name of the proposed district, the necessity for its protection from floods, a general description of the territory to be benefited and shall in conclusion pray for the organization of this plan. Petitioners must give bond. The clerk of the court shall give notice by publication of a hearing on the petition.
Before the hearing of this petition any owners of property in the proposed district who may be in opposition to the plan and who object to the organization of such a district shall, before the date set for the petition to be heard, file his objections and state the reasons why the district should not be so organized. All such objections shall be duly investigated and disposed of as justice and (page 78) equity require. This having been done the court shall declare the district organized and it shall hereafter be known as a political sub-division of the State of Ohio, with power to sue, to incur debts, liabilities and obligations, to exercise the right of eminent domain,
and of taxation and assessment, to issue bonds, and to perform all acts necessary for the carrying out of the purposes for which the district was created.
The court shall also designate the place where the office or place of business shall be located and the meetings of the board of directors shall be at the place decided upon.
Within thirty days after the district has been declared a corporation by the court, in the manner prescribed, the clerk of the court shall transmit to the secretary of state and. the county recorder in each of the counties included in the district, a copy of the decrees of the court incorporating the district. Such copies shall be fled and recorded under the general law concerning corporations, and within thirty days after entering the decree of incorporation the court shall appoint three persons, at least two of which shall be resident freeholders, within the district; one for a term of three years, one for a term of five, and one for a term of seven. Each director shall, before entering upon his official duties, take oath that he will honestly and impartially perform the duties of his office and that he will not be interested directly or indirectly in any contracts let by the district. The board will then elect some one of their number as president, shall adopt a seal and shall keep accurate accounts of all transactions.
The board may employ an engineer, or engineers, an attorney, or attorneys, and any other agents as may be needful and may provide for their compensation.
The board shall prepare plans for the improvements for which the district was created, such plans to include maps, profiles, plans and other data as to the location and character of the work contemplated, with estimates of costs. If any other data have been prepared at any time by other persons and the board find such data valuable, they may take over such work and pay for it. If any construction be made which causes the backing up of water into any city or village the board shall pay all damages. No railroad shall be constructed with a grade in excess of the maximum ruling grade.
After the completion of such plans permission to inspect them shall be given by publication in each county of the district, and a time shall be fixed for a presentation and hearing of all objections, not less than twenty days after the publication of the notice. All objections shall be in writing and fled with the secretary not more than ten days after the last publication of the notice. These objections to the official plan may be considered at a hearing in the office of the clerk of the court at which time the judges, sitting at a special court, shall hear, adopt, reject or refer such objections back to the board of directors. A majority of the judges shall control.
The board of directors shall have full power to prepare for, execute, maintain and operate all works necessary to complete the (page 79) official plan. They may let contracts in whole or in part and may employ what men and buy such equipment as needed. They may enter upon lands to make examinations and surveys, with the understanding that no damage is to be done.
The board of directors is empowered to clean out, straighten, widen, alter, deepen or change the course of any ditch, drain, sewer, river, water-course, pond, lake or creek, to fill up any abandoned ditch or other water course, to divide the flow of water out of the district, to construct and maintain ditches, sewers, canals, levees, dikes, dams, reservoirs, floodways, pumping stations and syphons ; to construct or enlarge any bridges, to elevate roadways and streets, to remove or change the location of any fence building, railroad, or canal ; shall acquire by donation, purchase or condemnation any personal property or any easement, riparian right or railroad right of way or franchise within the district. They may plot and subdivide land, open new roads or change the course of those in existence.
Wherever it is necessary to carry out the purposes of this act the board shall have a dominant right of eminent domain over railroads, telegraphs, telephones, gas, water power, and other corporations, and over townships, villages, counties and cities. In the exercise of this right due care shall be taken to do no unnecessary damage to other public utilities, due regard being paid to the other public interests involved.
The board shall have the right to condemn for the use of the district, any land or property within or without the district, not acquired or condemned by the court, according to the procedure provided by law. Regulations may also be made by the board for the regulations of any water courses, bridges, roads or fences which come into contact with the improvements of the conservancy plan, although not included in that district, to prevent damage or misuse of the improvements.
Whenever the official plan requires the building modification or removal of any bridge, grade, aqueduct or other construction the owner of that property is bound to make the changes deemed necessary within the time directed by the court. Thirty days notice shall be given the owner of the property to adapt his construction to the required plans. In case it is necessary to take a part of the equipment through a bridge or grade which will not accommodate it, the owner must remove temporarily such construction and keep an itemized account of the expense involved that he be reimbursed. In case of delay the owner shall be liable for damages. The board of directors shall establish and maintain stream gauges, rain gauges, a flood warning service with telephone or telegraph lines, and may make such surveys and examinations of rainfall and food conditions, stream flow, and other scientific data as may be necessary for the purposes of the district and make a report of the same.
In co-operation with the Government the board of directors may enter into contracts with the United States, with persons, railroads, or corporations, and with the state government of this or other states, relative to drainage, conservation, and for (page 80) co-operation or assistance in constructing, maintaining and operating the work of conservancy in this district, acquire property in other states in order to secure outlets and may let contracts, or spend money for such purposes outside of the state of Ohio. The right of relative water power and supply of land-owners and municipalities as to the waters of the district shall extend only to such rights as were theirs before the district was organized and wherever the improvement made by the conservancy law make a greater benefit, such waters shall be the property of the district and reasonable compensation shall be made. Persons or municipalities desiring to secure the use of water courses of the district may make application to the board for lease, purchase, or permission to use. They shall state the purpose and character of the use they intend to make, and the period of use desired. Where it is impossible to grant all applications, preference shall be given to the greatest need and the most reasonable use. Preference shall be given first to domestic and municipal water supply; second, to the use of water for manufacturing purposes ; for the production of steam and for maintaining sanitary conditions of stream flow ; thirdly, for irrigation, power development, recreation, fisheries, and so forth. The board shall determine the rate of compensation for water supply and in case of failure to pay the board may compel payment.
Three appraisers shall be appointed at the time of the organization of the board whose duty it shall be to appraise the lands required for the uses of the conservancy plan, to appraise all benefit its and damages accruing to any property by reason of the execution of the official plan. Each appraiser shall be a freeholder in the district and shall take oath to perform faithfully the duties of his office and shall elect one of their number as chairman. They shall familiarize themselves with the official plan; whereupon they shall proceed to appraise the benefits of every kind to all real estate in the district, also the damages sustained and the value of the land if taken by the district for uses of conservancy. They shall have the assistance of the attorney, engineers, secretary and other officers in the employ of the board. They shall also appraise the benefits or damages accruing to cities, villages, counties, and townships in the State of Ohio.
Upon the filing of the report of the appraisers the clerk shall give public notice and descriptions of land said to be under damages and all exceptions shall be heard by the court within thirty days. After having heard all the exceptions, then the court shall approve and confirm the report of the appraisers as modified and amended, and these findings shall be final and incontestable. Any person desiring to appeal from an award as to compensation or damages may file a demand with the court for a jury trial. Upon such demand for a jury the court shall order the directors to at once begin condemnation proceedings according to law in the county in which the lands are situated and such suit shall proceed in accordance with the statute and have full jurisdiction to act.
Changes in the original official plan may be made when necessary and under the sanction of both the court and the board. (page 81) In the financial administration the moneys of every conservancy district organized shall consist of three separate funds: (1) Preliminary Fund, by which is meant the proceeds of the ad valorem tax authorized by this act, together with such advancements as may be made from the general county fund; (2) Bond Fund, by which is meant the proceeds of levies made against the special assessments of benefits confirmed under the provisions of this act, and (3) Maintenance Fund, which is a special assessment to be levied annually for the purpose of upkeep, administration and current expenses. The cost of publication in the beginning shall be paid out of the general funds of the county, which cost shall be repaid to the county out of the first funds received by the district through levying of taxes or assessments. In order to facilitate the preliminary work the board may borrow money at a rate of interest not exceeding six per cent per annum.
After the list of real property with the appraised benefits as approved by the court has been filed with the secretary of the district, then, from time to time, as the affairs of the district demand it, the board of directors shall levy on all real property upon which benefits have been appraised as assessment of such portions of these benefits as may be found necessary to pay the costs of carrying out the official plan ; and this assessment shall be apportioned and levied on each tract of land in proportion to the benefits accruing to that property. Property owners may have the privilege of paying their assessment in full if they so desire it shall be so recorded in the records, but such payment does not relieve the property owner from the payment of any additional assessment which may be found necessary by the board.
In issuing bonds the board of directors may, if it seems to their judgment best, issue these not to exceed ninety per cent of the total amount of the assessments, exclusive of interest, levied under the provisions of this act, in denomination of not less than $100, bearing interest not to exceed six per cent, payable semi-annually, to mature at annual intervals within thirty years. The board may also secure the payment of loans from the United States government in the same manner as it may secure the payment of bonds.
This briefly is the substance of the Ohio Conservancy Law.
There is much more of detail as to technical matters relative to the filling of petitions, the arrangements of tables recording appraisals, how the books shall be kept, the duties of county officials and the penalties for the evasion or neglect of any of these rulings. Police powers and regulations are given the board of directors in order to protect the works in the district, and the prevention of injury to survey marks.
A reading of the complete law is recommended to all property owners in the district, that they may appreciate the months of painstaking effort involved, the knowledge of the law and the desire to give full justice to the claims of every citizen in the Miami valley.
The Plan of the Miami Conservancy Enterprise. In order to comprehend the technical details of the conservancy plan as exemplified in the mammoth undertaking now going on in the Miami valley (page 82) it will be necessary to note the various elements of the geography of the drainage area. The areas affected by the flood prevention system include parts or the whole of fifteen counties, namely: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Preble, Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Miami, Darke, Shelby, Champaign, Logan, Mercer, Auglaize and Hardin counties. The Miami drainage basin lies in the southwestern part of Ohio and has an area of about 4,000 square miles. The principal tributary streams in order of size are: Mad river, Stillwater, Four Mile creek, Twin creek and Loramie creek. The principal cities affected by the flood of the Miami river are Dayton, with Miamisburg, Middletown, Franklin and Hamilton below, and Piqua and Troy above Dayton. The Miami river is about 163 miles in length with Dayton lying about half way from the northern limits to the southern at about 400 north latitude. The surrounding country lies about 800 feet above sea level and the annual rainfall is 36 inches. So much for position and circumstances. The flood which occurred with such frightful suddenness on March 25, 1913, has been described as well as the moral courage of the people and the firm decision to prevent it in the future. The immediate step out of which the flood prevention plan grew was the appointment of a citizens' relief committee by the governor, consisting of the following persons: John H. Patterson, president of the National Cash Register company, chairman; John R. Flotron, president of the John Rouzer company; Edward Phillips, mayor of the city of Dayton; Adam Schantz, president of the Dayton Breweries company, and Frank T. Huffman, president of the Davis Sewing Machine company. The most insistent duty confronting the committee was that of getting food supplies into the city and to establish supply stations for its distribution. For several days the larger part of the citizens stood in line for their daily bread and a large number for several months. The streets had to be cleaned, and H. E. Talbott as chief engineer superintended that stupendous job. The work of the committee of relief presently developed into the initiation of the movement toward permanent flood protection. As chairman of the committee Mr. Patterson was receiving pleas from up and down the valley to take steps to that end, in answer to these pleas he called a general meeting of citizens for April 20 at which were present about one hundred and forty persons. Twenty were appointed to assist the relief committee, and the next day the membership of the committee was increased to thirty and divided into sub-committees on flood prevention, finance, public improvement, sanitation, traffic and public service. The outstanding fact developed from consultation with these various representatives was that there existed in each county a movement, often without coherent or established form, generally led by an engineer, with the object of formulating plans for flood protection. The entire personnel of the group having at heart the eventual safety of the city from foods were: John Patterson, Walter Worman, Walter S. Kidder, Edward W. Hanley, H. E. Talbott, John W. Stoddard, Edward Phillips, E. J. Barney, C. B. Clegg, J. H. Winters, T. Huffman, Chas. McKee, Adam Schantz, E. A. Deeds, F. Cappel, T. P. Gaddis, J. E. Sauer, E. Canby, John R. Flotron, L. Rauh, J. P. Breene, H. G. Carnell, Peter Kuntz, (page 83) H. Burkhardt, F. T. Huffman, E. D. Grimes, E. B. Weston, E. L. Edwards, J. M. Switzer, A. J. Stevens, John W. Aull, A. M. Kittredge, Geo. L. Marshall, T. A. Fernedin, Stanley M. Krohn, F. J. McCormick, jr., E. E. Burkhardt. As order grew out of chaos and Dayton began under the efficient rule of the committee to regain her former appearance the work of the committee assumed larger proportions. Public sentiment was unanimous in the demand for permanent measures of prevention and the committee felt keenly its increasing responsibilities. It was early admitted that the federal government showed no inclination to take immediate action to that end. It was also felt that what the people of the valley would do themselves would be more quickly done, and a resolution was adopted to raise a flood prevention ' fund. The resolution, briefly epitomized, was as follows: That there should be prompt and definite action to determine the cause of the flood * * * and to apply the maximum knowledge and scientific skill to prevent its recurrence. That to enable this committee to take up the vast program * * * there shall be provided a food prevention fund of two million dollars. (Remainder devoted to the details of administration.)
The immediate results of this resolution were: (1) That on May 5 the Morgan Engineering company was employed to report of plans for flood prevention, and that Arthur Morgan, president, should assume personal charge; (2) that May 25 and 26 were designated "Dayton Days" and plans started for the campaign for funds; (3) that representatives from neighboring cities were invited to attend a meeting on May 15 to. discuss co-operating for flood prevention in the whole valley, or it was beginning to be plain that no relief measure which would be confined to the vicinity of Dayton would be sufficient. It was Mr. Deed's idea, seconded by Mr. Morgan, that the valley should, if possible, be taken as a unit and a specified plan adopted which would include all the areas likely to be devastated by floods. The meeting was held as scheduled, at the Dayton city club on May 15, 1913, with representatives from Miami, Clark, Darke, Shelby, Logan, Warren, Butler, Greene, Montgomery and Preble counties. Mr. Deeds presided and stated the purpose of the meeting. Four days later there was formally organized the Miami Valley Flood Prevention association, with John H. Patterson as president; H. M. Allen, of Troy, vice-president, and L. D. Upson, secretary. The object of this association as stated on the minutes were to secure a coordinated survey of conditions in the valley, to formulate plans for the prevention of foods, to secure the adoption of coordinated plans by the several cities and counties, to secure from the National Government such services of army engineers, etc., that will facilitate the work, to urge control of streams by the state, to secure the co-operation of the railroads in carrying out preventive measures, to maintain continual publicity for informing the citizens and the nation at large of the progress of the Miami valley. And thus was launched what has been called the most comprehensive plan for food prevention of which there is any knowledge, at least in the great middle western world, a plan involving the expenditure of a cool twenty-five million and the safety and happiness of hundreds of thousands of homes. During the remainder of the year (page 84)1913, and through until January, 1914, the committee met at stated intervals and accomplishing their various objects, and the work of the prevention proper began under Arthur E. Morgan, and disbanded on January 15. The finance committee, however, under whose strenuous efforts the enormous sum of two million dollars had been raised from a sorely stricken city, remained in charge of the flood prevention fund. The instructions to Mr. Morgan were thus worded : "The valley has suffered a calamity that must not be allowed to occur again. Find a way out." This peremptory and inspiring telegram came from Mr. E. A. Deeds. He had been making investigations on his own account up and down the valley. As his examinations continued his point of view grew and the problem which presented itself at last was not a Dayton problem but a much vaster one which would include the whole valley. He frankly confessed that his engineering mind was not equal to the solution but it was equal to finding someone that was. Hence the message "Find a way out." Mr. Morgan came, and his first words corroborated Mr. Deeds ; indeed they were distinctly discouraging, especially to people in a hurry to have things started. He told the committee that no plan could be adopted without a thorough analysis of the situation and that at least six months would be needed to offer even a provisional solution and probably a year before definite plans could be made ; that federal aid would probably not be forthcoming, and if the people of the valley wanted to be safe they would have to pay for it themselves. The result of this not very rose-colored presentation was that the Morgan Engineering company was formally engaged to develop plans to protect the entire valley north of Butler county from future foods, and took up its headquarters in the City National Bank building with a force of fifty engineers. Of this organization O. N. Floyd had charge of the preliminary surveys, I. E. Houk directed the hydraulic surveys and computations, K. C. Grant made investigations and translations of European literature, G. C. Cummin began the investigation of rainfall records, P. D. Fuqua had charge of much of the topographic field work, C. H. Shea, as chief draftsman, had charge of all field notes, maps and plans ; C. A. Bock was in charge of the office administration and Professor Woodward acted as consulting engineer. Mr. Morgan, the chief engineer, directed the whole work from its inception. One of Mr. Morgan's first recommendations to the committee was that they secure the services of a board of consulting engineers for the benefit of eminent outside judgment on each step of the work. This board consisted of Daniel W. Mead of Madison, Wis. ; Sherman M. Woodward, Iowa City, Ia. ; and John W. Alvord, Chicago. Other experts who were called into consultation were : Gen. H. M. Chittenden, Gen. Ernst, Mr. Okerson of the Mississippi river commission, and Messrs. Fuertes of New York, Jaycox of Denver, Knowles of Pittsburg, Miller of Arkansas and O'Brien of Missouri. The latter, reporting as a board, brought in, after extended research, a report embodying the following (condensed) opinions : That similar foods were likely to occur at any time and that whatever was done should meet the possibility of foods twenty per cent greater than the one of 1913; that protection by (page 85) means of channel enlargement was out of the question because it would not be permanent; that detention basins did offer a practicable solution ; that the success of such a plan required that the valley be treated as a whole ; that the works suggested will be so massive and substantial that they would afford the completest protection for any length of time. It will be only natural to call attention here to the kinds of minds who offered this as their conscientious and expert advice to the people of the Miami valley and the food prevention committee in particular. Engineers of long standing experience on the extensive public works carried on by the United States Government added to the loving local pride of a practical man like Mr. Deeds, who for months had tramped the valley, had dreamed, lived, eaten, drank and slept with the food prevention plan, these men together had given their united opinions. It should have been sufficient to convince every mind in the valley that they knew what they were talking about. But it developed immediately that instead of only two groups of difficulties, the legal and engineering, which this stupendous plan involved, there was to be another, a psychological one. The first mention of "detention basins" fired the popular suspicion in the counties to the north. The fault-finders who settle debated professional questions over a cracker barrel at the corner grocery came out strong in the attack. To their aid came those apostles of self-interest who see personal profit in stirring up trouble on public matters. Together they made a fair sized body of opposition which fought every step of the proposed plan for food protection and, through attempted legislation, delayed the work, made the way of the directors doubly hard and added enormously to the expenses for the people of the valley to pay. In the light of the present triumphant justification of the plan it will be interesting to indicate some of the stock objections. The real purpose of the dams was power development ; detention basins would threaten the safety of territory below them; dams had always broken and always would ; implications against the honesty of the Morgan Engineering company that it was paid for its opinion; if the river channels had been cleared out there would have been no food ; Dayton is making Troy and Piqua pull her chestnuts out of the fire; if the dams are put in they will be blown up and no jury could be found to convict the culprits ; the law is an outrage ; tax payers, you are going to be robbed, etc. This kind of thing was shouted from platforms and headlined in the newspapers of the cities in the north of the valley for long weary months when the affair should have been well under way. It was discovered early in the food prevention movement that there were no existing state laws comprehensive enough to cover the whole requirements. Troy, Piqua, Miamisburg and Franklin each had county laws to cover each particular need, but unless there could be co-operation under a common and state provision the plans as outlined by the consulting engineers would be unable to be carried out. The local laws were lacking in the broad provisions necessary to such a great undertaking; they failed to provide the legal machinery for organizing the many interests involved ; they provided no plan for safeguarding individual interests and for an equal distribution of costs ; nor did they provide (page 86) authority for enforcing the requirements of such improvements. What was needed was concerted action in nine or ten different counties and a dozen cities or towns ; railroad and pikes had to be changed, bridges, dams, ditches and levees constructed, sewers and streets readjusted. To do this right-of-way had to be acquired, damages would have to be paid where necessary, and the cost must be distributed among those property holders who gained the most advantage. Nothing on any such scale as this could be done without the sanction of a state law.
A draft for such a law was prepared by Mr. Morgan, who drew upon his experience in carrying out more than seventy-five flood prevention and reclamation -projects under fifteen different state laws. While Mr. Morgan was responsible for the content and general working plan of the proposed statute, its legal form is due to the labors of Mr. McMahon. For months Dayton's noted lawyer laid aside his other work and gave his undivided attention to this draft. Every provision and every phrase was scrutinized and checked in the light of state and national constitutional provisions and legal habits. When his work neared completion the revised draft was submitted to Horace S. Oakley of Chicago, who reviewed it in the light of financing requirements. After numerous conferences between constitutional lawyers, engineers and financial lawyers the bill was brought to a condition satisfactory from every point of view. The remarkable record of the conservancy law in withstanding the attacks it has received is due to the admirable work of Mr. McMahon. When the draft was in final shape it was reviewed by John M. Dillon of New York. The attorney of the flood prevention committee, judge O. B. Brown, throughout the whole labor was the person who co-ordinated the efforts of all the others, and made possible their co-operation to a common end. Without his patient and tactful efforts it is doubtful whether the diverse points of view ever would have been harmonized. "The Conservancy Act of Ohio," as it is called, is the best monument to his career. The bill which was completed in time to be presented at a special session of the legislature which convened in January, 1914, was passed and signed by Governor Cox, March 17, 1914.
The features of the conservancy act provided for the establishment of conservancy districts anywhere in the state where they might be needed through petition of property owners to the common pleas court for any or all of the following purposes : To prevent floods ; to regulate stream channels ; to reclaim or fill wet lands ; to irrigate where needed ; to regulate the flow of streams ; to divert water courses, build reservoirs, dams, levees, walls, embankments, bridges, and to maintain the same. The act as drafted would seem to cover all of the problems to the manifest justice of all concerned, but the opposition, of which mention has been made, crystallized into active action as soon as the bill was introduced. Amendments were offered which, if carried, would have made each step more difficult and resulted in emasculating the law to entire innocuousness. Finding that public opinion was divided on these amendments, the flood prevention committee organized an educational (page 87) campaign to support the conservation act. Thirty-six leading citizens of the Miami valley registered as lobbyists and devoted a large part of their time to the fight to preserve the law. The food prevention committee circulated a petition which received 89,000 names in its support, which was presented to a joint senate and house committee in the capitol building at Columbus on February 9, 1915. Stereopticon and moving pictures were thrown on a huge screen, followed by illustrations of proposed food prevention plans. Mr. Deeds made a stirring plea that the conservancy plan be left intact. Judge O. B. Brown and Judge Oakley presented legal reasons why the law should not be molested. Defense of the bill was made by many others, men and women, and it was as stoutly opposed by A. J. Miller of Bellefontaine, Percy Taylor of Sidney, F. M. Sterrett of Troy, Horace Stafford and J. E. Bowman of Springfield.
Newspapers, clubs, churches and chambers of commerce took up the fight, engineering periodicals pointed out the folly of an amendment which would forever prevent the use of reservoirs for food prevention, the governor and members of the legislature were deluged with letters, telegrams and petitions asking that the law stand as drafted. These public spirited efforts were crowned with the success they deserved, and after several more abortive attempts at blockading progress the law was passed as has been told. The day after the bill was signed petitions were received from fifteen hundred persons and from the cities of Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown, Franklin and Miamisburg for the establishment of the Miami Conservancy district, for the hearing of which a court was convened in Memorial Hall in Dayton on March 20, 1914. It consisted of the following common pleas judges : Carroll C. Sprigg, presiding, Montgomery county; Hiram C. Mathers, Shelby county; J. M. Broderick, Logan county; Walter D. Jones, Miami county; F. M. Hagan, Clark county; Charles H. Kyle, Greene county; Willard J. Wright, Warren county; A. C. Risinger, Preble county; Clarence W. Murphy, Butler county ; Otway C. Cosgrave, Hamilton county. An attendance of over two thousand people gave evidence of the interest in the occasion. From June 4 to June 28 the proceedings of were a history of various technical decisions, many delays owing to illness of its members, much confusion of issues, much irrelevant testimony, but on the day indicated a final result of the establishment of the Miami Conservancy district by a vote of five to four, and the first great step was accomplished.
The court then appointed three directors, viz.: Edward A. Deeds, of Dayton; Henry M. Allen, of Troy; and Gordon S. Rentschler, of Hamilton, as men who could be depended upon to carry out faithfully the provisions of the enabling law. The directors appointed Ezra M. Kuhns, secretary.
The Morgan Engineering company, having been employed to "find a way out," proceeded to investigate and act. The first and minor measure was, in connection with the city and county authorities, to increase the local protection. A survey of the river was made, the weak points of the levees strengthened and the low points raised. Underbrush was cut out of the channel, food gates put in at the entrance of the hydraulic above Dayton and in the canal at (page 88) Apple street. Above Steele dam the levees were raised to provide a free-board of three feet at a time when 75,000 second feet of water is passing over the dam. Between Steele dam and the Main street bridge the channel was deepened and straightened, the sharp turn north of the bridge cut of and the mouth of Mad river reconstructed. At the Miami apartments the bank was cut, leaving only twenty-five feet between the building and the top of the bank. The whole length of the banks surrounding the city was straightened, corners cut, channel deepened and levees raised. The river below the city was straightened, additional rain gauges were established over the watershed and stream gauges installed. The net result of these improvements was that within a few months twenty per cent more water could be taken safely through Dayton than ever before ; a safe capacity of 90,000 second feet and in an emergency it could carry 100,000. These measures, however, were merely preliminary and palliative. The great work was to be in the valley above and below Dayton. The plan as outlined by Mr. Morgan involved the building of five retarding basins at controlling points on the more important streams, and of improving the levees and river channels at all of the towns and cities. The basins are located as follows : One at Lockington in Shelby county, on a tributary of the Miami ; one at Taylorsville, in Miami county, on the Miami river; one at Englewood on Stillwater; one at Osborne, in Greene county, called the Huffman basin, on Mad river, and one at Germantown, on Twin creek, half in Montgomery and half in Preble county. These basins were to be formed by huge dams blocking the currents of the several rivers and having openings in each base to allow ordinary freshets to pass unimpeded. During heavy floods, however, the water which cannot pass through the outlet will be held back temporarily in the basins above the dams. The conduits are proportioned so that no more water can pass through them than can be carried safely in the improved channels through the cities below. In this manner the run-of of a food like that of 1913, which lasted but three days, would be distributed over a period of two weeks and its height would be correspondingly reduced. The total capacity of the retarding basins to the spillway level is equivalent to 840.000 acres covered one foot deep. This represents 60 per cent of the total rainfall of the food of 1913, that fell on the watersheds above the dams. A glance at the map showing the amount of territory involved will be a unit of the magnitude of the project and the time, expense and human labor involved. The first step was to acquire data, this data including United States geological surveys, maps and reports of the great food, weather bureau reports of rainfall, city maps and records, county maps and records, railroad right-of-way maps and bridge and culvert lists, photographs showing flood damage, scale maps of the reservoirs. The task of collecting and examining all this data was but a small beginning and but a prelude to the real work of the preliminary survey which included the running of base lines the entire length of the valley, locating the food lines of 1913, taking cross sections of the valley and the river, and making soil borings. The hydraulic work included making maps of the Miami drainage basin, compiling rainfall records of great storms, and making discharge (page 89) measurements. The office work necessitated the making of innumerable maps, platting field surveys, computing valley storage capacity, developing estimates for the provisionary improvements at Dayton and maintaining a policy of publicity. Among the general data required were the taking of photographs, collecting information from witnesses of the flood and make valuation of real estate. It is said that the papers collected for the mere preliminaries of the work of flood protection, if laid on the ground, would make a continuous path from New York to San Francisco. And yet the men who were back of this stupendous work were pestered with questions as to why they did not "make the dirt fly." Mr. Deeds in his report said that such a question could only come from a lack of appreciation of the bigness of the job. "We must first know how and where to throw dirt and have the money to buy it and pay the shoveler * "* * The work when constructed will be as enduring as the eternal hills to which it is attached. We are planning not for the present but for a thousand years." Long, long before a spadeful of dirt could be lifted the work of appraisal had to be done. Those fruitful farms, those homesteads where several generations had lived and died must be given up to the plan of conservation ; the land must be appraised at a fair value if it was to be taken from the people who lived on it. Acres and acres in Shelby, Miami, Greene, Preble and Montgomery counties went into the retention basins while the owners secured homes elsewhere. Things like that can not be done in a hurry. Any property to be taken or damaged by the district had to be bought and paid for in full before any construction affecting it could be commenced. The appraisal was not only for damages but for benefits. Taxation for conservancy was to be laid according to the benefits accruing to the property, and this presented a problem of many difficulties and of large proportions. Long conferences had to be held with real estate men to arrive at proper valuation. The amount of benefits that would accrue to a particular property from the execution .of the official plan depended upon several considerations : 1. Value of property. 2. Degree of protection called for. 3. Degree of protection provided. While all these heavy problems were being worked out by lawyers, engineers, real estate men, the 23,000 people who had contributed to the food fund began to criticise. The local impatience at the delay was even harder to bear than the obstructionists in the neighboring counties who had blocked the beginnings of conservancy. It was in this connection that General Chittenden made the following pertinent observations : "The greatest obstacles that the promoters of public work have to overcome are not those of nature but of man. Nature is sometimes. a stubborn adversary, but she always acts in the open without subterfuge; but human ignorance, prejudice and self-interest are handicaps of a different character. Ignorance is least important because it may yield to instruction. Prejudice-that is, prejudgment of a case and then sticking to it regardless of facts-is immeasurably worse. But the most insuperable obstacle of all is self-interest. Public measures are judged by their effect on the private pocketbook and the rarest phenomenon in the world is a willingness to subordinate personal interest to the public welfare." Soon after (page 90) the approval of the appraisal record by the conservancy court, negotiations were begun by the board of directors for selling bonds to furnish the remainder of the construction fund not provided for by the cash payments. Conditions for financing a large undertaking of such an experimental character were far from hopeful. The war was coming on and the Government pressing the banks for help, with the universal trend toward economy of resources, with the tendency to postpone all new- undertakings in favor of war work all these things made it difficult to get capital to show any interest in the Miami valley project. But the war pressure was after all indirectly helpful because the great industries in Dayton given over to war work had most certainly to be kept free from food disaster. It was Mr. Deeds who presented the project to officials of the National City company of New York. His emphatic and vivid statement of the case, the imperativeness of the work, the awful responsibility of delay, won the assent of the board, who signified their willingness to underwrite the bond issue if the secretary of the United States treasury would offer no objection to the financing of the project at that particular time. Secretary McAdoo's consent was won and the entire bond issue, amounting to $24,340,490, was underwritten by the National City company, the Guarantee Trust company and Harris Forbe & Co., all of New York. The plans made, the objections overcome, finances accomplished, surveys made, bids opened and awarded, the actual work in connection with the dams was begun November 15, 1917, in the removal of the tracks of the Ohio Electric railway from the Huffman basin to make way for the building of the Huffman dam. Since that day what changes have the workers wrought! Whole tracts of land have been transformed, have lost their original features and been made into a new landscape. Millions of cubic feet of earth have been excavated; thousands of cubic feet of concrete poured, ditches excavated, embankments raised, paving and riprap constructed. Across the valleys rise huge embankments connecting the distant encompassing hills and binding them together. Steam shovels groan and sirens shriek all day long, while armies of workmen delve in the creative ruin they have made. Up to September 1, 1919, work has been under way on the five dams and on the river improvements at Dayton, Middleton and Hamilton. Some levee work has been done to protect Miamisburg. In the dams alone 1,247,000 cubic yards of earth and 86,000 cubic yards of concrete had been placed up to that date. From the river channels nearly 900,000 cubic yards of gravel had been removed, and 187,000 cubic yards placed in new levee construction.
To show the extent of the work up to the present time of writing (September, 1919), it will be advantageous to give a few statistics on the men employed and the extent of operations.
There were then on the payroll 1,637 men, distributed as follows : Germantown, 121; Englewood, 248; Lockington, 125; Taylorsville, 247; Huffman, 220; Dayton, 163; Hamilton, 176; railroad, 94; shops, 149; headquarters, 94. These men represent forty-five different occupations. They include accountants, chauffeurs, clerks, stewards, cooks, bakers, draftsmen, electricians, civil and mechanical engineers, inspectors, laborers, steam engineers, drag-line and steam (page 91) shovel runners, blacksmiths, boilermakers, machinists, millwrights, plumbers, carpenters, painters, riggers, rock drill men, brakemen, concrete men, hostlers, stenographers, timekeepers, doctors, and watchmen.
There have been purchased and delivered to the various construction sites, ready for operation, twenty-six construction locomotives. Eighteen of these operate by steam and eight by gasoline. These locomotives are used with 175 dump cars of different types for carrying rock, earth and concrete for the construction work. The necessary construction tracks have required the purchase of 1,460 tons of steel rail s and more than 60,000 ties.
To carry men and materials back and forth from the warehouse and headquarters in Dayton to the various points where construction is going on, the district maintains at the Dayton garage fifty-eight automobiles, touring cars, runabouts, trucks and depot wagons, of various types, altogether consuming about 175 gallons of gasoline per day. There are on the work nineteen drag-line excavators for digging rock and earth, varying in size from those of thirty or forty tons weight to the big 175-ton machines now so familiar to the denizens of the Miami valley, with 135-foot boom, which can pick up five ordinary wagon loads of earth at a time. Fifty miles of steel cables are necessary to operate these drag lines.
Three hundred thousand barrels of cement are to be used in the work and reinforcing steel to the amount of 600 tons. For the electric lines bringing light and power to the various camps, 205 miles of copper wire have been used and sixty-eight miles of galvanized cable.
Dayton's Recreational Facilities
Up to 1890 there existed not one park or playground for the use of tired city dwellers. Credit must be given to the Y. M. C. A. as being the first to see the necessity for the establishment of a place for public recreation. It even goes back farther than that organization to a group of about fifty young men who desired to have a place of their own for athletics and play. Some were members of the Y. M. C. A. and some were not, but all were ambitious for the same thing. Mr. Shuey, Mr. Sinclair and others were behind the plan. They had selected a field on Stillwater river just two miles from the center of the city, a field six and a quarter acres in extent, which could be had for $7,500. It was finally purchased, partly by individual subscription and partly by subscriptions solicited from friends of the association. When the money was paid down they were a happy set of boys.
The blank field had to be made level if it were to be useful for their purposes. The first step was to find an old drag and take turns pulling it by hand over the surface of the ground to make it ft for a baseball diamond. Mr. James Doods, of the Ohio Rake company, came to their assistance and presented them with an old grand stand which he had bought and which had stood on the city baseball park on Third and Williams streets. The gift was not "f. o. b.," for the boys had to take it down from its first position and move it out and (page 92) set it up at the new place. Next in order came a sort of clubhouse erected at a cost of $200, which still stands, though replaced by a larger and better one, which stands on the river bank and cost $3,500. At a certain point in the transaction the association saw the advantage of owning the park themselves, and took it over, paying the original owners what they paid for it, and naming it the Y. M. C. A. Athletic park. It thus became, in 1892, the first recreational center of the city of Dayton. And well has it served its purpose. In the nearly thirty years of its existence the park has made strong young men out of weak, given pleasure to thousands, and grown from the small beginnings just described into a well equipped open-air resort for physical culture.
It is bounded by the river on the east, Ridge avenue on the south, Melrose on the west and Hudson on the north. There is now a clubhouse with lockers and shower baths, and a social room on the upper floor, with pianola, victrola, books and magazines. Ten steel boats, eight canoes, six rowboats are at the disposal of the members; sixteen tents, with accommodations for four men to a tent, are the camping facilities, the association owning the tents and the renters paying 50 cents a week each. There are nine tennis courts, that game being the main feature of the park. Four tournaments a year are held, the Webb Eby tournament being the outstanding event of the athletic year and the one at which championships are decided. At this event Mr. Eby gives the trophy. The biggest track event in point of attendance is the Montgomery County Tennis tournament, open to all players in the county, whether members of the Y. M. C. A. or not. At this occasion it is Mr. James M. Alderton who gives the trophy.
Every year the public schools hold their annual championship meet at Athletic park. It includes running and jumping matches, basketball for girls, volley ball, baseball. At this tournament are awarded the trophies, medals and cups to the champions of the schools.
A swimming school is in constant session on the river, there being four swimming instructors, one always on duty. The man in charge of the boats is an expert swimmer, being a Red Cross life saver and holding the medal for taking the Red Cross test. There are sixty members of the baseball league, ninety-three tennis players, and upward of forty men in camp the summer through. From this early beginning Dayton has gradually progressed with the spirit of outdoor sports until she now is royally endowed with such advantages. But the city itself would have been slow to take up the task if she had not been prompted by private and individual enterprise. While the community, from its tax funds, has been able to equip a few small recreational centers, the large ones the notable examples-have been the gift of far-seeing and loyal citizens. Let us hear the story:
The Community Country Club located in Hills and Dales park, is a gift to the city by John H. Patterson. Mr. Patterson has a great many ideas peculiar to himself, one of them being that the great outdoors, the woods, hills, streams and forest, should be equally enjoyed by those of all conditions in life. To understand (page 93) how peculiar such an idea is it must be recalled that the usual country club is an exclusive resort open only to those who can pay a large admission fee and equally large yearly dues. To be a member one must have a full bank account, a handsome wife with a gift for spending, a set of luxurious friends who expect to be entertained, and so on. "But," says Mr. Patterson, "a man on a salary needs to play golf as much, or more, than his employer does. He needs the recreation and so does his family. Go to ! We will have a country club that everybody that has a dollar can belong to." Thus the Community Country club came into existence. It is situated south of Dayton in the western area of Hills and Dales. A reconstructed farmhouse was the basis of the plan.. To it were added halls for dancing and rooms for club meetings ; in the undulating grounds which surround it are to be found extensive golf links, a baseball diamond, athletic fields, tennis courts, wading pools, swings, shoot-the-chutes, sand piles, luncheon tables under the trees, and an enchanting sweep of country landscape. To reach this spot one passes through the lovely winding roads of Hills and Dales or takes the trolley to the station near by.
From opening time in June until closing time in October the Country club is indeed a "community" club. Twenty thousand people attended the dedication exercises in June, 1918; a hundred and sixty thousand came throughout the season ; six hundred and fifty members of the golf club played frequently; seven thousand people attended the sixteen Sunday school picnics held there; nine thousand attended the Catholic Federation socials ; one thousand attended the playgrounds picnic, and twenty-five hundred the backyard garden picnic; thirteen thousand had suppers in the various camps.
Old Barn Club. To the east of the Community club and on a rising slope of ground three miles from Dayton is the Old Barn club, to which all summer long the people of Dayton and the Miami valley come in crowds for social, intellectual and recreational purposes. The building began its existence more than a century ago as a "bank barn," one of those huge affairs built to shelter cattle, farm machinery and crops. Moved to its present situation the interior has been kept much as it was planned in the beginning, the original structure of walnut logs shaped by hand with the adze being clearly visible. The lower floor has been metamorphosed into a modern dining room, all vestiges of its former occupants, the cattle, hidden under coats of snowy white paint, and the windows draped with thin curtains. Above is the present dancing floor. A generous fireplace on the east side gives brightness and cheer on cool days, making the room a charming place for social gatherings. Back of the house is a dancing floor where during the season hundreds of gay young people come twice a week to dance. The surroundings of the Hills and Dales club are charming, consisting of undulating lawns, a grove of beautiful locust trees and graceful driveways. During the season of 1918 nearly fifty- thousand people made use of the Old Barn club for their summer outings.
The Adirondack Camps are a feature of Hills and Dales park not to be duplicated, it is believed, anywhere in the country. Twelve (page 94) log huts have been built in different locations of Hills and Dales, the position generally commanding a view of the surrounding valley.
A large fireplace fills the inner wall of the hut, the front being entirely open. At each side of the fireplace is a locked cupboard, to which the temporary renter is given a key and in which is found complete furnishings for the preparation and serving of about twenty people.
Miami Valley Golf Links. Driving one day among the hills north of the city, the idea came to Mr. and Mrs. Walter S. Kidder to purchase twenty-five acres of farm and woodland and lay it out as a golf course, build a clubhouse and make it available at a low figure to a large membership. To think such a plan out was to do it, the result being a half-million-dollar course, a gift to the people of Dayton. It lies on the crest of the range of hills lying directly north of Dayton and reached by way of Salem avenue, Siebenthaler avenue and Philadelphia drive. From it the eye reaches the Soldiers' home to the west, the hills of Oakwood to the south, the winding reaches of the Miami and the distant roofs of Dayton.
The manner. of its preparation was thorough and scientific. The first step was to get Donald Ross from the east (he who had planned such superb golf courses as those at Pinehurst, Bellaire and St. Petersburg, Fla., and Manchester, Vt.) to give expert advice. His first requirement was the purchase of more ground, to make a perfect nine-hole links, which was done, making a total area of one hundred and sixty-five acres. Delays were unavoidable. The farmers refused to sacrifice growing crops, the war came and brought a scarcity of labor. Mrs. Kidder wanted nothing of a temporary nature, but everything permanent and lasting. This gift to the city was to be one that would not require additional outlay for improvements and repairs.
The first step was to plow the ground and sub-plow it to a depth of eighteen inches, then to sow it to cow-peas, which were then plowed under. The top soil was brought from Virginia and the first shipment of grass seed used was $10,000 worth. Bridges of concrete and steel were built. Eighteen greens were constructed at a cost of $1,800 each. They are twenty -eight inches in depth, constructed of scientifically tamped clay, compost, loam, gravel and ashes, each being perfectly drained with tile. Then it was necessary to build a water works to obtain the purest water with the largest possible f low, not only for drinking and cooking purposes but for the sprinkling system throughout the club grounds. A well was drilled, but it filled with sand so rapidly that it was useless. Another, forty-five feet deep and eighteen inches in diameter, was progressing favorably when it caved in, nearly costing the lives of several employees. Finally a natural spring was utilized which, even after having been pumped entirely out, fills up over-night. The water was tested by experts at Columbus and pronounced absolutely pure. Donald Ross said when it was finished, "There are but sixteen God-given greens in the world, and this is one of them."
The main clubhouse will be constructed from the beautiful plans now prepared as soon as building conditions will permit. It will face one way into the grove of forest trees to the northwest and the (page 95) other way towards the expanse of links. The cost is estimated to be over $200,000, including equipment, and will fulfill the demands of the most exacting personnel. Nine motor cars of the largest type can unload at one time under the porte cochere, thus avoiding uncomfortable waits for the occupants. A thousand persons can be entertained at once in the spacious rooms. The club is easily accessible from the city, being directly on the traction line. The New Canoe Club (Kurt-Te-See). The Kurt-te-see club, of which the Canoe club is a branch, is a nation-wide fraternity with headquarters in Indianapolis. It will soon construct a model clubhouse on Island park at the southwest corner, facing the Dayton Canoe clubhouse across the river. It is being planned by Schenck and Williams with all modern improvements, reading and lounging rooms, lockers, a dancing floor and a wide balcony toward the river, giving spacious views of any water carnivals that may be held. Many important celebrations are being planned for the future, many of which would not have been possible without the constantly progressive work of the Miami Conservancy district, with its deepening of river channels and straightening of the banks. When all is finished there will be a continuous course of beautifully navigable water from the upper reaches of Stillwater and the Miami through the curves of the river around the city clear to the dam below town. These improvements will fix Dayton as a center of canoeing and water sports forever, a consummation much to be desired by both the public and the canoe clubs.
The Barney Community House. This splendid philanthropy may be classed either under the educational or the recreational activities of Dayton, partaking equally of both interests. Given through the generosity of Mrs. Harries Gorman, in memory of her grandfather, Eliam E. Barney, and her father, Eugene J. Barney, it is a memorial that will honor forever the names of those two citizens, and go on in usefulness to the public as long as it endures. It is situated on the corner of Valley and Chapel streets in North Dayton, where there was in the beginning little neighborhood solidarity, no communion of interests and no team play. That it was all there and only needed bringing out, the Community house has proved.
At the beginning Barney house was a plain dwelling, purchased by -the donor and rearranged and equipped for its new uses. The large rooms were decorated, the upper rooms furnished as classrooms, the basement into quarters for the boys' club and the baby clinic, a piano put in, books, pleasant and attractive furnishings. The free milk dispensary, which had been occupying far from adequate quarters at the Webster school, was invited to makes its new home at Barney house. Moreover, the mothers could here find medical advice for the rearing of their babies. Classes in first aid, in domestic science, in craft work, in cooking (especially American cooking for the benefit of foreigners), boys' clubs and classes in current events were organized and the people of the neighborhood responded with a rush. Barney house suddenly became the center of North Dayton both in a literal and figurative sense. A large element of Scandinavians and Poles have recently come to that part (page 96) of town, and it is to them and their speedy Americanization that the efforts of the board and staff of teachers will be strongly directed. An average attendance of one hundred and eighty-five persons a day soon threatened to push out the walls which enclosed them. So twelve acres of land on Mad river have been purchased as an out-of-door annex and recreation park for the children of North Dayton. Pond & Pond of Chicago, who are authorities on settlement house architecture, have prepared plans for the new clubhouse on the river. Here will be found in ceaseless activity the Boys' club, the gymnasium, swimming pools, shops for manual work, an auditorium where lectures, concerts, dramas and pageants will be given-all the gift of a woman who thinks that building better men and women is the best tribute she can pay to departed loved ones.
The success of the movement is assured by the engagement of Mr. Spies of Chicago and Northwestern university, who has had much experience in constructive settlement work and who is an expert "social engineer." He begins by making himself a friend to the boys; after that the end is assured. With him as leader the development of Barney house goes without saying. it is his plan to spend the summer months training a staff of teachers in readiness for the fall opening. With this end in view, a group of over thirty young women are enrolled for study, three mornings a week, in the various branches which will be taught next winter. The instruction will be eminently practical and will consist in hearing lectures and then applying the ideas in classes in household science and art, in instruction in self development for cripples, in sewing and the various branches of craft work. In all these branches Mr. Spies is teacher and director.
Although the larger part of the Barney Community house is still in the future, enough may be now seen to assure its practical usefulness to the city of Dayton. Additional ground has been purchased, upon which will be installed various outdoor recreational facilities. Twelve acres on the north of the main house are bounded by Mad River Valley street and the aqueduct which in years gone by used to carry the canal across the river. On this triangle of ground there used to be a strawboard factory, and there are now several rather inadequate buildings. They are, however, being used for the boys' wood-working school, for a reading room and gymnasium. The former office of the company is now the boys' clubhouse, with classrooms and library. In the hollow formed by the levees at the southeast corner there will be an outdoor theater and in the center of the area a baseball diamond. The day nursery will also be accommodated in the vicinity.
When the fall term opens community activities will be in full swing. The noon luncheon to fifty or sixty children from the Allen and Webster schools, who pay 15 cents for a helping of warm soup, milk and bread; the men's luncheon, the dancing school, the cooking school, the made-over clothes class, the class of crippled children who are making great progress under Miss Forbes of the Woman's service; the Camp Fire Girls, the Current Events class, in which every Monday evening a hundred men and women of North Dayton (page 97) meet in the pleasant living room to hear Mrs. Conover discuss the events of the day; the babies' clinic, and all the interests which go to making the Barney Community house a real center of Americanization.
The Stuart Patterson Park. Of this, the latest acquirement of recreational centers in Dayton, Mrs. E. M. Kiser one of the most enthusiastic promoters of the park, says:
"It is the first instance of cooperative buying of a public utility by the united action of private citizens and, city officials, and while this situation was used by the political enemies of the Dayton plan it has later developed a wonderful spirit of fellowship in our community. It has also fostered a feeling of corporate ownership that is being furthered by new work for the development and improvement of the park."
There was no park in North Dayton and some of the leading citizens thought there should be one. The idea was first advanced at a seven-day fete given under the direction of Mrs. William Stoppelman in September, 1918. A movement on foot to plat a piece of woodland known as Walters Grove and destroy the forest trees gave impetus to the park idea and it was with the slogan "Save Walters Woods" that the enterprise was launched. The proceeds of this fete made a nucleus for a fund to buy the land outright. The city commissioners offered to buy the land if the citizens would subscribe one-fourth of the cost.
On February 1, 1919, a hundred or more citizens from that locality met at the Kiser homestead to discuss the plan. City Manager Barlow was present and encouraged -the idea. So did Mr. Patterson and Mrs. Camell, who each subscribed a generous check. Other friends of the project who lent their aid were the teachers of that district, Miss Carson, Miss Class and Miss Odlin, Miss Grace A. Greene, Mayor Switzer, Rev. Homer K. Miller, Mrs. Harries Gorman, Rev. J. A. Feeger, Dr. Garland, J. A. Weglage, superintendent of public schools, and Father Ruffin Baransky. The children of the North Dayton schools were inspired and their activities resulted in $486 from the Webster school, $490 from the Holy Rosary school and $214 from the Allen school.
It was, we believe, on this occasion that a motion was made by William Grether that the proposed park be named in honor of the memory of Stuart Patterson, who fell to his death with an airplane during a practice fight at Wilbur Wright field on September 26, 1918. This was carried without a dissenting voice, and Stuart Patterson park became an actuality. It is bounded by Alaska, Baltimore, Leo and Leonard streets.
The Dayton Country Club. In 1898, when the interest in the game of golf came over from England and spread to the western states, a group of Dayton men organized the Dayton Golf club with the following officers: R. C. Schenck, president; H. C. Lowe, vice-president; George H. Wood, secretary; W. H. Crawford, secretary; Valentine Winters, treasurer; George H. Mead, captain; H. E. Talbott, captain.
The first playground of the club was on the old Patterson homestead, known as Rubicon farm, located between Main and Brown (page 98) streets just south of the then city limits. Later a move was made to the Houk estate and games were played on the lawn surrounding the Talbott residence.
In 1908 the Dayton Golf club went out of existence, and from its ashes rose the present Dayton Country club, with S. H. Can as president, in which official service he continued for about ten years. A tract of land one hundred acres in extent belonging to William Kramer was purchased and, the club having by this time greatly increased in popularity, a commodious clubhouse was built with social rooms, verandas, and dining rooms. It was an ideal situation, overlooking the winding river and the long reaches of the wooded valley with the outlines of the Soldiers' home on the distant hills to the west.
From the first the Dayton Country club had been a family club, parents, children and grandchildren enjoying it together; playing golf, eating, dancing and visiting. A good chef provides meals a la carte and the club is constantly frequented by happy parties of members and their friends.
The articles of incorporation of the Dayton Country club state that it is founded "for the purpose of maintaining proper grounds for golf and other outdoor athletic sports and games and for providing and operating buildings for a cafe and dancing and for all country club uses and purposes."
The capital stock is $112,500 with 1,500 shares of common stock at $25 each, and 3,000 preferred stock of the par value of $25 each; holders of preferred stock are entitled to annual dividends of 5 per cent payable half yearly out of the surplus profits of the company.
These articles of incorporation are signed by Sylvester H. Carr, Edwin P. Matthews, D. W. Iddings, R. R. Dickey, jr., F. T. Huffman.
The East Oakwood Club. The project of an East Oakwood club began in a meeting at Far Hills, the home of John H. Patterson.
So convinced was he of the necessity of such a plan that he first gave $4,000 for a plat of ground ; then with the intention of bringing out the willingness of the people themselves, he said he would give $2,500 towards the clubhouse itself if the dwellers would meet it with another $2,500. They did better; they met it with $4,500. So with $7,000 towards a building and $500 (also contributed by Mr. Patterson) for furnishings, the East Oakwoodians feel that their club is not so far in the future. The ground on which the building will stand is a part of that purchased by Mr. Walter Shafor two years ago, and although it has already trebled in price it was sold to the club at the original figures. Ralph Rossel donated his services as architect, and the plans are already made and the foundation in. The house is expected to be completed by August. In the meantime the activities of the club are in full swing, Mr. Patterson's home being offered as a meeting place. The plans for conducting the East Oakwood club differ from most others. There will be the usual outdoor sports, like tennis, baseball, swimming, volley ball, and quoits, while for the very little ones there will be sand piles, kindergarten games and story telling. (page 99)
The club will be open on Sundays with a Sunday school (with no creed); afternoon talks on various subjects, tea served on call and one dinner each week where neighborhood affairs will be talked over for the betterment of the community. Different groups of people will take charge of these social Sundays, ten persons in each group, fifty-two groups, one for each week. By this plan every one in the community will have had a working share in the conducting of the afternoons. No one will be left out and each one in consequence will feel that the club belongs to him or her personally and great benefits will accrue. Dancing clubs will be formed and informal dances given. There will be a library, kindergarten equipment, abundant kitchen room and furnishings, and sewing rooms in which to work for the Red Cross when occasion calls. The directors will spare no pains to make the East Oakwood club such a popular center that few will be tempted to go to town for their recreation. Old and young, fathers, mothers and children will all make use of it at all times. The tennis courts are already in use. Four acres comprise the area of the club grounds, bounded by Patterson road, Shafor boulevard and Schantz avenue. The house will front on Patterson road. A small golf course of eight or nine holes extends toward the north and joins Far Hills. The president is Benjamin Reemlin; vice-presidents, Robert Cowden and Mrs. Walter. Shafor; secretary, Mr. Franklin Shroyer; treasurer, Mr. Joe Glass. There are fifteen directors, who, with the following committees, manage the affairs of the club: Golf, tennis, playground, house, entertainment and membership.
Triangle Park. This country resort is an example of what employers feel is due their employees aside from the question of wages. It is the playground of the Delco people, and to the uninitiated it may be explained that "Delco" is The Dayton Engineering Laboratories company. In this case two other factory organizations are included. in the plan (which is what makes a "triangle" out of it). In 1916 three companies, the Domestic Engineering company, the Dayton Metal Products company and the Dayton Engineering Laboratories company, bought a strip of wooded land bordering on the Miami river close to Its confluence with Stillwater for the use of their employees. The park is operated for and by the employees of the Triangle organization in the most effective manner possible and with the least number of rules and requirements. Two thousand people dance in the pavilion on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday nights. Twenty-five nonsinkable steel boats ply up and down the two rivers filled with happy crowds; hundreds of children are to be .found in the playground every pleasant day, swimming, wading, and playing games under a competent director. Four field houses, two for men and two for women, are equipped with rest rooms, lavatories, lockers, shower baths and nurseries for the babies. An auditorium used for conventions, department parties and groups of over one hundred, crowns the summit of a hill. A complete kitchen makes the serving of extensive suppers not only possible
Eleven rustic camps are at the disposal of the employees, fully equipped with cooking and serving facilities, and may be used for (page 100) the small payment of fifty cents, levied merely for the upkeep. Scattered through the park are picnic tables, each of which will accommodate twelve or fourteen persons. There are four baseball diamonds which are kept in good condition and used the season round. Many department teams have been organized to play ball after work hours-"Twilight baseball." The factory league plays Saturday afternoons. The sports field is to the west and borders on Stillwater. The park is reached by the Riverdale car line or by the interurban cars on the Troy pike.
The Boy Scouts and Their Reservation. The tract which is given over to the Boy Scouts is eleven acres in extent, mostly woodland and some of it pretty thick woodland. Streams cross it at intervals and drain the hills into the river. The woods include oaks, maples, beeches, walnuts, white and black, hickory (for the special benefit of nut loving boys in October), linden and ash.
It is interesting to note that the Dayton Boy Scouts have the distinction of being the second organization of this kind which finds itself so fortunate as to own its own private farm and camp. The other is the New York Boy Scouts. This fortunate circumstance is owing to the generosity of Robert Patterson, who, believing in the health-giving activities of the movement, purchased the Allen Thomas farm near the Narrows for the use of the boys. He was encouraged to do so by the phenomenal growth of the organization, beginning one summer with seventy-five members, increasing in one season to six hundred. Most of these boys, lacking the activities of the camp, would be into some kind of mischief ; even good boys get demoralized during the long vacation. In the woods there is no mischief they can do, mischief being generally misplaced activity, as dirt is said to be merely matter out of place. Here every instinct that is inherent in a boy's mind has full expression and is turned to the best account.
Although the camp is primarily educational in character, there is no lack of real fun. Tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a mess hall, a modern kitchen, a shower bath, fed from a spring under-the hill, assure that this is a fact. The camp is maintained winter and summer alike with week-end crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the boys. Mr. John Haien is scoutmaster and Mr. Sinclair, assistant scout executive ; Mr. Fenton Bott, president ; Ralph DeWeese, Stanley Krohn and E. Metzger vice-presidents; Neil Eyer, secretary; H. Solimano, secretary; Charles Heald, commissioner. As member of the executive committee Col. R. L. Hubler is in charge of the court of honor, through which all Boy Scout promotions are made. The finance committee is in charge of J. Oswald, who supervises all expenditures. George Marshall is chairman of the camp committee ; rallies and expositions of scout work are directed by Chester B. Spies; C. H. Comer has charge of the publicity work ; J. B. Gilbert directs the singing and orchestra work ; Professor Slutz, of the Moraine Park school, gives general supervision and suggestion to the arrangement of class work ; Rabbi David Lefkowitz has charge of the little boy problem, while the activities of the older boys are in charge of J. Lowes. James K. (page 101) Davis has charge of programs for special occasions; Robert Patterson leads the efficiency department; John Poole has launched a new department of industrial hiking, while Frank Miller, superintendent of schools, assists the- council in effecting the most cooperation between the schools and the scout organization.
The Fresh Air Farm, Junior League of the Visiting Nurses' Association. The story of the Fresh Air farm, that charity which gives joy and helpful development to the lives of so many children in Dayton, goes back many years to the Flower and Fruit mission and the Visiting Nurses' association. The work began in the minds of a small company of women who, moved at the consciousness of so much suffering in the hospitals and homes of the city, organized themselves into a group, whose privilege it was to make the rounds of the hospital wards every Saturday afternoon and leave a flower at each bedside. Subscriptions were taken and help solicited, both of which were swift in coming. The flowers from churches were offered and pennies collected from the children. who entered into the plan with enthusiasm.
The next step was to call at the hospitals with a carriage and take patients for an outing; in one case it was found to be the only outing that a bed-ridden boy had had for seventeen years. Hundreds in the course of the year were thus supplied with flowers and drives.
Seeing the necessity of skilled nursing in families without means to employ trained service the mission began in 1900 to supply the time of an expert uniformed nurse, who went from house to house, wherever her services might be needed, and varied her nursing duties with practical instruction on how to care for the sick. Thus each bedside became a practical clinic, where the family and neighbors learned valuable lessons never to be forgotten. The fund providing for her salary was earned by a festival given at the opening of the Arcade in 1903 and the Needlework guild helped supply baskets for the maternity cases. Scores of lives of little babies were saved those years before there was any city welfare work, by the constant care and good advice of the visiting nurse. T_ connection pith the work of the nurse a diet kitchen was established where proper food could be prepared for patients and. where mothers got much besides the broth and pure milk for their children-sympathy and helpful advice. Some of them for the first time in their lives saw delicate food in process of preparation and learned something of the different food values.
From one nurse the work broadened into a staff of nurses, and all were kept busy. The distribution of flowers increased until twelve churches were taking part and hundreds of patients visited. Special days were remembered, each with its own message-Christmas brought holly and a card, Easter brought lilies and greetings. Among the first to be interested in this work were Mrs. G. H. Gorman, Mrs. H. G. Carnell, Miss Emily Stewart, Miss Katherine Gunckel, Mrs. Allen Thomas, and Miss Pearlie Smith, while the charter members were the Misses Edith Cummin, Lucy Carr, Anne Patterson, Katherine Bimm, Margaret King, Mary Ohmer, Eleanor Ohmer, Gertrude Thomas, Sarah Bimm, and Rachel James. A (page 102) performance of "The Gingerbread Man" netted the association enough to pay the salary of one additional nurse. Miss Ella Phillips Crandall of the Miami Valley hospital gave much good advice and support of various kinds and so year by year the benefaction grew.
The notable thing about this particular enterprise is that it has from the first been carried on by those who are known particularly as "society girls," and who are considered to be, at the best, devoted only to pleasure and self-interest. The unfailing development from small things to great of the Flower and Fruit mission, the business-like conduct of its affairs and its constantly increasing service to the community proves that society girls know how to do something besides dance and play cards.
In the summer of 1907 the Visiting Nurses' association found a new call to service in the taking of city children to the country for an outing. They had learned that flowers were good, but practical help in nursing was better; that good as nursing was it could not take the place of good food, and that good food and nursing in the city were improved by fresh air in the country for ailing children. And so a farmhouse was secured just south of the city on Dorothy lane, reached by the Southern Ohio Traction line. It was pleasantly situated on a rise of ground which gave a view of the fields and woods in the vicinity, had nine rooms and was fitted up with facilities to accommodate fourteen boys. It was opened in June, 1908, Mrs. Charles G. Stoddard being president of the Fresh Air committee of the Fruit and Flower mission, of which Mrs. Gorman
was president. Others interested in the affair were Mrs. H. H. Bimm, Mrs. E. D. Grimes, Mrs. E. B. Weston, Miss Edith Cummin, Miss Louise Snyder, Miss Helen Kittredge, Miss Jeanette Kittredge and Mrs. E. M. Thacker. During that summer groups of girls and boys occupied the Fresh Air farm in turn, fifteen at a time. With the use of every available asset not half the children who applied could be accommodated.
The Fresh Air farm suddenly developed into a certain necessity which could never be discontinued, but must always grow as. the demands upon it were met. in other seasons other houses were rented in different localities, the running expenses being met by the proceeds from a charity ball, which became an annual event greatly looked forward to by the society folk and which served the double purpose of amusing a lot of people and at the same time keeping the needs of the Fresh Air farm constantly before the public notice. A fresh air sewing branch of the Fruit and Flower mission was organized in 1909 for the purpose of furnishing garments for needy children and co-operating in every way with the parent organization. Those primarily interested in this activity were Katherine Bimm, Lucy Carr, Anne Evans, Rachel James, Dorothy Jewett, Anne Patterson, Eleanor Ohmer, Margaret King, Mary B. Ohmer, Julia Patterson, Clara Huston, Gertrude Thomas, Charlotte Van Loan and Frances Parott.
In May, 1917, the Fresh Air farm received its greatest impetus from a gift which put it at last on a permanent and generous basis. Mrs. G. H. Gorman purchased forty acres of ground near Bellbrook (page 103) and presented it to the Fruit and Flower mission. This gift, together with the granted use of twenty acres adjoining, made possible all the extended activities for which those in charge had always hoped. An old but comfortable farmhouse gave enough room to begin with for the monthly influx of children, but it was far from sufficient for the daily increasing demands. As mothers heard of the farm and of the improvement in health of the children admitted there, they fairly besieged the directors for permission to send their own.
A group of girls (society girls again) volunteered to make themselves responsible for the upkeep of the farm at whatever cost. A dormitory was begun with the proceeds of a play, but the money did not quite cover the cost. Mrs. H. G. Carrell generously came to the rescue of the farm and saw that the dormitory was finished and furnished for the use of the children. Over $5,000 was made at one kindness, chiefly through the good management of Mrs. Gorman. Everybody helped and those who did were abundantly repaid. The Fresh Air farm covers a need that is met by no other charity in Dayton. It opens in June and closes in October, and every single day of that time it is a happy, busy hive of youngsters who enjoy the good beds, the abundance of sweet milk, the berries, fresh eggs, vegetables from the garden, the bathroom, the country air and the swings. A capable matron and trained nurse are in charge. The War Work of the Fresh Air Farm. The notable thing about this organization is that it does not confine its social service to the special object named in its official title, but holds itself in readiness to take up any work for which its services may be needed. In 1918, the war year, the junior branch appointed a war work committee under whose leadership twenty-four girls made surgical dressings one day each week at the Red Cross headquarters, totaling 24,151. In April they sold $114,640 worth of Third Liberty bonds. In May they were called on to help in the celebration of Italian day and made nearly four hundred emblems for use in the procession. Thirty-five girls worked on the fling department of the War chest and sixteen held street booths and sold 286 subscriptions. In the Fourth Liberty loan thirty-six girls worked at the giant cash register on Third and Main streets and sold $136,000 worth of bonds.
Ten French war orphans have been adopted by the association through the Society of the Fatherless Children of France, and will be cared for and educated. Two hundred dollars was sent for relief among the Armenian children.
The Young Woman's Christian Association Outing Park. Among the many recreational facilities of Dayton, none is more appreciated nor more constantly used than the Y. W. Outing park.
Situated on Forest avenue, near the junction of Main, it is within easy reach of the city and offers grateful rest and play to the girls of the "W." The property is owned by Miss Martha Perrine, who for many years has placed it at the disposal of the association with only one proviso, namely, that the trees shall remain untouched. One does not wonder at the restriction ; no more beautiful trees exist in this vicinity than are to be found in that acre and a half of woodland.
(page 104) The association has built a cottage and recently an addition which provides a number of rare privileges to the members. It is used for club suppers and picnics ; the girls may spend the night by making up a cot for themselves in the dormitory ; sometimes as many as twenty are there at a time; the physical department makes large use of it and the industrial department also. Not a day of the summer but one group or the other of the many activities of the Y. W. are enjoying themselves at Outing park. Saturday morning is devoted especially to the use of children from the first to the eighth grade. There is an outdoor dancing class, a baseball team, tennis, open air basketball, country runs such as they have at Wellesley college, and various other track events. Last but not least, the use of the Outing park is not confined to the members, but may be. had by any one willing to pay a. small rental for the use of the cooking facilities. It is largely made use of in this way all through the summer months.
City Recreation Centers. Under section 67 of the charter, granting powers and duties to the department of public welfare, is this provision relating to the duties of the director of public welfare : "He shall have charge of the inspection and supervision of all public amusements and entertainments.* * *and of all recreational facilities of the city, including parks and playgrounds." This clause was written by those who believe that human nature-that is to say, boy nature-under proper guidance and protection is capable of far greater efficiency, service and happiness than has ever yet been attained ; also that the welfare of all, especially children, is the ultimate goal of the activities of any community.
Undirected, uncontrolled play has been a source of untold mischief in all cities. The long summer vacation has been spent by only too many boys in systematic undoing of the habits of study and obligation which were inculcated during the school term. Moreover, the club instinct, present in every "active boy, was allowed to manifest itself in irresponsible gatherings in bars or dugouts along the river, where cigarettes, doubtful books and even liquor were a part of their occupations.
Therefore we find the city of Dayton acting as a provisional parent to these idle boys. Across the river to the east of Riverdale, is a strip of woods within fifteen minutes of the center of town. It lies at the confluence of Stillwater and the Miami river, where the widening of the channel gives room for boating. A bridge connects it with the main land. This is Island park, the most popular of the public recreation centers. There, under the spreading oaks and walnut trees, hundreds of happy little children enjoy themselves all summer long. A bathhouse furnishes dressing rooms, bathing suits and swimming instructor; a dancing pavilion with good music furnished several evenings a week and with proper supervision makes an ideal place for dancing. There is a small theatre, a "movie" house, swings, sand piles, wading pools, and shoot-the chutes. Hundreds of boats of all kinds from the smallest canoe to a large steam launch ply up and down the river. There is no need and indeed no chance for the vicious and idle boy to get his work in in Island park.
(page 105) The plan thus begun has developed until now the city has charge of eighteen playgrounds, viz.: Bomberger, McKinley, Island, McCabe's, N. C. R., Latin, Linden Center, Burkhardt, Patterson, Colorado, National, Ohmer, Irvin, South Edgemont, Fluhart, Bimm and Barney Community. These grounds are open to the public from May until October ; they are supervised regularly by paid men and women who have been trained for this particular work. A course of teaching in every phase of the work is directed by the superintendent of recreation. During the summer of 1918 a grand total of 119,251 persons used the different grounds.
Baseball, under the direction of the secretary, was greatly successful, there being four leagues formed and in constant competition. The winners of each played together in the finals for the city championship, McCook's field taking the honors and the city managers' trophy.
Not only in the summer but during the winter months does the city look after the play of its children. Recreation is provided at the following centers from October to May: At the Wayne avenue market house classes in physical training for boys and girls, for men and women were held throughout the winter; basketball leagues were formed and nearly sixteen thousand made use of its advantages.
Bomberger park also had a winter center with gymnasium classes for all, with dancing classes, Red Cross work, drilling, entertainments, orchestra practice. Nineteen thousand five hundred persons used this center during the season.
The department of public welfare, known as the division of parks and recreation, has a constantly increasing force of employees whose time is occupied in beautifying the public places in and around the city. New shelter houses, baseball diamonds, dancing platforms, sand piles, swings and picnic tables are added to the playgrounds ; flower boxes placed upon the bridges, tennis courts constructed, thousands of cuttings, seed packages and plants distributed free of charge, and, as has been shown, wherever private initiative begins a good work the city steps in and supplements it.
In one year three thousand trees were trimmed, sprayed and cared for and many new ones set out. Four thousand shrubs were planted; a hundred dozen chrysanthemums grown in the city greenhouses were distributed by the visiting nurses to the poor of the city. At Bomberger park the boys enjoyed 69,459 play days and the girls 42,627. Eight hundred dollars' worth of flowers were planted in the boxes on the bridge parapets ; five band concerts were given at McCabe's park on alternate Sunday afternoons, and thirteen at Island park, with a total attendance of 23,000 people. Two thousand vacant lots were plowed up free of charge to those who would cultivate them. The nine camps located at Hills and Dales, together with those at Island park, Eastwood park and McCabe's park, were operated by the city and enjoyed by family parties every afternoon while the season lasted.
These activities do not add to the tax assessment of Dayton to any large extent. Most of them are self-supporting. The receipts from the dancing at Island park totaled $2,363 for the season. If (page 106) there is. a deficit, as sometimes happens, it is made up by a contribution from some public-spirited citizen.