Newspaper Page Text
.- n-ipp-Yiir tsSj v K5j7 .- s 'F'Tv 7Bt- I ' -' -
'- -.. rJ : I .
WANTS, TO LETS, FOR SALES. ETC., FOR
TO-MORROW'S ISSUE ' "
Should be la andsdM
c-rouia ne nanus" ,"
HORRORS lif HORRORS.
- ..- j? j.
t .. ,
. i j i v i rt .
swiujisfl .o waters
MT I" I I 1 "" 11 1
of SoufflP.ork Broken byiwplleii.StreanL
1- -Mt "-Iff
SWiLEOWS EIERITHDfG EF ITS 1EA0E
- iSor Sours Hundreds of People .Are Seen Floating Along,
's J - SlifiPlnTiorT7riV .miT: '
CJ is ' -.
Some of tlie Scenes IndescfibaWeTke Work
r- r.- .1 i -.- i tT" ? j
each the Scenalof DesoIalioE and All
f W -People ;Wamed,iT)ateTectHally-&miIiaTlV
. .jflein.uireiess-ioCJiKig. uciawu
kSim'iiuiuaiiujii - .- w-
, Ihe whole -world shaddersjsnd-sigba tti
norning, - i? .".7.f1- - - i,.-. .
All the people -wio have'Tes to read Jorl
ears to near tne mournim-message, asjtnies
from press to publicandfrbm monthto '
month, will standappallei asthcy bcgmto j
realize the dire ' disaster that r ias befallen!
one of Uhe most beautiful rcgigns in all -the
"Western JPennsylwriii ' .,
"Wlen the rsraiews f tW Johnstown1
horror came, it teemed such a pity that fair
fields and proud possessions of great extentl
rad - suffered devastation by a flooa from a
florely little mountain lake, whose clear
depths were henceiorward to be missed by
many a worshipper at one of Nature's
That was the thought of property perish
ing; and it was a -deep, an earnest symyathy
the thought aroused.
J The Awful Details.
Swiftly, succeedinjr this first flash of
eedinjrthis first fli
is more areaaful. d
r. - - - - """,
elM'Jana in cumuiatiTe lorm. Xioss ot
r.r. .. .
life had been sustained. It might, the first
reports said, amount to a dozen or more
who had perished.
"Ere this sorrowful intelligence had been
half heard in the office of The Dispatch,
shortly before 7 o'clock last evening, two of
the best and quickest descriptive writers of
the staff had been detailed -to go forthwith
to Johnstown, and telegraph back all about
"But there are no trains," said one of the
men, "and will be none for several days."
"Then hire a special one of the railroad
company, and at once," was the reply, ac
companied by the necessary cash.
And thus these two reporters (accompanied
by those of one other enterprising journal)
got at least two hours the start of a quartet
from two other papers which required that
length of tfme to realize that even the above
meager reports were full of columns of
Mont Important Kewi
Meanwhile The Dispatch had also sent
its staff correspondent, already in Somerset,
toward the scene of disaster, 28 miles away,
in a carriage. And thus it was ahead of
others, and in better shape than they, that
this journal began to get its news from a
calamity inestimably worse than anything
above intimated had even hinted at.
At 2:30 o'clock this morning a
bulletin from Bolivar signed by
a dispatch man nays a floater
rescued from the Conemaugh insists
' that at least 1,500 persons have perished at
and sear Johnstown in the flood that floated
him thither from that city, and that only
two Johnstown dwellings could yet be seen
The details of the disaster follow, and will
continue to follow in later editions.
OYEE A THOUSAND LITS LOST.
A Johnstown Miib Who was Beicsed 8y
1.300 Fersos Drowned.
rTBOH A SIAIT CGERESrOSDElrr.
Boliyab, Pa., Jlay 31. A man rescued
in the river here, who was swept away from
Johnstown, says positively that not less
than 1,600 lives are probably lost in the
Yailey ot the Conemaugh.
Women nnd Children Swept Away Shrieks
, Blend With the Sullen Uoar of tho
Element A .Boy IinsMcd
Oat of the Flood.
rraojt a stjjw cozaisrosDEjrr.j
Bomvab, Pa., May 31. The water is
hicher here than was ever known, and two
story houses, barns, stables, whole forests ot
trees, outhouses, smokehouses, railroad
bridges, county bridges, rafts, inverted
skiffs and driftwood by the acra are rushing
past, from all of which imploring hands
were held out to those on the banks willing
but impotent to help, and the instability of
tracks east of this place renders the only
information to be got of a fugitive nature,
uutior vne most part very accurate.
2J-rj"("'i L "!ft -i
ad i l Uli U
ill 4j 1
v s a-
FiK i. 2
- LIVlSilM LOST.
!.. " fr ". . .-
dfKesCne All PoiMs-so Trains AMa'to
: t .a: .
OtheiwDirect Commmiicftuon Gar Off-The
With4 Their Dao:er Had Made
m iHnrs ci.teecaestKBpuTar, liOCtporc
.- . .-
t At Tiockport, two miles east, the condi-jtiowforsaving-t&epe&Jieare
bleand more than 20 persons have been
-taken, from the floods -'
The FIrt .Great' Hnth of Water
Jwas observed this evening at 7 o'clock, and
his .calse from tie-burst dam, just above
pbhnstown. It came like" a frenzied whirl
pool, and before the people could realize it
t$ey were in its 'grasp. Fortunately, cool
seads and resolste hands were on the alert
to-save, and before any of the people living
tmthe low-lying ground were caught, all
Were taken out in skiffs and in the arms of
Sum-booted and coated men to the high
ground. Their furniture was also largely
saved, so that the loss will fall upon houses
alone, and such live stock as was carried
out of the stream.
So terrible was the iorce of the current
that the county, bridge over the Conemaugh,
apparently a most substantial structure,
withstood the rush of waters and the batter
ing of logs for a few minutes, but finally it
let go and its parts were cast out into the
river, and part of the debrii already choked
the waters. As early as 7:30 o'clock a great
pile of driftwood that tie-whirl of waters
themselves imported into fee drift was swept
along; and fromlt " "
Shriek Upon Shriek
for "help, help for God's Bake!" came. The
.horrified spectators on the shore saw three
women, to one of whom were clinging two
children, neither of whom was apparently
more than an infant The rapidity of the
current and the position of the raft to
gether with the lack of facilities for rescu
ing, precluded the possibility of even think
ing of the matter, and the raft passed out of
sight. The screams of the women and chil
dren, blending in their pleadings for aid,
were heard long after their craft was around
the bend. The stream then became thickly
strewn with men, women and children,
clinging to all sorts of temporary means of
salvation, and two men and a woman clung
madly to the tops ot huge trees, the men
emulating the females' in their shrieks for
help that it was not possible to give.
Saved From the Wreck.
Just before dark people living on the
north bank of the Conemaugh, opposite
Bolivar Junction, noticed a lad clinging to
a log that the force of the current had car
ried over into the river nearest to them, and
James Curry conceived the idea of lassoing
him. A long line was hastily procured, and
a man ran along the bank, ready to throw
his rude lasso in an opportune moment The
noose fell true to its aim, over the boy'
head and under his arms, and the feat was
greeted by cheers from a hundred throats,
and in a moment the drenched, rjovertv-
stricken little fellow was handed to the
bank, and for a minute-was not a dimin.
,utive, but a real great big hero.
Motherly hands soon took him from
the men who were almost devouring
him, and soon warm food and clothing had
restored him to his wonted composure, and
he was ready to tell his story. He said his
name was Edward Earsten, 13 years of age
and he had lived with his father and erand!
father and mother in Cambria City, a part
of Johnstown. At 3 o'clock the house had
been caught in the volume of water let
loose by the bursting of the dam, and 'his
father and his uncle had climbed a mass
of driftwood and had been carried out into
the channel of the Conemaugh, and for
some time they ran along without' advent
ure. Finally their raft struck an obstruc
tion and went to pieces, his father and
nncle finding lodgement on one section of
it, and himself clinging to a log, which
finally ran into another mass of driftwood.
He saw nothing more of his relatives, and
does not know whether they are alive or
SCENE OF THE FLOOD.
Something; Abont Johaitown and Its 8nr
ronndlnca Tho Conemanah Taller,
Its Froaperone Borooahs and
Great Iron Works Curl-
Jo'stown, until overtaken by the disas
ter ot yesterday! was one of the most flour
ishing and prosperous manufacturing towns
in the State. It had a population of over
8,000 in 1880, and has grown rapidly since.
Probably the number of inhabitants at the
present date is twice as large. It has not
been incorporated as a city, but is still gov
erned under a borough charter. Including
its populous suburbs, which are really a
part of the town, several if them being
separated from it only by imaginary lines,
Johnstown lias nearly, if nt quite, 35,000
Its site is picturesaue r j beautifnl in
fact the natural scenery o; the entire county
is perhaps unsurpassed 1 1 the State. The
aineaaugh Yailey, at J hnstownis but i
few nuiared"'feeC,!n.widtl!; ttemonntails
extending close iijS.to. tn.erivi ihe'-neigh-boring,'
borough ACoaetealai), jtiUvfter
CaabrS',. drawee,'? jEsSt '"Cosemaugh,
"Fraaklk, Coepr9dlc .and Weodale,- are!
all'grpTfip g 4i&ees. iJonnsipwn ,prfer Is
'river aid Stony creek, a-jwrtion of the.city
lying on the west side jS, latter stream.
Its leeaUon in the sit, JKickeip.wl
ing's Indian towsjwhe're 'tfeei whites began
to settle nearly 190 yeaw age. The town is
well paved; has electrtt lihts, streetcars
and a fine svstem dr water' work .J If con
tains iaany handsome, business blocks' -arid ,j
Biiasu f esiucaces xy in jjariiKuiarijjJiciA
for the number md excellence pf" its,1
churches, aearlya down-different ienomi-.-natiow.
betas represented; and many- of
them'havlng veryfine'and costlyxdinces.
For many' 'sears uthe town was.
-the connecting point, between railroad. and'
canal transportation. As far back j 1831,
the Portage Bailroad, ascended iKe. eastern
slope of the Allegheny Mountains' ty five
inclined planes, up which cars were, 'drawn,
by stationary engines," and desceifdlpgthe '
western slope in ihe same 'way, connected jf
donnstown witn tne main line of enn-j
sylvania improvements. This great achieve-'
ment, as it was then considered, was super
seded later by the Pennsylvania Bailroad,
which enters the' county of Cambria through
the Gallitzin tunnel and leaves it at the
border of Westmoreland and Indiana conn
ties. Johnstown is also the terminus of tue
Somerset and Cambria branch of the Balti
more and Ohio, running 'from Bockwood on
the Cumberland division to Johnstow'n.
Tho Conemnngb Xforseihoe.
One of .the greatest natural, curiosities of
tie Stateis, found in the- vicinity of Johns
sqinsv" -The .Conemaugh, after descending
lrom, the mouQtain:and.receiving"th'e waters
of the South Fork, finds its course arrested
by a hugeiecTge' of rocks, and, .tnrning to
ihe right, passes for miles around an ele
vated plateau, and returning within a stone's
tErow.prhe place of diyergence,:pprsues
its way unchecked", " Other very. .attractive.;
and curious 'features of-topography .are
The greatest iron and steel marrafact'uring
company, lnJhq.TJnited"State the Cambria
Iron, Company has .its works in Johnstown.
In their .numerous blast furnaces, their
Bessemer steel works, rolling, mills and
mines they 'employ thousands, of meq. The
Johnstown wirksare of -jast extent, cover
ing over 60 acres; with a network of railroad
tracks nearly '40 miles' in total length. The
annual .product of the works runs into the
millions; and half the population of Johns
town is dependent, directly or indirectly, on
The Gautier Steel Works, located in the
upper part of the town, and under the -management
of the Cambria Company, are
among the most extensive and best known
in the country The Johnson street railway
mill, manufacturing steel rails for street
railroads, is situated in one of the new
suburbs and is one of the important indus
trial establishments ot the valley.
The Terrible Warning' Came Too Irate
Hosses Tossed Abont as Corks on
the Ocean The Death Bate
Amounting to Thousands.
It was stated at the office of the Pennsyl
vania Uailroad, at an early hour this morn
ing, that the deaths would run up into the
thousands rather than- hundreds,-as was at
first supposed. From private dispatches re
ceived, it is said that the stream of human
beings that was swept before the angryfloods
was something most pitiful to behold.
Men, women and children were carried along
frantically shrieking for help, but their
cries 'availed them nothing. Iiescue was
impossible. Husbands were swept past
their wives and children were borne rapidly
along, going at a terrible speed to certain -death
before the eyes ol their terrorized and
frantic parents. It was said at the depot
that it was impossible to estimate the num
ber whose lives were lost in the flood. It
will simply be a matter of conjecture for
several days as to who were lost or who
Dispatcher Culp received several tele
grams last night, detailing the flood. The
recent heavy rains had swollen the old canal
reservoir at South Fork, on the Conemaugh
river, and fears were entertained for 'its
Warned to No Porpoie.
The basin contained water measuring two
miles across by five miles inlengtb, and was
70 feet deep in the deepest place. The peo
ple of Johnstown were warned of its possi
bility of bursting during the morning, but
very few, if any of the inhabitants, took the
warning seriously. Shortly after noon
the dam gave way about five
miles above Johnstown and sweeping
everything before it; burst upon the town
with terrible force. Everything was car
ried before it, and not an instant's time was
given to seek safety. Houses were de
molished, swept from their foundations and
carried in the flood to a culvert near the
town. Here a mass of all manner of debris
soon lodged, and by evening it had dammed
Back Into the City,
over the tops of many of the still remaining
chimneys. A dispatch to Dispatcher Culp,
received about 11 o'clock last night, said
the blockade at the Johnstown bridge was
three-fourths of a mile long and 40 feet
high, and was all on fire. The extent of
the damage could not possibly be estimated.
The Pennsylvania people are exerting
every energy to save both lives and property,
but as yet little or nothing can be done.
Assistant Superintendent Trump, of the
Pennsylvania, is at Conemaugh, but the
officials at the depot had not been able to
receive a line from him up until as late as
2:30 o'clock this morning. It was said also
that it will be impossible to get a train
through, either one way or the other, for at
least two or three days. This applies also
to the mails, as there is absolutely no way
of getting the mall through.
IN BEDFOED COUNTY.
The BJien Waters are Sweeping; Ercrrthlng;
Before -Them Immense Damage to
Property on Every Hand Pro
hibition Enforced by
rSFZCZAL IXtEOBAM TO TH1 DISPATCH.!
Bedeoed, Pa., May 31. Not since the
flood of 1847, so say the oldest citizens of
the county, has Bedford had such a flood.
The rain up to this writing has been con
stantly falling.for the past .24 hours. This
morning, families living in the western part
of the town known as the "Texans," were
compelled to move out of their houses at
noon. Cattle, hogs and sheep were seen
going down the river. Traffic and mails are
all at a standstill, but one mail leaving here
to-day. New iron bridges, recently erected
by the county, have been swept away. At
Cessna station, eight miles north, 200
sheep were lost. At Everett, eight miles
east, traffic was carried on all day by the
use of flats.
Ex-Sheriff iashley, proprietor of the
Ls Place Hotel, has just telephoned that he
was compelled to.close his hotel, the water
.- 7, 4 1W&&
3 ;ITTSBtJKG;BkTimi5AT; 'iHJNE 1, 1889 TWlEVE
railroad bridges between Bedford and Cum
berland have jbefl damaged! to suob an ex
tef&t'notkalarimv'e reacted 'Bedford
)fmxn.4tA dAnt.holH&A-lAaf wfJ4- fklanprin-
I w ,anw Krvwt iiriv" g,
teftde&t Meyera'lelCon. an engine this morn
ing aai is.huag up.sosaewhere between here
land HyVdmaaf not5 being able to gei either
way.. The river-is?till rising rapidly and
fearswe" entertained for persons living along
the river betweea- here and Huntingdon.
A.party of, commercial men tried to reach
JSyisratt by coach, this evening, bat; were
.compelled' to return, as in the roadaffcrleav
ing.Bldfordthe water 'was running over the
-tops of- fences;- -Gardens in the western part
ioti the town have all been ruined. Several
ifine t'raut ponds near the town have gone
-Word ebmefthat the lanre iron bridee at
KEverett is in danger. The damages to
bridges alone in the county will reach
$50.000. At present it is Impossible to near
.estimate' the' -damages to property. " It is
impossible at this time to get any news by
telephone-along the river, as people are
looking for safe quarters to spend the.night
iMr. Doty, manager of the Springs" hotel,
!said to vour reporter that it was imnossible
'to estimate the damage done to the Springs
property At present it looks as if Bedford
iwouiu je buui oui irom -roe uuiae wonu
jfor several days yet, as all of the railroad
bridges that are not already down are more
or less damaged.
FE0M THE 0THEE SJPE.
iAJl Coramnnlcntlon Swept "Away Ui&31llcs
West of Altoona 4H of the Tralai
From the East Are Held.
There The Report. In
Philadelphia, May 31. All the wires
of the Pennsylvania Kailroad west fof -Wil-jnore,
a section of the Pittsburg Srvi&m, 25
miles west ot Altoona, have be4)-down
since morning, and consequently ihe in
formation in regard to the destruction of
that place is very meager. TSnough has
been learned, however, 'to- indicate that the
rush of water is, the -worst ever known in
At Broad street station thqfollowingbulle
tin for the information 'of. travelers was
'posted about 8 o'clock: "On account' of the
unprecedented storm prevailing In the
Western part of the State, the lines Syest of
Altoona have been damaged; 'to whaf extent
cannot be "ascertained until' the water sub
sides.. The storm is still raging; and it is
thought -no trains will be, passed ntil Sun
day." ' '"
The Chicago limited express, which, left
-New York at 9 o'clock this morning, the
fast line, leaving there at the same hour,
and the train leaving that city at 8 o'clock
last-night are all laid up at Altoona. At
10-30 to-night a dispatch was received by
General Manager Pugh, dated "iVilmore,
from the conductor of the East-bound
New Xork and Chicago limited, which
left Pittsburg at 7 o'clock this morn
ing, saying the train was safe and
that all were well on board. Mr. Pugh in-
ihicu uum uiu uuu we umiveu was iaia
up somewhere west of Xllleys. The con
ductor reported that tha bridge at South
Fork was washed away and expressed the
opinion that all the bridges between South
Fork and Johnstown weuld be, swept away.
The Chicago and New York, day express
and all other "east-bound, trains are sup
posed to be laid up between Cresson and
Wnen JVlr. Pugh was shown a, copy of the
dispatch from Pittsburg" -announcing the
breaking of the dam. nearri'Johafxwn, he
said that this repeat fwnsknlcd.n-: dispatch
received .-from, Wilmorer-to-cfit, Asich
stated that a man had reported to the Penn
sylvania Bailroad operator there that, the
South Fork dam had broken and the water
had carried away the "coal tipple" and
telegraph tower at South Fork station, and
also a portion of an east-bound freight train.
The telegraph operator who was in the
tower managed to escape, but several of the
train hands are reported to have been
drowned. The conductor of the east-bound
New York limited express who reported the
safety of his train, also said that a report
had reached him of the breaking of the
dam. He said nothing about the damage
General Manager Pugh was out of town
early in the day, and he said to-night that
he could not understand what was meant
when he received dispatches announcing
damages to the tracks at Lilleys. "Such a
thing has never been heard of before," said
he to-night, "and nothing short of a water
spout couia nave caused such damage.
Lilleys is a little mining town of about
300 or 400 inhabitants. For the water to
rise high enough to obstruct the passage of
trains is unprecedented. A dispatch just
received by me says that the water is rush
ing over the tracks at a height of at least
five feet above the road bed. nnrl thU t r
could be brought about by nothing short of
a waier spout.- j. nave no doubt, if our
operator at Song Hollow said he saw the
bodies from Johnstown floatinrfdown the
river, as reported in the bulletin, that it is
true, as his tower is located right on the
bank of the river."
Both Dead nnd Alive, Whirl Down the
Hirer Past the Horrified Citizens of
IJInlriTllleJ-Enllroad Bridges Swept
Away People Imprisoned In
Their Second Stories.
rSriCULLTSLIORAlI to THE DISPATCH.!
Blaiksyille, Pa., May 31. The flood
in the Conemaugh river at this point is the
heaviest ever known here. At this hourthe
railroad bridge betweea here and Blaiis
ville intersection has been swept away, also
the new iron bridge at Coketon, half a mile
below. It is now feared the iron bridge at
the lower end of this town will go before
About 7 o'clock a living woman and dead
man, supposed to be her hushand, were seen
going under the railroad bridge. They
were seen to come from under the bridge
safely, but shortly disappeared and were
seen no more.
A great many families lose their house
hold goods. The river is running full of
timber, houses, goods, etc. -The loss will be
heavy. The excitement here is very great.
The, river is still rising. There are some
families below town in the second-story of
their houses and can't get out. It is feared
if the water goes much higher the loss of
life will be very great. The railroad com
pany had 14 cars of coal on their bridge
whe,n it went down, and all was swept down
All manner of things are floating down
the river, furniture, doors, windows, sash,
etc. The town bridge has just sucoumbed
to the seething cauldron, whose maddening
roar can be heard a. long distance. The
water is still rising, and it is thought the
West Penn Kailroad will be without a
single bridge in the morning. The cries of
the woman who went down was heartrend
ing. She was floating on something not
discernable, and her cries were heard until
lost in the deafening roar. It is reported
that a man went down with the Blairsville
bridge while he was adjusting a headlight. ,
MILLIONS OP MONEY LOST.
The Storm lias Swept the Kanawha Valley
Clean of Lumber.
Charleston, W. Va., May 31. A
heavy rain began falling here at noon yes
terday and continued until late last night,
.which caused a flood in the .tributa- of
the Kanawha river. The Chesapeal
Ohio Bailroad bridge over Cabin creek was
carried, away, and booms in Elk and Coal
rivers.swept away and millions.of dollars'
worth of timber and lumber and railroad
ties swept away. It is feared that a portion
of the city will be submerged. The rivers
are still rising. The thermometer regis
ALONG THE POTOMAC.
The Hirer Was Never So Bisk no Now
The Baltimore and Ohio and West
Virginia Central Blocked
Damage to Iiife and
Piedmont, W. Va., May 31. The de
struction by the flood resulting from last
night's storm jn this vicinity is terrible, and
the loss will scarcely fall short of ?250,000,
and may greatly exceed that figure. The
north bank of the Potomao is higher than
ever before, the nearest approach being 27
years ago, when the loss was tremendous.
The Baltimore and Ohio track is blockaded
in half a dozen.places and there can be no
traffic before to-morrow, if then. The West
"Virginia Central track is from five to eight
feet under water formiles, and many bridges
and trestles are down or badly damaged.
The destruction of private property is
very great. Crops are ruined everywhere.
and houses, barns, fences, lumber, etc;, are
swept away. Btttone loss of life is reported,
and that was of a child. There are many
rumors of other losses of life, but as yet no
certainty attends them. Numerous narrow
escapes are reported.
KNOWING ITS TEEE0ES.
James V. Long and Members of the CInb
Tell Abont that Lake In the Clondo
Origin andExtent of It Length
and Depth of the Dread
' fal Dam.
"Good heavens! Is it so that the dam has
br6ken?" exclaimed James V. Long, last
evening when a Dispatch reporter told
him of the disaster at South Fork.
"Well," he continued, "it is not unex
pected to me, nor to many members of the
South Fork Fishing Club. It has always
been a sword of Damocles, not" only to the
members of the club, but to others. The
people of Johnstown have always feared
it. Time and again the dam has been ex
amined and every timeit was pronounced
safe; but no one knew when it would break."
Mr. Long is State Commissioner of Fish
eries, and is a member and for years was
Secretary of the Western Pennsylvania
Sportsmen's Association. It was from, the
latter organization that the Sonth Fork
Fishing Club sprang. All the original
members of the fishing club, and nearly
every one who is a member now, belongs to
the Sportsmen's Association.
'It was about 1879 that the South Fork
-Club was formed. Colonel Buff, now dead,
was the principal promoter ofthe scheme of
purchasing the property on the fsouth
branch of the Conemaugh, which gave
promise of affording the means for sport that
many members of the club desired. Colonel
E. J. TJnger, M. B. Suydam, Walter Mc
Clintock and one or two others took an in
terest in the matter and the property was
, Size and Location.
The property consists of between 600 and
700 .acres, and is located about nine miles
above Johnstown. " The. great dam was built
ia form a reservoir for the old Pennsylvania
canal. The dam has a base of 300 feet in
thickness at the bottom, gradually narrow
ing to a width of about 0 feet at the top,
and is 75 feet high, and from 800 to 1,000
feet long. The main portion was formed of
the heaviest and most solid stone masonry.
The lake formed by the reservoir is actually
about 2)4 miles long, but is generally called
three miles, and has an irregular width,
varying from one-half to three-quarters of a
mile. The greatest depth of water is 90 feet,
and over a considerable portion the-average
depth is CO feet.
When the Pennsylvania Bailroad Com
pany bought the old canal and constructed
along its line the great highway ot rails the
reservoir was no longer needed. The many
ages of land which formed the bottom of the
lake had originally been meadows, and
when the lake was no longer needed the
meadows reappeared as the water was
drained off from the bottom.
x The Lake Made Over.-
In that condition the ground lay formany
years. The Pennsylvania Bailroad Com
pany didn't need it and sold it to a Mr.
Beilly, of Altoona. The magnificent dam,
whieh cost over (200,000 to build, was not
disturbed, and Mr. Beilly conceived the
idea of once more making the lake. It was,
through his efforts that the property was
brought to the attention of Colonel Buff and
the others already mentioned.
The property was bought by the South
Fork Fishing Club from Mr. Beilly. The
exact price paid none of the members of the
club who were seen last night could sav.
'The club was formed on the basis of a mem
bership limited to 100 persons, the shares
being placed at $500 each and each member
being required to own two shares before be
ing entitled to the privileges of membership.
Nearly 20,000 was expended in putting
the dam in thorough repair, in addition to
money spent in other improvements. Then
arrangements were made for the erection of
a hotel and cottages. Every member who
desired to put up a cottage within six
months was allowed a plot of ground 100
There are now about 60 members of "the
club, of whom .16 have cottages. Com
mencing from the lower end of the lake,
and going to 'the-head, the cottages Btand in
A Magnificent List.
L D. W. C. Blddle. 9. J. J. Lawrence.
2. M. K. Moorhcad. 10. Mrs. a O. Hussey.
8. P. C. Knox.
4, J. H. Llppincott.
6. James w. Brown.
C Louis Irwin.
7- Charles J. Clarke,
11. Calvin Wells.
12. Dr. Rankin.
13. William Mulllns.
14. C, B. Shea.
15. Joseph Home.
o. jh. u. Buydam.
la. Walter McCllntock.
From the foregoing names, everyone of
which is so well known in Pittsburg that it
would be superogatory to tell who the
individuals are. it will be seen that the
membership of the clnb is confined to the
wealthy and prominent residents of the two
The present officers of the club are
Colonel E. J. TJnger, President; Colonel J.
J. Lawrence, Vice President; Louis Irwin,
Treasurer; E. A. Meyers, Secretary, For
several years Colonel Bufl was President,
and Jdhn A. Horner, cashier of the Bank
of Pittsburg, was Secretary and Treasurer,
THE LAST TEAIN IN.
The Pacific Express GotTbrongk.bat It Was
Five Hoars Late,
The Pacific express was the last "train in
from the .East, and arrived at 5 o'clock, its
schedule time being some five hours earlier.
Passengers on it were transferred at Sheri
dan, where the train was abandoned, nnd,
after a difficult transfer, were .re-embarked
at Johnstown and sent on -to this city. They
were the last passengers' from the EaBt The
mail express ease was sent out at 1 o'clock
yesterday ntime,ibut. got no further than
'Bolivar'.where..itow:isiand no attempt
has been made to send out any others, nor
will there be, so Superintendent Pitcairn
savs, for two days.
The road is clear as far as Latrobe, and
local trains will be run to that point only.
THE AWFUL FEAE OF IT.
Gloomy Forebodings of a Disaster Years
Ago A Warning Unheeded A Lake
Artificially Slade ofla Pond-
Fearful Height of a
"We were afraid of that lake," said a
gentleman who had lived in Johnstown for
years; "we were afraid of that lake seven
"No one could see the immense height to
which that artificial dam had been built
without fearing the tremendous power of
the water behind it. The dam must have
had a sheer height of 100 feet, thus forcing
the water that high above its natural bed,
and making a lake at least three miles long
and a mile wide out of what could scarcely
be called a pond.
"I doubt if there is a man or woman in
Johnstown who, at some time or other,
hadn't feared and spoken of the terrible
disaster that has now come. I remember six
years ago, when I worked in the Gautier
office, we used to talk of what we 'would do
should that terrific body of water break its
weak barriers and sweep down the valley,
and I remember, also, we all decided it
would be so sudden and so strong that any
effort to escape would be fruitless.
"People wondered and asked whv the
dam wasn't strengthened, as itcertainfy had
become weak, but nothing was done, and
by and by they talked less and less about it,
as nothing happened, though now and then
some wonld shake their heads, as if con
scious the fearful day would come some
time, when their worst tears would be
transcended by the horror of the actual
"If it is true that dam has given way,
then the idea or even the horfe of escape for
hundreds would seem out of the question.
We figured- out pretty clearly the actual
number of barrels in, the immense reservoir
three miles long and one mile wide, with an
average depth of 60 feet, and at the dam of
fully 125 feet.
"Just think if you can of the terrific rush
of that ocean of water, roarine down the
narrow defile, then between the narrow hills
hedging in the Conemaugh. No pen, and
no words could describe the Irresistible
force of that water rushing down upon Johns
town, but a .few miles awav. Johnstown is
in a sort of a hollow, between the two rivers,
and that lake must nave swept over the city
at a acptn oi 4U ieet. it can't De. it is im
possible that such an awful thing could
happen to a city of 40,000 inhabitants, and
if it has, thousands have lost their lives,
and men are to blame for it, for warnings
nave Deen uttered a tnonsand times, and
have received no attention."
THE B. & 0,'S ESCAPE.
No Through Trains From This City, Bnt
No Accidents Reported The Trouble
In West Virginia Jim Blaine
, a Heavy Loser.
In reference to the washout on the Balti
more and Ohio line, Chief Train Dispatcher
G. W. C, Day said last evening that the
main trouble on that line lay between Con
nellsville and Cumberland, Md. The .com
pany received word of the washout as early
as 9 o clock yesterday morning. The
news that they received (was 'to .the
effect that there had been several
landsides between those two points. This
was corroborated by the-'arrival of engine
827 a short- time afterward covered with
mud. The Baltimore and Ohio has aban
doned all through trains for the present, and
passengers and mail are being sent around
by way of Wheeling and over the main
stem to Baltimore, there being no trouble
whatever on that line between Piedmont,
W. Va., and Cumberland, Md., the termi
nus of this division. The main stem of the
road from Wheeling is intact all the way
The company already has trains, men and
plenty of timber on the cround ready to so
to work, but Dispatcher Day could not tell
whether or not any work would be done last
night, as it would be
Impossible to Tell
what damage had been done to the tracks or
roadbed "until the water goes down.
Mr. Day thought that the road had been
extremely fortunate in having escaped with
out accident, but as soon as the news of the
washout had been received, all West-bound
trains were stopped at Cumberland. It is
believed that the Postoffice Department will
allow the road to transfer the mail to the
main line and have it come through by way
of Wheeling. ,
All the trouble on the Baltimore and
Ohio lies East of the Allegheny Mountains.
West of the mountains everything is in
good shape. There is no trouble on the
road from the city, and all the West-bound
trains are running as usual.
Hr. Day does not anticipate any serious
delay from the accident, and believes that
in a short while everything will be running
in regular order.
The Somerset and Cambria branch, of the
Baltimore and Ohio, is also washed out and
closed to all traffic, the damage done to this
branch is as yet unknown, bnt a squad of
men mu ue sent aioug toe roaa to-aay to
take observations and make any repairs
The C. Be P. and J. G. B.
The Cumberland and Pennsylvania coal
road is badly damaged all along the line
from Lonaconing, Md., to Piedmont, W.
Va. What the extent of the damage has
been, or whether or not there had been any
serious accidents, could not be ascertained
at a late hour last night
Premier "Jim" Blaine will open his eyes
rather widely this morning when he finds
that he is also a heavy Joser through the
washout. James has long been interested
in the West Virginia Central Bailroad,
which has been one of his pet schemes. But
the surging waters have no respect for per
sons, even though a Premie is interested.
The West Virginia Central runs from Cum
berland, Md., to Piedmont, W, Va., and
has coasted ot lour or the hnest Iron rail
road bridges in the country. The washout
came yesterday, and in a twinkline de
molished the four iron bridges as (hough
they were but straws. The bridges will
have to be replaced at once, and as four
iron bridges are an expensive luxury,
Jimmy's dividends this year will evince an
inclination to shrink.
The Baltimore and Ohio people said last
night that all damages to the road would
be put in complete repair as soon as practi
cable. K IT BELONGS TO PITTSBDEO.
Posted Ones Unwilling to Ilelleve the Dread
ful Extent of Disaster.
Eager anxiety prevailed about fown as
soon as the report of the disaster was re
ceived. Especially was the matter talked
over at the Pittsburg Club, many of whose
members "are personally interested in prop
erty, etc., in the region of South Fork.
W. J. Patton disbelieved the statement
about "Conemaugh Lake" had broken
loose. He said:
"The results of such a calamity cannot be
fully realized. Why, the whole of Johnstown
must be swept awav if (his is true, The
South Fork Pond, as, it is called, is three
miles wide, and its great capacity should It
break forth would inuudate the country for
Other members equally interested simply
ejaculated words of awe, such as "Hor-
r- ' - jz
riblel" "Disastrous I" etc The "Pond" is
the property of the Pittsburg Sporting
Clnb, and jr this reason the local interest
manifested is unbounded.
Ponredlfi'ft.aSBVcrIjen Dam Down a V.
SbnJ.O SCSrvffl-, -Tpozen Towns
...V v J
ISFXCI-L TXLXQKAUTOTHX DloiF,I.l
Debet, May 3L The course of the tor
rent from the broken dam at the foot of, the
lake to Johnstown is almost 18 miles, and
with the exception of at one point the
water passed though a narrow T-shaped
valley. Four miles below the dam
lay the town of South Fork,
where South Fork itself emptied into the
Conemaugh river. The town contained
abont 2,000 inhabitants. It,has not been
heard from, but it is said that four-fifths of
it have been swept away.
Four miles further down on the Cone
maugh river, which runs parallel with the
main line of the Pennsylvania Bailroad,
was the town of Mineral Point. It had 800
inhabitants, 90 per cent of the houses there
being on a flat and close to the river. It seems
impossible at this time to hope that
any of them have escaped. Six miles further,
down was the town of Conemaugh, and here
alone was there a topographical possi
bility for the spreading of the
flood and the breaking of the force.
It contained 2,500 inhabitants and
must be almost wholly devastated. Wood-
vale, with 2,000 people, lay a mile below
Conemaugh on the flat, and one mile fur
ther down was Johnstown and its cluster of
sister .towns, Cambria City, Conemaugh
borough and Prospect, with a total popula
tion of 30,000.
On made- ground and stretched along
right at the river's verge were the immense
iron works of the Cambria Iron and Steel
At 11 o'clock a railroad man says the
loss of life will reach hundreds and possibly
over a thousand. The report of loss of these
towns above cannot yet be confirmed.
COLOKEL IffiGER SAFE.
His Wife Staying With Friends In the East
End The Colonel at Hit Fa a What
Tony Keating Know
Mrs. TJnger, the wife of Colonel E. C.
TJnger, is staying with G. C. Wilson, Esq.,
on Bebecca street. East End. A Dispatch
reporter went there last night to find out
whether the Colonel had sent any word
from South Fork, but nothing had
been heard. Mr. Tony Keating, who
is a neighbor of the Wilsons, stated
that the Colonel had. been in Harrisburg
during the last week visiting some friends
of his. He left there on Thursday morning
and arrived at South Fork in the afternoon.
His intention was to-stop off there to visit
his farm. Colonel TJnger's property com
prises about 200 acres of farming land.
When the improvements were made on the
laKeJUr. unger gave nve acres of his land
to the South Fork Club. His property lies
southwest of the lake, and mnch higher in
the mountains than the reservoir. Mr.
Keating said that they had no anxiety on
account of the Colonel, because it was hard
ly likely that the flood would reach him.
"From what I know about the country,"
he continued, "it seems to me that the water,
as soon as it broke, through the abutments,
would rush through the gully which runs
from South Fork station up the hill toward
the lake. The Cambria Iron Company's
works, situated along the Pennsylvania
Bailroad, I should judge will be completely
washed away, because the water would
naturally take its course toward that noint.
It is a long time since I have been at South
Fork, but I remember the old reservoir well,
and I know it used to supply the old canal,
which ran from Philadelphia to Pittsburg,
"No, we are not alarmed because Colonel
TJnger has not telegraphed yet I do not
see very well how he could. You must con
sider that he is completely shut off irom all
communication. You see his farm and the
nearest telegraph station or the Johnstown
postoffice are now divided by the water and
the Colonel could not get away from his
place to-day. I do not think that we shall
hear until to-morrow."
Tho Awfal Bnmors Verified, bnt In Very
Doubting people by the score thronged
the West Penn dispatcher's office last night
in quest of reports verifying the awful
rumors circulated on the streets.
They were meager, but true, and added
double interest from the indefiniteness of
No word could be received from be
yond Blairsville, owing to the wires being
entirely useless, but from the latter point
news enough was received to prove the vast
nes3 of the flood.
Bridges have been swept away on the
West Penn, the county bridge and town
bridge having gone down, while the Tun
nelton structure is hanging, practically, by
a thread, and perhaDs is now carried off by
the tnrbulent and abortive waters.
The loss of life cannot possibly be ac
curately given, as many people were seen
far out in the stream, floating on rafts and
driftwood, hopelessly beyond rescue.
A woman and two children passed Blairs
ville, piteously appealing for help.hnt they
were swept away.
Several people were picKed up on the Bol
At Du Bois another large dam burst forth
at about the same time as the South Fork
pond and the two bodies of water meeting
will most undoubtedly cause immeasurable
loss of property and life.
By order, the men at the Blairsville shops
were, out to render assistance, with every
facility at hand. They are doing good work.
0THBE Kims HATS B1SEN.
The Jnnlata and Susquehanna Are Raging
Oyer the Country.
Tteoite, May 3L The Juniata river has
overflowed its bank at this place, and flood
ed the entire southern portion of the city,
causing great destruction to property. Peo
ple living in the flooded districts had to be
removed from their homes in wagons to
places of safety. All the railroads center
ing in this place are greatly damaged, lire
water was never known to be so high at this
place, i At Curwensville one man was
drowned, and at Clearfield two young ladies
were drowned in trying to escape from the
The Susquehanna has overflowed its
banks at Clearfield, and the entire place is
under water, and ail means of escape are
cutoff. Many people have gathered in the
Court House and Opera House as a place of
safety. It is still raining hard and the
waters are rising rapidly.
BAILBOADS WASHED OUT.
Great Damage to Property la Huntingdon
and the Surrounding Country..
IBPZCULL TSXZOBAU TO TOX DISPATCH.!
Huntingdon, May 31. Incessant rain
here during the past 72 hours has over
flowed the streams to an unusual degree,
to-day's downpour being the heaviest
known. In consequence oi the washing
nu...:t Mw--.-..i. n...:..'
IipiEll MWiiSdilME ItGuGiiCu
A. tho Bianoh. Offices of "XTIae
For to-morrow's issue .up to 9 o'clock P. K.
For list of branch offices In tha various dis
trlcts see THIttD PAGE,
away of theHyndman bridge, on the Bed
ford branch of the Pennsylvania Bailroad, .'
and the undermining of the railroad bridge,
at Mount Dallas, Bedford was to-day cat
off from intercourse with the ontside'world,
and is likely to remain so for several days. -The
rise in the Baystown branch at Everett
is so great to-night as to submerge the nrin- .
cipal streets, compelling many families to
desert. their dwellings.
The Juniata river here is made pictur
esque with floating buildings, timber, up
rooted trees and remnants of destroyed farm
buildings, with here and there carcasses of
horses and cattle. Ten families in Ports
town, a suburb of this town, were driven
from their home3 this evening, and much of
their household goods were washed away.
The growing erain in the immediate vicin
ity ot Huntingdon is nearly all destroyed. -and
it is feared this will be the result all
over the country.
FEOM ME. PITCAIBff.
The P. E. B. Snperlntendent Saya
Frightful He Suggests a Public
Belief Meeting In Tlits-
It had been known that Superintendent.
Bobert Pitcairn, ot the Pennsylvania Bail
road, had gone East, and, when tha first
report of the disaster came to Pittsburg.it
was feared that he, Colonel TJnger and
others, believed to be at South Fork,
had perished. Indeed, grave fears began
to be entertained also as to the)
peril of a party of Pittsburgers who
started for South Fork in the afternoon.
The party includes Superintendent Pit
cairn, of the Pennsylvania road; James
Beed, A. Q. A. Leishman, W. L. Abbott,
Charles L.Tavlor, S.L. Schoonmaker and H.
D. Smith. But, in all probability, they
didn't get for enough east before the flood
to be any worse than frightened.
Superintendent Pitcairn, however, was all
right, as the following startling, and proba
bly modified, telegram from him to all tha
Pittsburg morning papers, last evening,
New Fxobks cb, May 31, 10:56 p. a..
Editors Pittsbarg Morning Papers:
In going to the trouble, with water west of
Lilly's, could not get farther than Sang Hol
low: our tracks west of tbls point are also ob
structed. While at Sang Hollow over 100 peo
ple, men, women and children, passed there on
debris; seven were recovered at Sang Hollow,
two at Conemaugh Furnace and two here.
Only SI of the 100 and over passed here.
From my supervisor, who was at Johns
town, I learn that Johnstown Is lit
erally wiped out. Onr track between
Johnstown and Conemangh is filled with build' -ings
and drift 40 feet hich or more, which is on
fire. All our tracks, as I hare said, are badly '
blocked between Sang Hollow and Johnstown.
I fear there will be terrible suffering among
those saved, which should be relieved as soon
as possible. In the interest of humanity
think a public meeting should be called early
to-morrow to send food, clothing, eta, to thesa -poor
people, which we will be clad Ao forward '
to Johnstown and neighborhood as soon as we
get a clear track there. Kobebt Pitcairn.
ONE OUT OF MANY.
The Fact That the New Solid Bridge, Gava
Way, Drives Hope From a Hus
band and Father It Conld
Oaly Fail Under Fear
"Impossible," said James Stevens, ,'.'
slenderr'anxions -looking:. man," il raua
the reservoir has burst but we expected) V
I have a wife, two' children, and' two sisters;
living On Union and Chestnut streets, and
if that terrible dam has gone, I" have lost
"It is said the new Pennsylvania bridge
was swept away."
"Oh, my God!" said poor Stevens, turn
ing even whiter still, "then Johnstown is
swept away. That new bridge was as sub
stantial as Gibraltar, and before it gave
way it must have backed the water up so
high it flooded everything and everybody.
It is ten times worse, a thousand times
worse, if it gave way, as you say, before the
dam actually broke, for it means I have lost
home, wife and family.
"Now," he said, "let ma tell you something-about
Johnstown that might not be
known. I will probably walk the streets
until the actual truth is known, but I want
to say a word about the flood we expected'
there years ago, and about the flood, that has1
come at last
"The Conemangh river has been narrowed,
and narrowed by the eagerness of man, until'
sometimes its width could hardly be over ZS
feet The Pennsylvania Bailroad laid a
double track from the Gautier barbed wire,
mill down to Johnstown station, about half
a mile, and narrowed the river so much tha
Cambria Iron Wqrks threatened to sua
them, bnt nothing was ever done. Tim
Cambria has been dumping and dumping
into the rivers until a backwater set in, and
these narrow channels, aided by the splendid
heavy abutments of the new Pennsylvania
Bailroad bridge, must have forced water all '
over the town before the immense abut
ments gave way. .
"Then what must have become of all tha
foremost people of Johnstown? There were tha
Elders, Fnltons, Hamiltons, Ogles, Diberts,
Huriberts, Weavers, McConaugheys, Tit
tles, Murpbys, and a thousand others living
right in the center of the greatest depression,
and of course where the flood was deepest
when it did come. But the. prospect ot what
they and my wife and little children hava
been obliged to suffer seems enough to drive
one mad, for it would be easier to have been
THE LAST W0BDS.
The Girlish Johnstown Operator Talks of
Biting Waters, Then Comes a Silence.
"At 3 o'clock in tha afternoon," said
Electrician Bender, of tha Western Union,
"the girl operator at Johnstown was cheer
fully ticking away that sha had to abandon
the office on tha first floor, because tha
water was three feet deep there.
"She said she was writing from tha
second story and the water wag ;
gaining steadily. Sha was fright
ened, and said many houses around
were flooded. This was evidently before
the dam broke, for our man here said some
thing encouraging to her, and she was talk
ing back as only a cheerful girl operator can,
when the receiver's skilled ears caught a
sound on the wire made by no human
"The wires had grounded or the house
had been swept away in the flood from that, -lake,
no one knows which now. Anyway.- -
at 3 o docs: the girl was there, and at 37
we might as well have asked the grave tor-
answer us." H
ANXIOUS ALONG THE LIKE.
Local Towns on the Qui Vive for News
The towns all along the Pennsylvania
Bailroad were at a fever heat last night si.
meager news of the flood reached them- At)
Wilkin iburg a young man who lives at
Johnstown rushed up to the telegraph office,
and when told the news said: .
"My God I My father and mother lira'
therel" v. . &. ,
He then commenced to figure from-tie r
Willg'yK - jWSiMMM