Topeka, KS Flood, Jun 1903


Fatalities at Topeka Are Now Estimated at Twenty-Five.

Topeka, Kan., June 2.---It is now admitted that the number of dead is unknown and that the first reports of fatalities were much exaggerated The Kansas river has fallen 14 inches and continues to steadily recede toward the natural channel.

In the excitement, all sorts of rumors have come in. Men have seen persons fall into the water and take if for granted that those persons were drowned. Often the persons concerned are seen later. They tell of a thrilling experience but are not always taken from the lists of dead. Some are still missing. It may be days before a trustworthy list is made. Is is now thought that not more than 20 or 25 are dead.

A summary of the missing and the probable dead follows. A Mrs. Jackson, widow, and Mrs. Ida Montgomery are reported missing. Four, seen to fall from trees by watchers at Sardou bridge, east approach. Mrs. Jackson, a widow, who lived at Thirteenth and Van Buren, was caught in her home without means of leaving and is thought to have been drowned Henry Ludington who lives in Oakland, last was seen hanging to the branches of a tree in the eastern portion of North Topeka Saturday morning It was thought that he has been drowned, as he is no longer in the tree where he was seen. John L. Adams, who lived on Madison street near the woolen mill, is thought to have perished. With his family he had taken refuge on the roof of his home. Rescuers took the family out early, but the boat was not large enough to accommodate him. When the party returned for him he had vanished.

Andrew Pretzel, a market gardener living east of Oakland, is among the missing, and his friends think he has drowned The Munsey family, who were caught on the roof of their house Saturday night report that they saw two bodies float by Monday. Carl Goff, Jr., son of the chief of police, saw a woman and a baby fall from a house roof just west of the Gabriel lumber yards while that structure was burning. The current swept them directly into the flames. A reporter saw two men plunge from a house just south of the burning yards about the same time Saturday afternoon. They were swept out into the current and disappeared under the muddy water.

It is reported that a local commission firm bought up all the potatoes in town last Saturday and advanced the price 50 cents a bushel. It will be at least a week before freight trains from the east can enter Topeka, and perhaps longer. An effort will be made to secure a stock of provisions from the smaller towns to the south.

Sandusky Evening Star, Sandusky, OH 2 Jun 1903


Losses Exaggerated.

Topeka, June 2.----While it is known that 34 people lost their lives by the flood, reports of other bodies found are still coming in. The flood is now receding. Looting is still going on in north Topeka, but the militia are on hand to head off the robbers.

Sandusky Evening Star, Sandusky, OH 2 Jun 1903